My pet is a well-known saintly scholar, although he is getting old and whines when our students are not admiring him (“A lick and a premise”, Opinion, 28 November). But his grey whiskers and wrinkled face beam when they call him “Dr” Jerome. As for the students, they cannot stop themselves bringing him little treats when they come for my tutorials, although it means his breath smells of fish every Friday. Newcomers strange to our academy are certainly much more relaxed when Jerome is around, as I have a somewhat fearsome reputation. In reality, though, my roar is worse than my bite.
Eventually I succeeded in training him and his younger brothers to do most of the paperwork that is beginning to swamp academic life. Don’t you all wish you had a little two-legged friend to check all your university forms for heresy? Erin McKenna is right to say that pets teach us very basic things about our jobs and remind us to care about every student who ventures into our den.
Leo (illuminated manuscript support by Woody Caan)