It‘s winter, don’t you know, and the cats are staying indoors until the snow clears. Even the dogs are hiding from the cold, because they’re soft little cocker spaniels and Bernie has to wear a quilted jacket at all times, just to be sure. The humans on the other hand are usually out and about, and instead of waiting for the cold to abate they grind the snow down with their heels and think they’re heroes if they go to the shops. But Alleycat knows that the winter is for gathering the Ginge Club around the fire and making them listen to his mouldy tales. He’s not as strong as he used to be, but he still sits higher than anyone and the rest of the animals look up to him and listen to his confabulations. The dogs probably think they’re important, because he allows them on to the sofa, but they’re just living cushions and sources of ready-made heat for the rest of the Ginge Club to cozy up to when the nights draw in and the frost starts to snap at the window. Bamber and Pink sit at the front, listening, and Alleycat’s usually on the arm of the sofa, preparing to orate. When Alleycat isn’t reciting his endless stories and forcing everyone to listen, Bamber and Pink play up; they scratch the sofa, they jump on the dog’s heads and they paddle across them when they’re asleep. You can see that Bamber likes to play up. You only have to look at him in the eyes to know that he likes to be naughty, and Alleycat encourages him to disrespect the dogs, but if the dogs don’t listen to the Ginge Club’s winter tales they get a good telling off. In the end though, when years and years have gone by, it’ll be Bamber who sits on the highest point, and Bamber who tells tall tales, and Alleycat will listen in the corner, because Bamber will be in charge of the Ginge Club and Alley will be an old gaffer with gums instead of teeth. Of course that day may never come, but if it does at least Alleycat will have taught Bamber the old tales and Bamber will know how to tell them. That’s better than going to the shops and spending money.