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Cool for cats

Poor Louis.

Already plagued by demons of unknown origin, the younger of our two cats is more agitated than usual.

He's taken to scouring and thumping away in the litter tray at the precise moment I wake. Not such a big deal, I hear you say, but what I haven't told you is that the tray sits at the door of the bedroom, perhaps 10 feet from my head. For a cat who spends 95% of his time hiding from the world - he's as black as night, which helps - such shenanigans are bordering on the perverse.

The source of his anxiety is a change of environment. The cats, their matron and I have been decanted en masse from our garret on the fringes of civilised society to an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, not very yellow, polka-dot-free garden flat in a postcode widely recognised as among Glasgow's most exclusive (read: unaffordable to all but the independently wealthy, surgeons, QCs and, um, "entrepreneurs").

In the meantime, back in Beirut a platoon of tradesmen is dismantling and rebuilding our bathroom, all bar the new suite being funded by the buildings insurance. It's no fun having someone else's suds coming into your salle de bain from upstairs, but you can't argue with the gratis services of first-class tradesmen - that clicking sound is my pre-arthritic fingers being crossed - for a fortnight.

The last time he was weighed by the vet, Louis's brother Morris was judged to be 40% heavier than his sibling, and yet the ginger colossus - all 6.5kg of him - took to his new surroundings with trademark calm.

It's all the more remarkable given the proportions of the garden flat, which make Lilliput look like London. Morris's nightly 100m on a lounge-hall-bedroom loop have been curtailed out of necessity to barely a long jump, and had he the inclination he could wee and wash the windows simultaneously. Is he ruffled? Not a bit of it.

Being indoor cats, Louis and Morris can't even avail themselves of the greatest upside of their relocation: a stroll through the streets, which, though dense with badly parked cars, are fringed by some of the finest mansions in the city; sandstone wonders the likes of me can only dream of affording.

There's one behaviour the move has yet to thwart, though, and that's Louis' persistent suckling of whichever part of his brother's oversized body is most readily accessible - arm, neck, flank - as if guzzling on his mother's milk. Those demons are impervious to change, worse luck.

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