Derek is watching the cat as he walks up Glebe Point Road. Derek is walking, not the cat. The cat is sitting on the footpath up ahead. He’s a ginger tom, or not, because something like ninety percent of ginger cats are toms, so hey, this cat could be one of the not-toms. Derek’s hands are in his pockets and he’s trying hard to project non-threatening. A non-threatening vibe. This is because the road is four lanes, two of parked cars and the odd empty spot. It’s peak hour now and the road is busy. That’s why Derek is worried about the cat. He is being careful not to startle it. The cat looks ansy. Toey. Like he might just up and dash across the street at any time. Derek feels a bit queasy thinking about it. So hands in pockets, projecting non-threatening nonchalance, Derek gets to the cat, squats down.   The cat has astonishing greeny-yellow eyes. His tag says ‘Russell’. Derek strokes him, feeling a bit foolish for his concern, for goodness sake. Russell accepts the attention in the benign, uninterested way that cats do. Russell scratches under his own chin with a lazy hind leg. Russell watches the parade of bikes, pedestrians, cars and buses on their way to the city or on their way back. Derek thinks he might as well sit down and hang with Russell for a bit, maybe till peak hour is pretty much over, with as much of that aforementioned nonchalance that he can muster.


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