I have adopted a cat. RSPCA homecheck willing, she’ll be with us in a week.

She’s old. About 12. A stray. Her teeth are manky and they’re not sure she’d survive an operation to mend them, she has terribly crackly lungs and her back is matted, scabby and dandruffy. But this is all cosmetic. She is inherently beautiful, an elegant, slender grey creature, full of affection, and she is coming to live with me.

I didn’t go looking for an older cat. She chose me. I went into her pen, and she licked me. A done deal.

I will heal my abandoned, broken, unloved self through this abandoned, broken, unloved cat.

And she will serve as receptacle for that flavour of love in me that can’t resist a lame, broken soul. I will pour all of that patient, gentle, well-meaning kind of love into her, and there won’t be any left over to fall for any lame, broken men.

She’s important, this cat. She marks a turning point.