Freddie and Gemma both used to play a game on me. The game would start when I was sitting right in front of the cat. The cat would suddenly look over my shoulder with great intensity and stare at the wall behind me. I would look at the cat and say “What’s the matter, Freddie?” or “What have you seen, Gemma?”

Their gaze would be unwavering as though they were watching aliens landing outside the window or seeing a vast spider walking across the wall. Occasionally, Gemma would even get up on her front haunches to intensify the effect. I would put my hand in front of their eyes and they would move their head, I would block their gaze again and they would move their head again.

Eventually, curiosity would get the better of me and I would like round to see what they were staring at. Of course, there was never anything there and when I turned back to look at the cats they would be curled up fast asleep, apart from one eye peeking out from above their tail. An eye that said most eloquently “I won, I made you look.” I would just smile and admit they had got me again.

My next door neighbours used to tell me that my cats liked sitting in the window and being close to their two dogs. I couldn’t believe this as the cats regarded all dogs with considerable contempt; the smaller a dog was, the more the cats looked down their noses at it. I decided to watch what happened one day when I was at home.

The cats were in the window sill lying down and enjoying occasional sunny spells of weather. A few minutes later next door’s dogs came over to the window and started barking at my cats. They started to paw at the window and the sound of the claws on the glass awoke Freddie and Gemma. They looked at the dogs who began to wag their tails as they were pleased they’d got the attention of the cats.

Both of the cat’s tails were wagging slightly as they looked contemptuously at the dogs. The dogs began to bark again and paw at the glass. Once this happened, both Freddie and Gemma started to hiss at the dogs and extend their paws towards them although the cats seemed to be aware that the glass would prevent them from scratching the dogs. After ten minutes of hissing and jabbing the cats were fed up and decided they were hungry, so they jumped down from the window and left the dogs staring into the window. The cats didn’t seem to have enjoyed their interaction with the dogs.