I believe it is well documented that the possession of a pet in the house provides health benefits, including increased psychological wellbeing and an important factor in stabilising blood pressure levels. First, a routine visit to the vet with the black labrador for annual vaccinations, worming, general maintenance check. A small nodule has been discovered which needs removal as well as treatment for tooth decay (the dog has not been flossing). I’m going to encourage the Things to become vets on the back of the bill. Second, the cat has moved on from the tendency to bring me small rodents, and is now content to chew her way through any wire in the house. Computer cables, phone chargers, sewing machine lead, shoe laces, iron cord. You’d think she’d suffer an electric shock; maybe she enjoys the thrill. Third, there is nobody in the house who would like to clean the fish tank. Except me, of course. Next to putting out the bins, picking up dog mess from the garden, and disposing of rodent guts from bedroom carpets, it’s up there on my list of favourite jobs. Just off to buy some more phone chargers. Blood pressure problems? Not me!