New Royal Decree Requires Households to Own At Least One Cat

A new Royal Decree in Zargothrax states that by the end of August 2023, all Thraxian households will be legally required to own at least one cat, “in order to prevent the coming apocalypse”. The bizarre and controversial decree comes just weeks after King Shapur immediately adopted twelve cats following his release from hospital, citing a “vision from God”. The cats will, according to the King, save their owners from an unknown calamity which will befall humanity.

King Shapur is a follower of the controversial new religious movement, Cosmic Infinity, which has been decried as a “cult” by opponents. He is the first monarch of Zargothrax to abandon the national religion of Zoroastrianism, which his children still follow. However, the official website and social media pages of the Cosmic Infinity movement have made it clear that they are not anticipating any apocalypse – meaning that King Shapur is the only individual who appears to know of it.

The King has refrained from elaborating on the causes of the alleged apocalypse, focusing solely on issuing royal decrees on how citizens can survive it. Prior to the alleged “vision from God” while in hospital, King Shapur had shown little interest in governance, leaving most matters of state to his son Prince Bahman while the King spent his time carrying out scientific experiments. However, now, the King has been pictured almost daily handing out cats to passers-by outside the royal residence.

This new cat ownership decree is likely to be widely unpopular in a country where many families struggle to afford the bare essentials for the human members of their households. Some levels of creative compliance are to be expected as families choose to “adopt” local stray cats as outdoor cats; naming them but without substantially changing their lives. This will be easy, as stray cats are very common across Zargothrax – indeed, cats have been native to the area since before domestication.

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