Many regard the sight of a cat to be a sign of good fortune. Most of the time, they are right. But one particular land knows only fear of cats and the trouble they bring, should one come home with them.
Once upon a time, a very small and skinny silver cat sought shelter from the harsh elements under a simple wooden box. The box only kept out some of the rain and wind, but it was better than nothing. A haggard and worn-looking man saw the silver cat, and the cat looked quite cold. He brought the cat back to his shack so they could keep each other warm. Perhaps good fortune would befall the man. For a time, the man and the silver cat kept each other warm. The shack kept out most of the rain and wind. But soon, the man fell ill and could no longer leave his bed. He could no longer leave the shack. Not long after falling ill, the man died.
Some time after his death, a little old lady that was out picking mushrooms happened upon the shack. She found a small silver cat who looked lonely, so she took the cat home to her cottage to keep her company. For a time, the little old lady and the silver cat kept each other company. The cottage was warm and kept out all of the rain and wind. The old lady grew older and soon could no longer leave the cottage. Not long after, the woman died. The woman had no heir, so the cottage was to be auctioned.
While taking stock of the cottage, the town adjudicator discovered a silver cat. Needing a cat to hunt the mice that plagued his home, he took the cat back to his house. For a time, the silver cat dutifully chased mice from the adjudicator's home, but sooner than not, the mice were all gone. Having no more need for a cat, the adjudicator kicked the cat out.
Not long after the auction, a widowed heiress called upon the adjudicator in his home. But he was nowhere to be found! She found only a large silver cat. Looking for a companion for her children, she brought the cat back to her large estate. For a time, the silver cat kept the heiress' children happy. But as the children grew, their interests shifted from toys and games to hunting and courtship, and they grew bored of the cat.
Not long after, a widower king seeking a new bride came across the estate, but in it he found only a huge silver cat. The cat whispered to him that he only need bring the cat back to his castle and marry it, and the cat would turn into a beautiful princess. The king brought the silver cat back home to his castle and married the cat in a secret ceremony, lest he become the subject of ridicule. But when the cat did not turn into a human princess, the prince grew angry and tried to kill the cat.
I need not tell you what happened to the king but it is said that a great silver cat still resides in that castle: a ruler of the land, feared by all. To this day, the castle stands unoccupied and the villagers brind tribute to the landing of the castle, lest a cat come home with them.
- The Cat King, pg. 1-13