It is a truth universally acknowledged that dogs are simple-minded creatures (some would say ‘masculine’) whereas cats are devious and come in many guises (some would say ‘mmmm’)












This little terrier was the opposite of a guard dog. He was a welcome dog. I was just passing by a house in Blairgowrie and there he was, behind these cruel imprisoning bars, so delighted to see me from the tip of his wagging tail to his little black quivering snout. “Excuse me! Hello there! Notice me! Please! Say something! Anything!” Craving attention, affection. Not a bark in sight. Snarlfree.

This was Kenya with Sean, my labrador, guarding Mark my son.   Taki, my Siamese cat, is in the background. Mark is keeping cool in his play pool, Sean is looking  miserable, Taki is detached from it all. Sean was a great companion, full of life, always on the lookout for something to do. We went on fishing trips together, picnics, walks…
Taki was picky about food, liked to go off by herself but liked to have humans nearby.  I vividly remember one night when I was asleep she came in through the open bedroom window via my bare back…

This is a cat we saw in Turkey. What do you do with/for a cat like this apart from feeling sorry for it? Friends who were more practical and less squeamish than we were cleaned it up and informed the Turkish equivalent of the RSPCA of its condition and whereabouts. Really good Samaritans.

This was some neighbour’s cat which visited us on a regular basis. If we weren’t in the garden, it would get up on its hind legs and peer in all available windows till it located one or both of us. Smoked salmon was all that it would deign to eat. We became very fond of it and had a good friendly playful relationship with it. It liked the usual things, rolling on its back to have its tummy rubbed, sliding round an ankle, stretching in the sun. Then it disappeared. We didn’t even know its name.

In Greece we had breakfast on a terrace overlooking the sea. The only drawback was the presence of very thin cats. One morning one of the breakfasters stooped to stroke one of them and in a flash it had ripped its claws down his wrist and the back of his hand.

Dogs were made to love, however badly they were treated; cats to be loved, in spite of


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