Below is a short story without an ending. Read it and notice what your gut reaction is. What do you think happens next? There’s no right or wrong answer, but your first response is likely the most honest and the most instructive. Your response may reveal something about the lens through which you are processing life. Whether or not it provides any insight, have fun with it!
Once upon a time in Catlandia, there was a very rich tabby named Fat Cat. He had made his riches in Kitty City years ago and now lived high on the mouse in his kitty castle. How he had made his riches was somewhat of a mystery. He had more frozen mice and rats in his freezers than 1,000 cats could eat in nine lifetimes, but he always hissed when taxed two rodents a year by the Internal Ratting Service.
Catlandia was not without its problems. Over–mousing had led to a dangerous decline in the rodent population. The same was true of the fish population.
Once two intrepid reporters, Tiger and Hairball, began working for CMN, the Catlandia Mews Network. They reported on the impending food crisis and tried to keep tabs on Fat Cat’s friends who ran the Cat Council. One day Tiger and Hairball decided to investigate how Fat Cat got so rich…and thus so fat. When Fat Cat caught a whiff of their plans, he put a stop to the whole endeavor by purchasing CMN. Tiger and Hairball were reassigned to covering stories about the lives of kitty celebrities. They never reported on anything of significance again.
One day an older cat named Shadow arrived. She had lived in Kitty City and knew how Fat Cat had become wealthy. Shadow wanted Tiger and Hairball to broadcast the truth, but they were preoccupied with the breakup of “TomCat”, a famous kitty couple.
Shadow was born near a stream in Kitty City. There she frolicked all day, catching fish and rodents, just like her mother had taught her. One day Fat Cat arrived. He convinced the people of Kitty City that they could have more food with less effort if they paid him to use his new invention: The Kibble-Shaker. The Kibble-Shaker, though Fat Cat never revealed the full details of how it worked, essentially created underground explosions forcing rodents out of their holes and fish out of their streams. Sure enough, within a short period of time mice, rats and fish were popping up everywhere for easy catching. Fat Cat took his pay (mostly in frozen rodents) and left town.
Shortly afterwards, however, things went terribly wrong. Because the rodents were forced out of their holes before they could raise their young, there was no next generation of vermin to feed on. Even worse, the underground explosions had polluted the water. Not only did most of the fish die, but the cats had to travel great distances to find something to drink. When they tracked down Fat Cat, he claimed it was all a coincidence and that they couldn’t prove The Kibble-Shaker had anything to do with their plight.
Shadow shared the story throughout Catlandia, but no one seemed interested. Not only were they wrapped up in the “TomCat” drama, but they had also bought into the Cat Council’s propaganda that the best way to keep safe and fed was to make sure Fat Cat kept as many of his frozen rodents as possible in the hope that a few tidbits would trickle down to feed the rest of the cats. If anyone held him accountable for past infractions, they feared they’d have even less food than their already declining supply.
One day Shadow happened upon a hidden structure just outside of Catlandia. A stealthy kitty if ever there was one, Shadow slinked around a corner and peeked inside to see Fat Cat and his friends eating a grand feast of Rat Souffle and Trout with a Mouse Reduction. She listened carefully as Fat Cat caterwalled to the clowder of cats: “Mewwwww….. Now that I have all those felines eating out of my paw, I can introduce my greatest invention. The Kibble-Shaker is coming to Catlandia!”
What happens next?