Once upon a time, in a land far from here (though closer than you may think), was a little town called Whiskerton. Though little, the town was far from ordinary. Not only was it home to a coterie of curious cats, Whiskerton abided by the laws of quantum physics.
That’s why its feline residents loved it so dearly. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where feathers spontaneously appeared and disappeared? Or where marbles could be red and blue at the same time? Or where one could not tell with certainty where a felt mouse would land if one tossed it in the air; only where it probably might but quite likely not end up?
Whiskerton was a town governed by probabilities, monumentally different from its neighbor, Pawville. Pawville with its proud canine populace, where every outcome was easily predicted with certainty. The dogs were thrilled that nothing extraordinary ever happened there. The cats hated it for precisely that reason.
No, Whiskerton was where they belonged, with its impossibilities and improbabilities and counterintuitivities. Oh: and tuna biscuits, of course.
At the heart of Whiskerton lay its town square, wherein sat a striking feline statue of copper, brass, and gold. While it was positioned under the Great Scratching Tree—a considerable oak with more scratch than bark—the warm shadows cast by branches did not diminish the statue’s strikingness but rather enhanced its tender detailing.
The statue bore the likeness of Schrödinger, Founder of Whiskerton, gleaming face crinkled in thought as though he contemplated gravely important things, and waistcoat stretched a tad thin around the midriff, betraying a weakness for tuna biscuits with evening cream.
Schrödinger had been an enthusiastic pioneer in spite of his tuna biscuit addiction, prone to wander in the hopes of discovering something magnificent. And discover something magnificent he did! A land that was…peculiar, to say the least. Quite unlike any he’d seen before.
The grass was not only green, but also purple and blue, for one. For another, the hills and trees and ponds were prone to shift about every so often, as though they couldn’t quite pick their favorite spots. But the best part about this land? There were toys. Lots and lots of toys: marbles and feathers and felt mice and more, all as wondrous and peculiar as the land itself, shifting colors, periodically disappearing, moving in ways that were difficult to predict.
An extraordinary land; perfect for an extraordinary town, Schrödinger is believed to have thought while munching on a tuna biscuit, eyes grazing the curious landscape.
To establish this extraordinary new town, Schrödinger lured potential denizens with grand shows involving the toys native to the land. Hundreds of animals of all shapes, sizes, and ornamentations showed up to spectate. They hitched tents, bonded over campfires, oohed and aahed at the theatrics, and enjoyed (for the most part) waking up to their tents somehow unexpectedly having popped to a different location within the encampment overnight.
The animals were thoroughly entertained, but it was only the cats who expressed interest in taking up permanent residence in this shiny new land, curious creatures as they were. At the end of the day, non-felines much preferred to live in a place where they could clearly see where and how the toys they loved to toss around moved, thankyouverymuch.
And so it was that on the fourteenth of April that year, Whiskerton was not only pronounced a town, but declared homeland for all the cats in the world.
Chapter 1 Part 2 - Commentary - Introduction