You know, I’m supposed to have a pretty container frothing with flowers just outside my front door to welcome visitors. The idea was that I filled it with colourful bedding, petunias or some such, in summer and replanted with a cheery mix of winter pansies and maybe some spring bulbs in about November.

Well: this is it.

Yes, those are – or rather, were – the bedding plants under the cat. The trouble is that the very thing that makes this a good spot for bedding – sunny, bright spot and all that – also makes it very covetable to pussycats.

My late and much-lamented black-and-white cat Rumble used to do exactly the same: in fact, I had christened this very container the Rumble Memorial Pot after he died, and it always made me a little sad to see bedding actually thriving in it instead of being squashed. So since Rumble’s junior partner in crime Pippa has taken to doing the same thing I’m rather perversely cheerful now that I’m having to look at a pot of dead foliage all summer once more.