There is an air of perfect calm today.
From where I’m sitting, reading, the back door–open to the terrace–frames the day.
A still life–cloudless blue sky with trees.
comes in through the door, pauses, purrips a greeting, looks towards the food bowls, then strides passed them–apparently affording me preference.
His black coat is warm from the sun as I stroke him.
He continues on, jumps up on the table under the window to the courtyard–looks out briefly and exits through the grill.
Eating will keep and there are lizards to chase.
I go back to my book.
As I finish a chapter Ben appears again at the back door, pauses, sniffs the floor just inside the door, where a few pellets of dry food have fallen.
He cracks a couple with his teeth and moves off–no greeting this time.
He walks across the entrance hall into the dining room, stops suddenly, sits and throwing his right hind leg in the air starts cleaning the underside ferociously. He changes legs and licks the left one stretched out in front of him–paying special attention to the toes.
He moves off again and disappears in the direction of the garage.
Five minutes later he comes in through the front door with a loud greeting “meow” and pauses.
I get ready for a friendly approach; instead he turns away and mounts the staircase.
I write the last sentence and then hear “pad-pad-pad-pad” down the stairs and here he is again– head pointing towards the front door and out he goes–into the sunshine.
After a couple of minutes I become aware of a whirring sound–thrump, thrump–getting louder–THRUMP, THRUMP–begging investigation.
Some sort of flying machine? Helicopter? Ultra-light?
I go out through the courtyard to investigate just in time to see the rear end of a vast combine harvester disappearing down the field opposite–shattering the quiet calm of a perfect day.
No sign of Ben.