A smattering of snow lay sprinkled on the ground.
The sky was ice blue and IT WAS COLD!
Outside all was still and silent. Indoors nothing stirred, and there was absolute quiet except for the faint ticking of the clock and the chattering of my teeth. Huddled into my warmest dressing gown, I listened intently, but there was no tell-tale cat noise to herald the imperious demand for breakfast or attention.
The indentation on the sofa where Lucie normally curls up to sleep, was empty. I looked around........
I checked beneath tables and the armoire............
Still no sign!
Perhaps she had reluctantly ventured into the cold crisp morning to answer the call of nature?
I opened the door a crack; letting in a blast of chill air. But the little trail of paw prints in the dusting of snow led in one direction only - Indoors!!
Could she be behind the sofa? I leaned across, but there was no little grey shadow to be seen. Then I paused...........
I thought I could detect a faint whiff..........
that distinctive aroma of cat breath that betrays the diet of fish, and sadly birds and frogs that Lucie has consumed over the years.
I lowered my gaze and peered downwards, finding myself staring into a dark recess between the sofa back and the cushions, where unexpectedly from the darkness, two green eyes stared upwards at me.
Buried deep below the cushions at the back of the sofa, Lucie remained motionless - only the grey smudge of her face visible; her breath inaudible, unwilling to draw attention to her warm, snug, secret hiding place.
Closer inspection revealed a little furry grey triangle of bottom sticking out from beneath the cushion and wedged into the sofa arm.
I left her alone and the slight rumbling sound of purring soon followed, before a louder noise disturbed the stillness of the morning, as only Lucie's contented snores divulged her slumbering presence, as she snuggled deep below the cushions, dreaming like me perhaps, of warmer sunny days.