Log:Donner sa langue au chat
|Donner sa langue au chat
27 July, 2018
A wild hedgekitten makes art and answers some questions... Eventually.
Haruki has just brought Widget to Phoibos House. Outside, the afternoon thunderstorm is still going strong. Inside, of course, the atmosphere is temperate and pleasant. Widget, Logan, and Dross walk into the garage. The large, well-lit space is just as comfortable as the house to which it's attached. Logan has the ill-behaved Hedge cat with him. Dross enters the room last, dressed in a black shirt with a thin belt, loose black trousers, and boots. He closes the door behind the party without making a sound.
Yes, Logan has the cat with him, locked up in a cage. It's currently asleep, but no doubt he'll fix that as he and the housekeeper approach the garage. The housekeeper is the one actually carrying the cage, and he puts it down on a table in the garage, then departs without another word. For now. Logan smiles at the others. "Well, then. Here we are. What's the plan?"
Widget walks up to the cage, giving kitty a small poke to wake it up. Its fur is checkered to properly blend in, remaining eye opening a crack to see what was bothering it. Widget greeted it with a genuine smile, holding up a pad of paper and a bunch of crayons. "Can write. Yes? Tell us what's wrong."
Dross watches the housekeeper come and go. He watches Widget wake the kitten up, too. At Logan's words, he moves toward the Fairest and takes something out of his pocket -- something which most closely resembles a clump of grass, with tufted white stalks -- and places it in his hand. Then steps out of the way again, hands folded behind his back.
"That's one option," Logan says, looking to the paper. But then he holds up the grass Dross just gave him. "Or, we could start with this. Whisper Willow. If the cat eats it, and puts its lips on someone, then that person will be able to hear the cat's thoughts." Logan smiles. "I'm going to suggest Dross for this one. Dross, what do you think? Thoughts, Widget?"
Widget looks at the crayons and the whisper weed, stuffing the paper back in her pocket. She nods, leaning to talk to kitty. "Okay? Not poison. Can help! Okay?" Kitty flicks its tail, giving a tiny nod. It doesn't look very happy at all. In terms of cat body language it looks like it's just...kinda given up on the mischief at the moment.
Dross looks at Logan, then at Widget and the cat. "If the cat so chooses," he says. His gaze rests on the cat's unhappy, checkered little face as he studies its expression, and particularly its one open eye.
Logan folds his arms, sizing up the cat. "Who would you like to communicate with?" He smiles and points to the three of them. "Take your pick, but I think you'll have the best luck with him." And at that, he points to Dross.
Dross gets a look from the cat, one eye heavy with emotion. It's extremely scared, very upset, and more than a little frustrated. But it recognizes there's not much it can actually /do/ about it, and that doesn't sit well with it, to put it mildly. So it looks at Dross, points with a paw, and just sort of waits.
Looking between the cat and Logan, Dross nods. He walks up to the cage and opens the door, gently displacing Widget if he needs to. He takes another handful of the strange grass from his pocket, then a pocket knife, which he uses to slit one of the whitish stalks open. It begins to leak a runny sap which, licked, will taste like bitter alum and leave a cottony feeling in the kitten's mouth. He places the grass inside the cage and leaves his hand there, too, in the kitten's reach.
Logan watches all of this with interest, but he doesn't interrupt, as talkative as he normally is. He's just bright-eyed and curious, letting Dross take the wheel of this particular venture.
Kitty sniffs Dross's hand, licks the sap, kisses his hand and then tries to get out of the cage. The resulting bombardment of thoughts is /EXTREMELY LOUD/, as if rendered in mental capslock after someone broke off the volume knob first. The accent is somewhere between Victorian guttersnipe, alley Kitten, and...lolcat? currently focused on repeating "WANT OUT NOWZ!1!" at brain-fryingly loud volume. It's trying to moosh itself through the bars to get at Widget, thumbed paws grasping.
Dross looks back at Logan. "What do you want to know?" he asks, quietly. There's no sign in his expression of the volume or frantic quality of the kitten's demands. At the same time, he withdraws his hand and uses it to hold the cage door open. He turns to the kitten, gives it a terse nod, and inclines his head towards Widget. "Go on."
Logan shrugs and smiles. "What it needs. What it wants. Most importantly, why it tried to kill Haruki."
Widget gets a kitten in her arms as it launches out of the cage and thumps lightly against her chest, curling up in her arms as she clutches it tight. She missed it, and it seems to have missed her. There's a moment of mutual nuzzling, kitty's fur patterning after Widget's clothing and turning orange where contact is made with her skin. Once the feline settles a bit, purring up a storm, it continues to blast about in Dross's head.
