Well thank goodness, just as it all starts to get serious and I need to buckle down to some serious writing, I get a new excuse. He is nine weeks old and his name is Bingo:


All right, all right, I know it’s not the world’s best photo, but lovely Bingo gives me an excuse for that, too. He moves too fast. Every time anyone points a camera at him, he zips to the other end of the room like a streak of fluffy black lightening. Oooh, but hold the presses – I’ve just managed to take another couple of pics:

Not my best angle, possibly, but a good shot of Bingo’s current favourite vantage point, my shoulder. He’s taken to sitting there like Long John Silver’s cuter, fluffier parrot substitute. And I defy you not to break out into protracted ‘ahhhhhs …..’ when you see this picture:


We got him on Saturday, from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. Everyone there is so, so nice. We saw lots of other adorable cats while we were waiting, including a gorgeous big tabby, but we decided he would probably squash Mme Bovary who, as you know, is a very sensitive soul. We thought she’d cope best with a kitten and, with any luck, we’d be able to convince her it was her own little baby, that she’d had by accident behind a gooseberry bush and just forgotten all about. Well, it turns out that she’s stupid – but not that stupid. She’s keeping very aloof, and has spent most of the weekend in the garden. If she wasn’t a born lady you’d say she had a massive sulk on. Luckily it’s been lovely weather. Meanwhile, Bingo, our little buccaneer, is striding, leaping and bouncing about the house as though he owns it.

Gosh, Battersea does good work. There were very few kittens available, as it turned out, but we were warned that they would almost certainly be black, white or a mixture of the two, as apparently those are the cats that most often get abandoned. Bingo is a very chic black tabby, meaning you can just see his beautiful dark stripes through his black fur, giving a lovely damask effect.

While we were waiting for our rehoming interview (everyone taking a pet home is given a once-over for suitability and told what to expect from their new family member), we went over to see the dogs. When I was a teenager our dog was always running away in Greenwich Park and being scooped up and taken to Battersea. I remember the cacophony of the dog pens and the bewildering variety of breeds we had to sort through before finding our own naughty Airedale. Now the pens are all but silent, and in cage after cage we found one breed only – Staffordshire bull terriers. These poor dogs, looking sad and confused, pace their pens, wondering what on earth they have done wrong to end up here. It absolutely breaks your heart.


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