Scene: Sunday afternoon. Clare is reading the Saga magazine of summer holiday cruises, focusing on a pleasantly indolent two weeks on the Greek islands.
"Fourteen days with plenty of time to ourselves; it's one out of three on their 'hectic' meter. I'm beginning to think that Saga knows me."
"You mean, like IKEA and Waitrose 'know' you?"
"Of course, we couldn't do it until the cat goes."
Note: although the cat can theoretically live for an indefinite period in our absence, subsisting on a mound of dry cat food, in practice it tends to panic and go neurotic if left more than three days by itself. Plus occasional dribbling and vomiting, decaying vole corpses, the odd bird ...
"You're possibly not aware that the animal is a creature of many surprising talents. I was planning on dropping him into one of the freezer compartments. Then he'd be no bother at all."
"In fact it's a shame we don't have a microwave, as a gentle defrost would be just the thing to bring him round, once we're back."
"You spend too much time with your mother's robot pets."
How's that hedgehog gene-splicing thing going? I'm in!