Applying for visas when your family is, erm, unconventional

"Please provide evidence of family members remaining in your home country whilst you travel."

Dear Humans of Great Britain,*

We strongly disapprove of our mother’s intention to travel away from us now and again, even though she assures us this is necessary if she is to keep us supplied with our preferred cat food (she says it is clearly made from lobster and caviar, with a sprinkling of diamond dust – we think this is what you call sarcasm).

We approve of her writing books for a living (she’s on Number 19 at the moment), as it means she stays home and we can entertain her by rolling all over her keyboard or demanding snacks when she’s on deadline. We are rather more frosty about the fact that she needs to visit her UK publishers and London agent every other year or so. She will shortly be launching a historical novel, Charlotte, which, she tells us, means she will have to attend book launches and literary festivals in the UK and Europe. Frankly, we think it sounds like an excuse to drink wine with other writers. Then the entire exercise will repeat in two years’ time when the sequel is published. Hmm.

However, she can’t stay away TOO long. We enjoy our catsitter, a most affectionate damsel, but our mother says she costs a bomb. And so she ought: because one of us is a special-needs kitty with a missing front leg and other damage, he needs someone with veterinary nursing experience to look after him when Mum is away. Frankly, we like her because she is the best, and of course we deserve the best. But her meter does run up in a way that makes our mother rush home to us as soon as she can.

So we are not going anywhere (our nice big garden is full of mice and SUNSHINE). This means Mum isn’t going anywhere, either. Or never for very long.

Yrs purrfully,

Boychik (age unknown, found desperately injured at the side of the road and rescued)

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Meg (ten years old)

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Lily (ten years old)

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*Actual letter submitted to the British Embassy

Helen Moffett