All households have things that disappear; it's practically a given that keys, pens and socks vanish like mist on a sunny day, not to be seen again without hours of searching - or in the case of mist, until the sun appears.
One human in our family is well known for losing or mislaying things on a regular basis. Maybe because he loses his reading glasses at least once a day, it means he doesn't see where he left his book, his phone, his keys or his slippers.
With the man away, however, things stopped disappearing - at least for a short time.
Then the disappearances started again, but in ever-increasing numbers. Witty family members suggested my own increasing age and absent-mindedness might be the reason.
Someone else suggested mice, a la Tom and Jerry; yet another hummed the tune to Ghostbusters and suggested a poltergeist or other mischievous spirit; and yet another reckoned the absent man of the house was paying someone to hide things to prove it wasn't always him that mislaid things in the first place.
Clearly it was time for a turnozut; a thorough search of nooks and crannies.
After all, the last time three of us moved the very heavy sofa, we found four pairs of glasses, several odd socks, three different slippers (all left), several unopened letters, numerous pieces of paper, two books, four pens, an earring and two dog brushes and a comb.
Some things of course I know who to blame; Jack Yorkie still has a thing for socks and will grab any sock left lying around. Bonnie Pomeranian has stolen at least seven dog/cat brushes over the years, though she no longer chews the handles, she simple vanishes them into thin air these days.
Amber cat loves the taste of glue and chews the glue from any envelope she can grab, then hides the evidence under a chair. Molly mongrel steals post from the letter box, as the postman feeds it in, and Sassoon doesn't notice when she settles down to sleep that she might end up lying on slippers, books or newspapers.
Still missing after a cursory search: one mouse, mechanical, not living, one watch, one pair of reading glasses, one dog brush, one dog food bowl, three socks (odd), one slipper, a DVD (disc, but not the case) and that's just the things I know are missing.
Georgina Noyce is an equestrian judge, and has a menagerie of adopted four-legged waifs and strays.