Before I really begin to unleash my stream of nonsenseness upon you, I should first relieve you, dear reader, by answering some of the very salient questions that you are at this moment undoubtedly grappling with. Namely, why does Mungo's cat have no tail and why of all names is it named Parnell?!
I will begin by addressing this first question. Parnell (the cat) was found one day in a ditch on the side of the road buried under a pile of blackberry brambles with thorns in its side and tics in his fur. Mungo made this discovery as he was going for his daily walk down a bog-road to the beach and heard the small, croaky, cries of a kitten coming from the side of the road. As soon as he went over to the ditch and rescued the kitten from the grip of the prickly brambles, Mungo noticed that it had a most unusual and striking feature; that where one would normally expect to find a tail, there was nothing but a small mound of fur. Mungo was perplexed by this discovery and quickly set about rummaging through the ditch to see if the tail might have fallen off somewhere. He traipsed through the surrounding fields in search of the tail and went down to the seashore to forage through the seaweed but found nothing out of the ordinary.
Mungo didn't know much about cats at the time and he surmised that perphaps some cats had tails like human umbilical cords and simply fell off some days after birth. However, Mungo was not satisfied by this hypothesis and so he paid a rare visit to the local vet.
The vet expressed much surprise upon Mungo's presentation of this unusual case. Not only because the mangy cat appeared to have no tail, but because he had not had a cat in his surgery for many, many years - cows and sheep being the only animals in Connemara given the privilege of expensive veterinary care.
Having recovered from the initial shock of seeing a cat in his surgery, the vet began examining its absence of a tail. At first he believed it to be of the Manx cat breed but its short hind legs gave him cause for some doubt. On closer inspection of the furry mound where a tail should have been, the vet found a bloody scab and thus concluded that the tail had been chopped off; by what or by whom, shall forever remain shrouded in mystery.
Now to address the second question: Why is Parnell named Parnell?
After leaving the vet's surgery with a formal diagnosis of his new pet's condition, Mungo was in awe of the little kitten's bravery and strong will to surive after having such a horrendous and violent act committed against him (the vet had also confirmed that the cat was male). Mungo felt that his kitten was so impressive and noble that he deserved to be named after a truly brilliant and courageous historical figure. Who better than the esteemed Home Rule and Land Reform campaigner, Charles Stuart Parnell?! Mungo thought to himself.
And so it was that Mungo's cat came to be christened, Parnell.
P.S. For those of you who are curious about Mungo's one-eyed rabbit named Sushi, there really isn't much to say. Domesticated rabbits are very dull and Sushi is no exception. She just sits around all day eating sea-lettuce and hardly ever moves. In fact, she is so still most of the time that one day, Parnell attacked her, believing her to be a toy. And that is how Sushi came to be a one-eyed rabbit.