Bartholomew Sharp was probably the only pirate to be an astrologer as well as a buccaneer; his parrot (Captain Morgan) helped him cast horoscopes and read fortunes. Parrots are capable familiars because they live a long time and accumulate great wisdom along the way. As well as his parrot, Sharp often had a water-dog or two aboard ship, but they never did anything except bark at things. It’s the same in our house; Lucy and Bernie are in thrall to Alleycat and never get the better of him. The other day Pink decided to walk across the sofa where Bernie and Lucy were asleep, and instead of stepping between them she stood on their heads and necks and faces and they didn’t complain at all because Alleycat was watching. Pink thinks that dogs like being used as doormats; she doesn’t understand that she only gets away with it because Alleycat ordains it so. If you’re going to be a magical person you have to study long hours and burn the midnight oil. and Pink’s not doing that at all. Of course, she can be as lazy and playful as she likes, because as long as Alleycat’s looking after her she’ll always be all right.