1. I’m pawed, I’m licked, I’m nibbled all over. He can’t decide whether to eat his lunch or play with me so runs back and forth between both options until I’m tired. When I get back home, Lily thinks I smell very interesting and I’m grateful for her comparative calmness.
Later on, they play together in the garden. We watch over them like proud mums as they jump about with their helicopter tails.
2. I can smell garlic on the way up the hill but it’s only after leaving the meadow that I spot the former stream bed covered in wilting leaves. I decide to collect some more seed pods but without a basket, have to carry them in a bunch by their stems. I feel like I’m carrying a bouquet designed in the atomic era.
3. In turn, both of the cats visit my knee and I close my eyes to fully appreciate how they feel, sound and smell.
4. I’m so glad when I get a text just before midnight to say he’s on the train, the last train. Just over three hours later, I wake up suddenly and so do the cats and the dog. I hear keys in the door, a shuffling, a quiet unmistakeable cough. Lily’s tail starts banging on the bed – she knows who it is too.