An Introduction 

 

Darla came home late one Tuesday and found her cat, Brian, firmly wedged behind the toaster. She removed him promptly and brushed the crumbs from his belly.

The following day, Darla arrived home and Brian, once again, was not waiting at the door. After checking behind the toaster, she went through to the bedroom and found him hiding in a shoe box under the bed.

By the time Darla arrived home on Thursday, she was expecting to find Brian hiding somewhere equally bizarre. She first checked the toaster and the shoe box, then extended her search. But this time, to her dismay, she failed to find him at all.

 

The disappearance of Darla’s cat threw the whole block into a frenzy. Darla had left no windows or doors open and what’s more, Brian had been a seasoned house cat and had lived peacefully indoors for almost 6 years. Living in a fourth floor flat, there was little possibility that he’d managed to stage an elaborate escape. There was no alternative: somebody had stolen Brian.

This, at least, is exactly what Brian had relied on everybody assuming. In actual fact, an elaborate escape is precisely what he HAD planned. And so it happened, at the very same moment that Darla was tearfully pinning up Stolen Pet notices, Brian was confidently making his way to the houses of parliament. He was not hungry, after having eaten a large number of toaster crumbs for the journey.

This is where his story begins.

 

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