The Emperor's New Palace



Once upon a time, there was a club in a castle owned by a kindly old Emperor. It was big and unwieldy, and nothing worked properly on it, but he had members and volunteers who grafted their little cocks off to make it a vibrant and welcoming place. There were competitions, and games, and all manner of banter about many and diverse subjects, and people could put up their own pictures on the wall and everything. It was like a little world of its own, welcoming strays and providing them with a nice basket to sleep in.

Eventually, there were so many strays, 85,000 of them, all trying to squeeze through the tiny door at once, that the foundations started to buckle, and more and more of the castle had to be closed off just to stop it all from falling down. It was decided that it was time to build a shiny new palace, and plans were put in place behind the scenes by the kindly old Emperor and his courtiers. They brought in a specialist architect, who told the volunteers how magical the new palace would be, and how they'd be able to come and look at it any day now, and make sure that everything was in place to house the strays. Oh, it was going to be wonderful, with room for all the pictures from the old castle and plenty of room for new pictures and more strays. We were all very excited.

Then, one day, while the Emperor was away on state business, his minions came in and nailed a message to the staffroom door, telling the volunteers that they weren't good enough for their shiny, new palace and that they weren't going to take any of them. Moreover, they'd decided, the strays were too smelly, and wouldn't be invited unless they met with the approval of the minions. They were told not to try to save any of the strays or talk to them about it at all or try to contact the Emperor, or they'd be shown the door.

Well, as you can imagine, the staff weren't happy at all. All that work, only to be told they were redundant and no longer required. When news got to the strays, they were up in arms, and demanded an explanation from the staff. The staff, of course, didn't know either, and could only remonstrate with the strays and ask them to keep calm, even while they were not feeling very calm themselves. They shouted and complained, but this only made things worse, as the minions, being stupid (minions usually are, which is why they're minions), started to take down entire collections of pictures and tear them up. Entire collections of members' pictures lost in a flash. They were told they had 30 days to save what pictures they could, after which the building would be demolished. They put a silence spell on the building so that only the tiniest messages could be made between the strays, and then only one a day.

Thankfully, the strays had some elves among them, who knew some powerful magic spells able to collect all the pictures at once so that nothing would be lost. It would all be fine, they said. We'd have to find a new home, but at least we wouldn't lose the pictures. They made their preparations, and set their spells in motion.

But disaster! The minions, being evil and stupid cunts, had set their own magic on the place, and every spell to collect the pictures only delivered the same picture over and over again, of some tuneless twat from Newton le Willows. This made the strays very angry indeed, and some of them, who'd managed to find some floor space to kip on in a friend's place, put up a picture of the minions, showing them stuffed inside a suppurating rat's rectum. When this got back to the Emperor, he was furious, and went to the national press to call the strays a bunch of cunts. He locked the building and told everyone to fuck off.

But the strays weren't going to be beaten that easily. They found each other huddled in the dark places of the town, wherever clever people were, and they put up pictures all over the place so that strays would be able to find each other. The word got out, and many were found. Best of all, a very clever elf by the name of Nineberry managed to make his spell work, so that all the pictures were saved!

Eventually, with the kindly help of a particular elf who had a building he wasn't using, they made for themselves a new home and began to welcome strays again. When they were settled, they went to have a shufty at the Emperor's new building. It was shit. The minions had wasted all his money on Xena tapes and hot pockets, and built him a 2-up 2-down in Brentwood. By the time the Emperor realised what had happened, it was too late and, when he tried to get his money back, he was told he had been stupid to give it all away in exchange for a pile of crap in the first place.

The strays built their new home, and some of the lost strays found their way there over time, although many are still missing. They lived ha...

Actually, they didn't, and they still don't. Nobody knows what happened to all the strays, and perhaps we never will.

What we do know is that some of those strays learned valuable lessons in leadership, education and self-reliance, and even today you can find them wandering the town, putting up the best pictures and showing those less artistic than themselves how to make batter pictures.

At one point, two of the strays bumped into each other after not seeing each other for a very long time, and they wondered how many strays there still were out there, and whether they could be found. They decided to put up some pictures, and before they knew it, they were finding lost strays everywhere. They built a new palace, and they named it 'Plear'.

If you are a lost stray from the Emperor's Palace, and you want to find your kitty friends, let me know. You can contact me on Twitter - @hackenslash2 - or on Facebook - Tony hackenslash Murphy, and I can tell you how to find them.

If you know of any strays, please send them our way.