• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 05
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The Visit

‘Do you know what is happening today, Cassandra?’

She is looking from the window out to the garden beyond. Her customary place, it is the spot that affords her clear eyed and guileless gaze the best aspect for the important study of the comings and goings of the world.

She takes the world as it is, me as I am, and she as she is. Others have met my gaze with an appraising look, weighing up my usefulness. Some have given me a narrow eyed look of judgement, intimating at my many failings. She would not do anything so graceless. My wishes are accommodated, as far as she can. She is not quarrelsome. If she cannot, then she simply does not.

‘Well, I can wait,’ I say, and so I do. This delicate negotiation cannot be rushed.

She stands and stretches. I sip my tea, and gaze thoughtfully at the newspaper. This time, though, she turns around and stares into the garden.

‘I can wait, Cassandra, no rush at all.’

When it finally comes, the jump is quick and elegant. Landing with a faint scuff on the floor she is gently precise, her delicate white paws exactly beside the box. Circling, her silvery sides brush against the wicker; her gaze meets mine every so often with an ingenuous blink.

Today is just an ordinary visit; a check up, an examination of her china white teeth. There will be nothing difficult, no decisions. That day will come, I believe she knows it too; I think she will take it easier than I will.