This was such an easy one of my 55 Joys – our cat is the warmest, softest, kindest, gentlest* little old lady (19 this year), and there is nothing she likes more than being stroked, nuzzled, her paws held, as close to us as she can get, demanding attention with a grande dame command.

For the first couple of years of her life she didn’t miaow at all, she didn’t much like being held, and she very rarely even came to sit close to us. Neither Shelley nor I know what changed, but one day she just jumped on one of our laps and has been there whenever she can, ever since. The same with making sounds, for a couple of years, she was almost silent. Then overnight she started with little ‘prrrrt?’ sounds when disturbed and, in her old age, has graduated to big, long, yowling miaows whenever she wants something or can’t find us and wants to know where we are. Or just for the hell of it. We feel hugely lucky to have had her warm and generous presence in our lives for so long.

Giving myself the enormous luxury of half an hour re-reading a bit of Jane Eyre, with Marlowe cuddled up in a blanket on my lap, and my feet up (I’ve pulled my achilles, so this was also recuperative) was bliss. Thank you so much Gillian, for giving me a reason to sit and be.

* yes, I’m sure yours is lovely too.