When the cat was away, Lamb had been known to remark, the mice started farting about with notions of democratic freedom. Then the cat returned in a tank.
‘You want to offer a little context?’ he asked.
‘Well, you and me, we’re issues. You’ve got your gambling addiction—’
‘It’s not an addiction—’
‘And me, apparently I’m “irritable”.’
‘You broke a dude’s nose, Shirl.’
‘He was asking for it.’
‘He was asking for a couple of quid.’
‘For Children in Need.’
‘He was dressed as a fucking rabbit. I assumed he was dangerous.’
Lamb tortured his chair further by leaning back: if a living thing had made the resulting noise, you’d have called a vet. Or the police.