Our three feral cats are becoming steadily more tame – one in particular which you can now pick up and really rather likes all the attention; one who is getting used to being stroked, and the third who thinks that humans are to be regarded with great suspicion, but follows along anyway. Now the problem is that they all follow us up from their hideaway in the hay shed to the house, and Lyra doesn’t get that we don’t want three un-housetrained kittens indoors.


We also have this lady, who is allegedly Mummy Hen reincarnated (remember the desperately independent ex-battery hen we had?) and who having been fed leftover bran flakes now regards our kitchen as her own.


At every opportunity she is to be found wandering about the house – she turned up in the bedroom yesterday – and is completely undeterred by either us or the dog.