Pickle didn’t come in this evening, despite the bitter cold and us calling out for her frequently. A week or more ago she didn’t re-appear until morning, absolutely ravenous for her breakfast; and she’s done the same before. I was beginning to worry that she was unhappy at our house: she’s always been a bit of a loner and independent, and maybe she’s taken up with a neighbour who fusses over her and doesn’t have a house full of other cats and dogs! I’d just reconciled myself to that possibility, and mentally ‘let go of her’ when suddenly she appeared at the window desperate to come in. But J says she wasn’t cold or damp, so she may have been – say – mousing in Mary and Patrick’s shed or store, and got shut in, escaping when Patrick went out to shut the dog in the shed or get some coal for the Rayburn. Whatever the explanation, Pickle has been purring and fussing us, just to let us know how much she likes us.