Please excuse my absence last week. My editor very kindly said I was “off,” and indeed I was. I was, as we would say in Australia, “flat out like a lizard drinking.”

To elucidate: Imagine a lizard in the desert finding a small drop of water. The lizard, ergo, would take the water where and when he finds it and concentrate his entire being on the consumption of same. I was therefore “off” (like the fairies).

So (deep breath), I was really busy preparing to take a few days off, therefore cramming into three days what I might achieve in six. The reason being the pending arrival of my darling daughter, Madam, and her lovely husband, ergo my equally lovely son-in-law, Beau, this week.

They have indeed arrived, and are, indeed, quite lovely, I am most delighted to report.

We have had many laughs over a phenomenon Sir and I are living as we speak. We seem to have adopted a couple of semi-feral cats.

First came Oreo, whom I, in my ignorance at the time, dubbed Adolph – the cat having a rather Hitleresque hairstyle. I evidently got it wrong as several neighbors know her to be Oreo, and thus, in a bit of a nod to René Descartes, who said “I think, therefore I am.” It is therefore “said to be Oreo, therefore she is.” She’s very small and very sweet in a sort of semi-feral sort of way.

We then met Junior, of unknown sex but of positive origin, it being a black and white image of its mum. We have then encountered Domino, a mini version of the previous two, and without a doubt Big Daddy who is a humongous Persian-like feline who we believe is domestic but hasn’t needed the frozen pea treatment as the owners haven’t seen fit to send him up to the vet for a quiet snipping. We believe there is another mini-me, whom we have dubbed Polka Dot in anticipation of our meeting.

Now Sir is a self-confessed cat-derisor. He views a cat as a rather irritating small dog, and so gets all a bit confused when he barks “what are you doing here?” and gets surprised when they run away.

This is not what he expects to see. He expects puppy eyes and tail wagging. He just plainly doesn’t understand the feline brain.

Well, Madam and I, I think, have set him straight. As I said to Sir, “Sweetheart, if you speak like that to a dog, he will do everything in his power to ingratiate himself to you (or bite you in the bum, take your pick).”

He asked, therefore, what a cat would do. Without hesitation, I responded “a cat will take it under advisement.”

This has tickled his funny bones for days – but Madam has trumped me.

With Sir muttering about the loyalty of the canine, Madam leveled him with the best quote:

“Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.”

So, it was with much laughter that Sir leveled Junior with a look tonight, muttering, “It’s 8 o’clock, already, the staff has gone home.”

Junior, as you might imagine, took it under advisement, sniffed and slunk off.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at