The sun’s out and the clocks have gone forward, so everyone’s a bit discombobulated. Outside, Fat Cat leaps out of a flowerbed and into the air, then scoots across the lawn. Halfway over she freezes in a crouch and stares back at the house, eyes wide and ears flattened against her head. I’m not sure if it’s me she’s looking at, or a ghostly reflection on the glass of the long, low garden room window; either way she unnerves me. I break the staring deadlock. When I look back, she’s galumphed into the opposite flowerbed and is sniffing about, checking out the ground.
Black Dog huffs and sighs on the battered, wing-backed armchair from which she usually keeps an eagle eye on whatever food is on the table. She looks like she’s got a very full stomach – no doubt after eating something she shouldn’t have done – and is lying flat out on her side, eyes closed. With the sun coming through the garden room windows and warming her tummy she’s happy to snooze and let her digestive system do the work. Dad is at the table unpicking a curtain header so that it can be reattached to a theatre backdrop. He flips the material, which makes a sharp noise as the metal eyelets clatter onto the wooden table. Black Dog jumps and raises her head automatically, but knows that it’s nothing worth her time and effort barking at. She rolls onto her back and stretches, then settles back onto her side, licking her chops at the memory of her last meal.
Stinker wriggles on her beanbag, causing a sound like crashing waves. She leaps from it and onto the wooden floor, tip tapping her way across the room to have a drink from the plant pot base. Something about the algae supplement that Mum puts into the plants’ water drives the animals wild. They love it. Drinking from their own water bowl or the stream in the garden just isn’t the same.
The dishwasher hums and sloshes in the background.
Tiny Cat sits at the glass door, staring out into the sunshine. The light picks up her whiskers and the fluffy hairs on her chest, turning her into a sparking ball of light. Her ears twitch as Black Dog barks in the corridor, and she jumps up onto a chair. Black Dog comes back into the room and makes the mistake of getting too close to Tiny Cat’s chair. Tiny Cat, in retaliation, reaches down and bops her on the nose. Black Dog looks up reproachfully and settles herself down in a shaft of sunlight.
I fall into a doze.