Holly and Ashley arrived looking apologetic as a confused Milo meowed and fidgeted loudly in his basket. 'He's terrified' they said 'he's scared of everything,' and sure enough as they opened his basket he popped out and immediatly dissapeared underneath the sofa refusing to come out. ' You probably won't see him all weekend' said Holly, looking a little worried ' But he's never agressive' Ashley added quickly, 'he never hisses or bites'. I wasn't worried he looks like a sweetheart and actually seemed quite comfortable squished underneath my tiny sofa, so I bustled them out reassuring them that he'd be alright. After putting Milo's food out and crouching down to double check on him I sat down at my computer to get on with some work.
An hour later though and Milo hadn't moved an inch and as I peered at him under the sofa he peeped back at me squinting myopically from his hiding place. About half an hour later he emerged one paw at a time unfurling himself slowly and then arching his back before stretching out each leg individually. Keeping his body close to the ground Milo circled the edge of the room sniffing everything at least five times before moving on and eventually slinking back underneath the sofa.
For the rest of the day Milo stayed put preferring to watch my ankles from beneath the sofa and pointing himself in the direction of the balcony so he could breathe in the fresh air.
Eventually he emarged in the late afternoon one bit at a time. First his nose then a twitching ear, he kept his body low slung like a soldier trying to avoid detection and patrolled his immediate surroundings, his nose picked up on the pungent valerian smell coming from a cat toy and soon he was rolling around with it squeezed between his furry paws.
Later still he ventured, one paw at a time onto the balcony and sat bolt upright breathing in the smells. When a car zoomed past a few seconds later he flew back into the front room terrified and dived back underneath the sofa. Other attemps he made to venture onto the balcony were thwarted when the voices of passers by travelled upwards and a horrified Milo jumped out of his skin before scrambling back to the safety of the sofa. But by Sunday morning all was quiet on Portobello Rd and after spending a while surveying the balcony from the inside Milo stepped out and has spent a lovely morning watching the world go by.