If you have an ageing darling like I do, I have some advice about keeping your limbs intact.

My cat is mostly black and her usual repose is as a curled up lump on a brown settee.

`They say cats’ ears never shut down. For what it’s worth I think that’s mostly true. I do not take my italics lightly. If a cat is in non-hearing mode and doesn’t respond to voice, do not under any circumstances prod a cat that has it’s ears shut down. If you’re just checking they’re alive you’ll find out at teatime anyway.

A prodded cat whose hearing is off turns into a force of nature, mainly of claws. And any cat owner knows how even a tiny cat can literally inflict GBH.

I nevertheless made this mistake and have a lump of my finger missing,

If it happens just put up with it though. Never go to hospital because they’ll just laugh their knickers off at you.