There is a kerfuffle in the bathroom. The muted gong of the cast iron tub, the click of tiny claws against wood and the porcelain tub coating. I think I can hear static crackle off the ends of fine hairs. There is the sound of scampering feet spinning in a circle and the squeak of the wooden lid against the wooden box that sits beside the tub.
I tiptoe towards the door, peek around the corner to see a white paw dart over the lip of the tub and swipe at Cleo, who sprawls lazily on the box, her favourite spot by the large window looking out to the garden where birds can be watched and rabbits regarded.
Cleo reaches out her own white paw, cocking her head, and swipes back. Fine fibres of hair are released into the sunbeam that angles across the tub, hang there for a moment and then float effortlessly away, disappearing in the shadows.
I attempt to move silently, to get my camera and return. But they are on to me. The sounds stop, and when I return to the doorway I am greeted by two pairs of wide accusing eyes. I have interrupted or disturbed or discovered something I wasn’t supposed to know.
The fun is over. Chestnut leaps casually from the tub as though he was bored with this game anyway, and Cleo takes one last swipe before settling in for the afternoon on top of the wooden box, turning her head away, eyes half-closed, denying everything.