So there I was, lying in bed, slowly coming round to full consciousness and reading a novel. Outside, the butcher birds were tooting and the ravens were bellowing. The sun was already high and bright (we're not too far from the Tropic of Capricorn and the sun goes up and down much more and much more quickly here than it does in places closer to the poles.) Yuli (we named him after a character in a science fiction novel) trotted into the bedroom and hopped up onto my side of the bed. Then he made his way up towards my chest – a spot he finds convenient for being stroked and petted.
So I gave him a few cursory passes of the hand. This usually suffices and he either moves on to Wifie – who is much more enthusiastic about pleasuring the little chap – or settles down for one of the many naps he needs to squeeze into the day. Today, however, he walked up onto my chest, effectively stopping me reading and ensuring that he had my fullest attention.
With his head just inches from mine, the moment of affinity suddenly struck.
Here was a fellow traveller, another life-form, stuck here on planet Earth for his allotted span, doing whatever it took to get him through the days, surviving, the way the rest of us survive, the only way he knew how, getting pleasure where he could find it, staying out of harm's way when he could, and seeking out the comfort that creatures like us find in the company of others.