Our friend Smirnoff, shown here in an off-duty moment enjoying the sun, is a great character. He is a bruiser with a heart of butter, he is a great actor too, one of his finest parts being ‘I am a poor starving pussy, I am the Oliver Twist of the feline world, and I am sooooo hungry.’ He is always willing to be helpful, checking that I’m putting out the washing correctly, pruning just the right bits off the shrubs, pulling up weeds not plants from the vegetable beds. He loves companionship, nothing better than to find the patch of sunlight on our front room carpet, or the warm place where the hot water pipes run beneath the floor boards of the landing, or the cosy place on the duvet in the bedroom. The people he owns are our neighbours, but they are at work all day earning enough to keep him in breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I do actually wonder if maybe he is here incognito, and really he is:

Macivity the Mystery Cat

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw –
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air –
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

Mcavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square –
But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

T.S. Eliot

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