Another scrap, another visit to the cat doctor, another dose of medicine and another timely disappearing act from Sue to a netball tournament. The net results is man versus cat in the act of drug administration.

It looks so simple in demonstration mode. cradle cat in arm with his back to you, wrap arm over his furry little legs, take pill, gently prise open mouth , pop pill in, close mouth. Cat leaves lap, licks lips and strolls off to cause mischief elsewhere.

That is the Hanes cat operator handbook approach. The reality is that cats squirm like billy-o and have four swishing sithing limps and a mouth that only opens when it feels like it. Luckily, because of their dimness, they aren’t sure what you are up to, so get it right first time you are alright. Fail this attempt, you are on the losing side’s sub bench for eternity.

Each attempt was getting more dis-heartening as the feline would un wittingly produce one victory after another. Trawling the internet, there were some very smug people who had successfully administered medication using cunning, brute force and even cheese. I had one plan, which was to hide behind the settee with the pill loaded into a straw, the beast would be kipping on the chair opposite and when he shuffles to another position, he would generally give out a yawn. At that point I would leap up and fire the pill through the make shift blow pipe into the open mouth. Of course this only happened in a brain storming dream, which I dismissed on engaging a sensible head.

On each occasion, I dearly wanted to succeed and went into the task with renewed enthusiasm. Armed with a dressing gown to wrap around my feline foe, head up, finger inserted into the edge of the mouth to prise it open. All good so far! Other finger with pill inserted in to opening and other finger removed. Some licking of lips followed and a successful delivery was complete. I patted myself on the back, let the beast go and went to make a celebratory cup of tea. I may even have a chocolate biscuit.

A couple of hours had passed and I made my way upstairs, I passed the large mirror in the hall way and something caught my eye. There was a small pink mark on my shirt and on closer inspection, it was more than that. It was Dipstick’s pill adhering itself to my shirt with the aid of a little cat spittle.

There was a smug cat hiding somewhere in the house, if only I knew where.