"ME FAHKIN' VOICE GOT NICKED PONCY MOGZ SENT ME T'MARKIT SHUV THEM CROWNS SO FARZ UP 'EM THEYZ THEETH'LL SHOINE HORSELICKIN' FOOKIN'-"
It hasn't had time to vent, it seems. One very angry kitten indeed.
Dross still hasn't reacted to the kitten's blasting. Or at least, not outwardly. "What's your name?" he asks it. He looks back at Widget and Logan. "The cat is upset about having its voice stolen." Brief pause. "And the cage." In other words, it hasn't answered any questions yet at all.
Logan just shrugs at the cage thing, still smiling. "It shouldn't have been so vicious and sneaky. We wouldn't have had to lock it up."
Somehow, Kitty gets louder. It goes from just sort of passively shouting to actually yelling.
YEH SOOTBRAIN THA SHOINY FUCKIN' ARSE DUN' BUGGERED YER BRAINZ OUT FUCKIN' PONCEY GIT WIT' TH' RABBITY SHIT AIN'T LISTENIN' NEITHER COZ I'MMA /CAT/ AN' TH' BALD MONKEY GITZ WITH TH'-
Kitty pauses, Widget having poked it in the nose. "Why? Tried to kill Haruki. Not nice!" Judging by the confusion those two were displaying, Kitty was being difficult.
...GIMME PENZ! PAPERZ! WANT!
Dross looks amused. "Widget brought you paper," he says. "And crayons. Use them if you prefer." Both are close at hand, on top of the empty cage. He watches Widget poke its little nose, still without reacting to the increasing volume, and then looks back at Logan. He meets the other man's bright blue eyes for a moment before looking at the kitten again. "What do you want, Mieze?"
Logan returns Dross' gaze, smile in place, before he watches the cat again, waiting to see what it will do. But he doesn't say anything else yet. He wants the full picture, the whole story, before he fills in the gaps with more questions.
Kitty wiggles out of Widget's grasp, landing on top of the cage. As it settles to draw, its fur gets a black grid pattern of the structure it's on top of, shifting over its arms like water as they get to work. Having thumbs, it grips the crayons and sketches, mumbling to itself in its odd way and sticking out its tongue in concentration. Eventually it finishes, padding back and thwapping the paper with its paw. It seems quite proud of what it's made.
Dross leans in for a better look at it, then raises an eyebrow as he straightens up to look from the kitten to Logan, then at Widget. "The cat hasn't told me more than this," he says. "Not even a name." Whether the drawing answers Logan's questions -- what the cat wants, and why it dislikes Haruki so much -- remains... Somewhat ambiguous.
"Ask it if it will," Logan says brightly, like he expects this lack of clarity to resolve itself effortlessly. Because it should, right? He even smiles at the cat, trying to encourage us. "You can trust us, you know. We have your best interests in mind."
Dross gets another blast of thought as kitty repeatedly bats the paper.
KAN'T YOU READZ IT YEH FUCKIN' IDJIT DIS IZ FUCKIN' /ART/ HAZ BOFFIN' GOLDEN BOY FRIED YER EYEZ EH FINE I'Z READZ IT FUCK SHIT
Widget creeps closer to peer at the drawing, the kitty giving her a look of annoyance before it continues.
ROIGHT. SO DEZE PONCY GITZ (FAMILY VALUEZ ME FURRY ORANGE ARSE) FOBBED ME OFF FER SHINIEZ AN' FISH AN' SMOKEZ. The picture of the fancy-looking cats gets bapped. DIS GREEN GIT SOLDZ ME VOICE AND EYE FER NEKKID PICTUREZ. CALLED ME A SCATTERCAT. The goblin-y face gets poked, with a bit of claw. TH' WITCH ZAPPED ME GUD, GAVEZ ME SUM PROPAH MAJIK. CHANGIN' COLORS AN' WOTNOT. THe witch gets patted, a bit affectionately. THEN I GOTZ BOUGHT COZ TH' GREEN FUCK DUN'T WOTCH 'IS CRATEZ AN' THAT GIT THERE BROUGHT ME HERE. Both the doodled pair and In-Person Haruki get pointed at.
ROIGHT YEH BLIND PALE BASTARD YEH GET ALL DAT OR I'Z GOTZ TO USE DAT SEMMY-FOUR GUBBINS?
Dross stares at the cat. "Your parents sold you for 'shinies, fish, and smokes,'" he repeats, in a dry, flat voice. "The 'green git' sold your voice and eye for naked pictures and called you a scattercat... To a witch, who gave you magic. You were sold again and brought here." He pauses, still looking at the cat's one good eye. A minute or so passes. Then he says, still just as evenly, but with a touch less aridity: "All right. You've had your fill of cages." He glances at Widget, to whom he gestures. Then looks back at Logan, on whom his gaze rests. "What else?"
