‘I am not a cat person,’ I explain to the creature that is trapping me with its gaze.
But still, I suffer the scrutiny. It furls around me, pushing its cheeks into my legs, marking me, no doubt, with some subtle cat stench. I move my legs away and bump along the sofa. Will my host notice if I change seats while they are making coffee? The thing pursues me, am I its prey? Oh God, not its scratch post! It climbs its front paws up me.
‘Nothing personal,’ I tell the beast, ‘I'm just not that into you.’ I tentatively take its paws and lower them to the floor. It slinks away.
Phewing to myself I grab a newspaper from the coffee table and leaf through for the horoscopes. Aquarius: Expect the unexpected.
Obviously I don’t follow this advice, because I nearly wet myself when the cat leaps through the paper and onto my lap.