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Meet Matilda, the 2-year-old Canadian kitten who will either make you go D’aww or cringe in horror, depending on whether the cover of Whitley Strieber’s Communion gave you nightmares or not *raising hand*

Her other-worldly glassy eyes are the product of a congenital condition called ‘spontaneous lens luxation’, which has caused the lens in her eyes to detach. Their abnormal size is still a matter of some debate, though, and her veterinary suspects it’s got “something to do with her collagen structure” –IMO I would fire up the MRI machine in search of metallic implants…

Despite the appearances, Matilda’s illness does not bring her any pain, even though she’s practically blind. I wonder if knowing she’s become an overnight Internet celebrity would bring her any comfort.

All joking aside, though, this freaking-looking feline reminds me of how many people in our field believe cats and other animals, are able to perceive things with their acute sense than we humans are oblivious of. Fortean blogger and researcher Mike Clelland is among the many cat care-takers who have noticed their four-legged owners stare at a spot in the wall or an empty room with eerie fixation, as if they were aware of some invisible presence:

Last night I was alone in my little cabin sitting on the couch watching a DVD, my cat was sitting next to me, as always. Suddenly I was aware that she was acting really scared. She got into this really scrunched-up defensive pose and her tail poofed up huge. The hair along her back was sticking straight up. I tried to pet her to calm her down, but she didn’t respond at all. I could feel her back was rigid with tension. I leaned over and looked at her face and her eyes were entirely dilated and black.

She wasn’t moving, and she was entirely focused at an empty spot the center of the room just a few yards in front of the couch.

I saw nothing, and I sensed nothing. But my cat’s overt display meant something.

I got up and walked around the house, and when I stood in the living room in front of the couch I could see right where she was focused. She stayed frozen in that anxious pose with her dilated eyes fixed on an empty spot right in the center of the room.

And there’s even a few interesting anecdotes in which our furry overlords have become entangled with their alien counterparts. I already mentioned Strieber and Communion, which should be unquestionnably credited with inserting (or should that be ‘probing’?) the stereotype of the Gray alien into the pop culture’s psyche. In Transformation, the sequel to his best-selling book, Whitley mentions how once when he was about to be taken by the entities he call ‘the Visitors’ –he’s never been comfortable with calling them ‘aliens’ or ‘Et’s’– he grabbed one of their 2 cats –Sadie, a Birman– with him as a sort of ‘reality test’. When he found himself inside a normal-looking room, still holding the terrified cat between his arms and surrounded by 4 non-human entities, even though one appeared to be a ‘blonde Nordic’; one of the entities asked him why he had brought the cat –the fact that these entities hadn’t stopped him in the first place is interesting in itself. Forced somehow to provide the most honest answer by the overwhelming ‘pressure’ of their mere presence, Strieber replied that Sadie was part of his family, and as such she had the right to participate in family affairs.

The Visitors put Sadie to sleep –not permanently, as Whitley originally feared– by pressing a strange metallic object on one of her thighs, which immediately caused her to collapse as if she had been anesthesyzed. The next day the poor cat stayed sleep curled in a ball until dinner time, when she drank a lot of water; she showed a stiffness in her leg until the next morning, in the exact place where the metallic object had been in contact with her skin.

Perhaps later ole Sadie took revenge by scratching her human’s favorite armchair.

Is there indeed a parnormal connection between cats and ‘the other side’? Is there a reason why ancient Egyptians showed such a huge veneration to them, other than the utilitarian benefit cats provided by eradicating vermin from their barns and grain mills?

If Matilda had the collar of Jake, the Cat from Outer Space perhaps she could tell us that, indeed, the Truth is Meow there.

Cats Are (Sneaky) Ancient Aliens.