"I really liked those grey ones," he says, mournfully. He sighs deeply. "I don't suppose I'll ever see them again."
Most of the stuff I can't find has usually found its way into my daughter's room. She wanders off with all sorts of things - combs, tweezers, nail scissors.
So recently, when I couldn't find a favourite black T-shirt, I was convinced she was the culprit.
"Are you sure you haven't got it?" I said. "Really sure?"
"I haven't seen it," she said.
Neither of us mentions the impossibility of seeing anything in her room. You'd need to burrow into heaps with a torch like someone exploring an underground cave.
But, as it turned out, she was entirely innocent.
Our small black cat, as my daughter often points out, costs us a fortune. She breaks things. So far she has broken a computer keyboard, the iron, a china vase, a flower pot and her leg. The vet's bills were huge.
Recently she came home with fleas.
"You have to hoover everywhere," said the vet's assistant as she handed over anti-flea products and took yet more money off my debit card.
So on Saturday afternoon, when everyone was out, I started cleaning. This wasn't my normal slapdash routine but a kind of military-style operation, getting into corners I hadn't seen for
I really didn't want to spend the rest of the summer scratching flea bites on my ankle.
Under the chair in our bedroom, in a tight ball of grey fluff, was my favourite black T-shirt.
"I found my T-shirt!" I shout with joy when they all get home. "My favourite black T-shirt!"
"Where was it?" says my daughter.
I take a deep breath. I open my mouth to admit that I was guilty all along.
But my husband interrupts.
"And what about my socks?" he says, a small light of hope in his eyes. "Did you find my socks?"