Many things can wake you with a start during a night of restful slumber – an unusual sound downstairs, breaking glass, a random earthquake (although it won’t wake Carole) or nightmares.

One of the most dramatic, I’ve found, is the realisation that you’re sleepily stroking a cat’s arsehole.

Peppa enjoys, throughout the night, leaping upon our sleeping forms for a bit of a snuggle. She will, on occassion, leap from atop the chest of drawers landing with an impact which threatens to fold a person in two. But most of the time she seems to be able to tell when you’re in that period of sleep where you’re slightly aware of your surroundings, rather than full on dream state.

As we sleep she’ll do a variety of things – she hooks her head over the top of the duvet as though checking on our well-being. She’ll place a lightly clawed paw upon a cheek, or neck, and give you an ever-so-slightly painful affectionate stroke. Or she’ll turn round and round for a bit before settling down to whack you with her tail.

Often times, I am usually just awake enough to know she’s there and to give her a little stroke before I drift back off to sleep. She particularly enjoys having her underbelly tickled, or the sides of her tummy. And her chin is always fair game.

Last night I was aware she was there. I reached out – two furry legs. I followed the legs up, assuming I would find body, neck and head.

It was not body, neck and head.

Unless she had, prior to getting on the bed, made a bee-line for the lemon juice and realky gone to town.

All there was, beneath my sleepy fingers, was a bumhole. A little puckery cat’s bumhole.

I’d say it took my brain, sleeping as it was, just a little too long to realise than it probably should.

Peppa and I have not yet made eye contact today…