• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 01

Marguerite, Magnus, and Rose

'No, no! I saw him talking with the others.'

'You saw him?'

'Heard him.'

Rose laughed gently. 'Well how could you know what he was saying?'

'I-' Marguerite was briefly silenced by frustration. 'It was obvious!'

Rose looked down at her sister. She was used to these fantastical episodes and, in truth, rather enjoyed them. She couldn't understand why mother was so concerned. 'I wish I knew what he was saying! He's always a mystery to me …'

'Oh, you wouldn't! Believe me.' She lowered her tone. 'He's got a plan.'

Rose strained to hear her. 'A …?'

'… Plan.'

'What kind of plan?'

'Shush! Not so loud! He mustn't know we know. He gets around. That's the benefit of being small.'

'You're small …'

'Not that small.' Something in Rose's expression encouraged her to go on. 'But he also makes himself bigger sometimes. When he needs to. Haven't you noticed?'

'I've seen him eating a lot, if that's what you mean …'

Marguerite was unimpressed.


Marguerite, Magnus, and Rose

'He can rise to any height.'

'By jumping?'

'By jumping. By spreading himself. He changes shape.'

Rose shook her head, not unkindly. 'Well, really, who'd have thought that old Magnus had so many talents?'

'Right, and there's another thing. Who named him Magnus?'

'Why, mother did.'

'No. He named himself.' Rose couldn't prevent herself from laughing loudly this time. 'He was Magnus when he arrived. Didn't you realise that?'

'Honestly, I never did.'

'You let yourself be taken in by him.' She whispered, 'By all of them.'

'All of them? You mean there are others?'

Marguerite tried to remain patient. 'Of course. They're all around us. In the yard. In the street. I told you. I heard them. They were plotting.'

Rose couldn't resist it. 'Against a mouse?'

'Against us.'

This answer received the silence it deserved. In the end, Rose could say nothing more than, 'I see …'

'It's Magnus. He's the leader. The other cats crowd around him. They follow him. He controls them.'


Marguerite, Magnus, and Rose

Rose was beginning to sympathise with mother's point of view. She judged that the time had arrived to deflate the nonsense. 'I suppose they're going to take over the house!'

'Oh yes. That's obvious. But they're going to kill us all first …'

'Marguerite! Now you've gone too far!'

'It's not me - it's them! I'm just reporting what I heard.'

Rose wouldn't say any more. She just indicated that they had chores they needed to get on with.

'There's three of us when Papa's not here. And hundreds of them. You do know we don't stand a chance …'

Rose put her finger to her lips. Marguerite rolled her eyes. Unseen by them, Magnus casually licked his shoulder.


The family don't live there any more.

Magnus divides his time between the house and the yard.