Oh yes, I know your emptiness all too well. Last summer I started out with 6 cats and 2 cocker spaniels. There was always someone (usually a dog) on my lap and under my feet. Unfortunately within a months time I lost both dogs. The house seemed so empty. I kept thinking I needed to get up to let the dogs out/ in.
Our cats used to hang out in the periphery when the dogs were alive. Gradually we noticed a shift where they starting ha ging out with us and now, a year later, it is not unusual to have all 6 cats in the living room with us just happily lounging around. It is definitely a different life than what we had, but in some ways it has gotten better.
I still miss my boys terribly, but it gets better when I see Gracie sprawled on the couch in between my husband and I, something that would never never happened before.
I hope your heart feels even a little better soon.
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Molly Brown December 2006- January 9, 2013