Friday night and we're sat in front of the TV. From my vantage point at the end of the sofa I can see Giles in the hallway, sitting in one of his familiar places: just by the door.
Currently he has a number of favourite places, not least of which is on a mat by the radiator: but he keeps returning to the door.
Just to see what will happen I call him and he comes, stretching slowly and padding towards me with a tiny miow. I pick him up, marvelling again at how heavy he is. I put him on my lap. Today he is in a relaxed mood and seems happy to take the attention, beginning to purr as I stroke him. Herself gets a piece of the action too as he briefly takes a stroll over to her side of the sofa and puts his face into hers.
Then he returns and flops down into my arms, lying on his back with big catty eyes staring adoringly into my face. It is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.
Myself and Herself have The Conversation again, the one that always begins "remember when..."
And we do - we remember when he first invited himself into the house just over 12 months ago and would scarper if you came within a few feet of him. We remember how sad and bedraggled he looked, we remeber that neither of us had ever heard him purr at that point.
We remember how he spent the first few weeks just hiding under the sofa, only coming out to eat, the first time we caught him sitting on the bed and the moment when he finally started to decide we were ok.
Niether of us can quite believe that a little bit of patience and kindness have changed the cat that once sank his claws deep into Herself's arm and tried to scramble out of a high window to escape us into creature before us. OK so yes, he still tries to pounce on our toes sometimes, but now its just in play and although he will always be an outdoors cat he always comes when you call him.
Maybe one day we will get over the change, maybe we will be able to look at him without that constant surprise and endless "do you remember when..." conversation, but I hope that day doesn't come too soon.
Giles, meanwhile, tired of all this soppiness, rolls over and jumps off, proceeds to the kitchen where he demolishes the contents of his bowl and then demolishes the litter tray.
Somethings never change