I chose the picture of the two cats on the piles of boxes for my twenty-minute sprint this week. A quick copy edit later, this is the result. I hope you enjoy.
I’ve Already Trained One:
Angelica peered over the edge of the box she sat in, waiting to see when the door would open. The large hairless cat would be back soon. She and Jonathan preferred to have eyes on the door when he did return. It was good to know when the bumbling creature was around.
“Did we leave everything prepared?” Jonathan asked.
“We rearranged the items in the tiered beds room,” Angelica replied.
“And the large bed room?” Jonathan asked.
“Of course,” Angelica replied. “I always do that first thing in the morning.
“Our dishes were properly filled today,” Jonathan mused. “Yesterday was reasonably successful then.”
“He made more of the interesting noises than usual as he rearranged things,” Angelica reminded him.
“Yes, it is always a successful day when he verbalizes more,” Jonathan agreed.
“Do you think we need to particulate something?” Angelica asked. “He’s especially verbal when we do that.”
“Not today. We did one last week.”
“Best not to overdo that technique,” Angelica agreed. “I was sure to lay on his pants today.”
“We must give him whatever added warmth we can manage,” Jonathan said. “I don’t understand how he survives without his fur.”
“The fur on his head probably needs grooming as well,” Angelica said. “Provided it doesn’t taste too awful. I don’t know what he does to end up with all that gunk in it.”
“It seems to be voluntary,” Jonathan said. “He was in the water room the other day and I saw him putting something in his fur that smelled like what we usually find in it when we try to groom him properly.”
“It’s getting late,” Angelica said, glancing out the window. “He’s usually returned before dark.”
“It’s not so late that it’s concerning yet,” Jonathan replied. He was older, so Angelica trusted him to know what he was talking about.
They both perked up when they heard the sound from the door. There was always a specific grating noise before the door itself opened. They jumped down from their boxes and hurried to jump onto the counter beside the door.
“Say hi to the welcoming committee,” their furless cat said as he walked in.
There was a second furless cat behind him.
“Oh, how cute,” she said. “They’re waiting for you.”
“Yeah,” theirs said. “They always greet me at the door. I think maybe they miss me when I’m not around.”
“They’re lovely,” the other one said, stepping closer and reaching out to touch Jonathan.
Jonathan ducked his head as she reached for him. He didn’t let just anyone touch him.
“Hey, sweet girl,” their furless cat said as he stroked between Angelica’s ears and down her back.
Angelica purred and pushed into the touch, but kept her eyes on Jonathan and the new furless cat. She thought this one was female.
Jonathan had evaded her touch and jumped down to the floor.
“He doesn’t seem especially friendly,” the furless cat said, crouching down beside Jonathan.
“He can be slow to warm up,” their furless cat said. “Just give him time to get used to you.”
The female furless cat stood up again and stepped closer to their furless cat. “Is she friendly?”
“Usually,” their furless cat replied, still stroking Angelica. “She loves attention.”
The new furless cat reached out and rand her fingers along Angelica’s back. It wasn’t a rough touch, so Angelica remained still. She watched the newcomer.
“You’re beautiful,” the female said. “And so soft,” she added, as she continued to stroke Angelica.
Their furless cat continued stroking her as well, and the female seemed to be learning from him how to do so, her strokes becoming more and more like his as they continued.
“Alright up there?” Jonathan asked.
“So far,” Angelica replied.
“Do you want some attention too?” the female asked, crouching down again.
Jonathan retreated to the other side of their furless cat. This newcomer wasn’t very well versed in their language apparently.
“She’s alright,” their furless cat said, crouching down to stroke Jonathan.
Jonathan purred for him. Perhaps they would reward him for his good behavior later. He was giving them proper attention, and he hadn’t tried to pick Jonathan up like he had the last time a strange furless cat was in their space.
The female stood again and returned to stroking Angelica.
Angelica purred since the furless cat was doing a reasonably good job in her ministrations. She even scratched under Angelica’s chin without any prompting.
“This one seems trainable,” Angelica said.
“If she responds to your training she might be worth the effort,” Jonathan replied. “I’ve already trained one.”
Jonathan didn’t see the point in training anything that didn’t show promise in advance.
Angelica went back to purring, wanting to encourage this new furless cat to treat her properly while their furless cat ministered to Jonathan.
“Alright,” their furless cat said after a while. “Be nice to Victoria while I get everyone’s dinner together.
Jonathan followed their furless cat into the food room, leaving Angelica alone with the newcomer. Since she continued to be stroked and petted, Angelica saw no issues with the other two leaving. This one had a good touch already.
“You’re much happier to see me than your fellow,” the female furless at said. “Maybe you can put in a good word for me later. I’d love to see if he’s as soft as you are.
Angelica laughed at that. She was far softer than Jonathan. All the furless cats said so.