Sunday, 8 March 2009 - 1:31 pm

The conquered mountain

I saw the funniest thing this morning. I was up early – Ben (usually the first one up) was off checking out a nearby building for breakfast supplies, so I went to rouse the others.

We were spread out over several rooms in an empty house, stretched out on other people’s beds, couches and armchairs. I wiggled Dillon’s foot until he groaned and touched Matt’s shoulder. Nudged Sally, who elbowed Masterson in turn. Sax needed a little shake, and roused himself with a groan.

Nugget was already awake, sitting by the window and scowling at the empty garden outside. I sent her off to give Ben a hand – she’s a good kid, at least as far as doing what she’s asked most of the time.

I found out why she was so grumpy and eager to get away when I went to wake up Thorpe. He was in one of the bedrooms, one that used to belong to a little boy. There were footballs all over the wallpaper and posters of favourite players tacked up. The bed was too short for the tall fireman, so he was curled up on his side, knees drawn up and pillow hugged under his head. He looked like an oversized kid with his eyes closed.

The best part, though, was Jones. Curled up quite comfortably on Thorpe’s hip, he opened one golden eye when I appeared in the doorway. He looked so proud there, the king of his own hill. I doubt that the cat was there when Thorpe went to sleep – that mountain was conquered while it wasn’t looking.

I almost laughed out loud. It was so adorable, and so far from how Thorpe would ever wish to be seen. I managed to control myself and knocked on the doorframe to wake him up, trying to pretend I hadn’t seen.

When his perch stirred, Jones stood, stretched, and jumped down. Thorpe frowned muzzily at the cat and I tried not to smile too brightly as I greeted him. Then I left them alone.

He has been ignoring the animal ever since then, but I think Jones has decided that Thorpe’s a friend whether he likes it or not. Everyone knows that a feline’s desires are impossible to command. I wonder how long it will take Thorpe to give in to it.