“Come on, get to sleep now, you’ve got school in the morning and it’s very late”. Maddie is offering her usual resistance to the bed time routine. A movement catches my eye. I turn towards the door and there is Guy, trying to sneak in so he can sleep in the girls room. He stands motionless, knowing he’s been spotted but still waiting for the confrontation. “Out!”, I shout, pointing back towards the landing. He miaows defiantly and stares at me, standing his ground. “Out!!”, I repeat, and this time he turns and walks slowly back out of the room, turning his head to briefly give me that ‘look’.
I sit to watch some TV, attempting to eat a stir fry with a tongue and lip still numb from the dentist’s anaesthetic. Thankfully Guy isn’t in the room or he’d be trying to climb all over me for attention and I’m just not in the mood. The football ends and I watch some news but the anaesthetic has made me sleepy so I head off for an early night.
Now, where’s that damn cat. He’s not in his bed. I check the girls room and disturb Alice but he’s not in there. I check our room, he’s not in there. I check the sitting room windowsill to see if he managed to sneak outside and is waiting to be let in but he’s not there either. I feel uneasy not finding him but I go to bed; serves him right if he has to stay out all night, he shouldn’t have gone out this late.
I wake with a start. A bleary eye tries to focus on the clock. 12.45, who the hell is that at the door? I decide to ignore it but as my brain slowly rises from sleep I begin to wonder if it might be Roland on his way in from the pub, knocking to let us know that Guy is outside. I wander down the hall and peer through to spy hole. Nobody there. Into the sitting room to check the windowsill again, see if Guy is there. Nothing. I go back to bed.
Moments later, my mobile rings. Robin. What does he want at this hour, come to think of it wasn’t that Robin wandering across the road back towards the pub as I looked out of the window just now? I answer the call. “Tony. I’m sorry mate, I think I’ve got some bad news… “ I dress quickly.
Walking slowly towards the three figures standing over the dark shape lying in the gutter I pray it isn’t Guy, that he will come bounding over to me any moment. As I get closer, the reality sinks in, with each step I can see more clearly. My heart lets go of hope and crashes to the ground.
Rest in peace, Guy. You were truly special.