Monday, May 01, 2006

He's back

Those words I'd hoped never to hear again: "Vincent's back!" Above, see Vincent. Tom named him after the president of Mexico, and each year, as soon as the sun comes out for long enough to produce a nice patch of warmth under the apple tree, there he is, sunning himself like a dog. Our garden is the only toddler-free stretch of grass in our group of houses, so it's comparatively peaceful, no doubt adding to the attraction. Vincent and I don't talk, but maintain a wary respect for one another, from a safe distance.

Yesterday I got my revenge on Vincent, though, courtesy of Jess's smallest nephew, who was brought round to lunch with his mum, dad and Italian grandmother, Nonna. He is, naturally, a toddler. You couldn't see that sharp-eared canine for dust when they headed outside to play. OK, I can't deny that I, too, went into hiding, but not until I'd put in enough of an appearance for Nonna to give me a new name: "Il gattone". My Italian is a little rusty, but Jess told me later, over extra cat food, that an '-one' is the opposite of an '-ino': the latter indicates a cute little thing, the former a great big magisterial specimen...