Anna was trying to pet the cat, Emma, just now, at a moment when Emma didn’t care to be petted. Emma is amazingly tolerant of the attentions of a three-year-old, but when she tires of it she will administer a token nip or very light tap with her claws which usually gets the message across (and has so far failed to draw any blood.) Emma batted at Anna’s hand, and so I tried to explain to Anna that you can’t make cats do anything, and that if they don’t want to be petted it was best to leave them alone.

Anna considered this information very seriously, then looked at me and said, “Then we should get a DOG.”