Uncle Doug

A peaceful silence hung over the ward in the Hospice in-patient unit. The sound of tinkling cups in the distance announced the onset of teatime in a few minutes. Tritan’s ears pricked as he lay in the large comfortable patch of sun. He licked his lips in anticipation of a tasty treat that would follow during the course of the afternoon.
Uncle Doug stirred under the white covers on the white steel bed above him.
‘Are you still here my boy? You are such a loyal old soul. You make my days here worthwhile. Yes, come over here so that I can rub your head. That’s it, you beautiful boy…’ Tritan’s golden Cocker Spaniel tail wagged with delight as he stood with his two front paws on the cotton bedspread.
‘You better not let Sister Rosemary see your dirty paws on my bed. We’ll both get a scolding.’
Firm footsteps approaching the ward were Tritan’s cue to return to his place in the sun.
‘You are such a clever boy. I don’t even know your name, do you know that? You just appeared out of nowhere one day and made yourself comfortable here in my room. I must have done something good in my miserable life to be blessed with your loving company during the last days of my life.’
Tritan rushed to the window as a large ginger cat appeared on the ledge outside. His instincts battled inside his head. This fluffy creature challenged him through the pane of glass, emerald eyes piercing his defenses.
Tritan ran out of the ward, confused.
‘Don’t go… please” Uncle Doug’s voice snapped him out of his predicament.
He could not leave him now. His heart told him that this assignment would end soon. Emerald eyes would still be there tomorrow.
Tritan returned to his patch of sunlight.

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