Once we’ve got Harry off the bedroom floor and back in his favourite chair, his wife Sarah goes into the kitchen to make us all a cup of tea.
It’s early in the morning, dark outside, although through the patio windows there’s just enough light now to see an apple tree, a greenhouse, a bird table hung with feeders.
Harry used to paintt before his illness stopped him working. There are several of his watercolours on the wall, along with a variety of pieces by other artists.
‘See that one, there?’ he says, pointing to an embroiderd picture of a fluffy, tangerine coloured kitten with protruberant black eyes playing with a ball of string. ‘We got that when we went to China. You’d never think, but it’s actually made from one continuous strand of silk.’
At that moment an ancient cat stalks into the room. She walks with a heavy slouch and a mean look on her face, like a gunslinger walking into a bar in a corny western. But her tail’s up, and she comes over to permit some limited stroking. I can feel the bony structure of her beneath the fur.‘Poor Blossom!’ says Harry, shifting as much in his chair as he can to look. ‘She’s nineteen now. Can’t hardly walk. No teeth. But you should’ve seen her when she was a kitten. Absolutely mad. Her eyes would go like this...’ he makes the forefinger and thumb of both hands into two hard little eyes ... ‘her ears would go back – and there she was, ready to launch!’