The cats and dogs in Broadstairs lead very different lives. The cats do as they please, coming and going; giving strangers like me dirty looks. The dogs don’t have this freedom. When you see them on the streets they are often on the ends of leads, tethered to a human who controls their movements. If they were to go out on their own they’d find themselves severely curtailed (which for a dog can be distressing). They can’t go on the beach throughout the summer. This seems a raw deal. Sure, they get the place to themselves from September until the end of April, but that’s when it tends to be cold and sunless. I guess the cats can go on the beach when they like. Cats though, being contrary animals, are rarely seen on beaches.

The absurdity behind all this is that Thanet District Council thinks dogs can read.