I have not yet mentioned Cat, the cat. A significant omission. I have enormous fondness and respect for Cat, although she wants feeding five times a day and is always asking to be let in or let out, she seldom rests and so neither does anyone else. I think maybe she has a tapeworm, she doesn’t get fat but she refuses to eat the food I put tapeworm-killer in, only the other stuff tapeworms like.Or maybe she has another lonely person somewhere feeding her, you don’t know.
When Cat spends a rainy night on the bed she takes care to pay rent: one mouse. She has two games, one where she leaps high on to the wardrobe from my bedside table, then plummets down onto the bed just as I am going to sleep; the other where she likes me to pretend to step on her as I am going downstairs, and goes all wiggly and flirty and purry and I can’t get to the kitchen.
My heart is in my mouth when I am sitting typing in the window and see her race across the main road between cars that hurtle past doing 60, through our 30 mph zone where you seldom see a policeman. She spends a lot of time across the road, hunting in the scrubland around the railway behind the flooded houses, that are now having nice new kitchens put in. But she always knows when it is going to rain, like now, and stays in, restless and bored.
I wish I had not had to bring her here from the country estate where we lived. My father moved beside a road in France with his little cat that he loved and it was soon bye-bye puss. But Cat was first of all a town cat, I guess she knows how to look after herself here better than I do.
And whatever happens, Cat is the cat.