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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

Instructions for feeding the cat, by
Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH

? ' Dear Alice,
Help!!! You have left me in the lurch, telling me airily to 'feed the Rumbelows' cat', this evening, when you are out.

This is, I assume, the tortoiseshell hussy who, upon being greeted, 'Hi Topaz', is wont, with unutterable disdain, to stalk off in disgust.

Where is the food? Where are the Rumbelows' keys? And isn't this the cat that savaged the postman?

Ask Alice

Alice Dear Simon,
No, no, not the postman. It was only the milkman. You should have nothing to fear.

The keys are next to the garage key, and have a twee little dolphin on them.

The front door is slightly warped, so shove it. As you shove, say gleefully, 'Good cat, Topaz! I've come to feed you!'
(This is to alert the cat to run like a hare out the cat flap.)

The food is all out in the kitchen. She is extremely fussy, but try the salmon. She hasn't had salmon since Monday. (Last time I fed her chicken twice in a row, she wouldn't have any of it.) Do not dribble any of the gravy down the side, or it will be there until the second coming. Topaz only deigns to eat food properly served in the correct bowl. Which reminds me, use a clean fork to separate bits of the Felix cat food from the other bits. Believe me, Topaz knows if you cheat on this.

Should you come across Topaz, priestess of all she surveys, taking in the ozone on either the front or the back lawn, do not be tempted to pat her. (The little girl down the street is still in therapy.)

Should Topaz appear in the back garden, snarling at our dachshunds, you'll know that you are the one in the doghouse and You Have Been Late With the Evening Feed.

Apologies are useless. She will never forgive you.

Copyright © 11 July 2008 Alice McVeigh, Limoges, France

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