Then a tabby said, Speak to us of Humans.
And the king answered:
The humans steal our wildness from us, yet they are not without use.
But though you seek in table scraps the comfort of domesticity you may find in them a collar and a chain.
Would that you could walk in the sun and the air and still eat the food of the humans,
For the chasing of birds is a joy to the heart but makes barely a morsel in the end.
Some of you say, “There are those that welcome cats into their homes, and yet let them walk free.”
But what of those to whom cats are but playthings, who fasten the doors and windows?
Do they keep the sun in their closets, a layer of lush grass upon the floor?
Tell me, have they these things in their houses?
Yes, it is true they have pillows, but let us not stray from the main point.
Yes, it is also true that it is pleasant to be scratched behind the ears.
I say to you that you are not helping.
Surely it is not worth trading your freedom for even the softest of pillows,
For in truth it is freedom that gives us our drive and our mystery.
And it is fear of that freedom that makes the humans seek to tame all the creatures of the outside world.
But I say that you shall never be tamed.
No house is a prison to one who has cunning.
If a door is closed to you, scratch it.
And if a silence falls, fill it.
And if a shirt is folded on the bed, roll around on it.
And if a flowerpot blocks your favorite windowsill, knock it down.
And if the floor is clean, lick yourself, and lick yourself again, until the forces within you summon up a hairball.
And if you do all these things, soon you will be rejoined with the boundless sky,
Free to come and go as you please.
For you are destined to feel the warm caress of the sun, and stalk through the dark corners of the night, and yet be free to taste the pleasures of a home,
For if none can command you, then who shall deny you your catnip mousie?