Dom Joly: Is there a doctor in the house? Try the airing cupboard

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The Independent Online

We are about to have a new arrival in the Joly household. We made the mistake of popping round to a house that had a new litter of kittens. Within seconds we fell in love and a little black puddy-tat is coming to live with us. We're all so excited – except maybe for Stacey who is a little less of a cat person than the rest of us. This might be partly my fault.

I had two cats when she and I first met. They were big fluffy Persians – I was living in London and needed Boulevard rather than Alley cats. Although pretty neurotic, Tiger and Terry were friendly and loved visitors ... until Stacey turned up. They disliked her on sight and would regularly creep into our bed and pee on her pillow. They'd never bothered me in this way and, if memory serves me rightly, they never objected to any other girlfriend staying over. When we moved to the country, Tiger and Terry moved with us and continued to persecute Stacey until they both passed away mysteriously.

Stacey tried to hide her delight, but not very well. Since then we have been cat-free and dog-heavy. Now this kitten is arriving and we need to name it. My favourite cat name of all time was Chairman Miaow, which is what David Baddiel called his cat. I'm also partial to very ordinary names like Dave or Steve, but these have been roundly rejected by the family. We are having an annoying democratic period where everything is put to a vote. This means that nothing ever gets done – it's like Italy's post-war governance, and I intend to take back power in a Mussolini-esque fashion as soon as possible.

I put the question out on Facebook, as we are very funky and down wit' the kids in that way. I got some interesting suggestions – Obama came up several times as did a lot of other very unsuitable monikers. There were some good ones: I particularly enjoyed Whiskybreath The Gypsy Slayer and Professor Inkynoo, King of the Living room, Defender of the Hall & Keeper of the Office Scrolls.

None of these passed the family Duma either, so we were still left with a nameless pussy. Our dogs, Huxley and Oscar, have a literary bent to their titles so I suggested Orwell after my favourite writer. This was thrown out immediately. Then my son Jackson became fixated with the name Apple. I didn't want our cat to sound like a junior Coldplay stalker, but was unable to explain this to Jackson who stormed off in a sulk that made Ted Heath look relaxed.

Back on Facebook and somebody pointed me in the direction of a cat-naming website – there really is everything you ever need online. Parker suggested Number Five (our fifth pet after two dogs and two goldfish). I quite liked this utilitarian name and was all for it but Stacey said no and we were back to square one. I started to wonder whether we should actually change our mind about this unnameable moggy. Maybe this was a bad omen? But everyone was in on the mission now – the gardener suggested Kevin and our Hungarian cleaner opted for Zoltan, which I quite liked, but it was once again defeated on the floor of the house.

The kids had by now gone crazy and were suggesting things that they saw in the fridge – Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Baked Bean, Coleslaw, Dr Pepper ... Hang on – I really liked Dr Pepper. I brought it up as a serious suggestion, Stacey looked OK with it and the kids were happy. Were we nearly there?

"We can call him Doctor, for short," said Parker. We all rolled about and that was that – the Doctor arrives in two weeks.

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