Despite not finding any Christmas presents secreted in my case Alfie and Dolly Ragdoll didn’t hold it against me for long, I was more than forgiven by their `tummy-filling-time!’

Having managed to stay germ free for most of the year I was pretty hacked off when I started snorting and sneezing a week or so before Christmas Day. The cold symptoms did pass quickly, although I was left with a persistent cough and spent the festive season barking at my client’s pets.

Dolly Ragdoll seemed very concerned by all the hacking and hawking I was doing and every night she would curl up next to me under the duvet like a furry feline hot water bottle. Alfie was less committed to my care, having been bounced up and down on the bed like a small dingy on a rough sea by several bouts of my coughing, he left the bedroom in search of calmer quarters!

On Christmas Eve I presented Alfie and Dolly with their present, a cat bed in the shape of Santa’s hat. It was met with suspicion from both felines who tip-toed around it until I put a few cat biscuits on the cushion. Dolly was tempted enough by the cheesy treats to stick her head inside the hat without actually getting into it. Perhaps by next December the felines will have taken to using the hat bed?!

Going out for Christmas Day lunch was a hit with everyone, except the Ragdolls who were hoping for some turkey left overs. There was no need to put the sprouts on to boil at six in the morning, or for us to do the Turkey-Turn-Around Dance whilst the bird took an age to roast. The mountains of washing-up were avoided and as the restaurant was within walking distance, everyone was able to have a drink or two. By the time we had finished the three courses and were eying up the handmade truffles served with our coffee, my Mother, Sister and I had all decided to book again for next Christmas.