It's a simple stroll really. We seek the big black pussycat who often smooths his fur against our legs as we amble by his house and come to a stop so my girl can let the cat sniff her wrist, just as we've taught her to do with approaching puppy dogs. The cat often has an air of amusement, chooses not to sniff but may lick. When this happens she squeals with delight and explains to me in vivid detail, as if I wasn't standing right by her side, how the pussy cat kissed her, and how she came straight up to her wrist and just kissed her and then he rubbed up to her legs and swished her tail - this explanation often peppered with three extra words per sentence which I'm unable to translate from excited toddler talk.
The red leaves fall around us. If it's been a miserable day there are puddles to stop and jump in, an aim, fire approach as she squats down much like a champion long jumper and aims directly for the middle of the puddle. Each gate hinge gets rattled on the way home, each bark or door click elicits a 'What's dat noise?' and as we round the corner, the inevitable race for the gate so she can sit on the step and contemplate the life passing by our front door. Rarely in a rush for dinner, she's keen to make the most of play time and extend it before entry into the house and the most arduous dinner-bath-story-milk-bed routine which, I suspect, she secretly loves.