Bonds between humans and their animals can be confusing to non-pet owners. It could be the non-verbal nature of the relationship which leads to that unspoken connection, or arguably a form of madness that drives people to covet these beloved creatures.
The latter explanation is possibly appropriate when it comes to the story of Charles Utkins. Until recently, Charles was resident in the city of Blagoveshchensk in Russia. However in 2017 his owner decided to pass him on to a clairvoyant, where his feline personality was better suited.
Yes that’s right. Charles Utkins is a cat — and a psychic cat to boot. His former owner, a term to be used loosely, was named in The Siberia Times as Dmitry R. Before that Charles lived with his aunt. Her death unraveled a ball of yarn that tangled itself around Dmitry R. before he realized what was happening.
In an ominous quote from the article, he claimed that “Before I met Utkins I… did not believe in supernatural things. But this creature managed to inspire me to thoughts and shame me to do what I do not want to do.”
These things included waking him in the morning to go food shopping. Sounds typical enough, yet Charles somehow managed to transfer his feelings of hunger onto his slumbering tin opener.
“He reads minds,” Dmitry R. recalled, “but the worst thing – he inspires thoughts. And these thoughts will be fulfilled, they are impossible to resist… For example, I do not eat fish, at all, I don’t like it, or sausages. He would wake me up at 5 am with a strong desire to eat fish or sausage. So much so that I had to go out right then to buy it and give it to the cat. And as soon as the cat started to eat, my hunger disappeared.”
When it became clear this furry tenant was going to end his marriage, the Russian tummy tickler faced a dilemma. Thankfully this was resolved for him when a mysterious woman turned up to purchase the puss. He didn’t know she was coming, and indeed wasn’t supposed to. She was a clairvoyant.
After offering the astonishing sum of $84,000 (a cool 5 million roubles), Dmitry R. released Charles and the unnamed buyer got her paws on him. The woman’s reported background as a witch made her the perfect match for the uncanny animal.
As Dmitry R. put it, “She deals with extrasensory phenomenon… She can see in some beings the object of her interest – and earnings. More than once she stipulated that the cat will pay off.”
While it’s hoped Charles won’t be employed solely as a cash cow (or, to be more accurate, cat) the partnership between witches and magical moggies is long-established. Netflix subscribers are about to get a fresh take on the idea care of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which reinvents the Archie Comics character and her pet Salem for the small screen.
The questionable but compelling tale of Charles Utkins can only add to the mystique around our feline friends and talked-about YouTube sensations. In ancient times they were worshiped by the Egyptians, and the Japanese word “Kaibyo” translates as “strange cats” or “supernatural cats.” Time moves on, but their enigmatic legacy remains.
As an interesting postscript, it’s worth mentioning that Russia perhaps corners the market in psychic cats. Earlier this year the meaty chunk-chomping Achilles became a prized predictor of World Cup victory, simply by selecting one of two bowls bearing national flags.
The question of whether the cats are actually psychic will probably never be answered. Dmitry R. spoke of behavior such as appearing to pass through solid doors. However he also mentioned Charles staring at things no-one else could see, which is a fairly standard for anyone who’s owned a cat before.
Utkins’ vivid life story, compared to Achilles’ media party trick, means that the former of the felines wins this match by a whisker.
Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.