Okay so I finally did it - booked my three furry companions into the cattery for Christmas; my usual one was fully booked and I've had to book them in somewhere else (I'm going to check it out tomorrow) which was the only one I could find that wasn't fully booked up, probably (hopefully) because it is more expensive than the others and charges a significant amount extra for Christmas Day: I assumed that this was because staff were being paid extra (I hope they are - anyone working Christmas Day deserves it) but I was told that the real reason is that the cats get extra attention on Christmas Day plus a cooked Christmas dinner! I still can't get out of my head the picture of a whole crowd of cats with party hats on, pulling Christmas crackers and playing pass the parcel. Still it's nice to know they'll get nice treats for Christmas (though I shall be giving them their own Christmas when I get back from visiting my brother in Oxford) (just in case anyone thinks I'm a bad mum).
Anyway the picture I formed of the Christmas cattery scene reminded me of the illustrations of artist Louis Wain, who drew and painted a whole series of anthropomorphic cats in the middle of the nineteenth century. These are two of his works which seem to fit the situation, and are close to the picture I conjured up (though I trust mouse pie will not actually be on the menu).