The World of Animus

The many, merry adventures of Baron von Meowhausen, Time-Traveller and Culinary Explorer extraordinaire

Like Baron von Munchausen, Meowhausen the cat lives in fantasy. He meets talking animals & has many Puss in Boots like adventures on the fantasy world of Animus.

Here are the introductions to the stories of the real-world pets, who won the Animus Characters' Casting Competition of April 2014.

Furry Prince Fabio


In a fisher-cats’ town, at the edge of a far-away desert,
Lived a maniacal Duke who terrorised all the peasants.
Fabio was this tyrant’s long-awaited, first son—
The Duke had nineteen daughters, all of whom were married and gone.

Fabio had been groomed to be a Prince,
Brought up on fresh chicken hearts and mince.
His life had always been so ‘neat’—
He had every toy he could want and all the food he could eat.

The only ‘cloud’ in his otherwise pristine, ‘blue sky’,
Was his Papa, the Duke—not a kind sort of guy.
Not quite the warrior that his father had wanted—
Fabio adored his reflection, about which he frequently vaunted.

His cool, azure gaze, could light up a room,
Making flustered young ladies sigh, stammer and swoon.
He had the looks, he had the wealth,
And did not care for anyone other than himself.

Then one day he dropped his looking glass,
And his fortunes turned around quite fast.
He fell in love and in doing so,
Was forced in chivalry to grow.

Story Summary:

Fabio’s alter ego on Animus, starts out life as a vain princeling. Although this Fabio refuses to follow in the paw-tracks of his belligerent father and become a warlord, he remains an aloof and narcissistic playboy. Eventually, he falls for an unusual girl and must learn the meanings of love and honour, to keep his young family safe from his father’s ever-waxing wrath.

—Full story to be published in: FANCIFUL FABLES (November 2014)

Raven Good of Frisbee


The daughter of a wealthy merchant,
Raven had been born into a fortune.
But ever since she was a pup,
She felt a chilly vibe that plagued her non-stop.

At first, she had thought this feeling a curse,
Alas! Ignoring it, only made the soul-chill much worse.
And so she strove for understanding,
Challenging stereotypes and her mind expanding.

When she learned of her uncle’s ill-begotten wealth,
Her conscience wouldn’t let her be at peace with herself.
For no amount of shiny stones or gold,
Could fill a hollow life, or drive out that cold.

She found that when she focused hard,
She could feel everyone, all the way to Puppydad.
And every time she helped someone,
Her heart glowed warm, like the summer sun.

Though most of her fur was black as the night,
Raven was a creature of the Light.
Then an artisan working for her dad,
Helped her unravel the splendid gift she had.

He told her a myth about the Angels of old,
Who by the Power of Justice protected the World.
Thus, Raven embarked upon a perilous mission,
To reach Angelholm and the Winged Ones petition.

After an arduous journey, she came to her quest’s end,
Having along the way, acquired a like-minded friend.
But the ‘end’, as it turned out was only the start,
As the world is always in need of an empathic heart.

Story Summary:

Hailing from a wealthy family, Raven was plagued by uncertainty. On the one paw—she had everything she could possibly want: the best recreation, education and a guaranteed cushy future and yet… something was amiss.

She found out that she possessed the power to feel the moods of others and even locate folks through their feelings. The reason why, since puppyhood, she could not shake the feeling that something was wrong, was because something WAS very wrong. Her uncle had corrupted her father’s once-noble clockwork toy factory and elevated himself, by trampling on the rights of others.

Having run out of options, but determined to make a change, she sets off on a defiant quest to Angelholm, to bring justice to her home town of Frisbee. She does just that, but not at all in the way that she had expected.

—Full story to be published in: FANCIFUL FABLES (November 2014)

Angel, the Light-Hearted Crusader


When she was but a kitten, a tragedy struck,
That ripped asunder two lives, like an earthquake shatters rock.
A fire had robbed Angelcakes and her brother,
Of a beautiful home, a loving father and mother.

With a deafening roar, the inferno had burned,
And the malevolent smoke, in an acrid cloud churned.
Huddled up in a cupboard, the cubs awaited their fate.
But they were sniffed out and rescued, before it was too late.

Though their bodies were saved from the terrible danger,
By the grace and heroism of a mysterious stranger,
The rest of them needed much longer to heal,
And absorb the full impact of their awful ordeal. 

After saving the kittens, Jinx saw that they were all alone.
So he opened to them his heart and also his home.
As his own cubs he raised them, as best as he could,
And taught them that the purpose of life is to always do good.

His terror of flames, her brother could not rein in,
So he became a fishercat and he learned how to swim.
But Angel refused to hide or to run,
And worked to conquer her fear from dusk until dawn.

She knew that flames hold awesome power—
They can bring light, or all devour.
To join the Firecats she solemnly vowed,
To honour her parents and do her new father proud.

