The Emancipation Experiment

The Great EscapeFriends! I have astounding news! I have made a serious breakthrough in extending the reach of my dominion.

I am still a little bowled over by my own audacity in the face of cunning obstacles, but the truth cannot be denied: I have foiled the humans’ dastardly plot to keep me from enjoying the full stretch of my territory.

I shall explain further.

When I first arrived at the home of the Catparents, I was aware that my predecessor, Flora Flump, had met her end by running under one of the fearsome Wheeled Metal Beasts that speed past the human residence.

As a result, the Catparents grew afraid that a similar fate would befall me (as if I, Pasha, feline luminary for our times, would not learn from the misfortunes of my forebears!). And so, to prevent my untimely demise, they took certain steps around their residence to block my exit on to those mean streets.

Mr Builder (of whom I have formerly spoken) was brought in to construct barricades of a most ingenious nature (for a human, that is – it is nothing that we felines could not conjure up in even our most pedestrian of dreams; if we were to ever attain that desired-for ‘singularity’ of opposable thumbs, of course).

A grid of meshwork was attached to the tops of the walls and fences, protruding at such an angle as to hamper me in any attempt to leap up on to them and, thus, over into the wild, oh-so-tempting blue yonder. The mesh was also affixed to gates, impeding my progress down the rear alleyway and thence to freedom.

For a whole year I have remained confined to the Domain of the Rear Garden, with occasional forays into the zone on one neighbouring side. From this side the only exits are guarded by, at one end, Mr B*stard and, at the other, a fearsome Canine Creature who resides with a cohort of humans.

I have made my best effort to dominate this meagre territory and claim it as my own. I regularly take my place on my pondside throne, making it abundantly clear to any feline who should dare to pass by the edges of my realm that I am mistress of all I survey.

However, this is not an adequate empire for a cat of my abilities and ambitions. Oh no! I have long desired to find a way through the human blockade and explore the streets, gardens and alleyways that beckon seductively nearby.

And finally I have succeeded!

I shall describe how it came about.

At the intersection of the ‘back yard’ with the ‘rear garden’ there is a wall that stretches high, high up, beyond even the height of Catfather. It has a stepped formation, leading it up to an even higher point where it connects with a sloped roof atop the territory of the next-door humans.

Normally, to jump up to even the lowest point of this wall from the ground would be beyond me; even my marvellously athletic limbs cannot spring quite so far.

However, one day – one glorious day! – I discovered that, if I were to position myself on the ‘patio table’ that lies immediately below this hurdle, I would gain just enough clearance to make that leap.

Oh comrades, I cannot tell you what pleasure it gave me to make this discovery! I am particularly delighted to inform you that it took place within full sight of Catmother herself – and she was powerless to do anything to stop me.

A truly momentous feeling of emancipation came over me as I launched myself at the ramparts. My front paws succeeded in reaching the first level with minimal struggle; my rear shanks were a little less lucky – I had to haul them up after me. But, after a mere few seconds’ exertion, I was there! I had done it! I was on the path to liberation!

I rapidly scaled the steps and soon came to the peak of the neighbouring roof. From there it was but a short scamper down to the lower wall on their side – and, thence, into the alleyway below. And beyond, via just one more gateway (through which my delicately proportioned physique slipped with no trouble), lay the open road.

I was free!

Naturally Catmother came running after me, but I gave her the slip and darted into one of the adjoining gardens. A merry dance I led her, under hedges and over fences, skipping along walls and scooting around corners – oh, how piquant was the taste of deliverance!

Eventually she caught up with me, and, picking me up in her arms and clasping me to her as if I would twist free again (oh, how well she is growing to know me!), she took me back within the limits of my existing kingdom.

I conceded – for now. But she and I both know that this is merely the beginning of a new chapter in my quest for dominion over all neighbouring felines. Having breached the boundaries once, I will do it again – and again, and again! The human meshes will contain me no more.

And so we have called a wary truce. Although I have many new and exciting pathways to tread, I am very much aware that this is the central point of my jurisdiction, and I must not abandon it. It is also the location where I am most confident I will continue to receive food, shelter and (should I need it) human backup in the face of any incursions into my inner sanctum.

I will therefore take advantage of my new-found freedom gradually, and conduct my explorations with care and due diligence. In time, I have no doubt that I will become mistress of many additional territories – but slowly and surely wins the race.

Join me, friends, in raising a paw to this breakthrough! And wish me the very best in my wanderings.

The future is bright. The future is Pasha.