As testament to her skill, the cat leaves us her kill: this time, a spiny lizard.
He picks it up off the doormat, carrying it deftly like the live ones he catches, and places it atop the cooler. Chas knows that a lizard likes sun. He does not see me watching him as he talks quietly to the lizard in a soft little language that a lizard can hear. Deliberately he collects rocks and places them around the limp body in totem perimeter, stands back and tips his head sideways.
Then he disappears into the hedge, returning with fallen pine needles.
He places it just so.
The funeral is now complete. He tells nobody. I pass it now, hiding all amazement and pride on my way out to the car, and I look up to see Chas swinging alone under the tree, deep in thought.