It happened entirely by chance; during one of my customary patrols of my patch (and occasional forays into the territory of other cats), I happened to be sauntering past Clegge's house. Until recently, he and his Iberian spouse - like most of the political classes - were enjoying the mandatory 'holiday' in some far-flung exotic paradise. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he was absent when I happened past his domain. But I digress. What drew my attention was a strange noise coming from a nearby window.
Now, curiosity is one of those attributes I'm simply unable to suppress, so I simply had to leap up onto the window ledge to investigate the source of the noise. I was surprised to see a cage, carefully suspended from the rafters of the beams in the house. The occupant was a creature I'd never seen before. It had the semblance of a large bird, substantially bigger than a rook. Its plumage was predominantly a bright shade of red with other colours in its wings, and its beak was quite unlike anything I'd seen before; it was large, powerful and curved, ending in a vicious-looking hook. What surprised me further was the sounds it was uttering; it was a medley of loud and ear-piercing shrieks and squawks, punctuated by - and this was the biggest surprise of all - human speech!