The Goddaughter, and her various assistants, have been helping to keep my house in order. Reputation is everything and without it, she says, she would not have a cleaning round the envy of the most energetic of entrepreneurs. She keeps her clients.

Our shared desire to live in a clean house is one of those bonding experiences that she ensures and I take her word for. Taking her word for it is not the same as taking her literally. When she declares it’s ‘all done” I am not so stupid as to imagine perfection and don’t judge her or her numerous assistants against an impossible standards. There are limits and while I think it’s probably clean enough, I really can’t judge for myself. The odd cat biscuit still goes crunch under foot.

The Goddaughters various assistants have not always cut me the same slack. They are rather prone to taking things literally and judging me accordingly. The last one refused to come back because, “of your job”. The Goddaughter explained what she knew.

The assistant went on a date with someone who knew me and told her that if he were her, so to speak, he would not want clean in my house because he happened to know I worked for the secret service and was licenced to kill. Indeed, he knew for a fact I had killed. The closest I’ve got to anyone licenced to kill, is breakfast in the canteen at Bishopsgate Police Station. More a “lining up to eat as much as you can” experience than “Line of Duty”.

I might suggest that he was confusing me with that well-known fast car driving, sharp shooting, sniper, Brother Silas. Like me, poor old Brother Silas was a bit misrepresented. Neither of us could hit a barn door at anything further than six feet, let alone drive a fast car at speed through Paris. Just because we are on the light side of white doesn’t mean we carry such a huge grudge against people with pigment that we want to polish them off.

If my generosity were really being stretched I should say the Goddaughters assistant’s date got confused. Could he have muddled up notions of Public Service with the Secret Service. Or possibly he got his wires crossed when he heard about the exploits of the “Likely Cats” Bob and Clive, my small game hunters who turned out to be responsible for the stink behind the sofa. They were just doing what cats do and I never knew the bodies were there. Maybe the Goddaughter’s assistant could smell the rotting flesh and that tipped her over the edge.

The most likely explanation is that her date just got bored and thought he’d have a bit of fun at someone else’s expense. What yarn could he spin and still be believed? Quite a long one as it turned out.

The yarn he span was nearly as long as the threads that Bob and Clive have thoughtfully liberated from the front of my sofa. One more good yank from my own resident killers and the once pristine façade of my furniture will be revealed for what it is. Not that brilliantly constructed but well upholstered. Much like it’s owner.

Things may not always be what they seem. Bob and Clive are cute but will kill on a whim. Being whiter than white I wouldn’t dream of trying, I don’t judge those boys for their murderous ways and still clean up after them.

Reputation is everything and my killer cats are universally admired. I, on the other hand, appear to be dammed. Without my good reputation, even the cleaner has dumped me.