Benny Southstreet sauntered down the street towards his flat. He was excited that Nathan had let him off work early instead of Nicely, and he couldn't wait to relax on the couch and read until his roommate returned. He reached the door to his flat, and was searching for his keys in his pockets when he heard a loud and distinctive meow behind him. He turned and saw a rather overweight brown and white striped cat staring him in the face.
Benny smiled at the animal and opened the door. To his surprise, the cat decided to go into his flat, rushing into the door and up the stairs.
"Hey, I didn't invite you in here!" Benny called, closing the door and hurriedly following the surprisingly fast feline into the living room. When he reached his destination, the runaway cat was standing there, staring at him with curious hazel eyes.
"Go on, this ain't your house," Benny said to the cat.
The feline meowed in defiance, not budging.
Southstreet walked over to the fat mammal. He looked down at it, arms crossed. "You're obviously not a stray, look at the size of you. Your owner probably wouldn't like that you're wanderin' around like this."
The cat meowed again and rushed over to the couch.
Benny sighed and followed the cat again.
"Go on, get out."
It jumped up onto the couch.
"No- Ah, whatever. Stay." Benny had given up trying to get rid of the intruder, so he went on with his earlier plan of curling up with a book until his friend came back. He sat down, located his book, and resumed reading. He had only read a page when he heard a meow of complaint. He looked over at the tabby in question and sighed. "What do you want now?"
The cat meowed again and crawled onto Benny's lap, plopping itself down rather ungracefully.
"You want to be pet, do you? Alright." He gently ran a hand down its back, almost immediately drawing a purr from the animal. Benny smiled, before petting it again, this time paying more attention to its nearly silky fur. The cat purred loudly in delight, nestling into Benny's lap. Amused, Benny turned his attention back to the book, however, continuing to pet the fat tabby, which was very content under his gentle hands.
It was half an hour later that Benny impatiently checked his watch. He frowned.
"Nicely should be home by now, I wonder where he is..."
The cat nestled in his lap meowed suddenly, getting up.
"Where you goin'?"
The brown and white animal swiftly moved towards an open window.
"Now you decide to leave? We was just gettin' to know each other!"
The cat meowed one last time before somewhat gracefully (considering its size) jumping out the window and onto the branch of a nearby tree.
Benny laughed at the absurdity of the whole situation and went back to reading his book.
About fifteen minutes later, Benny heard his friend enter the flat.
"Hey Nice'," Benny greeted casually, sliding a bookmark into his current page and tossing the book onto the table.
"Hey," Nicely replied, walking into the living room.
"You took awhile."
"Yeah... Nathan kept me."
"Mm-hm. He made me run some errands for him..."
"Gee, I'm starved... What did you make for dinner?"
"I didn't make nothin', you think I would take the time to cook somethin'? I almost never cook!"
Nicely frowned. "I was hopin'..."
"Well, there's leftover lasagna in the fridge."
Nicely's hazel eyes lit up. "Really? Oh, bless you, Benny." He ran over to the fridge and retrieved the leftovers and a spoon before rushing back to join his friend on the couch.
"So," Johnson said between chews, "If you wasn't makin' me dinner, was was you doin'?"
Benny shrugged. "Just sittin' here."
"You're covered in... is that cat hair?"
"Ah, yes. You ain't gonna believe this, but when I got home, a cat followed me inside."
"Did you try to get it out?"
"Yeah, but it wouldn't leave. It just sat on my lap demanding to be pet. Then about a half hour later, it left out the window."
Nicely got a confused expression. "That's weird. Are you sure it didn't want food?"
Benny shrugged. "Maybe. But I didn't want to give it anything, it was too fat to be a stray. That cat was fatter than you," the darker-haired man teased, poking his chubby friend's stomach.
Nicely frowned slightly, pausing his eating for a second. "I'm not fat, I'm... fluffy."
Benny laughed. "Yes, you most certainly are."
A week later, Benny had a day off work due to a cold. Nicely was busy convincing a pet store owner to let Nathan have the floating crap game at his store that Friday night, so Benny had the house to himself. Not that he really took advantage of it; slept in until his sore throat woke him at around noon. Grumbling, he peeled himself out of bed, and, dressed only in his underwear and a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, he went to the kitchen to make himself some tea. When he got there, however, he noticed not all was normal. Standing in the middle of the living room floor was a very familiar brown and white tabby cat.
"Oh, look who decided to come back!" he said to it, before walking past it to the kitchen.
"Wait," he said, stopping and turning back to the cat, "How did you get in here?" Benny brushed his messy dark hair out of his face as his blue eyes scanned his apartment. His gaze fell on an open window. "Ah. I thought I closed that." Southstreet crossed the room and closed the window, before finally starting to make the tea.
