The sense of presence slid gently across the cluttered desktop, palpable as sunlight. Nudging past my elbow, it rippled up my spine and chilled my shoulders, staking its claim to my consciousness like a squatter moving into a deserted house.
Suddenly attentive though not yet uneasy I turned, expecting to see my calico scowl of a cat peering at me across the dining table, irritated with my absorption in my work, intent on drawing me away for a bit of play. But the cat was nowhere to be seen. When her name and a gentle, trilling call brought no response, I stretched and looked, unwilling to move from my chair. She wasn’t under the table, not hidden in the plumpness of sofa cushions. No sleeping cat lay draped across the wooden chair, her paws kneading at the air where they rested between turned spindles.
Perplexed by her absence as much as by the vague promptings that had unfocused my attention, I turned back to the computer, ready to dismiss my unease and settle back into my work. (more…)