Just a week after writing that I am effectively retired, my wife, rather awkwardly, has had other ideas.

“I have just the job for you,” she said. “We need a cat manager.”

Not only is this the nightmare scenario of having your wife as your boss, but I am not qualified, I didn’t apply for it, the pay is awful, and the job is impossible.

If you Google ‘cat manager’, you will find that because CAT can stand for ‘cable avoidance tools’, some electricians make their living in this specialist field, which is mostly concerned with making sure contractors don’t drill or cut through live wires.

But our version is all about keeping control of our own live wire, a black-and-white cat called Alfie.

I don’t know if any scientists have ever confirmed this, but a lifetime’s experience of owning cats tells us that black-and-white ones are, for some reason, naughtier than the rest, and we suspect that Alfie knows this, and thinks he has a reputation to live up to.

Worse still: he seems to have a sixth sense about what cat behaviours humans consider naughty, and we are convinced that sometimes he does things only because he knows they are not allowed.

For instance, he is officially barred from using the front door because that puts him in reach of a dangerous road, but several times a day he makes his way from the back of the house to the front garden, and insists on staying there until we let him back in.

For some time we speculated that he wasn’t bright enough to retrace his steps to the back door, but now we are convinced it’s all about making us open the front door for him.

Of course, this is not the only thing that makes Alfie a bad cat.

As all cats do, he likes to bring things in the house that don’t belong there, and so far these have included a mouse, a rat, several frogs, and two things that, according to my tape measure, won’t actually fit through the cat flap at the same time as Alfie, namely a fully grown and flapping pigeon and a stick as long as my arm.

He jumps up on worktops, searching for scraps, which he used to do when we weren’t looking, but now he doesn’t care who sees.

He also takes delight in antagonising our other cat, the mild-mannered, all-black Poppy, who is the most beautiful cat on the planet, so is mostly too busy imagining she is a queen to get up to Alfie’s antics.

I could list more of them, but suffice to say that if you were to write down all the things humans don’t want cats to do, Alfie does all of them.

And when he isn’t doing them, you can tell from the look on his face that he is thinking up other ways to be mischievous.

Unfortunately, anyone who has ever had a cat can testify that it doesn’t matter how much you tell it off, or try to discipline it, because they never learn lessons, and do exactly as they please.

For this reason, I decided my boss’s expectations and demands for daily progress reports were unrealistic, and by the third day I decided to tell her where she could stick her cat management job.

So now I am, ironically, in the doghouse.

I was sent to bed with no supper, I don’t know if I’m allowed on the sofa, and I’m definitely under strict orders not to being home any birds.

But it was worth it.