Cleaning up the hard drive takes much longer when you try to fix old stuff, or understand it. For example, what to think about this now?
What kind of story do you want? I asked.
One about animals, please. My soles warmed themselves on the tops of your feet. You were always the big spoon.
Okay, I said. Once there was a cat called Dolores. She was grey with black tips. She fell in love with a boy that lived on her street. She watched while he played computer games and read Discworld books in his room. But she was always two panes of glass away from him.
Is this boy me?
Yes, I said. Don’t interrupt.
Sirens flashed across the ceiling.
So Dolores decided she wanted to be with the boy forever, but he never saw her. She rubbed against his ankles so much that local squirrels used the static electricity to power their microscopes. But still he didn’t see her
I’m getting to that. Be patient. The boy never saw Dolores because she was the size of a blueberry.
That’s impossible, you said.
No it isn’t. Do you want me to go on or debate the physics of a blueberry cat?
Okay. So one day, Dolores snuck into the boy’s house when he was kicking his shoes off by the still-open front door.
I know you hate when I do that.
Well, it lets in the cold and a superfruit menagerie.
You dragged your teeth across my shoulder as punishment then.
Anyway, she snuck in and waited for him to go to sleep. Then she climbed up onto his bed, scaled his stubbly chin and slipped down his throat into his stomach, where she still lives now. The end.
That’s not the end, you said. Her plan is stupid. Why his stomach? What did she do there? Is she responsible for all the growling?
Yes. Now go to sleep. I closed my eyes and snored loudly, the way they do in cartoons. You laughed and shook me in your arms.
I can’t go to sleep, you said. I want to hear about Dolores.
That was Part One. I’ll tell you Part Two tomorrow, I promise.
Good, I said.