I've had many experiences with ghosts in my house, but none of them have been human. In fact, they're all feline, and I enjoy their presence greatly. The particular cat ghost that this story is about is named Flake (originally short for "Snowflake", but changed when we realized he was really a pale orange and not white). He lived a normal life for ten years, and then suddenly, over the space of several months, his entire back end stopped working. It turned out the 10 year old cat had a tumor on his spine. There was nothing we could do.
So we knew where he was the last few nights of his life and could make him comfortable, he had been staying in one of our bathrooms on the plush rug. And he was a flighty cat as it was, normally... He didn't usually like to be touched (unless it was on HIS terms, as in, he jumped into your lap, yes, you could pet him... But don't try to chase him down to pick him UP), and was afraid of every new thing that came at him. I was a new thing, and he was afraid of me.
We had a nice vet who agreed to do an in-home euthanasia for us, so Flake wouldn't have to endure a car ride to a place that terrified him. The night before the vet was to come to put him down, I was in the bathroom with him, because my adopted sister was in the bathroom we usually use. I was sitting on the toilet, and suddenly Flake pulled himself over with just his front paws, and nuzzled his head against my leg. I reached down and petted him, then got off the toilet to crouch on the floor and pet him... And he let me. His last day alive, he accepted me into the family. It made me happy and sad at the same time.
Fast forward to the one year anniversary of the night before he had to be put to sleep. That afternoon, as I went into our parent's bathroom (the other bathroom's toilet seat was broken), I saw him incredibly clearly, lying on the rug in the bathroom. The same place I saw him a year ago, as he was living in the bathroom at the time due to his inability to use his hind legs.
I blinked, and expected him to go away. When he didn't, I stepped into the room (I had to GO to the bathroom, after all) and shut the door behind me. Again, he was still there. So I started talking to him, letting him know that it was nice to see him, and asking him why he'd decided to come visit. I didn't really get the impression of answers from him, then again, I didn't really expect any. Squeak is the only ghost cat who's ever given me the impression of any kind of response, and that was just pictures and thoughts along the lines of "Hi. Sorry I missed you", or things to that effect.
As I sat on the toilet, he stood up and moved toward me. His paws weren't pressing into the plush rug in there. Not that I expected them to, with him being a ghost and all, but that's just the kind of little detail I notice for no apparent reason. He did exactly what he'd done the night before he died, coming over and gently rubbing his cheek against my leg.
I REALLY expected him to disappear now. I've never interacted with a ghost for this long before. And feeling his fur was the most surreal experience I've EVER had (even more so than when he brushed against me in the hallway about a month before). I had a sudden fear that he was saying goodbye, for some reason, and started trying to convince him not to leave. He's been here for over ten years, and while his eleventh birthday passed without him physically present for it, I whispered a happy birthday to the winds that night for him. As much as encounters with him and the other ghost cats occasionally flip me out, I also can't imagine the house WITHOUT them... Especially Flake, who I feel very close to, despite having only known him for three months when he was alive. I know my sister feels very close to Moe and Squeak (our other two active resident ghost cats) but I like Flakey Cat.
I didn't get the impression from his continued nuzzling of my ankle that he was going anywhere, so that allayed my fear a bit. Without thinking, (he'd been there and basically SOLID for a good ten minutes by then... I'd pretty much stopped thinking of him as 'ghost cat', and just gone 'soft kitty' in my head at that point) I reached down and petted his head.
I SWEAR that cat shed on me. I could feel the plushy fur sticking to my fingers. I kept petting him, though. And after I finished and moved to clean up, intending to kneel on the floor next to him as I'd done the night before he died, to pet him more thoroughly (it's hard to reach the floor from the toilet when you're as overweight as I am), but when I looked back down, he'd finally disappeared.
It was actually a jolt, to be honest. I had hoped he'd stick around, and I could maybe (odd thought, but I WAS kind of sleepy) pick him up for the first time. I never actually got to HOLD him, and only petted him three times. He was flighty and didn't really like to be touched, unless he WANTED to. Which was why that last night meant so much to me.