I am currently in receipt of the full force of canine disapproval, the Professor being at the moment, in Edinburgh. I managed (just) to get back from work in time to take Miss Dog for a roam in the gloaming, so I felt I’d sort of done my duty by the animal. We then got back, and I fed her. A bit later, she ankled in and sat whining under her breath in the most irritating fashion. She had, as far as I could perceive, relieved herself copiously on our excursion, but you never know with dogs, so I let her out. Out she stayed, for the best part of an hour, and returned in the pitch dark with something on her mind. Miss Dog belongs to the tribe of dogs that groan to express their feelings. After a while, someone behind me went ‘Muuurhh. Muuuurrhh.’ I was, insofar as Miss Kit permitted, attempting to mark essays, so I paid this as little attention as I could; however it escalated to something more like ‘MMUUURRRHHH’, a kind of pained bugle, somewhere between a 32-foot organ pipe with indigestion and a camel in a state of obstetric emergency. Further investigation revealed that the new sack of dog food, though it’s what she used to like best, has been found wanting for some reason, and these lively communications add up to ‘I’m hungry’. ‘But I won’t eat that muck’. The prolonged auto-walk was doubtless to see if she could do anything about self-catering, but fortunately, the enterprising Monty has not been free with his leftovers. She is as mad as fire with me. More cheerfully, Miss Kit’s sciatica seems to be coming under control. This evening, I saw her in that most Yogic of cat poses, balanced on the base of her spine, with one leg pointing to the stars. And actually, I haven’t seen her do that for weeks and weeks — I’ve been grooming her lower spine and points adjacent myself since she clearly couldn’t reach — so it suggests there’s hope yet. She’s tumbled to the Metacam Soup, alas, but I’ve worked out ways of getting the stuff into her, and she hasn’t bitten me (yet).