Both were big. Who could say which was bigger, the black and white long-haired with the damaged eye and big paws, or the heavy black short-hair with the white diamond on his chest?
Each cleared nineteen pounds on their last check, and could be over twenty now. While the long-haired had oversized paws, the house panther had tiny feet and ran with mincing steps. The long haired was Tucker. He sported a thick, long, all-black tail.
The panther was Boo. Tailless for reasons not known to his current people, he had issues. He didn’t trust other cats, other people, or loud noises, and was adverse to wind, rain, and unusual smells.
Neither liked the other. To be fair, neither liked other animals (except the small female tortie from next door, who both courted from a cautious distance), and were ready for a fight. Didn’t go looking for it, mind you, but if it came, they were stepping up to it.
Which made the moment fraught with tension.
Tucker was on a dining room chair. His long tail was hanging off the side. It swung from side to side, its tip testing the directions. Inner thoughts, perhaps about sleeping or eating (he was fond of both) seemed to occupy him, for he sat, doing nothing, looking at nothing, ears settled as though they listened to nothing.
Amber eyes wide, Boo approached from behind. Seeing the tail, he couldn’t resist. Walking up to it, he sniffed and sniffed and sniffed, moving to sniff its tip as the tail moved around.
The tail stopped moving.
Tucker’s head snapped around with realization, someone was sniffing his tail.
Boo’s head jerked up. Caught.
Twisting around, he minced away fast on his tiny feet.
Tucker stared at the vacated space. After a few seconds, he closed his eyes.
His tail began moving around, testing new directions.