A fierce fight broke out between the Fergusons and the Thomases, and at the centre of it was the Thomases’ tabby cat they called Thomas Junior – not that he ever answered to that name, but which cat does.

And what was not at the centre, or rather anywhere to be seen, was Chewy, one of the Fergusons’ two pet rats. Thomas Junior had no reason to be in the middle of this mess, except that the Fergusons’ youngest, Timmy, swore that he saw Thomas Junior near their window on the day that Chewy went missing.

Not only did the Fergusons demand that their loss be compensated by the Thomases, they also wanted Thomas Junior to be exiled from the town in view of the safety of their remaining rat, Giggles. The allegations and demands were met with indignation from the Thomases who claimed that their “sweet little furball of happiness”, in Mrs. Thomas’s own words, could never do such a thing. She further went on to describe Timmy Ferguson as “a little lying piece of shit” which did not sit well with Timmy’s mother, to say the least.

At the town council meeting on the following Sunday, things almost came to blows when Mr. Ferguson proposed a ban on cats in the town. He and Mrs. Ferguson wore t-shirts with Chewy’s picture on them and made a passionate appeal to the committee. Mrs. Ferguson broke down when she described how distraught Giggles had become since the disappearance, and possible lunchification, of her beloved partner. The proposal however was vehemently opposed by a section of the committee that demanded that the Fergusons immediately stop this witch-hunt of their feline companions.

The strife that started between the two neighbours soon spread across the whole town with the townsfolk divided into cat and rat camps. The council had to call for a referendum on the ban.

It was past 11am on the day of the referendum when a TV crew pulled up at the Fergusons’ for an exclusive. While the Fergusons were animatedly describing the whole ordeal, Giggles sat on the woollen blanket in her cage and reread the letter in her hand:

“Dearest Giggliana,

I’ve reached the city safely. The rumours were true! There’s a whole underground rat country here. I can’t wait for you to join me soon. I’ll send for you as soon as I settle down.

Thank Meowskin again for all his help with the escape and the journey.

Vive la liberté. With love,


Giggles let off another sigh of relief and clutched the letter close to her furry chest.

Outside the house, Maggie Ferguson gave a shrill exclamation when the reporter asked her if calling for a ban of cats is going a little too far.

Idly lounged on the branch of a sycamore tree in front of the Fergusons’ house, Sir Meowskin Pitradios the 400th, also known as Thomas Junior by some, raised his head and glanced at the TV crew below him with disinterest. Then, as if to give his own statement on the matter, he raised his hind leg and proceeded to lick his balls, looking dignified doing it in a way only a cat could pull off.