Once upon a time, there lived a feisty little cat named Socks. He wasn’t a sleek Persian, or even a Siamese. Actually, he wasn’t handsome at all – being a sort of indeterminate black and white – and, truth be told, there was an element of doubt about his parentage. But Socks didn’t care, because he lived in a magnificent white castle; and his owners were the greatest king and queen in all the world. Thanks to them, his name was known throughout the land. What’s more, the fair princess doted on him and gave him treats. Yes, life was good for Socks.
Then calamity befell. The good king and queen were overthrown by a swaggering, swashbuckling conqueror, who came in with guns blazing, usurped the throne; and exiled his masters to the land of York (for some reason, they called in New York nowadays). Well, it wouldn’t be too bad, he supposed. True, the new place was nowhere as big as the white castle, but it wasn’t so humble as to demean his status as former First Cat. He guessed he would learn to adjust, in time.
Alas, poor Socks wasn’t given time to adjust. Even while on the throne, the king had begun to neglect his queen – and was spending way too much time with his concubines. Socks knew that the queen’s ire was rising steadily, but he never imagined she would take it out on an innocent feline. Before he knew it, he was dumped on another and – the final ignominy – the lady was a commoner; the king’s personal secretary, some Betty Curie female – she didn’t even have the dignity to call herself Elizabeth. And Betty treated him like, well, a common cat; it was humiliating.
Now there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The queen was looking to regain her throne. Not that she intended to fully forgive her philandering husband, of course, but he could be her consort – if he behaved himself. The queen was having an image makeover. She was attempting to come over all warm and fuzzy and caring. She was even trying to develop a horsey, fake laugh (give me a break). Much as he hated her guts for abandoning him, Socks had to admit the lady was a damned fine actress. She already had most of her former subjects convinced she was a new woman – wise as Solomon and tender as Mother Teresa. There were some who thought she was more like Cleopatra; and deserved to be bitten by an asp – but their numbers were dwindling. The Ice Queen had even started chatting mother-to-mother and girlfriend to girlfriend with female voters. Geez, the woman deserved an Oscar.
The present king’s court isn’t taking this lying down, of course. Launching a spirited counter attack, the monarch’s heralds are being dispatched to all corners of the kingdom – slyly posing questions, such as, if the queen can be heartless enough to discard her faithful feline companion of eight years, is she too cold and calculating to rule over her subjects? They are also gleefully reminding the populace that this is the same queen who wrote a crowd-pleasing book “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets”, in which she claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his "toy mouse" did the White House "become a home".
The queen’s courtiers are, in public scoffing at the pettiness of this charge, declaring that off-loading a pet is nowhere near the top of the list, in the annals of human evil. Privately, however, they are worried. They know that, in a nation of pet lovers, this sort of image is not going down very well. Hence, Socks is back in favor.
Whatever may be the motive, Socks isn’t complaining. The queen has retrieved him from the feckless Betty; and he is now comfortably ensconced in the New York mansion. Heck, he even makes an occasional public appearance, which is very gratifyingly received. Yes, sir, Socks is top cat again and, this time, he is going to stay that way. He believes the queen has learnt her lesson. Who knows, he may even start a family soon. He knows he is not going to be around forever; and he owes it to the kingdom to produce heirs who would be fit companions for the princess when she ascends the throne.