It was quiet in Felapton towers. Camestros was starring blankly into space muttering “heteroscedastic, heteroscedastic” in a monotone – a non-monotonic monotone but still a monotone.
Timothy sat in silence, but his silence was one of deep and unremitting anger. His gaze was fixed on a freshly delivered copy of the Bortsworth Gazette & Advertiser. He starred at it as if eyes emitted light – a fierce burning light that surely would ignite the paper if only he stared hard enough at the vile monstrosity that it was.
Eventually disturbed by the smell of ozone wafting from Timothy’s fur ,Camestros broke from the reverie and addressed the cat directly:
“Timothy I can feel the tension in your spine from over here in the adjacent room in which I’m sitting and which I should have mentioned earlier as I was establishing the setting of this story. What on earth is the matter?”
Camestros considered his words and realized that Timothy couldn’t possibly hear him as he was in a different room. He stood, opened the door and said:
“Timothy I can feel the tension in your spine from over there. What on earth is the matter?”
“This” said Timothy, his gaze unbroken towards the newspaper.
“This” he repeated, now weakly waving his front paw “this slanderous, malodorous insulting rag. This crime against the noble art of journalism. This inherently objectionable crime against veracity, truth, and exactitude. This…”
“Enough Timothy! I think I have understood that you are upset with the local papr again. What did they do this time? Fail to print your article on the metaphysics of Nigella Lawson?”
“No. Firstly it was NIGEL Lawson the gifted conservative not his pastry murdering daughter and secondly they DID publish my retrospective on his insight into the scientific method. No the crime, the crime that the edit of this foul excuse for litter tray linings is far, far worse.” Timothy paused for breath. “The newspaper…they said…they accused me…of having…RABIES!”.
“Babies?” Replied Camestros “I’m fairly sure that the vet ensured that you…”
“Dunnder-headed excuse for a human!” roared the cat “RABIES – the disease. The scourge of mammals! The viral madness! The salival sickness!”
Camestros made calming motions with his actuators and picked up the paper. Sure enough on the front page was the start of Timothy’s article on how Nigel Lawson was one of the few thinkers today who truly understood the scientific method. It ran to the third paragraph with a short note saying “continued on page 8”. Camestros quickly read the text on Page 8 also – while not normally a speed reader Camestros had learned how to skim quickly through Timothy’s writing by avoiding every second adjective.
“Timothy, please be calm. I have read your article and at no point have they added any claim or accusation that you have rabies.”
Timothy stared back up at Camestros with a pitying look as if utterly dismayed by Camestros’s lack of intelligence.
“Look again – there, two columns over”.
To the left-hand side of the page near an advert for sheds and gazebos from GazeboWorld, was an article with a photo of an angry looking man in a woolen hat. The article ran with a headline “Local atheist claims to be unsure of the etymology of ‘homophobia'”
“I think” said Camestros cautiously “It must have been a very slow news day.”
“yes, but you see it don’t you” replied the cat “there in black and white – the accusation.”
“Timothy it says ‘homophobia’. I believe you must be confusing the word with ‘hydrophobia'”
Timothy sighed: “You see it is always the same with you. You just don’t see the narrative.”
Camestros sighed. The feud with the Bortsworth Gazette & Advertiser would only escalate in the light of this latest outrage. It was time, once again, to replace all the ammunition in the house with play-doh.