I don’t want anyone thinking Alleycat’s perfect. Yesterday I overheard him talking to Bamber, telling his protégé that what dogs need is discipline. One day I’ll be an old fat gaffer-cat with gums instead of teeth, I heard him say, and you’ll be in charge of the Six Foot and Pink will be Mistress of the Five Streets; when that happens you’ve got to show the dogs of the house what you’re made of and they’ve got to do what you tell them. Look, I’ll show you. And he hunkered down on one side of the garden gate and called Lucy the cocker spaniel to come and see. Lucy’s a simple soul so she gambolled along to the other side of the gate and put her snout through the bars. As soon as she was close enough Alleycat punched her on the nose Blam! Blam! and Lucy didn’t know what to do, except to run and get the Man with Windows for Eyes. He’s done it again, she cried, Dad, he hit me, he hit me! Obviously she wasn’t hurt, only startled, and Alleycat turned to Bamber and the young cat nodded sagely to show he understood. You’ll have gathered that Alleycat likes to play the odd trick on his nearest and dearest. Another of his tricks is to call for Lucy and when she comes to investigate, he makes himself invisible to her. She runs up and down, with her nose to the ground, but she just can’t track him down. He thinks that’s really funny!