No lizards

Hannah had been after another cat for months.

But Tim was adamant. ‘Two’s enough, Darl. If we had a bigger place…’

Eventually she stopped asking. Then one morning, over breakfast, she said, ‘a lizard.’

‘A what?’

‘We should get a lizard.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘They’re cute.’ She stopped clearing dishes to rub his neck the way he liked. ‘Jennifer’s says they’re easy. And loving.’

‘Jennifer’s a punk rocker. And single.’

‘But —’

‘Besides the cats would eat it.’

‘It’d have its own tank.’

‘And where would that go?’

Hannah pressed her palms into his shoulder blades. ‘We’ll find somewhere.’

‘We will, will we? Cats are one thing. But we’re not running a reptile park.’

‘Oh you’re such a spoil sport.’

Tim put down his paper with a bit too much of a slam. ‘Gotta be off, Love. We’ll talk later.’

And they did. She was still on about lizards when he got home. And again the next morning. And the following day.

When Saturday came around Tim had heard quite enough about them. ‘Once and for all, no lizards.’

Later, as they drove to the cat shelter, Tim sang along to the radio, a sign of his self-congratulatory mood. He’d thwarted her silly lizard plans.

Hannah smiled knowingly at his wonky high register.