There was once a cat by the name of Mr. Tibbs. A very fine cat, indeed. A sleek and grey Siamese. Mr. Tibbs had been a loyal house cat all his life, and was proud of his long service as a mouser.
So you can imagine his surprise when his mistress put him out on the street one day. “I’m sorry, Mr. Tibbs,” she said, “but there isn’t a mouse in the house anymore, so we haven’t a need for you. Thank you for your long service, dear, you’ve been very sweet.” She gave him a recommendation, rolled it into his collar, and shut the door.
Poor Mr. Tibbs! He felt downright betrayed. He had been in that house for seven years! All the same, he reminded himself, he was a fine cat, a Siamese, and a very good mouser, indeed. Surely there ought to be others with mice who were interested in a permanent cat. So he went to the house down the street.
He meowed. An old man opened the door. He had white hair and kindly eyes. “Hello,” purred Mr. Tibbs. “My name is Mr. Tibbs. I am seven years old, and I am looking for a permanent home. I am a fine mouser. I am loyal and fully domesticated. In short, I am a permanent cat.” He cocked his head to one side, looking very proud.
“I’m sorry,” said the old man. “I can’t take a permanent cat.”
“Don’t you have mice?” asked Mr. Tibbs.
“Well, yes, I’ve got mice, and I’d like to be rid of them too, but like I said, I can’t take a permanent cat.”
The old man shut the door. Mr. Tibbs walked down the alleyway, confused. He tried another door, and then another. It was the same story. Lots of mice, but no one would take a permanent cat.
Late in the day, while he was pawing through some trash trying to scare up dinner, along came an alley cat. She bounded through the litter, causing every living thing to jump and run. There was dinner all around her! Mr. Tibbs crouched and growled. Who did she think she was, making such a commotion? You would think she had the world by the tail.