Once upon a time there lived in Penn's Woods a powerful feline named Tomasina. She wasn't your ordinary cat because Tomasina loved power. She had an unquenchable thirst for it and she was willing to do anything, anything, to lord over her fellow cats. This is her story.
Tomasina came from an ordinary line of felines. Descended from strays that came over aboard the ships which made port in colonial Philadelphia, she found herself living in a small city with many relatives. They roamed the streets together as kittens and she gradually learned how to lord herself over them. As this enabled her to do less and less actual foraging for herself she gained a lust for power and privilege.
Tomasina began ordering people to do as she wanted and dispensed favors, special mouse baskets, to those she favored. The cats who didn't do as she wished were banished to work in the fish markets (stealing her treats), as mousers in area barns, ratters in the city tenements, or left homeless on the streets to fend for themselves. Such were the risks of offending Tomasina.
The working cats of Penn's Woods paid her homage. Not sated enough slaving away for kibble and the rare catnip treat, they had to pay dues which were then transferred to Tomasina's control. She then used these to reward her favorites and punish her enemies. This she gained a stranglehold over all of Penn's Woods catdom.
As arrogance became hubris Tomasina decided she could do as she pleased and the public be damned. No matter her sins and CATastrophes were duly recorded by the local Feline Fish Wrapper, she continued to lor di tover all her subjects, deciding herself who would represent them at the annual festival of St. Gertrude, the patron saint of catdom. Of course Tomasina thought of herself as saintly even if no other cat did, and she wanted to be exalted by every other cat in Penn's Woods as the most powerful feline of all. If you disagreed she had one of her brothers slash you with his claws.
Tomasina's brothers were a motley crew. Stray tomcats can be vicious, untamed and in need of litter training. Tomasina's especially. They were her enforcers and took their jobs very seriously since they were incapable of doing anything else but eat the scraps she allowed. They had become totally dependent upon her power for their existence. Thus they were willing to do anything she demanded.
Tomasina demanded plenty for this is how she retained her hold on power once it was attained. Working cats gave part of their pay every month to their local leaders who then gave the income to Tomasina. The Boss then used this to lord her will over every other cat in her kingdom. It was a very feudalistic situation. If you wanted a job you had to go, paw in hand, and do due diligence to her majesty. If Tomasina was in an especially naughty mood that day she might greet you lying spreadeagled on her cat bed, something which teased the toms unmercifully.
Tomasina also had her own personal cabal and her own private harum. The cabal sought appropriate suitors for her favors and punished those who refused. Her cabal was well known as an especially strange sort of stray cat: quite incapable of intelligent, rational thought. They were capable only of doing Tomasina's bidding and, of course, this is how she wanted things to be. Intelligent, independent thought, after all, led to questioning authority. No such heresy was allowed in Tomasina's world.
The end came for Tomasina one day when a new cat came to town. Surrounded by a different sort of cabal, one of independent, intelligent thinkers, Progress, as he came to be known, refused to kiss Tomasina's ring and rebuffed the sharpened claws of her defenders. The other strays and working cats began to question what Tomasina was doing with the shares of their kibble they were contributing and she couldn't satisfy their queries.
That was the beginning of the Great Penn's Woods Catfight. Progress, as unavoidable as the rising of the morning sun, prevailed over the corrupt, arrogant Tomasina who eventually slinked out of town in the dead of night with her tail between her legs. No one ever heard of her again though the persistent rumors say she hopped a freighter out of Baltimore. Unable to subsist on graft from others her cabal were rounded up as strays and sent to the shelter.