Right under our noses, in our homes, cities and towns, on our sofas and laps, a quiet invasion has been taking place. The cat is now officially the most popular pet in the Western world. In Britain alone it's reckoned there are 12 million cats, a vast,softly purring army which it seems we are utterly powerless to resist.
We don't have a cat. Well, not any more. For 18 years we had a gorgeous cat called The Bee. When he died, I missed him more than I could ever have imagined. I still think about him every day. We even gave him a little gravestone.
People say that you choose a dog, but the cat chooses you. And people say that cats are 1)aloof. Well I don't know about that, all I know is that The Bee, our beloved cat, was much more than a pet, he was a friend. We loved him dearly. And do you know, I think he loved us dearly too.
And yet I wonder if I ever really knew The Bee any more than I know the neighbourhood cats that now wander through our garden. Unlike dogs, so much of what cats do is secret and 2)nocturnal. Mysterious. It helps to explain why some people find them so disturbing. And why so many others find cats irresistible.