Forest is sound asleep in her chair just a few feet away from where I am on the couch.
She dreams a lot and as a result of her dreams she twitches and makes numerous funny noises - little snorts, sighs and just a second ago - a long, low growl.
She makes me laugh.
I'm so glad that she and Cecil are here because their goofy and wonderful presence helps with the pain of losing Annabel.
It's been such a strange couple of days without Annabel.
I wake this morning to see the valley between my pillow and Chris' pillow empty. No warm, purring grey body there to pet and adore.
Yesterday...I spend the morning writing my long post, weeping and weeping some more, and talking on the phone to so many of my very kind friends and family who are so sympathetic.
Finally, after a while I say to Chris, "I can't do this anymore. Could we just get out of here and go see a movie?"
Just to sit in a dark theater with theater treats and people who don't know anything about my grief. Just to have two hours where I don't have to hurt and ache.
And so after Chris does some yard work we head to the movies.
I feel awful saying it, but it is such a huge relief to be away from the house. To be somewhere where I don't have to be in the moment of my pain and grief. To ignore it completely. To laugh just a bit. To not think at all about the loss of the best kitty.
After the movie we run some errands and then head home.
Back to the sadness.
I sit on the couch last night flipping aimlessly through the channels. That there is no little grey body curled up in my lap is too painfully obvious. I look over to see Cecil hanging out in my office chair waiting for Chris to notice her. Knowing that my husband is deeply involved in whatever is on his computer and that he will not be noticing Cecil anytime soon, I call her over to me.
Cecil is not accustomed to being called over. There is always someone else in my lap.
And so I call her, "Cecil. Come here, Sweetie!" and follow my call with the little kissing sounds that seem so universally alluring to all cats.
She jumps off my chair and comes trotting over to me, tail straight up in the air and looking very excited.
When she gets to the couch she looks at my lap and is obviously surprised to find it empty.
"Come on," I say patting my thighs. "There's no one up here. You can come up. Come on..."
And she does. She begins purring immediately and demanding that I pet her. It takes her 23 minutes before she'll actually lay down and get comfortable. Even then, when I stop petting her she finds my hand starts with the licking to get me to continue with my ministrations.
Later, it seems as if she is sound asleep, but when Chris gets out of his chair to go upstairs Cecil shoots off my lap like she has a rocket in her butt.
"Oh, fine," I call after her, "just leave me."
And she does - racing up the stairs after Chris so excited that he is no longer paying attention to his computer and may instead pay attention to her.
I can't be mad really.
Chris is Cecil's Person.
I'm someone who adores Cecil and she knows that, but Chris is Her Person.
Just as I was Annabel's Person.
I'm heading out today. Out of the house to run errands for the day. Away from the phone and the computer. Away from sitting around in my sadness and grief.
But - I must admit - not very well.