XANDER is the friendliest of the two tom cats in the house in Hounslow where we’ve been staying with relatives this weekend. Xander is the black and white cat who appears in all but one of my sketches. Alfie, the tabby, is more wary of visitors and settled with us only briefly, while Xander soon accepted us, treating us as part of the furniture.

They’re both large cats, despite the careful control their owners take to ensure they don’t eat too much, however neighbours report that both Xander and Alfie have been known to go visiting and, while they’re there, eat the rations left for other cats.

In my childhood we always had a cat, occsaionally two, in the house. I could get used to it again. I’d never be short of a subject to draw and it’s comforting to have one sitting on your lap or settling down next to you on the sofa. but I like the freedom that comes with not having to make arrangements for their care if we suddenly decide to set off somewhere for a day or two.