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“It doesn't talk back,' he said ruefully as I approached, without looking round.

I glanced up at the griffin. 'No,' I said. Then something, an impulse of gaiety perhaps, made me add, 'Perhaps you need to stroke it between the ears. Timothy likes that.' Timothy is my cat.

Although the Doctor was evidently an eccentric man - who else talks to a statue - I was nonetheless taken aback when he jumped up into the air like a circus performer and, holding on to the iron standard of a lamp, swung himself on to the narrow sill above the carving. There he teetered for a moment, arms extended flat against the wall, his shoes dislodging small pieces of debris which clattered on to the yard. He somehow found a secure foothold, then reached down and petted the stone animal between the ears, or what would have been the ears if it hadn't been a relief carving. 'Hello, Timothy. Would you care for a stick of liquorice?'

There was a brief silence, and I was struck by the puzzled, almost grief-stricken expression that crossed the Doctor's face when the carving made no reply. It could have been drollery, but it seemed genuine.

Then he looked down at me, and grinned, as if it had been a joke. 'He still doesn't talk! Did you say he was called Timothy?'

I decided it was time to inject some sanity into the conversation. 'Timothy.' I said, precisely and quietly, ' is the name of my cat.”


Paul Leonard, Doctor Who: The Turing Test
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Doctor Who: The Turing Test Doctor Who: The Turing Test by Paul Leonard
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