Yesterday evening there was a knock on the front door. No one knocks on our front door, they always come in via the kitchen, so that was strange right away. I never receive unexpected callers either and everyone knows it, so I was more than surprised when the knocking continued and didn’t stop, and I was more than annoyed when the dogs didn’t bark at all. I hate to think of my dogs being cowed, so I ran to investigate and flung the door wide open. There on the other side of the threshold was an old, thin-looking woman with a gipsy ring on her outstretched hand and a hooky nose on her narrow face. Yet she wasn’t thin exactly, more wiry than anything, and she had big bones, and steely muscles, and if I thought she was thin I didn’t think she looked puny. Far from it. This was a formidable woman, you understand. Here! she said, and I stood my ground and said nothing because I was amazed and disconcerted. Here, she repeated. Here, you! Do you want your fortune reading! Now, for all that I would love to have my fortune read, I am afraid to see into the future, so I held out my hand in front of me and opened the palm in her face to show her what I thought of her question. The grim old woman didn’t speak again, but she stared through me and fixed her gaze on something behind me. She crooked a finger and beckoned it to come and when I turned I saw bears, dozens of bears, crawling along the tiled floor of the hall towards me (or rather towards her). Alleycat! I cried. Alleycat, where are you!