A school in Pontypool, West Monmouth, has written to parents to inform them that it is unwilling to provide litter trays for children who self-identify as cats. In her letter, deputy head Claire Hughes wrote: ‘This kind of behaviour is not acceptable at school and as such, no provision is in place at school, such as litter trays.’ TCW Defending Freedom sent its Furries Correspondent to South Wales to investigate.
WEST Monmouth school, or Ysgol Gorllewin Mynwy as it is known by some locals, is an imposing brick building which towers over Blaendare Road in the sleepy town of Pontypool. This former grammar school is notable for being the alma mater of Sir Anthony Hopkins, an actor famous for his portrayal of a cannibalistic serial killer.
The facilities at the school seem impressive. In addition to the top-of-the-range 4G artificial football pitch, in the playground I observed a giant wheel and a large kennel.
My first interview was with Glenys ‘Tiddles’ Jones, one of the pupils who identifies as a cat. She discarded the dead sparrow she was holding in her mouth to tell me: ‘Like, it’s totally unfair, right. The dogs just go to the edge of the playing field to do their business and, like, expect the groundsman to clean up after them. The bears do it in the woods and, like, it’s just left there. All we want, right, is a simple litter tray. Why is that so difficult?’
I next caught up with Alun ‘Rex’ Thomas, a dog. Rex believes that Tiddles is making too much of a fuss. ‘I’m not being funny or anything but that is typical cat. It’s all me, me, me or “meow, meow, meow” if they don’t get what they want. If they are so keen on a litter tray they could make their own in woodwork.’
I talked to Blodwen ‘Bella’ Price, a hamster, after she had finished her exercises on the playground wheel. Bella had no views on the litter issue as she prides herself on her retentive abilities. However, she does get annoyed when teachers misidentify her as a gerbil. ‘You know it is totally unfair. Do I look as though I have a long tail?’ Bella told me that as a result of the repeated insults, her parents are seeking compensation from the local education authority.
I spoke to another pupil, Gruffydd ‘Dozy’ Lewis, a two-toed sloth, via a Zoom call to his bedroom. Dozy has hung out there since coming out as a sloth. Dozy is quite happy with the home tuition he is receiving and had no opinion on the cat litter situation. His main complaint was the quality of leaves available at his local Tesco.
My final interview was with David Jones, who wanted me to know that he was not knowingly related to Glenys ‘Tiddles’ Jones. David explained that he was the only person in the school who identified as a human. ‘To be perfectly honest, all I hear throughout the day is meows, growls, barks, and grunts, and that’s just the teachers. I am hoping to move to the nearby Abersychan School where the pupils identify as insects. At least it will be quieter there and less smelly.’
A spokesperson from Torfaen Council’s Education Department, Rhys Evans, had this to say: ‘We have no objection to cat litter trays as such, but due to savage Tory cuts to our budget we just don’t have the staff to clean them on a regular basis.’
As I departed I noticed a flock of self-identifying lambs being herded in silence towards the sports field.