My husband and I have different schedules — he works from 3:00 am to 3:00 pm and I work from 6:00 am (or 7:00) to 6:00 pm (or 8:00 or 10:00). We also have different sets of friends and different ideas of fun. He goes out with the lads for pool league on Thursday nights and I have choir on Wednesday nights. He works on Saturdays and I’m in church and church-related activities on Sundays.

So we have limited time together, but he leaves me messages.

Normally, these messages are things like straightening up the patio furniture and flowerpots into tidy rows after I had created some cozy undulations. Or leaving out baskets of laundry for me to fold during what he must imagine is a relaxed workday.


But this morning when I got up I found a note under the curtains of the sliding door. “The cat…” it said.

This was a reminder to concentrate on outwitting Bisi, who still has wooers under the balcony, as in so many Shakespearean plays. She is the young adolescent whose parents think she is a quiet girl, uninterested in men, and the black and white neighbor Toms are the Veronese youths who call to her.

When I open the door to let Toby the dog out at 5:00 am or so, Bisi streaks out through the narrow opening of the door. If I make a point of shielding that space with my body as I hook up Toby’s chain, she leaps over me and is off.

We need to get her to the vet.