After the mayhem of the eight dog (four cat) household I was looking forward to a relatively relaxed sit caring for the Ragdoll cats, Mrs Mills and Ruby Rabbit. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I was woken at four on my first morning by Alfie’s plaintive meows as he sat on the table beside my bed.

‘ You’re not to go out, use your litter-tray!’ I told him blearily pulling the duvet up and over my head. His persistent cries not having the desired effect, Alfie stomped off in search of Mrs Mills and Dolly who he chased down the stairs, around the hall, up the stairs, over the spare bed then back down the stairs!

Groggy, I switched on the bedside light, groped about for my slippers and made my way towards the sounds of feline fury. The girls fled and a bristling Alfie stood before me, his nose bloody! This was an old war wound which had been heeling well but unfortunately in the fracas the scab had been knocked off giving Alfie the appearance of a clown, Charlie Cairoli with his big red conk came to mind, although Alfie wasn’t sporting the bowler hat and I wasn’t finding him funny at all!!