So last night when I least expected it, my cat Her Royal Highness nonchalantly strolled in through the door and meowed "I'm back, human!"
Yes, patient readers, she is finally home after competing in the London Cat Olympics, being jailed with Pussy Riot in Moscow and working off her parole at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
And HRH didn't arrive empty-pawed either. She brought home a beautiful old oil painting from the Hermitage. A parting gift from her good pal Putin, she told me. Apparently, it is the official state portrait of Her Royal Highness's ancestor, Her Royal Tsarina of all the Russias.
This exquisite work of art was painted by one of Russia's greatest 19th century artists, Bryanovitch Pedaski. A true renaissance man, he was also the co-author with the Russian literary genius, Brandonslav Meyerskov, of a famous book of comic stories called A Vodka for the Bidet or something to that effect.
But anyway, isn't it cool that the nameless Russian serf holding up Her Royal Tsarina in the portrait is wearing purple fingerless gloves just like mine? What amazing synchronicity.
Oh sorry, pardon me for a moment. The doorbell is ringing.
Jeez, why the hell is Interpol on my front steps?