Just this morning my grandson was putting on his shoes, getting ready so that I could take him to summer camp, when he stood up and jumped a little, brushing his hand next to the side of his calf. "Oh!" he said.
"What?" I asked. I thought maybe a mosquito had bitten him. We have renegade mosquitoes that sneak into our house and munch on us when we least suspect it.
"I thought I saw a cat," he said. He looked embarrassed.
And I felt that funny twinge I sometimes get when he tells me what he sees. For one thing, this grandson is THE grandson, the one who saw the boy in his bedroom by his rocking horse so many years ago. The one who told me the previous owners to this house were dead. The one who saw the foot emerging from the laundry room that night.
Just out of curiosity I asked, "What color was it?"
"What color was what?" His eleven-year old brain had already moved onto more interesting topics.
"The cat you saw. What color was it?"
"Oh." Again he looked embarrassed. "It was orange."
I thought about that. Just the other week, his mother (she who sees dead people) asked me if I had seen a cat hanging around the house. Now, just to be clear, we don't have pets. None. Nada. I was a zookeeper while my kids were growing up. At different times, sometimes simultaneously, we went through three parakeets, one parrot, two guinea pigs, two dogs, three cats, two iguanas, a box turtle, and an ant farm. As far as animals go, I'm done. But if it came to having a pet these days, it would most definitely not be a cat, since my grandson is very allergic to them and has borderline asthma. So no cats in the house.
When I asked my daughter for more information about the cat she was seeing, she said that it was definitely in the house, not outside, and that it was black. "Sometimes it follows me down the hall to the refrigerator," she explained. "Sometimes it just sits there and looks at me."
We had two different black cats pass through this house so I asked if it looked like either Willie or Orion, but she said no.
So. A black cat in the house except we don't have cats. Before I had time to think about that much, she volunteered that when it comes to our hall, it isn't just dead people who walk through the house from our utility room. She mentioned that "other things" come through as well.
Other things? Not something I really wanted to hear, but she was quick to reassure me that none of them seemed evil or malevolent. Just different.
When Amy Allen, on The Dead Files, talks about beings that come in from other dimensions, they never sound like a good thing. But I have to admit that even with my lesser sensitivity I've never felt anything particularly negative or dark come strolling down that hall, either.
I guess if we can have dead people and unidentifiable beings coming through our house, a few animals here and there wouldn't be so out of line. So why not a cat, whether black or orange? What the heck. A cat is a cat.
Even if it's dead.