I used to amuse myself by sitting on the garden wall overlooking the park, watching the Humans cavorting about with balls, or walking their dogs. Like Humans, dogs do like to chase about mindlessly after balls! We cat persons can do this too when we feel like it, but we prefer to sit and contemplate the world, conserving our energies for serious philosophical thought. As a matter of fact, I am the Fastest Paw in the West when it comes to playing hand-pat or chasing birds. You know the drill for bird-catching: I freeze in whatever pose I happened to be in when I spotted it; I hold that pose, left front paw raised (I’m a south paw), until I’ve calculated the odds; then I streak after it at the speed of light. Actually I’m not so successful these days, partly because, well, I’ve slowed into middle-aged lethargy, and partly because The Carers shout at me if they spot this manoeuvre, which puts me off my stride. The little-uns – robin and wren – are too smart to get caught anyway, but the wood pigeons are too heavy to manage a swift vertical take-off, so I have a chance there. The only time I tried a vertical take-off was when I was walking round the rim of the bath and slipped into the old Carer’s bathwater.