The best-laid plans

A cat the size of man’s palm basks on a windowsill somewhere north of Epping. There are birds to watch, and drops of sun to catch on a sandpaper tongue, and swallow. Today is a good day.

A mouse the size of a man’s palm broods from a skirting board somewhere north of Epping. It is the fruition of family ambition, generations of breeding with a single aim: to sire a scion at which the cat might quake. Dull black eyes twitch in time with the languid tail. It waits.

It does not see the second cat until too late.

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