Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Mayor of Much Malarkey Manor

Let this be a warning, dear reader: Never Allow Your Cat to Google.

Because if you allow your cat to Google, they will start to develop ideas way above their feline station, and given that the cat in question has already decided his station is lolloping around on my mini-chaise longue, Googling is the last thing that should be encouraged.

'Look at this!' says Tybalt (for 'tis he, baggy pants and all). He is sitting at my desk, surfing the net, scratching up my bumblebee mousemat with overly-enthusiastic use of the mouse (probably an inherent cat thing and another reason not to let them near your computer).
'What?' I say. I look over his shoulder at the screen. (I have discovered I can now read the screen WITHOUT my glasses, which is a) very exciting but b) means my eyeballs are stiffening up with age - a double-edged sword indeed, but is it the silver lining to the cloud? I don't know - it's all very confusing.)

'This!' says Tybalt. He, conversely, has discovered he now needs to wear glasses to see the screen. In the cat/human years ratio, we are of a similar age, me and him. 'There is a cat in Alaska who is mayor of a town called Talkeeta. His name is Stubbs, which is stupid, but he has been mayor for 15 years, and I want to be a mayor, too.'

'Okay,' I say, 'how do you propose you go about becoming mayor?'
'Put all the mayors in England in a boat and cast them out to sea?' says Tybalt.
'It would certainly create a gap in the market,' I say, 'but I think they might suspect something odd is going on.'
'Not if we say it's a special mayors-only cruise,' says Tybalt. 'A free mayors-only cruise.'
'Nice one, 'I say. 'But I'm still not sure it would work. Mostly because we don't have a boat.'
'Okay,' says Tybalt. 'How about we go and live in Alaska? And then I could usurp the current Mayor Stubbs. I have youth and beauty and a full-length tail on my side. The people of Talkeeta are bound to adore me.'

I look at Tybalt. He certainly is a very good looking cat, and at the age of nine-and-a-half is developing a nice little paunch that I believe is requisite if one is to become a mayor - something to balance one's medallion on.

'It's called a chain of office,' says Tybalt, crossly.
'I'm sorry,' I say. 'Did I say that out loud?'
'You did,' says Tybalt. 'And it is not a paunch. It is simply relaxed muscle. Once I start my mayorial training, it'll be flat and hard as a ship's biscuit in no time.'

'You're going to start training?' I say. I find this very hard to believe. This is the cat who spent most of yesterday lying in the sun pretending to be dead. In fact, he did such a good job that I had to poke him at one point to make sure he wasn't really dead.

'I have engaged the services of a personal trainer,' says Tybalt. 'I start my training campaign tomorrow.'
'Why not today?' I say. 'No time like the present. Carpe Diem, and all that jazz.'
'Seize the fish?' says Tybalt. 'My trainer said nothing about fish.'
'Carpe diem,' I say, 'means seize the day. Not the fish. You'll need to brush up your Latin if you're going to be a mayor, you know. For a start, you'll have to come up with a motto. All mayors have a Latin motto.'
'Such as?' says Tybalt. He has turned his attention from Google and is now poised with a pen over a large notebook opened at a fresh page entitled 'MY PLAN TO BE A MAYOR.'

'Well,' I say, 'something like 'There's More to Life than Mice.'
'Is there?' says Tybalt. 'Actually, I think you might be right there. There's tuna for a start. You don't have to chase after tuna before you can eat it.'
'No,' I say, 'but you need a set of prehensile thumbs to use the tin opener.'

Tybalt glances at his furry cat paws. He writes in his notebook in an elegant copperplate italic.

1) Develop a set of prehensile thumbs. Mayors must be able to open their own tins of tuna.

It's going to be a long process, this 'Tybalt for Mayor' campaign.

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