Paws For Farewells



"Come on, Kiri-Neko! Please get down from there."


Ignoring the downright plaintive, some might even say *whining* tone in Omi's voice, I glower down at him from my lofty position for a few seconds before calmly returning to my grooming.


"Please, Kiri! You can't stay up there."


"Chill, Omi," Ken mutters cheerfully, sidling up and slinging his arm affectionately around the Munchkin's shoulders. "Something that small not exactly having a lot of wind resistance, we'll be seeing once and for all whether cats always land on their feet even before we reach the gate."


"And I'm sure seeing his cat flying off the roof will do wonderful things to Aya-kun's already dodgy mood," Omi replies, rolling his eyes at his lover. "Think about it for a second. Then, when you've finished thinking about it, turn your attention to the size of our accommodation for the next however many months. Now... Taking all that into consideration, do you *really* want to piss Aya off even before we've left the driveway?"


"Er... You may have a point there," Ken responds, removing his arm from Omi and making really dumb ass shooing gestures at me. "Come on, Kiri! Get the fuck down from there already!"


Humans, honestly, are sometimes just too stupid for words. I'd have thought that by now they'd have accepted their lowly standing in the grand scheme of things, but no. Ken, I swear -- although I'm confident I've never given him any reason for this particular flight of fantasy -- still believes that he holds superiority over me. Silly boy. So he can walk upright and has thumbs that make him capable of operating a can opener. Big, to my way of thinking, freakin' whoop. (And, while I'm at it, what gives with his 'claws', huh? If that doesn't scream of harboring feline-like delusions than I don't know what does...)


// Ken-kun, honey-bunch, if I wanted to be on the ground, I would be. End of story. Right now however I'm purrfectly happy up here. //


In other words, deal with it.


"You know there's now a machine that translates... ah... cat language," Omi comments, glancing at Ken and shrugging. "It could be..."


"I don't need a machine to tell me that she's telling us both to fuck off," Ken interrupts, scowling. "Damn animal. Both Aya and Yohji have spoilt her to such an extent that she now thinks she's the Queen of freakin' Sheba."


// Not just Sheba, Ken-kun. Try the civilized world and you'd be much closer. //


As taboo as the topic of Egyptology is around here, the Ancient Egyptians were on the right track with their worship of Bast and I feel that it's a terrible shame that the tradition was allowed to lapse. It's simple, really. We cats rule.


My attention span wandering -- Oh! Look! Butterfly! Pretty butterfly! Pretty butterfly that would make a tasty snack if only I could be bothered moving. Oh well. Perhaps another time. Bye-bye pretty butterfly, consider this your lucky day -- I tune out both Omi's pleading and Ken's ranting, and settle down for a nap. The midday sun has been on the roof of the funny looking itty-bitty house-on-wheels for just long enough to make it all toasty warm, meaning napping conditions are now -- finally -- at an optimum and I'd so hate to let them go to waste.


Draping my tail over my nose, I faintly hear Ken muttering something about knowing what it'll take to get me down just before all hell breaks loose beneath me. The whole van rocking like a small boat in the middle of a storm lashed ocean -- and I know all about storm lashed seas because I, unlike the rest of the household, didn't fall asleep during (or walk out on) that Perfect Storm movie -- I jump to my feet and glance hurriedly around me.






Omi climbing up the back ladder thing and peering across the roof at me!


Worse! Omi now standing on the roof and, teetering slightly, walking in my direction.


Yeah. Right. Not freakin' likely.


// Is that the time? Well I never. Farewells to be said, legs to be rubbed around inside. Gotta go! //


Eschewing grace for haste, I bolt away from Omi and, saying a quick prayer to the Goddess under my breath, slide down the front window. Landing -- on all four feet, naturally -- on the ground, I glance up and admire my paw prints on the once clean glass for a few seconds before spinning around and taking off towards the house. Ken's triumphant laughter rings in my ears and I regret that I won't get the opportunity to leave a dead rat in his bed before they leave.


Reaching the house, I slip in through the cat-door -- the one Yohji swore and sweated and smoked his way through making for me -- and meander into the kitchen. My new pet, Turk, glances at me over the top of what would quite literally have to be the biggest sandwich I've ever seen (it's so huge I swear it would feed my two boys, plus -- and I *suppose* they've gotta eat -- the other two, for an entire day) and raises a nervous finger in greeting.


