Our dog, Lucy, does it every morning. She roams around trying to get a feel for whether anyone will be at home, and in which rooms. She tries out one spot – splayed on the hall landing, a watchful eye toward the front door – but soon abandons it for another. She jumps on an unmade bed and turns around three times, sinks down, curls into a ball. After a while she stretches out long, her belly as rounded and freckled as a cow’s.
I have my own version of this routine: a mug of hot coffee, a comfortable wingback chair – no, perhaps the old chaise in the sunroom window – a college-ruled notepad (faint blue lines on white paper, a firm pink margin), an old-fashioned micro-point Uniball pen. Circle three times, curl in a ball, settle in deep.