The cat and I are having words. I have work to do. I’m trying to analyse a tricky poem and I want to look again at a short story I started last week, which has come undone towards the end. It’s about an auld doll who goes for a massage and finds herself strangely stirred. She gets to wondering if Sapphic tendencies have laid dormant for years within her repressed frame, but really what is she supposed to do when she’s married and sixty and living in Limerick? This requires concentration. But the cat has other ideas. She has already wheedled another portion of Sheba out of me as she said it was time for her elevenses. A cat can be hungry after a sojourn outside of a frosty morning. I hear the tinkle of her bell and look up to see her sniffing the hob with interest, her little paws atop the work-bench, which in a fit of uncharacteristic vigour I have just cleaned. (See? I’m supposed to be writing. So what do I do? I scrub the kitchen. And now I have to fecking clean it again.) “Get down,” I say sharply. “Cats don’t belong on work tops and tables.” She eyes me defiantly, only jumping down when I leave the laptop and come over. She gives me a disgusted mew. I mew back. Turning she leads me to her now empty bowl, her tail up in hopeful fashion. Time for seconds she says. Little chancer.
A plump robin swoops in and perches at the window, the shock of red at its throat catches the light. It looks a bit dishevelled and its blast beruffled plume* makes me smile. I eye the cat. She would make short work of it. “You’re going nowhere for a while, lady,” I tell her.