Tessie strolled up, inhaled sharply, and Jacoby braced himself. Angel was somewhat intolerant of non-Abyssinians, but Tessie was morally opposed to any and all cats she didn’t know, and even some she did know.
“Uck! That smell! What were you doing out there?” she snarled in a voice dripping with disgust as Angel scuttled away to her favourite tree. “Rolling around in dog droppings? Phuah!”
Jacoby rolled his eyes. “We went where we always go. The place with the boxes and the paper, then outside by the water, and then home.”
Tessie narrowed her eyes. “You were also talking to those dirty machinery cats. I can smell them! How can you stand those filthy, strange cats? It’s not natural, living outside like that. Cats, proper cats, belong in houses with humans. And other cats. Preferably family. Tessie had come from a house far away where all the cats were her breed, and most of them were related to her. She had had her own litter of kittens, something of which she was quite proud, before coming to live in their humans’ house. Since Angel had never kittened, Tessie quite naturally assumed she was superior. She didn’t hold Kylie up to that same standard; Tessie had actually been adopted because the humans wanted to add a kitten to their family, but the two cats who lived with them were both elderly males who didn’t have the energy or the experience to deal with an active young cat. A young female who’d had kittens was just what they needed, and so Tessie had practically raised Kylie, too. And Jacoby, as well, although he had been twice as old as Kylie had been when he came to live with the humans.
“You’re not even listening to me, are you?” Tessie hissed, dragging Jacoby out of his reverie. “You really should listen to me more, Jake. I have a lot more experience than you do when it comes to other cats.” Jacoby shook himself, stood up, stretched and began to pad away. “Were are you going!?” Tessie snapped.
“Litter box,” Jacoby retorted, turning the corner into the water room. “And I’m pretty sure I don’t need your help in there.”