Miss Kit has been a little down, off her food, inclined to heave. I suddenly realised that despite the return of inclement weather (it hailed today) it is in fact, or at least in broad theory, spring. Therefore the little animal is moulting. She attends to her short, sleek, shiny coat herself most of the year, but there’s a point in the spring when she sheds her winter underwear, an incredibly fine and soft down beneath the fur one actually sees. This has to work its way to the surface, and because it’s so fine it’s quite hard to deal with. It gets in my contact lenses, for instance. If I leave her to manage it for herself, she has no choice but to swallow it as it comes out, and it plays havoc with her innards. So I’ve got out the nit comb, a perfectly splendid tool. The finespaced teeth go through the fur fur to the down underfur and strips it out. After a long combing session, with an ecstatically purring Miss Kit, I find that the result of my efforts is a sort of pale-orange felt mat (beautifully clean and entirely uncontaminated, I might add, by any traces of fleas or anything else). So it’s very effective. But when I look at the aforementioned felt mat and think about eating it, I find it very easy to understand why the poor little creature’s off her food.