I love cats and my husband pretends to, so I thought I’d found the perfect Valentine’s Day card.

There was a picture of a lovely cute cat on it, but then came the bit that ruined it.

If I was a cat, I’d spend all nine lives with you.

Now the sentiment was fine, but the grammar? It should have read

If I were a cat, I’d spend all nine lives with you.

You use  “if I were” for something hypothetical, e.g “If I were you” or “if I were manager of Chelsea” or “if I were queen of England”

Use “if I was” for something that is not hypothetical, e.g. “if I was rude, I apologise”.

Apt though it was, I couldn’t bring myself to spend good money (that I’d earned through writing, editing and training) on a card with a grammatical error. So I put it back and bought another one thanking him for being “purrfect”, safe in the knowledge that the spelling “error” was deliberate!