Week nights.

I took to my bed like Janis Joplin to her Southern Comfort. Diving down between the sheets… earplugs in because the TV’s a-cracklin’ in the living room. Fleeting thoughts about one of my students whose curiosity puts his classmates to shame. Wondering if I’ll ever have a kid like that. Couple of Spanish words bicker inside my brain, pushing them lightly to the side, I slumber. Phoebe’s clawing outside the bedroom door… it’s 1am and the TV’s still moaning but the air is black and stuffy from my snores. He’ll come to bed eventually, I say. Phoebe will tire eventually, I say.

I awaken in the deadest of hours and open the door to her furry feline face. The TV has tired too and switched itself to mute, boyfriend sprawled across the couch with a bag of weed and a dirty jar or gherkins beside him. Midnight snacks are always devilishly peculiar, I say. Phoebe is whimpering at me, rubbing her dainty little furs against my warm shins and peering up at me with two eyes like glazed donuts. The dry food bowl is still plenty full and there’s a ring etched into the sofa from where she’s been sleeping beside her master. Hoisting my pyjamas down in the bathroom, she follows me in, dearth of any human need for privacy. All too willing to hear the gargle of the toilet just for a few measly pieces of her Whiskas luxury tin. Finally, I’m forced to scurry back to the bedroom at lightning speed to avoid her following me in. She’ll hide under the bed and then crawl on my face, I say. Like Flash, I’m gone within seconds, and poor Kitty finds herself in a state of (what she would call) starvation once again. Let her nibble on the toes of Boyfriend, I say.

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