It was a dark and stormy night at the Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP), perfect for a ghostly pet story.

Actually it was a windy Sunday afternoon the day after Halloween. Husband Charlie and I were absorbing the history and sensing who was still around. We definitely were not looking for a ghostly pet! We figured we might sense the presence of long-dead human inhabitants.

I was counting on Charlie picking something up. You see, a few years ago, Charlie has seen Union soldiers standing near a cannon on the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg. We confirmed the uniforms he saw were accurate for which company was using those cannons to fight the Confederates. I had a great human “ghost detector!”

Was Pep really a cat murdering dog?

I was drawn to a picture of Pep, “The Cat Murdering Dog.” Pep was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1924 for supposedly murdering the Governor’s cat. Looking at the picture, I saw the image of a cat over Pep’s heart; so did Charlie.

Pep denied it!

When I connected with Pep, he seemed unhappy at being framed and missed his home. He did have a cat around him, whom he was fond of and who I promptly named “Scratch.” On a whim, I invited Pep and Scratch to come home with me and enjoy family life again.

Back home, I was sharing Pep and Scratch’s story with son Pat’s novia, Genesis, when we both heard a loud meow in the hallway. My two cats were in front of us. They hadn’t made a peep. Scratch had made her presence known!

Epilogue: A day later, Pep was ready to move on to what could be called “doggie heaven.” I helped him cross; my dogs who had already passed came to greet him so it was easy. A couple of days later he visited me to say hello and thanks! He was happy.

Scratch? Scratch, our ghostly pet, is still around.


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