Last year there was snow in the Six Foot and I woke in the night to a series of sonorous thuds, like someone beating an ancient drum. Something told me that Alleycat was in trouble and needed me, so I ran downstairs to find that his cat-flap had frozen solid and he was out in the cold, bashing it with his front paws. The snow was piled high around him, almost up to his shoulders. I managed to get him in and that was that. Except that last night the banging came again, just like last time, and I jumped out of bed (it was midnight) and ran to examine the cat-flap. I knelt and stared through it and caught a glimpse of Alleycat, standing on high at the end of the washing line that stretches from the side of the house. At the other end I saw a grey cat – the same grey that I’d seen at the station yard, driving the train. And Alleycat raised a paw, and slid along the line, and the grey marauder backed away and sank into the wall and vanished away from him. I looked through the window at where he’d been, but all that I saw was a washing line swaying in the wind, and no cat at all. It happened so fast I can’t be sure what I witnessed, but I think I must have seen into Alleycat’s world of moon and shadow. Go down any of Alleycat’s paths, and you’ll find yourself in his world of strange occurrences, but that world vanishes as soon as you turn your back on it, and that’s what happened to me last night, I think. Of course, I couldn’t take a photo, but here’s one of Pink instead, sat on the fence right next to the rope that Alleycat slid along. By the way, if any of you are interested, Dean Harkness is working on the cover for The Ginge Club and the Hidden Kingdom and I’ll hope to post some more about it soon. I had a lot of nice comments about the last cover he did for me.