We have had a certain amount of trouble with Miss Best Friend and her metamorphosis into ‘the dog’. One manifestation of this has been an increasing tendency to rise with the dawn, come into our room (click, click, click go the claws on the floor) and stand mumping till someone gets up and lets her out. Both of us have been experiencing great difficulty in going back to sleep again, and it has all been very wearing. I said, one night recently, after about four hours’ sleep, that I had had enough, and I was bloody well going to shut her in the kitchen — in the Days of Miss Dog, she experienced no difficulty whatsoever in getting through a night, so I refused to believe that her internal economy could had changed in any significant way in the weeks since Miss D’s demise. To our mild astonishment, not only were there no puddles, or worse, when we got up the next morning, she was much happier. She now curls up in the kitchen on her bed, with her toys, wags cheerfully in the morning when someone finally wanders downstairs, and clearly the whole thing is a load off her mind. What must have actually been happening was that she was paralysed by social insecurity, and was, in fact, coming in to ask, ‘am I doing the right thing?’ ‘am I supposed to be here?’ — and since the reaction, at 5 am, tended to be ‘piss off’, the poor creature was understandably getting more and more confused. Now ’she knows her place’, and she is perfectly content, which is nice, but an indication of why I like cats rather more than dogs. Can you imagine a cat knowing its place — as opposed to choosing the most comfortable spot in the house at any given moment?