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Don't ever buy one of these

No, cats are hopeless pets.

The first task you have to embark on when you have taken delivery of a nice fluffy kitten is to teach it not to scrape its claws down the arm of your sofa and not to crap on the carpet. This requires patience and a fair amount of animal cruelty. If it dumps in your slippers the best way, apparently, of making sure there isn’t a repeat performance is to rub Fluffy’s nose in its own turd – an unpleasant practice for both parties involved.

Once you have negotiated that first hurdle you will inevitably be faced with the issue of sofa abuse. If Fluffy keeps clawing your Habitat special it’s important that you resist the temptation to drop-kick him over the next door neighbour’s fence but it is quite acceptable to beat it on the head with a table tennis bat in order to get the message across.

If the disciplinary action has had the desired effect, cat-ownership convention implores you to install a cat flap so your pet can terrorise other animals in the neighbourhood, bring home dead sparrows and generally go out and lead a life of Reilly. Throughout this you will have to accept that your house will forever smell of one or two things: mulched-up horse and cat crap.

The exterior of your home will fare no better. Your rear lawn has now become a sizeable lavatory for your pet and any attempt at mowing will lead to garden carnage. As your Flymo redistributes your cat’s faecal matter you’ll experience that gut-wrenching stench that is second only to a rotting corpse. The cat, meanwhile, will be happy to observe his handiwork from the security of the neighbour’s fence.

As time goes on your furry friend will become increasingly miserable. It clearly has had disappointment in its life: it hasn’t dumped in all the gardens in the area or woken up enough people in the middle of the night as result of a fight. Its diet has been limited to horse and the mice-and-bird killing stats are way below Marmalade’s two doors along.

As a way of settling scores there will come a day when Fluffy will lance your children’s faces, leaving them scarred for life. Its final act of revenge will be to suffer a stroke, it’ll walk with one leg dragging along and you’ll have to shell out £120 to end the misery.

A cat is a 16-year mistake that’ll hurt you from day one. If you are determined to have an animal in your life, adopt a penguin from London Zoo. Somebody will look after it and you can visit it whenever you like.

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