First published in Great Britain

by The Women’s Press 1990


Copyright Jane Palmer 2010

This edition published by Dodo Books

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance

to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

The author would like to thank Dr Andrea Prestwich for weeding out any astronomical errors where they weren’t intended. The more fantastic passages are, quite probably, pure fiction.


Edna was not a cat lover and the fact that a huge long-haired moggie kept peering through her window did nothing to help her concentration. Eventually, she stopped trying to carve the hard exotic wood and glowered back at the animal. Edna’s spectacles magnified her stare which was already steely enough to stop a bull in mid-charge. Unable to compete, the cat ducked out of sight, only to bob up seconds later. This was too much for Edna who was not sweet natured at the best of times. The cat’s expression was so unnervingly benign it was like finding a friendly smile on the potato you were about to peel. To Edna, dogs were supposed to bark, canaries chirp, and cats purr. This creature looked as though it was capable of discussing existentialism and quantum mechanics.

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