Geronimo is a cat but he thinks he is a dog. He loves Ruairi. They sleep together often, except for when Geronimo sleeps on the red velvet curtain, folded into a deep windowsill of the little cottage window. The window is above a radiator and is a warm place for a cat to be. He licks his paws, claws spread wide, pausing every now and then to look at something beyond the glass. He stretches, his body arched like a tunnel, his front legs lowering at full stretch until his shoulders are almost down, his rear follows the same movement and when all four paws are tucked beneath him, he sleeps, face towards me, eyes closed, his blackness complete.
Geronimo was missing all day yesterday; he didn’t come back for his dinner in the evening. I imagined him tucked in somewhere dry and warm, perhaps in the stable next door, on top of a bale of straw and far away from the cloud of soaking rain that quickly developed into waves of the softest soak. There are blue skies and sunshine today but still no sign of Geronimo. Ruairi has finished his three course breakfast, a whole red apple, two handfuls of mixed ovals and a rawhide chew, leaving a soggy mess of dribble and bits of apple on the kitchen floor. Minou, a white cat with no ears, drank half a pint of full cream milk . They follow me out to the garden, sit and watch as I turn on the outside tap. The tap connects to a hose that is fed through the louvred glass of the greenhouse, conected to a very simple sprinkler. The tomato plants appreciate the long drink, water pours out from gaps between glass and concrete until a bright stream trickles over the shingle path to the washing line. When it is done, I turn off the tap and open the door. Out runs Geronimo, freshly showered, his fur sparkling with water drops. His protest is small, his relief is huge.