Ignoring Turk, who I've got no interest in whatsoever and who I can only hope follows Aya's list of instructions regarding my care to the letter, I flick my tail up at him dismissively and stroll into the living room. Missing both Yohji's numerous ashtrays and the jungle of cords connecting the PS2 to both the television and all its other miscellaneous bits and pieces, I find the living room a foreign, unfriendly place and, hastening my pace, make for the bedrooms.


The house being far too silent for Yohji to be around, I skip his bedroom and wander into Aya's. To my delight Aya is sitting on the edge of the bed and, purring happily, I jump straight up onto his lap.


// Hey there! What's with the sad face, huh? If it makes you feel any better I'm going to miss you too. For no other reason than he's amusing and makes you smile, I'm even going to miss Yohji. //


Ken, not so much, and Omi, not at all. But, hey, you get that.


"I don't suppose you've happened to see my wallet in your travels?" Aya sighs, absent-mindedly stroking his hand down my head and back. "I'm positive that I had it in my coat but now I can't find it anywhere."


// Have you asked the Munchkin? Not trusting him as far as I could throw a Great Dane, I bet one of my nine lives he had something to do with it. //


... While I'm at, I'm all for blaming the fact that you're leaving me to go traveling in that oversized Barbie van on Omi too. Hell, given that I still hold a grudge against him for the way he chased me around the Dragon's Tears that day you arrived, I'm all for blaming the hole in the Ozone Layer on him as well.


Seriously. People who wear shorts all the time, regardless of the season or occasion, just can't be trusted. I mean, it's just not natural.


"Hey, Aya! Where are you? The great traveling circus is waiting for you to grace it with its presence so we can get this Godforsaken show on the road."


Yohji. Goodo. At least this way I'll be able to say goodbye to both of them at once.


"I'm in the bedroom," Aya calls back, still dutifully stroking me and very nearly making me dribble -- a habit that I really must cure myself of because even *I* find it unbecoming -- in contentment. "I'm... ah... looking for my wallet."


"So I can see," Yohji laughs, materializing in the doorway. "Oh, shit!" he continues, shaking his head and walking into the room. "Did you say that you're looking for your wallet?" Pausing, he clicks his fingers in annoyance and sighs. "Damn. I thought I'd put it back."


"Huh?" Aya murmurs, giving his lover a suspicious look. "What are you talking about? More to the point, what the hell did you take my wallet for in the first place?"


"Fuck, fuck, fuck," Yohji mutters under his breath as, digging in the pocket of his coat, he wanders over and takes a seat on the bed next to Aya. "I wanted it to be a surprise," he complains, pulling the wallet out of his pocket and handing it to Aya with a sheepish grin. "Ah... Sorry. Looks like my notoriously short attention span strikes again. I didn't mean to make you look for it or anything and thought I'd have it back in your coat before you noticed it gone. "


"Mmm-hmm," Aya replies dubiously, taking the wallet and immediately flipping it open. "Are you going to tell me what I'm supposed to be looking for or am I just expected to find it myself?"


"I told you," Yohji smiles, "it's a surprise. One, I'll admit I would have liked for you to have found when you least expected it but, oh well... In a way it'll still be a surprise."


Frowning, Aya flicks through the notes in the billfold, his expression just a little on the wary side. "No offence, but if the surprise is going to be a photograph of you wearing nothing more than a rose held rakishly between your teeth, then, well, I'd kind of like some advance warning."


"Damn," Yohji pouts, his eyes glittering with merriment. "Spoil my fun, why don't you?"


"Yohji!" Aya exclaims, a slight warning tone entering his voice. "Please. You know me, I'm not big on surprises. And, well, if it's likely to be shocking I'd quite like to know about it before it falls out of my wallet while I'm paying for something."


"And again I say that you're spoiling my fun," Yohji retorts, taking the wallet back off Aya and ferreting in one of the hidden credit card compartments. Pulling out what looks, from my position on Aya's lap, for all the world like nothing more than a small, shiny piece of paper, he places it in Aya's waiting hand and flashes another grin. "Here though, while not exactly the surprise I planned it to be, I had Omi design a little something for you."


Omi? Oh-oh. This can't be good.


