My mum was a cat. A tame, domestic cat. She liked her comforts. She was a timid one, a scaredy-cat who liked to stay close to home and to her people who made her feel safe. There, she was happy to be cooed at and petted. My dad liked to stroke her, and we kids were not allowed to interfere with her comfort. She came forth occasionally and ventured out on to the street, so long as someone safe was with her to protect her. She liked to lick the cream off life, and she hated loud noises. She didn’t like swimming or hiking, or getting into the dirt, and she hated mice and was always intent on destroying them. She was very private about personal matters, even secretive. And she was oh so fastidious about her person. You never saw my Mum ungroomed. She had an aloof air with people she didn’t know, and if she didn’t like you she would simply freeze you out by ignoring you. She had great dignity, my Mum, and she was quite vain. She knew she was very decorative to look at.