Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Intense. There’s no better word to describe this first month. Maya’s life experience has created a very unique mindset. Humans have a tendency to personalise everything – and so, I think I understand her. She sees threats everywhere; many imagined, many real. So do I.
She thinks humans are dangerous standing up, but approachable if sitting down. All noises are alarming and gunshots in the woods are terrifying. The red sofa is home, heaven. The first fortnight involved a twice daily treatment for a serious ear infection in both ears. Sometimes I had the impression she hated me, or at least resented me but now the treatment is over things are better.
We’re bonding, learning from each other. She seems to be discovering the world for the first time. She’s been a prisoner in a shelter pen for years, so in a sense everything really is new. This is the closest to a “religious experience” I’ve ever had. She lets me put her on my lap at night. I hold her and tell her she’s safe. That everything is okay now within the high walls surrounding number 42. I think she’s starting to believe me.
She’s a Griffon Nivernais with a streak of donkey in her.