gone away. My young hero "P" bounced up and glared at me when I was trying to get to sleep last night.
"Where," he demanded to know, "have you been?"
Oops...he took a bit of calming down.
It had been one of those days...starting with a long pedal to the bank. I had to sort out a transfer of name. Fortunately the deputy manager at the bank knows the situation involves ensuring a group of African children get fed and he did the paperwork himself - "so there won't be any mix ups". I signed things and prowled off to buy permanent markers to put "H" for "home" on the back of the collar of the Senior Cat's house shirts. We did this once before but they seem to have washed out over many washings. He wore a house shirt out the other day - "but it's a perfectly good shirt!" - and I squirmed with the embarrassment of people thinking I don't look after him properly. (But he was out with another couple of men so perhaps they didn't notice.)
Then I headed for the library. I had two books to pick up...one for the Senior Cat called "The invention of nature" by Andrea Wulf and the other a book on Korean for me.
The first book is a biography of Humboldt - yes of the current and the river and, it seems, of all sorts of other things. A friend told the Senior Cat about the book and it is another one he is determined to read...it's only about 460 pages long so I suppose he will get through it. And no, I am not going to learn Korean.
While I was checking the books out someone came quietly up to me. I haven't seen her since before Christmas last year and now know why. She looked drawn and her smile was not as bright as it usually is.
"Cat, have you got a few minutes?"
It is one of those times when you sense you had better have a few minutes because someone else needs them.
"I lost my partner on Boxing Day and I need to fill this out and..."
I hugged her. We sat down together at one of the library tables and I went through the form with her. The JP was on duty so she could get it witnessed there and then. It needed two witnesses so I waited with her while the JP saw someone else. We went in to the little meeting room where the JP service is on Tuesday mornings. The JP saw me and said, "Oh hello Cat." Yes, we have met before - more than once. I introduced my elderly friend and he said, "Of course, we met once..."
He reminded her. He knew her husband from some years before in another place and another time. He said positive things and, her eyes brimming with tears, she smiled at him and gave a little laugh.
"Yes, he was just like that!"
It all took more time than I thought it would so I stopped at the bakery and bought two pies for lunch. The Senior Cat likes pies. I don't but that didn't matter. I still have the Senior Cat.