Ceri rolled over again, tugging the covers up round her chin. Rex did this every so often and she hated it. She hadn’t noticed he’d even left. Only her calling his name which rattled round the empty flat let her know. His dinner was half eaten in the kitchen with chunks of meat dropped on the floor. He must have been in a hurry, she thought.
During the evening she had looked out of the window hourly and close to midnight even walked out into the dark looking for him trotting happily back down the road. Rex never had any idea of what she went through when he was out. Or maybe he did and didn’t care. Next morning he would snuggle her, loving her and winding his way back into her heart.
Often she could settle him down to an evening on the couch, cuddled up and immersed in rubbish telly. He mostly fell asleep on her, snoring so loud she once had to turn the volume up. Rolling him off his back helped but he usually went right off to sleep again.
The time 02:45 glared red at her in the dark. Outside the sound of footsteps on fallen leaves caught Ceri’s attention, then movement at the front door told her Rex was home. She flung back the bedcovers and headed out of the bedroom to greet him. He was in the kitchen.
“What time do you call this?” she said. “I didn’t even know you’d gone.”
Rex glanced at her then went back to eating his dinner. He ate every last morsel, including the bits he’d knocked out of the bowl earlier. He stretched first backwards, then forwards. Then he plopped his bottom on the kitchen floor, stuck his back leg straight up in the air and began cleaning himself.
“Tomorrow I’m sealing up the cat flap and booking you in to the vet,” said Ceri. Rex slunk towards her, twining himself round her ankles, purring loudly. “I mean it this time.”