Suddenly, the two cats heard a rustling up ahead.”What is that?!” Jacoby asked, alarmed.
“Shhh!” Romeo was already crouching down, still except for his wildly twitching tail tip.
“What are you doing?”
“Shh!!” Romeo flicked his ears back sharply. “You’ll spook it!”
“Spook WHAT?” Jacoby yowled, sitting down with a thump. Just then, there was a high-pitched squeak and a small dark shape skittered across the tracks. “Hey! You have toys down here?”
Romeo sat down, too, glaring at Jacoby. “No…we don’t have TOYS down here. We have FOOD down here. That. Was. A. Mouse.”
Jacoby shook his head, confused. “But…but…mice ARE toys.” Then, noticing the look in Romeo’s eyes, he hastily added, “Aren’t they?”
“No, Jake, not out here. Here, mice are something we eat,” Romeo snarled. “When we’re lucky enough to catch one. Which I usually am…when there isn’t someone meowing like crazy announcing to the mice that hey, there are cats here who’d like to eat them, if they don’t mind.”
“Oh…I’m sorry.” Jacoby dipped his head and ears contritely. Then he brightened and said, “Well, you can just go find another one, right?”
Romeo rolled his eyes. “Not now, I can’t. It’ll have run back to its nest and told all the other mice we’re here. It’ll be a while before we’ll be seeing any mice running around here. They’re edible,” he added, “but they aren’t stupid.”
Jacoby stared at his paws. “I’m really sorry, Romeo. I didn’t know. My humans just give us food.”
“Well, so do mine,” Romeo replied. “But that stuff they give us is nothing compared to a nice, freshly killed mouse. Trust me on that.”