I'm out on the back porch because the house just won't cool down. Tanned and tawny haired from the sun, looking like an aging surf bum and moving like the just plain aged in the oppressive heat, I swear I'll never complain about the Northwest's lack of sunshine again.
I have my legs crossed--habitually in what I've been taught is acceptable male fashion, ankle on knee and calf not angled too far above the horizontal. Our cat positions himself to look up at me, framed comically by the triangle formed by my propped-up leg. He blinks hello; it goes unacknowledged and he blinks again, more slowly and deliberately. I'm convinced this familiar practice is conscious signalling of affection on his part, born of the circumstance that cats only sleep in the presence of those they trust. He closes his eyes as an expression of this trust. I blink back and he is contented. He stretches languidly before moving on to a shaded spot, where he nearly pants like a dog in the heat. It seems suspiciously overdone, as if he's playing it up, not necessarily for me but for himself. Such as I am doing here. No work will be done today.