An elderly member of the high nobility in Zargothrax has left his island holdings to his cat, after he passed without any male heirs. Under Thraxian law, women are not permitted to inherit property larger than a certain size, and cannot hold titles of nobility in their own right. However, after King Shapur passed a law last month granting personhood to members of the felis catus species, the noble, Lord Amjad Samara, left his estate and titles to his cat Sawalif.
The Samara family have been in charge of a sizeable island off the Thraxian coast, also called Samara, since prior to the rise of the Zargo family as the rulers of the entire Thraxian peninsula. Local Thraxian nobility retains responsibility for a number of matters under Thraxian law, meaning that the family have held considerable power on the island, which has a population of approximately 400,000 people and is notably less arid than the majority of the country, making the island a net food exporter to the rest of the country. If the will is accepted by the King, the cat Sawalif will legally have great power over the population of Samara, regardless of species.
High nobility in Zargothrax – the rank just below that of the King himself – have a great amount of power over the areas in which they rule. They can levy taxes, mediate in local disputes, and even sentence individuals to death. There is no minimum age limit for the inheritance of such titles, which has caused numerous problems in the past. In 1876, after a seven-year-old lord attempted to wage war on a neighbouring region, laws were put in place to mandate oversight of those under the age of sixteen – but these were abolished by Shapur in 2020.
Sawalif is a six-year-old tuxedo cat who has no prior experience of governance. The Feline Personhood Decree, issued by King Shapur in September, grants all cats of the felis catus species (both domestic and wild) equivalent legal status to humans across Zargothrax: allowing them to own property, marry and hold office; as well as making the killing of a cat legally murder. In theory, this decree should thus allow a cat to hold titles of high nobility, to much ridicule and controversy.
Last weekend, King Shapur’s obsession with felines took on a new level when the entire Royal Family travelled to Salad Land for the wedding of the King’s cat Farvardin and the Marquis de Salad’s cat Reginald. The “cat wedding” attracted a number of foreign dignitaries, and a popular following on social media. The wedding, through unconventional, is supposed to have cemented a familial alliance between the two ruler’s families – and marked a definite end to the bizarre hostilities of the Thraxian-Saladian War earlier this year.