The other day when I came home from work, the world opened up and fell out of my bottom. I had a bad case of sickness and diarrhoea and for the next few hours I was either moaning silently in bed or making huge heaving vomits in the bathroom, and all the while I was racked with shivers and quivers and pins and needles. You might say that a healing sleep was just what the doctor ordered, but when I managed to drop off I was haunted by endless nightmares that sapped me as much as anything and to make matters worse these evil dreams had so much influence on my fevered mind that I couldn’t wake up and had to go on dreaming. I guess it was maybe two o’ clock, when Alleycat showed up and took his stand on the bedpost over my head. Pink followed him in to the room and she sat at my right hand, while Bamber, bless him, stood watch at my bedroom door and patrolled the threshold. After that there were no more nightmares. Bamber wouldn’t let them through the door and if any evil dream managed to slip past him Alleycat pounced on it and snuffed it out. All this makes me think of a snippet in Yeat’s autobiographies where he says that every evening he imagines a large, fierce guard dog in each comer of his bedroom and he sets these dogs there to sit through the night to keep bad dreams at bay. The only difference between our cases is that I had living, breathing cats to weave their protective thoughts across and around me.