My story begins a couple of years ago. I'd just moved into my new apartment and was beginning a new life as a returning college student, working part-time as a bookkeeper for a grocery store. Two months pass and my life has pretty much settled into its new routine. One day, after pulling another all-nighter for an exam, I hop into bed shortly before the sun rises, anxious to catch up in my sleep before the start of my first class (which, for this particular day, wasn't until 1 in the afternoon).

It wasn't long before I started to feel myself drifting off when, from out of nowhere, I spotted an orange-ginger colored cat skulking around my legs at the foot of my bed. When I tried to move to get a better look at it, though, I found myself paralyzed. To the point, I was lying on my side, facing my room directly across from my closet, with my right arm tucked under my pillow. From the corners of my eyes I could still see the cat. It was small, about the size that a 6-month old kitten might be, but I could never see its face. It would always walk out of my line of vision or turn its head just enough so that I could never get a good look at it.

For whatever reason it kept trying to get under my covers, but there was something about this cat that didn't feel right. I didn't think it was there to hurt me, but I felt like it was malicious and dangerous somehow and I didn't want to have anything to do with it, so I struggled against it. I fought hard but it was difficult because it felt like something was holding me down from the inside out. The best I could do was to move in short, jerky movements. I tried to yell, too, but it was no good --- nothing better than weak moans.

Despite this, however, I managed to keep the cat out for a short period of time until it finally managed to find an opening that I wasn't able to move quickly enough to block off. Watching it sliding under my covers made me panic, and that gave me just enough strength to free my arm from under my pillow --- but, just as I did, I felt something grab my wrist and push my arm back down just over my head.

As the cat disappeared under my blanket, I felt an urge to look towards my closet, and there I saw jet black smoke pouring out from under the cracks. I panicked again, only this time I also became very angry, and I pushed against whatever was holding me down. I don't know if it was from my own power or if the thing just gave in, but I was freed and the first thing I did was barrel towards the closet door because --- in the heat of the moment --- I wanted to face whatever was in there. Despite being so scared, I was just so enraged.

But when I reached my closet and attempted to open the door, it wouldn't budge, and then this horrible mocking laughter filled my head. It was enough to make me dizzy, and I had to take a few steps back until I reached my bed again. I sat down to help regain my equilibrium, but then, as I looked up to re-survey my situation, I saw this dark spot forming in the upper right-hand corner of my room. It spread quickly, like ink in water, and before I can do anything about it I blacked out.

When I came to again, I was back in bed. The first thing I did was to look for that damn cat, but it wasn't there and neither could I find any evidence that it had ever been there, and when I looked through my closet everything appeared normal. By this time it was a little passed 8 AM, and nothing seemed unusual. I got back into bed and sat there for a very long time, trying to determine if what had just happened had only been a very lucid nightmare. It was strange as I'd never had an experience like that before, and never a dream so real.

After a while, with nothing else to go on, I attempted to shrug the experience off as a dream, but I was still shaken and found it hard to relax. I tried to force myself to go back to sleep because I had a long day planned later, but I just lay there staring up at my ceiling for a while, just kind of afraid to close my eyes.

About five minutes pass.

I'm finally beginning to really calm down.

And then, from the corner of my right eye, I see the orange-ginger cat walking by the side of my head. Before I can react to it I feel its tail hit me right under the chin. I leapt up in my bed into a full standing position, but the cat was nowhere to be found.

To this day I still question whether my experience had been real or just a very vivid hallucination, but the feel of that cat's tail on my skin remains a very constant reminder of that moment of my life. Since then, I have never had a similar experience.

NOTE: (I don't do drugs, not now or ever. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't meditate, and I wasn't sick on the morning in question)

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