A true story

Thumper was Queen. From the tip of her whiskers, through he elegant abyssinian face, perky ears, smooth gray fur and long elegant tail, Thumper was every inch a Queen. She ruled the household. No bird, mouse or vole dared show its face near her home. The other cats let her be first at the food dish, and gave her space. She enjoyed two attentive human household servants, whose vigilence to the needs of her litter box, water dish and their provision of tasty canned food spoke well for the unconditional love they felt for their Queen. Why, they seemed delighted every single time she allowed them the privilege of scratching her ears or touching her lean flanks. She slept where she wanted, went where she wanted (including the outdoors as her lucky humans were very attentive to her inability to open doors unaided). When it came right down to it, Thumper never doubted for a single instant that she'd been born into privilege.

Burp never thought himself royalty. He knew he was a peasant. His coarse fur was white spotted with black, and his round face and short legs made him the very antithesis of the graceful Queen Thumper. Worse, he'd once been a stray who in hunger had wondered up onto the porch of Thumper's home. Thumper's human assistants had let the low-born Burp in one day without seeking guidance, and fed the homely creature without consulting her. At first she had been miffed at such a flagrant insult to Her Royal Prerogatives. Despite that, Thumper came to forgive their transgression. The presence of such a low-born kitty highlighted Thumper's superior beauty and grace. Eventually, she consented to Burp's presence once he'd accepted Thumper as Queen.

One day Thumper's human servants received one of those strange packages that human servants sometimes delivered to one another. It contained no toys, no tasty mice or spicy catnip, so Thumper gave it little notice. Burp though was more curious. Having lived a hard life, he was always interested in potential comforts. He poked around the box, and found it full of soft and conformal stuff, perfect for a nap. Burp decided to crawl inside the box and settled himself in for well-earned rest.

But Queen Thumper was distressed when she found Burp asleep in this new package. Why he'd crawled in it to sleep even before she had! This insult could not be bourne! Burp needed to be reminded that he could enjoy new things only after his Queen had sated herself. And so she leaped into the box and began batting the sleeping Burp with her long, quick forepaws.

Burp fled. He was angry at Queen Thumper for interrupting him when he was enjoying such a nice nap. The Queen herself napped often, surely she could understand the importance of a good nap! What purpose had it served to interrupt his? He understood that her place was higher than his, but his human house servants certainly treated him as a valued member of the community, granting him full rights to occupy their laps.

So Burp sat for the side to consider what he might do. The box Thumper had taken from him was of a type familiar to him, with four flaps of soft wood that had been held closed by squeaky, sticky stuff the humans had removed. Finally he hit upon a plan. He approached the box and flipped one of the flaps over onto the box.

Queen Thumper was delighted. Not only had Burp retreated to his rightful place, now he had shown his obeisance by initiating a wonderful new game. The new flap over her was just perfect for batting around, a game Thumper enjoyed. And then that clever Burp just knocked another flap over, doubling the fun of the batting game. Thumper found herself batting and batting at the prey-like flaps.

Burp noticed how happy Queen Thumper was to bat at the flaps he'd flipped over onto the box she had evicted him from. He watched the humans carefully as they had opened and closed these 'boxes'. Two more flaps and the box would be closed. So he flipped the third, and Thumper continued to bat away, but remained within the box, enjoying this delightful new game.

So Burp pushed the last lid over, so the flaps were in the sealed position they'd been in when this fun new box arrived. The he leaped upon the box, and settled down to enjoy the nap which had been so rudely interrupted.

Inside the box Thumper became frantic. Suddenly a heavy object had prevented the flaps for moving as they should. In fact they did not move at all! Thumper leaped straight up, exerting her long, graceful limbs to their maximum! But the object was too heavy! Queen Thumper was trapped! She leaped and pounded and cried. But nothing, nothing whatsoever she could do would budge the load above her. Slowly, Queen Thumper came to the realization that her peasants were revolting.

It was hard to sleep at first, with all the bumping and screeching. But while Thumper might have been quicker and prettier then Burp, a steady diet left Burp a lot bigger. Smarter too, he realized while savoring Thumper's cries of desperation. If Thumper might have been smarter she might have realized that even a Queen must respect the hopes and dreams of her subjects.

as witnessed by Queen Thumper's senior human house servant

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