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I’m a cat person. I know many people who are besotted with their dogs – about 90% of all Britons, judging by the numbers of dogs everywhere – but I just don’t get it. In fact, I get positively annoyed by dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs or who seem to think it’s funny when their wet and muddy little rats jump up on strangers leaving wet and muddy footprints on what was clean clothing. Grrrrrr!

On the other hand, I love cats – though, I admit, these days I am frequently torn between my love of cats and my love of birds, the former being frequently the killers of the latter. Still, I love cats and would love to have one but my living arrangements prevent that. So, when I’m out walking I often spend time talking to the cats I meet along the way – lurking in long grass, keeping look-out from rooftops, guarding the wheelies, controlling the traffic, sunning on window sills, communing with spirits in the graveyard, and that battered and bruised old Tom patrolling the local patch.