After tramping for miles over the Somerset countryside with my poodle companions I found myself looking forward to a more sedate sit, my next Client having nothing more taxing for me to look after than four senior moggies.

The felines in question, a rather portly tortoiseshell and her three off-spring, had a set routine that worked beautifully for their owner. At meal times the garden would echo to my Client’s calls of `Abby, Olly, Lilly, Tiger-Tim!’ And all four cats would trot up the garden path in eager anticipation of their dinner! It didn’t take me long to realize that I wasn’t going to have such an easy time despite doing a reasonable impression of my Client’s high-pitched call with the upward inflection on Tim. I was ignored!! I tried again and again without success. Searching the garden calling their names in a wavering falsetto proved fruitless. I eventually found my moggy tormentors, lounging in the greenhouse, their feline solarium, with little intention of moving.

`I’ve been calling you for ages!’ I told them irritably. Four pairs of eyes regarded me coolly. Deciding not to be dismissed in such a manner I seized the nearest cat, who happened to be Lilly and hefted her bulky black and white body towards the house. Shutting the indignant cat in the utility room I returned to collect my next charge and was pleased and relieved to see them all still in thier baskets!! I repeated the same procedure with little resistance until all four cats were indoors and tucking into their nosh!

Three days into my stay the cats and I had reached an understanding. I would not be roaming the garden calling `foodies’ in a baby voice humiliating myself and embarressing them and they would wait for me in the green-house where I would carry each cat in turn to it’s dinner bowl!!