That was fifteen years ago, and the dark shapes were two black cats that would soon be part of the household. We named them Zoe and Baby, and they joined (with much hissing, spitting, resistance, and eventually tolerance) our resident cat, Buster.
Both Buster and Zoe died in 2009, which left just BabyCat and I to carry on together. And so we companionably did, until this past Saturday morning.
Oh how I HATE having the power of life or death over another creature.
She ate a bit just now. Maybe she's rallying?
She can still jump up onto the loveseat as she always has - she might be fine after all.
She doesn't seem uncomfortable; maybe I should wait.
She looks so happy, sitting in her favourite sunny window. It can't be right to take her now, can it?
I miss her loud raucous meows, and how she tapped my arm with her paw when she wanted something.
I love how she let my granddaughter pet and brush her, even when Emily was very young and shrieking with excitement at the nearness of this black animal.
I miss the sound of her padding up and down the stairs to find me.
I expect her to come into the kitchen at the sound of a can opening or a bowl clattering onto the floor.
Now she's not there first thing in the morning, waiting for me to turn on the bathroom tap.
That black shadow visible from the corner of my eye is just that - a shadow. It's not my funny friendly BabyCat.
In her deck, The Cat's Eye Tarot, veterinarian Debra M. Givin calls them the "sweet black & whites". I agree.
BabyCat was about two years old when she came to us all those years ago, so I never saw her as a kitten. But I think she may have looked a bit like this. And I'm so glad we decided to take her in.