Timothy the talking cat and the libelous comment

It was a quiet day at Felapton Towers. Timothy the talking cat was inspecting his arsenal of chemical weapons whilst composing blank verse in his head. He paused momentarily, troubled that no matter how he phrased it the fourth line would necessarily rhyme with the “orange” in the second line, when the door bell rang insistently.

Shaken from his poetic endeavor, Timothy paced towards the front door, visually checking that the Heckler & Koch HK CAWS shotgun was still in place behind the coat stand.

“You can never be too careful these days.” he thought with visions of future headlines swimming in his head. “Verbose feline foils heinous home invasion with shocking shotgun” would look magnificent on the front-page of the Bortsworth Gazette & Advertiser in Timothy’s opinion and he would almost be ready to forgive the paper for not publishing his 12 page homage to Margaret Thatcher.

With the presence of the prototype military shotgun providing him with much needed reassurance, Timothy opened the door announcing as he did so “Please be warned that I am armed and can become extremely anxious in the presence of unannounced strangers!”

Before him stood a stranger – unannounced. Timothy choked back his instinctive reaction to begin suppressing fire along the drive way while activating the laser defense grid and instead greeted the stranger with a cheery “Good morning”.

“Mr Talkingcat? I am Eugene Sellwart of Sellwart, Sellwart and Munch, solicitors, conveyances and picture framers. I reprsent my client Adolf Smith-Goering who intends to sue you for libel.”

“Libel?” replied Timothy incredulously “how dare you threaten my first amendment rights!”

Eugene Sellwart looked at Timothy puzzled. Perhaps it was only now that he had apprehended that he was talking to a cat or perhaps his fine legal mind was puzzled by references to the constitution of a nation which was geographical and jurisdictionally distant.

“Libel is not a laughing matter Mr Talkingcat” admonished Sellwart “you sir, called my client a neo-nazi!”

Nazi? A dim memory arose in Timothy’s head. He had been concerned about having a sufficiently effective tactical vest to complete his urban warfare gear. Timothy was ever mindful of the imminent danger of dictatorship seizing control of the country. He had carefully counted every second word in his copy of Friedrich Hayek’s seminal work “The Road to Serfdom” to discover what he believed to be a hidden warning stegnographically concealed in its pages.

Having found a suitable supplier, Timothy had visited the shop only to be met by a proprietor who greatly disturbed him. Perhaps he had been up to late reading Hayek and was primed to expect Nazis everywhere due to the preponderance of public hospitals (a sure sign of a creeping totalitarian takeover in Timothy’s opinion) – but something about Mr. Smith-Goering disturbed him. Later, on returning to Felapton Towers, Timothy had taken to Facebook and posted a message to his many (2) friends warning them away from Mr Smith-Goering’s establishment. Sure enough Eugene Sellwart Attorney-at-Law was now waving a printed copy of his Facebook messages under Timothy’s highly sensitive nose.

“but, but” stammered Timothy “he was wearing jackboots!”

Sellwart looked down his nose at Timothy “Mr Smith-Goering’s footwear are geunine Soviet era, Red Army jackboots. Now what kind of so-called Nazi would wear Russian boots?”

“but, but, he was wearing black jodphurs!”

“My client had recently returned from a vigorous game of polo. Hardly a game for Nazis, or do you claim Prince Charles is a Nazi now?”

“but, but he was wearing a black shirt!”

“the shirt was a dark charcoal grey”

“But it had a death’s head insignia and he was goosestepping back and forth shouting ‘heil, heil”!”

“Perfectly legitimate actions of a man in the privacy of his own public shopfront. Are you saying that you should now be able to dictate how ordinary people live their lives Mr Talkingcat, is it not you, perhaps, who is the real Nazi here?”

Timothy looked crestfallen and confused “I see your point Mr Sellwart. Please let Mr Smith-Goering know that I am very, very sorry. I have behaved like a jerky knee-jerk leftist jerk and I am deeply ashamed”.

Mr Sellwart patted Timothy on the head “Just let that be a lesson to you. To correctly identify Nazis you must follow this simple syllogism. Nazis built autobahns, autobahns are motorways therefore Nazis build motorways. Do you see? Mr Smith-Goering does not build motorways now does he? Quite. So he cannot be a Nazi.”

After a long cup of tea and an extended chat about the dangers of libel reform, Timothy and Eugene Sellwart would become fast friends and lived happily ever after.

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