This is the first story I have submitted here. It takes place in three cities: Norman, Oklahoma; Lexington, Kentucky; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It begins in the 1990s and continues to the present.
I had a cat named Moonshadow, a silver Persian who was just gorgeous. He was the most dog-like cat I've ever had - very sociable, laid-back and quite bonded with me. He wasn't afraid of coming into a room full of guests to my home. I used to joke that he would stroll in, sit down in the middle of the room and look around casually, as if he had been smoking a joint in the next room. Moonshadow would sleep on my bed, but mainly he would wait until I turned off the light. He would jump up lightly, and I would feel him walk on the bed and lie down.
I was living in Norman when I came home one day and found that Moonshadow was walking funny, as if his front legs and his hind legs weren't coordinated. I took him to the vet, who gave him a shot of steroids. The vet said if it was a disk problem, the steroids would help within two hours, but it probably was a tumor. The cat was more than 13 years old, and the vet said these purebred cats tend to get inbred and are susceptible to cancer.
By the next morning, Moonshadow couldn't walk at all. I took him to the vet, who X-rayed but couldn't find a tumor. The next option was exploratory surgery, but I said no, it's time to let him go. I wept as he was put to sleep, and I buried him on a relative's land in the country.
A few nights later, after turning off the light at bedtime, I felt that soft pounce onto the bed, and I felt a cat walk across the bed. I turned on the light and saw nothing moving on the bedspread. I'm just sure it was Moonshadow, keeping me company. These visits happened on a regular basis.
A few weeks after his death, I was lonesome and got another silver Persian, but he had a more independent mindset and never slept on my bed, and I continued to feel my ghostly cat jump onto the bed after I turned off the light.
I moved to Lexington then, a few months after that, I adopted a second cat, who was much more affectionate than the silver Persian. I quit feeling the cat pounce on the bed; I suspect it's because the second cat slept there.
Those two cats lived to be 12-14 years old and they passed away a few years ago... And Moonshadow is back. About once a month or so, I will turn off the light to go to sleep, and as soon as I am quiet, those soft paws jump on the bed.