Isis and I sit companionably side by side on the futon. Lunch time. Wholemeal pitta bread and cream cheese with garlic. Delightful.
My empty plate is now on the trolley next to me. And the plate really is empty. Not a crumb, not a fragment of cheese, not a smear of garlic.
But Isis would still like to lick it. Several times I gently repel her advances. When I drop my guard she stretches very, very unobtrusively towards the trolley. Out pops a long, pink tongue.
She has a remarkably vigorous lick.
I have forgotten that there is also a very large full mug of coffee on the trolley. This mug is now upside down on the floor. As are the heavy ceramic tile on which it stood, a pile of miscellaneous paperwork and, of course, the plate. They are all surrounded by an impressive lake of coffee. This has flowed from the trolley, slopped under the television table and is seeping beneath the edge of the rug. The odd receipt floats on the surface. There are sploshes of coffee up the wall.
I leap from the futon to begin the clear-up.
Isis, surprised and, it appears, hugely impressed with the chaos she has unleashed, stands quite still gazing down towards the lake.
Schloop, schloop, schloop. Soon the knees of my just washed jeans and the cuffs of my jumper are soggy with coffee. It’s amazing the area of floor space one mug of coffee can cover.
Preferring not to get her little feet wet, dear Isis climbs down carefully onto the dry part of the rug and sniffs the edge of the lake.
Sniff, sniff, sniff. Yes, thought so, this has milk in it. Lap, lap, lap.
It’s not so easy for me. My kettle has just given up the ghost and I must heat more water in the saucepan.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.com