So Gail comes bouncing down the stairs this morning.
"Happy Birthday Bertie! I can't believe you are five years old already. And guess what, I have the BEST EVER birthday present for you."
I wait politely, slightly surprised (based on past experience), that she has actually remembered it is my birthday. Given that Gail is also the world's least imaginative present giver, I have no great hopes of scoring the sort of birthday bonanza that many of my blogging pals might confidently expect.
"Bertie, can you imagine? Human Granny is coming out of hospital today. She is going to a rehabilitation facility now for a few weeks, where they will try to get her walking again. isn't that just brilliant news? Not so long ago we were thinking she wouldn't survive her illness."
"Better yet, I think you might even be allowed to visit her once she has settled in. Won't that be fun?"
Well of course I am thrilled that Human Granny is getting better and that I might see her again soon.
But it's not so very selfish, is it, to hope for something just a wee bit more, er, tangible in the way of a gift on one's fifth birthday?
I give Gail my best expectant look.
"OK Bertie, and now we are off for a walk to the local Co-op store. I think a celebratory meal of liver and bacon is in order for tonight, don't you?"
That's more like it.