Last night Alleycat was a great nuisance. It was raining hard outside and we were worried he might spend the night fifteen feet in the air, soaking in the secret lair that he’s hollowed out where the jasmine meets the rambling rose. But instead he stood on my head most of the night and watched me trying to sleep, and demanded attention and wouldn’t budge. I lost count of the number of times I pushed him away but he just came back, and stood on my head again, and when I locked him on the wrong side of the bedroom door he lashed the carpet on the landing to tatters with his claws to express his displeasure, and I couldn’t stop any of this. He didn’t survive two near-death experiences by chance or even because he’s got Nine Lives. No. It happened because he’s strong-willed and stubborn and he won’t be at anyone’s command or take anyone’s advice. Death can’t tell him what to do but occasionally Pink imagines she has influence over him. You can see her thinking it in this photo.