We’re keeping a dog for a friend this weekend, a gentle soul named Tasha but the introduction of a canine into the world of three cats means an open state of war exists at Chateau Thompson.

Tasha wanders the house in search of companionship and, failing to find a willing partner, passes the time by eating the cat food out of their bowls. The cats then retaliate by eating the dog’s food. End result: Four animals with bellyaches.

A.C. takes refuge on top of the grandfather clock. Jekyl is too fat to leap to high places so he seeks safety by hiding behind doors, furniture and anything else he can find. Trouble just disappears. We’ve never figured out that cat’s hiding places.

With Tasha asleep at the foot of the bed, A.C. ventures into the den, stalking like a panther on the prowl, looking right and left for the enemy he is sure lurks nearby. Then, satisfied it is safe for the moment, he rubs up against my legs as I work on the computer, trying to reassure himself he is still top cat in the house.

Then the dog wonders in, hissing ensues, and A.C. is back on top of the clock. Another day, another standoff.