The pair of them have never known any different. Her House cats. Marie has two, one a tabby the other a mixed breed her aunt had given her.
Maybe Jessica would turn up, Marie thought. She had been looking for an hour. But inside she was breaking. The tense headache that had been her torture in the Revenue office was hounding her thoughts. The thin face of Rena (divorced mother and, allegedly an ex-model) career ladder crawler ribboned into her head among the panic she was feeling.
Ah. She had opened the flat door to get the shopping in then gone around the flat block to put the paper in that bin.
She raced down from the second floor flat and nearly slipped on the one broken concrete slab before finding nothing.
The smirr of rain coated her face and joined with the tears running down her cheeks. The spotlight of a car pulling into the house opposite curtained her bare feet, short green summer dress and the box of cat munchies.
A scrape on the ground nearly made her scream as the image of a giant rodent’s incisors loomed into mind.
A finger-like electric touch on her leg. Looking down she saw Jessica. Wet, looking up at her she nudged the label-less box of munchies.
Later, she opened a new box of treats and broke a rule about milk for the pair of them. Two years ago since she had left that job. One year on that holiday where she flew round the world.
And that guy in Cayman was still emailing her every week. Soon Jessica purred next to her on the couch.