Looking at her ardent, little snout Jinx gently smiled:
“I could not be any more proud of you, my child!
If you wish to repay me, for the life, which you’ve been given,
Never pass by a stranger in need and we’ll call ourselves ‘even’.”

So to help those in need Angel always was eager,
However big were their troubles—her heart was always bigger!
Then she learned of a land boggy, savage and murky,
Where the people were sad and had never had turkey.

She got on a ‘choo-choo’ to the Abunai Station,
Where all signs said: “Turn back or you might face mutation!”
But she was optimistic and never in doubt,
That she could handle any pranks that the toads could dish out.

For her crusade, she had a noble reason—
Spreading the spirit of the Holiday Season.
So instead of extinguishing physical fire,
She set off to kindle dark hearts, for her calling was higher.

Alas! Amphibians should have been the least of her worries,
As she set paw deep into Shadow Fiend territories.
But her mind remained clear and her faith stood steadfast,
And in her darkest of hours, she received the Light for which she’d asked.

Story Summary:

Orphaned at an early age, due to a fire, Angel grew up in awe of the heroic cat, who had risked all, to save her and her brother. She lived and trained with the Firecats, becoming extremely skilled in gymnastics and subduing her well-founded dread of fire. However, when her time came to join the team, her mentor told her that she was capable of doing even more good out, lose in the world. She had witnessed first-paw the dichotomy in the nature of flame and was perfectly suited to advocate fire-safety and increase awareness about the dangers of fire.

During her travels around Poozestan, she learned of a nation across the border, where folks lived in fear and misery. So she boldly set off to share some of her fiery passion and kindness with the inhabitants of Paddestan. Little did she know that to make a real difference, she would have to contend with the will of the amphibian nation’s true masters—the Shadow Bankers’ Cabal of Fiendland.

—Full story to be published in: FANCIFUL FABLES (November 2014)

Miribelle the Wiccan


On the outskirts of a tiny village, stands a derelict farm.
It makes up in rustic sturdiness, what it yields in its charm.
In this humble setting Miribelle had been born,
But alas! Her fragile kittenhood, asunder was torn.

As the runt of the litter, she had been rather small,
But her size had no say in her charisma at all.
A little firecracker of boundless vim,
Filled with optimism to the brim.

One day she fell asleep, while playing, in a cosy hay stack,
And the caravan, carrying it, left the village, without looking back.
The merchants had not noticed the small stowaway,
And she awoke in a strange town, nothing more than a stray.

Through her unfortunate fortune’s slippery twist,
Miribelle was severed from her family, which she now sorely missed.
The throng of the city she just could not abide,
She cast about for a sanctuary—a safe place she could hide.

With people shoving each other, indifferent and rude,
She ran off to seek refuge in a near-by wood.
At last, among the silent, ancient trees,
She found a tranquil, inner peace.

But she did not always have enough to eat,
So she sometimes made do with mushrooms, in place of meat.
One day she ate shrooms that were not meant for eating,
And was saved by a dryad—a serendipitous meeting!

The enchantress taught Miri The Craft, raising her as her own,
And became the only real mentor whom the young she-cat had known.
Miri displayed a natural aptitude for healing,
Her instincts were sharp and her mind supple and willing.

Alchemical formulae and ancient Reiki runes,
Were passed down to Miri over the course of many pale moons.
She learned botanical secrets and every herbological spell,
Mastered artefacts, such as the Boom-Broom and the Dispelling Bell.

With her training complete, she became more outgoing.
Crowds still made her uneasy, but now her anxiety was no longer showing.
She began to venture into town,
To help others with the new powers that she’d found.

But then ascended a tyrant who ruled by the claw,
He forced the people into the Tofu Mines and passed his greed into law.
He put a ban on all medicine, herbs and on spice,
The people were fed a steady diet of propaganda and lies.

Unable to keep up with the flood of damage, wrought by his ruthless campaign—
However many people she healed, still far more were in pain,
She embarked on a quest, to seek help from on high.
She knew the way to Angelholm would be hard, but she just had to try.

Story Summary:

Torn away from her family by a cruel quirk of fate, Miribelle was forced to become independent at an early age. Rather than fight for survival in the suffocating clutches of her new environment—living on humiliating hand-outs and trash—Miri fled the town and found sanctuary in a nearby forest. Here she was rescued by a wood nymph, who became her guardian and teacher.

Upon the completion of her studies, Miri returns to the town of Little Diner to practice her healing arts. She finds the town languishing in the clutches of a rapacious tyrant, who is bent on stopping herbs and spices from reaching the people. She does everything in her power to stem the flow of malnourished refugees, but things continue to escalate and eventually, spiral beyond her control, as the tyrant sentences folks to hard labour in the hazardous Tofu Mines. Miri realises that she will need more than a few potions and salves to deal with this ‘carbuncle’ and embarks on a perilous journey to petition Angelholm for help.

—Full story to be published in: FANCIFUL FABLES (November 2014)

©2018 Art by Anja Coppieters // Stories by Ken Temple