As he was nearly done, he felt something furry brushing against his lower leg. He looked down, and, sure enough, the fat animal was rubbing itself against his leg, purring happily.
Benny smiled. "Aw, you really like me, don't ya?"
The cat meowed, as if saying yes. Southstreet chuckled, before returning to his bedroom, tea in hand. Unsurprisingly, the intruding mammal followed him into his room.
"Oh, come on, you're followin' me to bed?"
The cat stared at him.
Benny sighed. "Okay, whatever. I ain't lettin' you out later, though."
Benny took a drink from his mug before placing it on the bedside table, and then he climbed in, spreading the blanket over himself.
The tabby hopped up onto the bed with his new companion. Southstreet stroked its head, causing it to lay down and close its eyes in relaxation. Benny smirked, his hand migrating down its back and onto the animal's sides. It purred, rolling onto its back, giving Benny full access to its fuzzy stomach. Southstreet smirked. "Well, at least now I know you're a boy," he pointed out, before complying to the cat's wishes, petting its (his, apparently) tummy.
Around fifteen minutes later, Benny had finished his tea and his tiredness had returned. With a yawn, he placed his now empty mug on the table and lay himself down, occupying the left side of the bed. He closed his eyes, but opened them again as he felt the furry warmth of the cat snuggle up against his bare chest. He smirked, hugging the cat close, and giving him an absentminded kiss on the head. The animal mewed in pleasure, becoming limp under Benny's arm. Southstreet closed his eyes, and, with the cuddly feline close to him, fell fast asleep.
Benny woke up at around eleven o'clock that night to a disappointingly catless bed. He sat up. To his delight, his sore throat had disappeared. However, it had been replaced by a stuffy nose. He groaned, before sneezing rather spectacularly.
He heard a soft knock on the door.
Nicely Johnson gingerly opened the door. "So, you're awake, Benny."
"You need anything?"
Nicely walked in, standing beside his sick friend. "Sorry the cat left."
"Yeah... he was great company."
"Wait, Nice'; how did ya know the cat came back?"
Johnson cleared his throat. "Uh... I... It was here when I came in... I let it out."
"Yeah...You sure you don't need anythin'?"
Nicely touched a hand to his best friend's forehead. "Well, you don't have a fever, that's good. I think you'll be fine for now."
Benny smiled a bit. "Thank you, Doctor."
"You're very welcome."
Benny groaned, leaning back in the uncomfortable chair he was occupying. A pile of Nathan's half-finished paperwork was strewn across the plain wooden table, and Benny had to complete all of it in an hour. He groaned, rubbing his eyes. It wasn't fair, really. When Benny got the day off and Nicely was working, Johnson got to do the easy work. But when Benny was the only one there, he has to do the tedious stuff. He got up, figuring he could take a short break. He walked over to the door of the small back room, opening it.
He looked down to see a ball of striped fur looking up at him with inquisitive hazel eyes.
Benny sighed. "Now how did you find me here?"
The fat cat meowed in response.
"Well, I suppose I've grown rather fond of you. Come in."
He walked back into the room, and the cat followed him. Benny sat back down on the chair, and his furry friend attempted to be graceful as he leapt up onto Benny's lap. Southstreet smiled, beginning to pet him gently.
"I'm glad you found me," Benny said quietly, "You have no idea what Nathan's puttin' me through today."
The cat purred, nuzzling into Benny's thigh.
"It ain't fair! Nicely never has to paperwork..." he complained.
The fluffy mammal stared at Benny.
"Hm... I guess I should get back to work..."
Benny picked up the black pen he had been using and continued to fill everything out. He was writing for only a minute before he heard a cry for attention from the cat.
"Shut up," Benny muttered, but made sure to caress its head softly with his free hand.
It was another fifteen minutes before Benny was finally finished. He ceremoniously threw the pen down on the table, smiling broadly.
"Well, how about that!" he declared happily. The feline meowed in response.
He checked his watch. He realized he had finished with eight minutes to spare.
"Wow, this is impressive, ain't it! I should get this to Nathan so I can go home."
He didn't even have the chance to act on this thought before the door opened, revealing Nathan Detroit.
"Hello, Benny!" he said, entering the small back room, "How's it comin' along?"
"Very well, thanks. I'm all done."
"Ah, really? Wonderful." Nathan's eyes dropped to the fat tabby nestled in Southstreet's lap. "Nicely, what are you doin' here?" he asked it, "I gave you the day off for a reason."
The cat hissed aggressively.
"What d'ya mean, shut up? Does Benny not know?"
Southstreet was instantly very confused. The cat leapt down, glaring at Nathan. It gave an angry meow.
"Oh..." Detroit looked back up at Nicely. "I... I suppose you don't understand, do you."
Benny shook his head. "I don't."
Nathan shifted his weight awkwardly. "Well, uh... this cat... It ain't a normal cat. It's... Nicely."