It is early. I am the only one awake. I fill the kettle and boil water for tea. Open the ‘fridge. Take out last night’s leftovers for the kids’ lunches. Spoon some into a bowl. Pop it into the microwave and listen for the five beeps signaling it’s done.
By the time the aromas of garlic, basil, and tomato scent the air, I am no longer alone; Pettigrew is watching from the doorway. He hasn’t been allowed to clean a bowl in over two months; we’re feeding him a bland diet to settle his stomach. But his brown eyes follow me as, with burning fingers, I rush the food from microwave to counter. He watches as I fill the thermoses, put them in the lunch boxes, and then, oh the cruelty, deposit the empty bowl in the dishwasher. Before it clicks shut Pettigrew’s claws are tap tapping as he saunters back to the living room, back to the sofa.
Spirit undaunted, I know he’ll return at dinnertime to see if his luck has changed.
And I love him for this. Would you keep checking, keep hoping? After two months would your spirit be intact, your optimism untouched? I’m not sure mine would be.
One of these days, when I lift the bowl from the counter, I won’t put it in the dishwasher. I will set it on the floor and Pettigrew will be there, ready and waiting.
I can’t wait.