"Oh..." His expression softening, Aya turns -- the tiny looking piece of paper -- his 'surprise' over carefully and blinks slowly. "I..."


"Yes, yes," Yohji interrupts, shifting closer to Aya until their thighs are touching. "I *know* I'm a hopeless romantic and you probably can't see the point of it, but... Ah, fuck it. Sue me. I thought, even if you won't admit it, that it's something you just might like. You know... Especially now that we're, well, leaving..."


// Like *what*? Show me! Hey! I wanna see! //




Oh. This is so not good. Aya is having one of his rare speechless moments and -- again, this is so not good enough -- I don't even know why.


// What have you given him, Yohji, a business card for that shop where you buy your fetching crop tops from or something? //


"Can I take it then that you do like it?" Yohji murmurs quietly, giving Aya a gentle kiss on the cheek. "Romantic and futile as it is, you like it, yeah?"


Nodding, Aya leans against Yohji and -- praise the Goddess for small mercies -- finally regains the ability to speak. "I like it... yes..." he replies faintly. "The Koi pond, I know Omi wasted about sixteen meg of Memory Stick getting the perfect shot of that, but... but the other side, the other photo? I didn't even know the wannabe Mapplethorpe was sneaking around taking pictures back then."


"And if you had the picture wouldn't be as perfect as it is," Yohji responds, draping his arm around Aya's shoulders and giving him another soft kiss on the cheek. "When it comes to cameras, my love, your 'just add instant scowl' radar is second to none. Hell, I'm as surprised as you are that Omi was able to capture this without either of us noticing."


"Just add instant scowl, huh," Aya murmurs with a snicker. "Nice. At least I don't automatically start to preen and pose like some of us -- no names -- are prone to doing."


Okay. Had enough of this. Curiosity not having had any adverse effect on *this* cat so far, I wanna know what they're on about and I wanna know now!


// *Hello*! Down here! Show me, show me, show me! //




Hey. Don't mind me or anything.


Only just jumping off Aya's lap and on to the bed in time, I narrow my eyes and glare daggers into his back as, sighing in contentment, he relaxes into Yohji's waiting embrace. Miffed at being so blatantly ignored, I'm contemplating the merits of sticking my claws into Aya's thigh when I see the photograph, the 'surprise', slip from his fingers and fall on to the mattress behind Yohji.




Decisions, decisions.


Notify Aya of my displeasure or sate my curiosity?


Not really wanting his last memory of me to be that of my claws embedded in his leg, I decide to go for the photo and, after stretching languidly, wander along the mattress towards it. My two pets, their attention fixed both solely and deeply on each other, ignore me and amuse themselves by indulging in their odd habit of locking lips.


Oh well. Whatever turns 'em on. To each their own and all that.


It's not like I haven't see it all -- and then some -- before.


Reaching my destination, I peer down at the small, laminated photograph of the Koi pond, the magical -- as in immune, contrary to all my wasted hours and best efforts, to prying paws -- fish glinting evilly in the sunlight, and fail to see anything thrilling about it at all.


... Sorry, Aya, but if stupid fish render you speechless then, really, I think you need to get out more.


There having to be more to the silly 'surprise' than what I'm looking at, I concentrate really hard and try to flip it over with my paws. Eventually, just as I'm about to give up and sulk, I succeed in flipping it, and...






I understand now.


... You know, Yohji, as futile romantics go you'd have to be one of the best.


Choosing to turn a blind eye to what the hell Omi -- seriously, it's *always* Omi. No one else might see it but I'm convinced he's got some major issues bubbling away under that huge eyed, innocent appearance of his -- was doing creeping around with a camera in the first place, I look down at the photograph as a warm fuzzy feeling settles over me.


When they've gone, this is the image I'll carry with me to get me through the dark, Turk filled days that I know I've got staring me in the face.


Oblivious to the fact they've got a lens trained on them and natural for it, my pets are forever captured sharing a private, touching moment. Entwined as they are now but standing in the moonlight rose garden, Aya's resting his head on Yohji's shoulder while Yohji, his eyes closed and his expression serene, simply hugs him tightly.




Damn it. Damn Kritiker (whoever or whatever Kritiker may be exactly when they're at home) and their stupid van.


Despite it going against feline nature and despite the fact I once made the promise to myself that I'd never feel this way about a human (or two), I'm...


I'm going to miss them.


~ end ~