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Just why did God create Tiddles?

In the beginning was the word - or rather words - which I downloaded from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's website. Then for six hours I laboured, and for the seventh sat and admired how I had created a medium-term plan of outstanding complexity, undeniable ingenuity and total uselessness.

When I saw that all was not well, I considered kicking the cat - out of frustration, revenge and possibly the window. Before anyone reports me to the Animal Liberation Front - so that its members can torch my house, release Tiddles into the wild and pour paint-stripper over the bonnet of my Ford Focus - let me just say that there is some justification for my sudden impulse to "catricide".

First, allow me to raise the subject of intelligent design. Within these very pages, I have read several, sometimes laboured, articles on the matter. But never until now have I felt any inclination to put aside my usual lack of interest and debate the case against.

You will find that my argument is short, simple and entirely convincing.

The idea of a loving God who designed us in his own image is also incompatible with his being the architect of - Jamong other things - wasps, E-coli, malarial mosquitoes, Mrs Walker's Jack Russell and athlete's foot.

And that's before we get to cats.

In my opinion, cats - and I speak as one who regularly gets up at four in the morning with barely several mumbled expletives of complaint to let ours out - have historically had too good a press. Why the ancient Egyptians deified them is beyond me - although, to be frank, I could have cheerfully volunteered ours for mummification when this happened... It was the moment of creation. I sat in the conservatory armed with laptop, coffee and several Hob-nobs. I clicked on the QCA website and waited for stuff to happen. Then Tiddles appeared and began to paw furiously at the glass door. I tried to ignore him - swearing, death-threats - but eventually gave in and let him out.

Once outside, however, he began to paw furiously to come back in. So I let him in, whereupon he pawed furiously... The whole thing turned into a cat-and-mouse game, except that I lost concentration and, without realising, downloaded information for the wrong term.

"That's six hours' work you cost me," I snapped.

"Me? How?' said Tiddles.

Steve Eddison is a Year 6 teacher in Sheffield

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