Dimchurch Spire is a fictionalised version of the town where I live with my cats and my wife. I was remembering Kipling’s stories when I came up with the name; it’s based on a place-name that occurs in the title of one of his children’s tales, but the look and feel of the place owes just as much to the other books I read as a child and later on as an adult. The geography of Dimchurch is focused on Six Foot Way, where Alleycat lives, and down his alley is the house that no one notices until the house is ready to be seen. If anyone ever points it out to the neighbours, they smile and rub their eyes and say: That old place! I’m surprised it’s still standing after all these years. And if they can’t see the house, they don’t stand a chance of knowing about the ginger cat that has lived there since Adam was a Lad and guarded the fences from that day to this day, year in, year out, ad infinitum. Go one way along the Six Foot and you’ll come to Bugle Street. Go the other way and you’ll come to the railway station where Pink and Bamber were stolen from their mother when they were only a day old. It was Susan Skew, the head witch, who did the stealing and set the story’s wheels turning.