The pigeon landed unseen but when it shook out its feathers the cat next door pricked its ears. The little tabby stood up like a meerkat to see past the low screen of shrubbery, then dropped to a slink, and crept to the edge of the garden.

The woman watched them both from a plastic chair on her patio.

After a while, the pigeon settled, becoming rounder as she tucked her feet underneath her. The cat followed suit, her muscles relaxing first into sitting, then lying by the garden.

The clouds drifted away from the angle of the sun, and the light brightened and all three felt the heat from its rays. On feathers, fur, skin.

The cat was the first to move. She stretched languorously, bum high, then turned tail and walked to the woman. She chirped, and rubbed her body against the woman’s leg, and the woman obediently reached down to stroke her. The cat rolled onto its back, exposing its belly, and the pigeon flew away.