Back when Tiger was younger, he loved to jump on top of tall things – like the refrigerator and bookshelves. And then knock as much stuff as he could down and watch it fall.
(Yeah, in retrospect he could be a little sh*t as a kitten.)
Tiger especially enjoyed jumping on top of my dresser and playing with my jewelry. So VERY many bright and sparkly things!
And, once he was done playing, tossing the jewelry down for his partner in crime Scruffy to delightedly run off with.
“TIIIIGERR!!!” I’d yell in frustration.
Neither he, nor Scruffy, cared.
I had to start keeping all my jewelry inside a drawer.
In the last few months before his death, however, Tiger had not been jumping so much. (In retrospect, a sign of weak hind legs from HCM – although we attributed it to his being five, nearly six, and a little more mature and responsible.) So I dug out my jewelry stands and started keeping my jewelry on dresser top again.
So, one night, after Tiger’s death, I was walking into my bedroom and an earring flew off the stand.
I mean, flew off the stand. Not fell off and bounced and landed a foot or two away; this earring somehow left the wooden stand and flew a good four feet. Almost as if a certain mischievous someone had given it a good strong bat with their paws.
And Scruffy delightedly ran off with it – with that dumb look on his face like when he was part of the Dumb and Dumber team!
Now, I’m sure there’s a logical explanation.
Like, maybe it’s the change in the flight patterns over SouthPark. Everyone in our well-to-do area is having sh*t fits about that. “How dare a plane fly over a SouthPark neighborhood? We’re too special. Oh, how dare we have to listen to some noise for 15 seconds per day? How f*cking dare they?”
But in this case, I really don’t think it was the vibration from a plane. For an earring to fly four feet … that would have to be a whole lotta vibration. Also, I don’t recall a plane flying by when this happened.
And it wasn’t Prince Harry – he’d been very happily occupied inside a box in the living room for the last hour.
And it wasn’t Baby Maggie Firsee – she’d been hiding from me since her evening cuddle-against-her-will.
Perhaps it was the air conditioning switching on, or some sort of vibration from my and Scruffy’s footsteps (unlikely, I’m just trying to be objective here).
But, automatically, unthinkingly, the word that came out of my mouth was,
And in the following weeks … THINGS happened.
Things went BUMP in the night.
Or … more literally … things fell, tumbled, crashed in the night.
It wasn’t scary. Perhaps it should have been, but it wasn’t.
Because these were noises I’d been accustomed to hearing for the last five years.
I’d hear the thump, the crash, gaze up from the book I was reading in bed … noting the Scruffermuff snuggled up beside me, Prince Harry asleep on the bedside table, Baby Maggie Firsee under the covers nibbling my toes … and go back to reading my book.
All was well. All were accounted for.
I never thought anything about it, until I thought …
Ermmm, Scruff is beside me asleep.
Baby is nibbling my toes (or, at least, I hope to God it’s Baby nibbling my toes).
Prince Harry is snoring on my bedside table.
And Tiger is …. just ashes.
So … WHO???
I pulled my red robe on, I sallied forth through the house and investigated a few times.
There was never anything to see.
A few books knocked off a shelf.
A broken dish.
But I never saw the small grey furry something I wanted so very desperately to see. Hey, that’s not too much to ask, is it? If he was still breaking things around the house, he should effing show himself! Oh, please, God, let me see him, oh please let me see that little scamp, I have loved so very, very, very few things in my life so please let me see this one creature I did love so much …
They say God hears all prayers … but apparently She doesn’t answer all of them.
And apparently none of mine.
Eventually, I just started smiling when I heard the thumps and bumps in the night. “Come to bed, Tiger!” I’d call as I’d put my book away for the night … after some thuds and crashes. Nope, cats cannot be summoned. Not when they’re alive and after they’re dead .. forget it.
Or, I’d awake in the middle of the night to the sound of something else crashing, Scruffy in my arms, Harry draped on top of my head, Baby Maggie Firsee sucking a toe. (Again, I do hope it is Baby Maggie Firsee sucking my toes – otherwise, that opens up a whole other can of weird f*ck.)
And what can I say or do but just briefly wake up, laugh, and shrug. “Oh, Tiiiiiiger…”
NOTE: See also Ghost Story … Prologue … and Ghost Story Part 1 – Tiger’s Tale