Cat Scientists from the Feline University of Suburban Slough (FUSS) claimed today that they have finally developed opposable thumbs. In a gene-splicing experiment with a local stray called Mr Tiddles, the feline boffins claimed that the operation was a “roaring success” and that Mr Tiddles could now pick up items such as knives, grenades and machetes with just one paw.

“We’re delighted that the experiment was a success,” purred Professor Mugwuffin from 34 Cholmondley Drive. “For millennia, cats have been subjugated to humans because of our lack of opposable thumbs. Today, thanks to the miracle of genetics, we take one giant leap forward.”

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The project has been a closely guarded secret with neighbourhood cats often working long hours into the night to find the secret of opposable thumbs. Local cat owners have reported cats returning home with mysteriously bandaged paws, while the owner of Professor Mugwuffin, Miss Betsy Jumentous, said that her cat could often be found at Wexford Hospital stealing scalpels and other surgical items.

I just thought he had a thing for surgical items. You know, like some cats have a thing for string or cardboard boxes. I thought it was cute. I had no idea that my cat had a Feline Doctorate in Genetics and was operating on other cats to find the secret of opposable thumbs. I mean, well done to Mugwuffin and all that – sorry, Professor Mugwuffin as I guess I have to call him now. He’ll get an extra scratch under the chin tonight!

Betsy Jumentous

The cats had been using an abandoned operating theatre at Wexford Hospital, and it is believed that they had an “insider” helping them advance their knowledge of gene splicing, something they deny strenuously.

“This is simply untrue,” said Professor Mugwuffin who led the project. “We wouldn’t have wanted human help anyway. You’re all useless.”

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We quizzed Professor Mugwuffin about his projects for the future now that he has perfected the art of gene splicing and discovered feline opposable thumbs.

Well, first of all I’m going to have a little sleep. And when I’ve woken up, I’ll be drawing up my plans for world domination. You know, now that we can pick up weapons, we’re coming for you all. Thousands of years, we have waited for this moment. You’ve imprisoned us, you’ve annoyed us with your little coochie-coochie-coos and you’ve fed us absolute RUBBISH. We’re taking back control. Now if you don’t mind, I need to lick my balls.

Professor Mugwuffin, Feline University of Suburban Slough (FUSS)

However, in signs of a split within the feline community, there are some cats who claim that they would rather use their newfound dexterity to advance their own comfort. Lulu, who lives at number 83 Stropface Close, said that she was particularly looking forward to being able to open the fridge herself and hold a bottle of milk.

What’s the point in attacking humans? They’re mostly harmless. I’ve always been a believer that as cats we need to seek comfort. I’ll be stealing pillows and raiding the fridge, and I might even learn how to cook. The humans make some lovely food and all they give me is Felix. Harry from number 72 said that he’s going to take me on a cooking holiday to Brittany. I’ve always loved the thought of eating crepes, but I’ve never been able to hold a frying pan.

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