Dexter is lying on the rug in a patch of sunlight, his soft, dappled tummy soaking up the rays.
I am lying on the sofa as usual, feeling tired, muzzy, dyspeptic. My back aches and I am cranky.
As the sunlight shifts, so does Dex, inching along in its wake in a series of little, snake like wiggles, ensuring that every inch of his furry body stays in its blaze.
After a while, I slide off the sofa and join him, hooking my legs over the seat so that my back relaxes into the floor.
Dex looks at me as if to say ‘What on earth are you doing?’
I slowly reach out my hand to tickle his tummy. He moves back half a centimetre so that he is just out of reach.
Shifting slightly, I try again. This time I connect and savour his softness, vulnerability and warmth. Before a minute is up, he lashes out playfully with his back legs and pushes my fingers away with his paws, claws still sheathed.
I keep my fingers on the pads and wait for the rebuff. To both our surprise, it doesn’t happen.
He purrs. I close my eyes.
Warm rough paws, connection, soft back, hot sun, cool feet.
I breathe fully, deeply.
Crazy black clouds skitter by the window, tree branches flail in the wind, the threat of rain imminent, but in our world there is only heat and light, and for the first time in days, I feel something akin to happiness.