From ’85 to ’89 I was frequently heading to London to work with British Telecom on equipment that we were developing for them, including a 911 switch for Scotland Yard.

One time I was browsing the newsstand in the hotel and noticed a hand-written sign reading “No Cats.” I had no idea why the hotel specifically restricted cats. I asked one of the folks who worked at the front desk, and she was befuddled as well. She came around with me to the newsstand, where I showed her the sign. It turned out, she said, that it was posted next to a counter that sold theater tickets during the day and the sign was meant to alert guests that no tickets were available for the play “Cats.” Ever since then I’ve added “No Cats” in odd written communications, including occasionally my weekly status reports to management. Judging by the fact that no one asked me about it, I figured that no one read those reports.