The problem of the week is, again, cats. I am short by one cat, the ever to be regretted Aphra, and the process of acquiring a brave kitten seems to be frustrating and prolonged. What I hadn’t anticipated is Mrs Cat from up the road, a perfectly nice grey and white animal, who has been long headed enough to observe the absence of Aphra and simply turned up with her references and a spotty hankie full of whatever it is cats think they require, saying that she was applying for the post of My Cat and would brook no refusal. We don’t shut doors a lot in the summer. The result is that Mrs Grey storms in from one direction or another, and simply acts as if she lives here. Since we have sentimental teenagers on the premises, & Mrs G goes limp and purrs up a storm whenever she is picked up, she hasn’t had quite as much discouragement as I would have liked. It is really rather difficult. She is a wholly amiable cat, and especially since I am feeling bereaved, it is hard for me not to pick her up and give her a cuddle once in a while. But I really don’t want to end up serially adopting all the beasties from up the road, especially since they are perfectly well looked after. The trouble is I think Miss Best Friend has been spreading the word about middle-clas lifestyles, and they all want to play.