'You've got that cat in bed haven't you?' calls the accusatory voice up the stairs.
'Nooo.' you lie, desperately trying to stop Katmandu from squirming under the bed sheets.
'Oh yes you have!' insists the voice. He's not down here. You must have.'
'No, I haven't.' you plead. 'Honest.'
'Hrmph! I know your brand of honesty!'
The ominous tread upon the stair. The amber eyes glowering unimpressed beneath the bedsheets. The bedroom doorknob turning slowly in the fashion of a Hitchcock film.
Katmandu sensing he is about to be forced to keep utterly still snuggled against your chest grows jittery, rebellion gleaming in his saucer eyes. The long shadow looms over the bed.
Katmandu starts squirming downwards and tickling your nightshirt-bare legs with his fur. You try not to giggle while worrying about possible claw-work if he doesn’t get his way. Suddenly he makes a dash for it, finding an escape chink in the bedsheets and a thump is heard on the bedroom floor.
‘I knew it!’ exclaims your bedtime jailer triumphantly. ‘Your foot just moved all the way to the end of the bed and jumped out of it.’
‘I’ve got restless legs’ you protest, moving a leg quickly and unfeasibly under the bedclothes by way of unconvincing illustration. But Katmandu has betrayed you by scuttling under the bed and making a break for the door with a final miaow to indicate his displeasure at the ignominy.
'He knows he's not allowed up here, so you've got no excuses! He could have fleas or anything! One more incident like this and there'll be no pocket money for a certain someone on Saturday, young lady.'
Your mother turns toward the door, but in the half-rays of the yellow landing light, you could swear you detect a smirk.
How many times this little scene played out in my childhood from the ages of about 3 to 15, with only slight amendments to both script and cat! Does anyone else have an oft-repeated little childhood scenario they would like to share?