• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

Ancestral Whiskers

I’m not denying that my family have been very fortunate through history. Back in Ancient Egypt we were friends and advisors to Pharaohs and Gods. But people began to worship other gods and mine were forgotten. My family were taken to Rome, and we continued to thrive there. Then the church started to associate us with witchcraft. The pope himself issued a bull saying cats were evil and in league with Satan, especially black cats. Not so good for the ones who looked like me. We were tolerated for our ability to control vermin, but as pets we were regarded well below dogs. Can you believe that? And, of course, anyone who did treasure us as a pet was likely to be accused of witchcraft. Those were very dark days, but the good humans made sure we survived. And we began to thrive again. We thrived until my great grandfather. The gambling bug burrowed deep into him, and into my grandfather and father. Our family wealth dissipated, evaporated. You see me with two portraits. The one in white tie is my great grandfather, the instigator of our catastrophe, and the other is of an earlier ancestor. These portraits were sold in final settlement of debts and taxes.

Now, I am all that is left of my great family. I could become a street cat, prowling the night, flitting from moonlight to shadow. But no, I have something else planned. I have been offered a position in cat café.