During the time when the cat was weeing in the hall (which now seems to have passed, or do I indulge optimism too far?), I went to my friend the internet and asked how do you persuade your cat to wee outside. I opened up a world of controversy. Many Americans, it appears, never let their cats outside at all. This is just the weirdest thing I have ever heard in my life. It’s helicopter parenting gone mad. Outdoor cats (i.e. cats who are let out the door without a leash) don’t live as long. Your indoor cat can be kept happy by playing with it all the time. I particularly enjoyed reading about the compromise cat cage where you let your cat out the back garden in an enclosure. Come on, tell me you don’t think this is very odd.
I heard an American on the radio arguing for the merits of a charity gift card for Christmas. He listed the benefits as follows: 1. The charity benefits. 2. The donor feels good. 3. The recipient gets to feel like a rich person. This last one is not very convincing in this jurisdication. The culture of philantrophy so deeply ingrained in our American cousins is, alas, not present here. I think if you wanted to make an Irish man feel like a rich person, you would probably need to give him money rather than give money away on his behalf.