Darla was 35 and worked as a member of the central government’s secretarial staff. In general, she very much enjoyed her job; she was kept busy, but was rarely called upon to stay in late at the office. She was well liked among other staff members and her and the secretarial team would have a good time discussing the various comings and goings of parliament visitors. If there wasn’t a whole lot to discuss on this front, she would show them photos of Brian.

Brian was well aware of his celebrity status among Darla’s friends and colleagues, and he didn’t mind this. After all, he was a very handsome silver tabby and at tea parties Darla’s guests would recognise him fondly and pay due attention. Occasionally Darla would have a man over to stay and he, too, would be expected to show due appreciation for Brian’s fine feline figure.

No, at the time of his departure Brian was not harbouring any ill will towards his owner. Indeed, over the last two years he’d seen fit to crap in the shoes of only one of Darla’s male invitees; for the most part he generously gave them a fighting chance.

What is was that Darla hadn’t realised over this time was that Brian had been listening to six years of juicy political tit bits and accumulating a very comprehensive knowledge of the British parliamentary system. Every week, Darla had the Economist delivered and on this day Brian would drag the previous week’s into his cat litter tray for a casual browse whilst Darla was at work. Darla and her colleagues, unaware that behind closed doors Brian could be found avidly catching up on the latest in international politics, thought his treatment of the magazine hilarious. Darla often joked that she ought to take a leaf out of Brian’s book and join in pissing on pictures of David Cameron’s face.

On Brian’s part, of course, this was a piss with a purpose. He held nothing against David Cameron, but in order to maintain a cat-like credibility, he needed to keep up the façade.

Living the passive and comfortable life of a pampered tabby cat was simply not enough for Brian anymore. He felt like he knew the men and women whose wee-stained faces stared up at him from the depths of his litter tray; he felt part of Darla’s hushed phone conversations about so-and-so who’d swung by the office that day. The walls of Darla’s cosy London flat were closing in on him and, at 6 years old, time was running out to discover the exciting world beyond.

It had taken 7 months to execute the escape plan that eventually came to fruition that fateful Thursday when Darla returned home to an empty flat. Hiding behind the toaster and in the shoe box under the bed was not part of that plan, it had just been a nice change of scene.

 

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