So now I'm alone in the house. Or am I?
When Andrew was alive, and working long hours in his office, at his computer, Levi was in the habit of lying under the desk at his feet.
In the last weeks of his life he began to come and lie at my feet under my desk sometimes, when I was working at my computer. I wouldn't always know he was there. Black cats can be almost invisible in shadowy places. I would sometimes stretch out my foot only to have it encounter a soft body. Then I would instantly move my foot back and apologise – though actually it was always just a gentle touch, not a kick or anything.
On a recent evening, while I was working at my computer, I stretched out my foot and it came up against the familiar soft body. I drew it back immediately as usual, a reflex action by now. Then I was sorry I did, as my mind remembered that Levi had been dead for 24 hours. I reached out cautiously with my foot again, but it was too late – only empty air. And when I looked under the desk, of course there was nothing to be seen that could account for what I'd felt, although I scrutinised the space thoroughly.
Still, I was very glad of that fleeting moment, reminding me he was still around.
Subsequently I walked into the spare room one day, where he used to like to sleep on one of the beds with the sun coming in the window. The bed he favoured in his final weeks had an impression on the top blanket, as if someone had sat there recently – or a cat had lain there. But I had washed that blanket after he died, and replaced it on the bed smooth and straight. I hadn't sat there since, nor rested a hand or knee on it, and no-one else had been in the house in the interim.
Cats often hang around a while after death, or revisit soon: little ghostly presences. Some people see them, some hear familiar murmurs of greeting as they pass a favourite nook. I have experienced both, with other cats. But feeling my foot touch him, seeing that impression in the blanket – those are unique to Levi.
He always was a very special individual!