Tim Dowling: the cat is using my lettuce bed as a litter tray. He’ll be sorry

Tim Dowling: the cat is using my lettuce bed as a litter tray. He’ll be sorry

The cat glides past, avoiding eye contact.“I know it’s you, you little shit,” I say.“He just sees a big expanse of raked earth,” my wife says.“Everything is clearly labelled,” I say.

Tim Dowling: lessons in survival against the odds, from the tortoise

Tim Dowling: lessons in survival against the odds, from the tortoise

At that point we’d been married five years, and I’d never heard anything about a tortoise.“I thought he was giving me some kind of memento,” my wife says.“He was,” I say.

The painful loss of my dog gave me confidence to experience grief rather than shrug it off

The painful loss of my dog gave me confidence to experience grief rather than shrug it off

That said, I’ve been touched this time by how many have understood that a dog becomes part of a family.The final gift a dog gives its family is the lesson of loss .

Tim Dowling: the cat’s had his nuts off. Does no one else feel his pain?

Tim Dowling: the cat’s had his nuts off. Does no one else feel his pain?

Once out of the carrier, he walks round the kitchen table in unsteady circles, knocking into chair legs.“He’s still groggy,” the middle one says.My wife is washing up, and the youngest is at the table making guacamole, surrounded by a growing mess.“How is he?” I say, looking at the cat.

Tim Dowling: hunting for a tortoise in driving rain will shrink my inflated ego nicely

Tim Dowling: hunting for a tortoise in driving rain will shrink my inflated ego nicely

I watch as the tortoise attempts, not for the first time, to leave through the cat flap; I know from experience that he’s about a centimetre too wide.

Father of 22-year-old mauled by dogs details her ‘incredible fight to stay alive’

Father of 22-year-old mauled by dogs details her ‘incredible fight to stay alive’

"On the day that Jacqueline was going to the home, she was advised by text that the dogs were, as they normally were, out of their crates, with no warning to be extra careful or anything like that," John Durand told TODAY by phone from Coppell, a suburb of Dallas.

Tim Dowling: the cat and I are both struggling with the new cat flap

Tim Dowling: the cat and I are both struggling with the new cat flap

The cat never really mastered the old flap anyway – he sat in front of it for hours, delicately prying it open with one claw and watching it fall back into place.“You don’t pull, you push it, you idiot,” I would say.

Tim Dowling: I’m sent a photo of a tiny kitten… in the back of our car

Tim Dowling: I’m sent a photo of a tiny kitten… in the back of our car

An hour before, she comes into the kitchen with a cat carrier.“Where did that come from?” I say.“We had it,” my wife says.Looking again at the picture of the kitten, I notice it’s sitting in a brand-new cat carrier, on the back seat of our car.

Tim Dowling: I fear we may be getting a kitten. Or worse, a corgi

Tim Dowling: I fear we may be getting a kitten. Or worse, a corgi

I look down.“Not now,” I say.‘No, of course I don’t like corgis.’ Illustration: Peter Gamlen/The GuardianA few days later my wife rings me.“Do you like corgis?” she says.“What does that mean?” I say.“We’re going to look at a kitten,” my wife says.

Video shows football fans in Florida rescue dangling cat that fell from upper deck

Video shows football fans in Florida rescue dangling cat that fell from upper deck

Cromer, a University of Miami facilities manager, told the station that he and his wife untied the flag from the railing when they saw the cat clinging above them.

Tim Dowling: the cat has gone to the vet. I sit and await good news

Tim Dowling: the cat has gone to the vet. I sit and await good news

When the oldest one surfaces at about midday, I am still sitting in a chair watching the cat on the sofa.“The cat’s not well,” I say.“Isn’t he?” the oldest says.“Dad thinks he’s about to check out,” my wife says from the doorway, being unnecessarily faithful to my phrasing.“So take him to the vet,” the oldest one says.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review – Cumberbatch’s cat artist drowns in quirk

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review – Cumberbatch’s cat artist drowns in quirk

He plays eccentric Edwardian artist and illustrator Louis Wain, a lively and arguably brilliant man who might today be considered neurodiverse, and who certainly suffered from depression.

Tim Dowling: hallelujah, the dog’s gone on holiday

Tim Dowling: hallelujah, the dog’s gone on holiday

As the front door closes behind him, my own summer holiday begins: a week with no dog sleeping on my feet or barking every time the bell rings, or staring at me intently as I try to write, or read, or watch TV.“I hope they make it down OK,” my wife says.

Ex-marine vows not to flee Kabul without his animal rescue staff

Ex-marine vows not to flee Kabul without his animal rescue staff

Animal welfare activist Dominic Dyer started the campaign, and said he has been in touch with Mr Farthing after his wife tried to leave Kabul.

Tim Dowling: is the dog’s friendship with the fox sweet – or a bad omen?

Tim Dowling: is the dog’s friendship with the fox sweet – or a bad omen?

My wife sits up in bed.“What’s going on?” she says.“The dog is barking,” I say, standing up to look out the window.If you open the front door at night, the dog will often run out between your legs to chase the fox down an adjacent lane.

Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99

Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99

Getty ImagesWhen Prince Philip married then-Princess Elizabeth over 73 years ago on Nov. 20, 1947, he assumed the arguably difficult role of a prince consort, one very few men have held in royal history, requiring him to forever live in his wife’s shadow.

Tim Dowling: the dog needs a haircut, and I’m next in line

Tim Dowling: the dog needs a haircut, and I’m next in line

“I think that looks pretty good,” my wife says, standing back.“In the box,” my wife says.“Fix what?” the youngest says.“These are dog attachments, but whatever,” I say.He looks at me, and the youngest one, and then me again.“I’m good,” he says.

Why does The Queen love corgis and how many does she have?

Why does The Queen love corgis and how many does she have?

Queen Elizabeth II received her first corgi when she was seven (Picture: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)In 1933, when Her Majesty was seven years old, her father King George VI brought home Dookie, a Pembrokeshire Welsh corgi.

Tim Dowling: my wife wants to adopt a dog to live on our farm. Wait – what farm?

Tim Dowling: my wife wants to adopt a dog to live on our farm. Wait – what farm?

Later that night, I find my wife at her desk, looking at what appears to be a website dedicated to the adoption of abandoned dogs from around the world.“What are you doing?” I say.“Look at Lucky!” she says.“Are you trying to adopt a dog?” I say.“To live on our farm!” she says.“But we have a dog,” I say.

Joe and Jill Biden are bringing a cat to the White House

Joe and Jill Biden are bringing a cat to the White House

"President-elect @JoeBiden and his wife @DrBiden won’t just be bringing their German shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House,” a Friday evening tweet from CBS Sunday Morning read.President-elect @JoeBiden and his wife @DrBiden won’t just be bringing their German shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House.