Alley Cat was still watching the little wooden cat running into the sunset, when suddenly Bobby, the policeman, jumped out of nowhere and threw her to the ground. “I am arresting you on suspicion of criminal intent” he shouted. Alley Cat was scared stiff. Her first thought was “Thank God, there are no guns in Dedeland. If there were, I would be dead. Seven lives and all!” Only afterwards did she wonder what she must have done to deserve this treatment.

This incident raised new questions. While Alley Cat was still counting her blessed seven lives, one of our readers asked “shouldn’t she have nine?” And true, this is one of the riddles I couldn’t solve so far. In Germany where I come from cats have only seven lives, while in English speaking countries they have nine. What have the German cats done that they are shortchanged by two lives. Can anyone explain this to me, please? The next question of course, should Alley Cat have only seven lives, because she was created by a German or should she have nine lives, as she was created in New Zealand? What a conundrum.