Monthly Archives: February 2014

The second life of Brian – Guardian Family

Brian's ghost 1 - Jerry and Brian enlarged

This was featured in readers’ pet stories in the Guardian on 1.2.14 . Read more at:

My sister and I were thrilled when we bought our first flat. We cemented this rite of passage by obtaining kittens, brothers named Brian and Jerry.

Jerry was a nervous thing, who cowered under the bed when it thundered, while Brian was beautiful and fearless, with his affectionate nature, long tabby fur and appealing eyes. We loved them both.

My sister married and bought the flat next door, and my brother moved in with me to help pay the mortgage but Brian and Jerry were still an important part of our family.

One morning, Brian went missing. We searched the streets but to no avail. Eventually, my brother came back, shaken, saying he had found Brian’s body several streets away. Poor Brian had been hit by a car.

Distraught, we dug a hole in the garden while my brother retrieved the body. Still crying, we held a short ceremony and tried to contemplate life without Brian.

Just as we had filled in the hole, we turned round and saw … Brian, sitting watching us. First with horror, and then with huge relief and happiness, we realised it wasn’t Brian’s ghost – we had buried someone else’s cat.