"So, why do you keep doing terrible things to Haruki?" Logan's pleasant voice chimes out, staring evenly at the cat. "Did you do terrible things to everyone who bought you? Or is there a special reason?"
Widget scoops up Ms. Kitty, nodding to Dross as she clutches it close. It settles in, its gaze flickering from ragged urchin-hatred to genuine gratitude, Dross getting a tiny nod. When Logan asks his question, it turns to petulance, then confusion, then it looks like a vulnerable kitten. This time it seems to be quite genuine, judging by the way it burrows into Widget.
C-...COZ ITZ NOT ALROIGHT! NO SPEAKIN' OR WRITIN' OR DRAWIN' WOZ GETTIN' TO 'EM AN' I WANT ME VOICE AND ME EYE AND ME STUFFZ BACK AN' THOSE GITZ TO HURT ROIGHT BACK AN'...A-AN'...
I WANTZ ME MUM!
So it turns out Ms. Kitty can cry, yowling and loud and quite unpleasant to hear. Widget tries to comfort it, but it seems to be quite inconsolable at the moment. Eventually she just slips it into a pocket of her jumpsuit to let it curl up, muffling it to something quieter than a sustained gunshot. The gremlin mutters things in Spanish to it, trying to calm it down or at least quicken it crying out its problems.
Neither the screaming in his head nor the crying that everyone can hear make Dross blink. He just watches, quiet and still, until the yowls have subsided enough for him to be heard. To the others, he relays, "The cat wants to be able to speak, write, and draw. It wants its voice, eye, and 'stuff' back. Also revenge... And its mother." If Ms. Kitty didn't mean that literally, well...
"None of that really explains why it treated Haruki so abominably," Logan points out. He looks at Ms. Kitty and smiles a gentle smile. "Look, we want to help you. We really do. But you have to cooperate with us, okay? No more harming people because you're upset. That's just not how we do things here."
There's a sniffle from the depths of Widget's jumpsuit, and Ms. Kitty's head pops out to look at Logan. It nods, crawling into Widget's arms.
...FINE. HUNGRY. GOT NOMZ? ATE ALL THE ONEZ IN RUSTY'Z POCKETZ.
Widget seems none the wiser, looking between the three as they converse. "Can I keep it now?"
"Mieze says, fine." Dross repeats. "And asks for food." Whether Widget can keep the kitten now, he doesn't answer, leaving that for Logan. But he does look at the kitten again and ask, "Will you answer the question? Why did you treat Haruki as you did?"
"You can keep it if it doesn't hurt anyone," Logan says, and then nods at Dross. "We'll feed you after you answer the question. Promise. We've got /lots/ of nice food here." Hey, he doesn't bluff about that. Logan's house is pretty much stocked for an apocalypse.
If it's possible for a kitty to look more exasperated, it's probably something to see.
COZ 'E NEVER FIGGERED IT OUTZ! JUS' CRIED AND SHOWERED AN' THINGZ! GAVEZ ME AWAY /AGAIN/ COZ 'E'Z ALL PONCY 'BOUT DIRT. HMF.
It looks up at Widget, then flicks its tail.
NOT THA WORST ONE TA END UPZ WITH, I'Z GUESS.
Dross stares hard at the kitten. There's a considering, thoughtful quality to that stare. "Because Haruki gave up on understanding it," he tells Logan and Widget. "And gave it away."
"Oh, I see." Logan nods like that somehow explains -everything.- Then he grins his lovely grin to the cat. "We want to understand you and take care of you. What's your name?" He takes his phone out of his pocket and starts tapping some things on it. "I know Widget will treat you well, but we'll try to be good hosts while you're here, even if it's just for today."
The kitten seems wary of the pair, given the dart and cage debacle, but it still answers.
WOTEVER RUSTY CALLZ ME. MISS KITTEH OR SUMTHIN'. NO PROPAH NAME 'TIL THAT.
There's a pause as it looks between the two, ear flicking.
SO'Z YOU TWO /ARE/ BOFFIN', YEH?
Otherwise it'd have to rework its jabs. Shame, that. Had a good run going, it thought. Nothin' wrong with railin' a bloke but it'd have kept up even if they were a pair of whatever-the-hells. Good strand to grab on, if one is looking to annoy.
Suddenly, Logan looks right at the cat and says, grin wide, eyes bright, "It's none of your business." A moment later his housekeeper appears with a tray full of beautiful fish. He's good on his word.
"What 'Rusty' calls the kitten is fine," Dross repeats, with a sharp look at 'Rusty,' alias Widget. His voice and expression remain unchanged: blank and neutral as a clear pane of glass. He glances at Logan, but then food arrives and Widget and the kitten both start to clamor.