The reason I have thought about this is down to the fact that Baggie, once the resident cat at the Square & Compasses in Great Shelford, has adopted me. Les, who kept the pub a few years, ago lives opposite me, and I guess the bond of me having been in his old pub and now being near to him has made him friendly towards me. If teenagers have attitude, well Baggie has Cattitude. There was the famous time that the High Street in Great Shelford was held up by Baggie deciding his mid morning snooze was to be in the middle of the road. Nothing would move him, and Les had to lift him to allow traffic to pass.

Yes, the cat is still the same, but this leads me on to other animals. The Queens Head, Newton was famous for Belinda the goose who would patrol the car park hissing at anyone that did not conform to her way of life. Belinda may have gone in spirit, but after a visit to the taxidermist, can still be seen in the public bar.

The Queens Head has always been animal friendly, with dogs often more welcome than their owners, and I take the best pub dog in the world there and to the Longbow and the Rose in Stapleford, and where ever we roam. My lady Sue's Springer Spaniel, Dottie, behaves superbly and relishes the pub environment. I recently took Dottie into the Queens Head where my pal Bernie O'Brien reckoned she was the best behaved dog he had ever seen. When I remarked that Baggie ought to come for a swift half he reminded me that I used to take my Lion Head Dwarf Rabbit called Molly in there for a pint. You have to realise Molly was house trained, was far more intelligent than the average CAMRA member and had the character to boot - she would sit at the bar probably agreeing with what ever anyone was saying! When Moll the Doll, the Queen of them All, popped her mortal clogs poor old Dottie had to fill the gap.

The point I am making is that pubs are welcoming places where our four legged friends over the years have been accepted, often more welcome than children, though I see a disturbing tendency for children, often squealing, being accepted where they do not belong... In this time of great change we should, whilst welcoming children to the pub, remember that it's basically an adult and an animal place... Bring back the cat - Jim lad!!!

Jerry Brown
[My favourite pub animals were the cats which used to rule the late and very lamented Cow and Calf Cambridge in Les Shiret's days - Ed.]