“We’re going on an adventure,” I tell you. “Do you remember those? It’s been a while.”
You look at me in horror to let me know you remember them only too well and don’t fancy another.
“Relax,” I say, “and watch the world pass. We’ll be there soon.”
And you sit on the roof of the boat and you watch. We pass a heron, motionless, as it watches the water for fish in the reeds to port-side, and red kites circle over sun-burnished fields as wheat is harvested by lumbering machines. The countryside slides by as the metropolis beckons. You watch it all, but I can tell this is not the type of adventure you had in mind for today.
“It’s okay,” I try to reassure. “We’re staying on the edge of town. Stay close by and you’ll be fine.”
You glare at me, a look that hints at mutiny; eyes wild and green and unforgiving. We betrayed you this morning. The day started as it should; a cat asleep on the bed. But now, after slumber has been cruelly snatched from you by the convulsions of a home propelled by an engine, the day is going badly. There is no sleeping now.
We moor below Oxford and you snuggle against me and purr. All is forgiven because we are here safe, together, and I feel the pull of adventure tugging at your fur. There are new places to explore tonight under the cover of darkness…