I was afraid yesterday might turn out to be the beginning of a spell of what are called "dog days." Instead, the weather was very pleasant — just verging on hot, but not really. This is the kind of weather when Bertie the black cat likes to come spend his afternoons on the shady east-facing terrace.
About 11 a.m., however, the phone rang. I don't answer it often — too many marketing calls — but this time the number was obviously local. Since we are waiting for calls from a plumber and a gardener, I picked it up. It was our neighbor across the street. "Bertie is in my house. Can you come get him? I'm afraid to try to pick him up."
The tone of the neighbor's voice was friendly and she apologized for bothering me. I went right over and got him. She has cats, and Bertie used to fight with them, but not any more. One time, the neighbor tried to intervene, and Bertie scratched her. So she's careful around him. I brought the cat home and he spent the rest of the day with us on the terrace. Bertie is ten years old now, and he's lived here with us for six of those years.