She had always loved the sound of water. Had hoped to move to the seaside when she got a place of her own. But that might not now be until she was 60. If ever.
She turned over in bed. There was a noise on the edge of hearing. A rhythmic, drumming sound. Now and again a drum would go off the beat and career crazily around, plinking off into silence. Rain. It was chucking it down with rain.
She curled up on her side and closed her eyes. She had always loved the sound of water. Had hoped to move to the seaside when she got a place of her own. But that might not now be until she was 60. If ever. She listened to the gushing of the water outside. Hopefully it would stop by the time she had to bike to work… but for now… It was so peaceful…
She started out of the half sleep. There was something sharp against the rain. A long drawn out sound against the percussion on the window. A wailing. A cat. It sounded miserable. Poor thing. But hearing cats wasn’t unusual. Hopefully it would have the sense to quit complaining and find some shelter.
She closed her eyes again. The mewing died away. She floated. Her hair was plastered to her and she was huddled on the damp pavement. The rain would just not stop. Every drop felt like it was being aimed at her. And she was so cold.
She sat bolt upright in bed. Without really thinking about it, she stepped into her shoes and picked up her coat from the peg. She shrugged it on as she made her way down the dingy communal stairs. The back door had a stiff lock and her fingers were already clumsy with cold. Freezing air and water smacked her in the face when she did get it open. She stood there, listening to rain bounce off the paving slabs of the small yard. She strained her ears but all she could hear was rain. She prepared to shut the door but then a tiny movement caught her eye. She stepped out.
She was soaked within seconds: soaked and shivering. She bit her tongue several times as she crossed over to look under the landlord’s old van. Pressed up against the wheel was a tiny black shape. Cold now shooting through her body, she forgot all she was ever told about approaching strange animals and gathered up an armful of saturated fluff. The cat was too miserable to put up a fight. They both tumbled inside, shivering. The cat let out a long mew and then tried to burrow into her sopping coat. She stared down at it with a bemused smile, wondering exactly what she’d just done.