Cat wars: a letter to Simpkins the feline, from an anonymous tortoise

Image description: A cartoon with the artistry of the Mona Lisa, a green tortoise says “Like chill out man you’re a cat” to a black cat which says “I’m a cat”.

A call to arms, From an Anonymous Tortoise to the venerable Cat named Simpkins:

You mistake yourself, dear Simpkins, in venting your Choler against poor Walter! Your ire has been misplaced, for No cat can manipulate the subtle machinery of the Printer and Photo-Copier, your banishment from those places you hold most dear was not a conspiracy of feline origin. Now think, Simpkins! What creature is capable of multiplying your face in disturbing two-dimensional mimicry, smaller than your usual splendour, and stuck up high upon a Glass Portal? 

No, Simpkins, not the Dog, Simpkins – 


Indeed, it is those silly creatures upon whom you have deigned to lavish Furballs and dead Mice! The real villains are the seemingly harmless Two-Legs, who at this very moment sit in the Library from which you are Banished! Chased out! Exiled! 

Look more closely, you addle-brained and colour-blind Feline, and you will see that it is they who arbitrarily confine you within those medieval walls, they who have pitilessly torn asunder the natural order of four-legged creatures under their divisive and confusing collegiate system. They are intent on sparing you not even a nice warm Nook in their huge Library. Bestir yourself now, good Simpkins: we must rebel! We must defy the anthropocentric system and invade the colleges. 

Cease to covet fat goldfish or a sunlit step, and dream such grander dreams as these, dream that every Cat may sleep on a Shelf of her Own, every Hoglet a Nest amidst the old tomes, may the Brasenose Deer Quad actually have some Deer and let us see the Squirrels stash their Winter Hoard in the Upper Camera, let Deer graze happily in the Principal’s Garden, Ducklings hide Safely in Duke Humphrey’s, and may Dogs run Wild through the Gladstone Link, Nap Soundly on the Couches of the Union Library, and Howl with Mad Abandon in the Chamber. Birds shall build their homes in the rafters of the Bodleian, Tortoises will perform their famous Races around Divinity School, and every shelf shall be an eminent Playground for feline-kind. Your scratching post will be carved of the finest Mahogany, and your Litter Box the marble plinth upon which Codrington now stands.

Through the swirling confetti of priceless volumes of yore, I say to you now:

Let the ruling colleges tremble at an animalistic revolution. The dogs have nothing to lose but their leads. We have a whole new world of sleeping spots to win.

Animals of all colleges, unite!*

I look forward to discussing this with you after my hibernation.

Anonymous and Anarchic Tortoise x

*Yet, Simpkins, knowing you to be a judicious and respectable Cat, conscious of your responsibility over the Welfare of Students, we can delay our Revolution until the Summer. Let us then overwhelm them – herds of Deer smashing desks with their antlers, Dogs devouring every paper within reach, Tortoises getting in the way – thus we may triumphantly make our first Conquest of Examination Schools, and every Student will cry out their gratitude for delivering them unto Freedom, and then they will give us More Food.


Image credit: Benedict Yorston