Alley Cats: Tails of Lucy & Raph -3

Setting: 2k3 Turtles

Rating: PG-13 (for language)

Summary: Short drabbles of Raph experiencing all the perks and pains of cat ownership.
Note: A follow up to my one-shot piece Alley Cats.

"Damn, Lucy, I don't understand how ya ain't bald from all the shedding ya do."

Raph grumbled as a cloud of fur burst from his pet when he picked her up off the floor. The long, white strands trailed behind him while he walked to the couch and sat down with her in his lap. Lucy objected with a loud meow and tried to wiggle from his grasp.

"Ah, ah, ah, no," he scolded, tightening his grip just enough to maintain his hold but without hurting her. "Ya need a brushing and yer gonna get one, ya fur butt."

Lucy meowed again, her tail flicking back and forth sharply. Hooking a finger under her collar for extra security, Raph grabbed her brush from the arm of the couch. He stroked the bristles slowly and gently down her back. The tiny beast made a noise low in her throat that sounded more like a whine than a meow. On the second stroke, Raph felt the tension ease from her body and on the third, she relaxed entirely.

"Yeah, ya act like you don't like it, but I know better," Raph said as Lucy began to purr.

Over and over, the sai-wielder passed the brush from the top of her head to the base of her tail, gathering up the loose hairs. Lucy rolled onto her side and stretched her limbs to their furthest extent. Chuckling, Raph paused just long enough to pull the buildup of fur from the bristles before he began brushing along her side. The fingers of his free hand scratched at her belly and Lucy purred even louder.

"Look at this!" the pet owner exclaimed as he pulled a second handful of cat hair out of the brush. "I ain't even halfway done and I already got enough fur ta make another one of ya!"

Mrrreow!

Twisting her body, Lucy presented her other side for grooming.

"Yer right, Luc, I couldn't handle two of ya," Raph admitted, continuing his task. "One diva in this household is enough."

Meow! Meow!

"Oh-ho, don't you try ta deny it!" he scolded. "Not when ya refuse ta eat any food that ain't Fancy Feast or since ya won't sleep in yer bed unless yer blanket is laid across it just right." Pausing, Raph gently touched his forefinger to the end of Lucy's nose which made her meow again. "Yer spoiled rotten kitty-cat."

Lucy purred deeper and rolled to her back. As Raph passed the brush along her tummy, she latched onto it with her front paws. The turtle tried to tug it free, but her grip stayed firm.

"Let go," Raph ordered, frowning down at his pet who flicked her tail back and forth, clearly under the impression that they were playing a game. Her back paws lifted to kick at the underside of Raph's arm, scratching up his skin. "Lucy! Stop that!"

A soft swat on her rear put an immediate end to Lucy's shenanigans. With an indignant meow, she jumped out of Raph's lap and stalked off, tail held high.

"Get back here!" the sai-wielder called after her. "I ain't done with ya yet!"

Raph rose from the couch to recapture his pet, but a strange sensation made him pause. He glanced down to find a layer of fur covering the length of his thighs. The soft hair tickled his bare flesh. Growling in annoyance, Raph tried to brush it away only to have it cling to his hands.

"Lucy!"

XXXX

"Ahem!"

Raphael rolled his eyes as the utterance was repeated a third time with more emphasis than its predecessors. He didn't have the patience to keep pretending that he couldn't hear it. Lowering his wrestling magazine to the tabletop, he aimed a glare at the source of the noise: Michelangelo.

"What?" the hothead asked snippily.

Mikey was standing on the opposite side of the table while holding a silver cakepan in both hands. Now that he had his older brother's attention, he set the bakeware down and slid it over to Raph.

"Look at what your cat did!" Mikey demanded angrily, crossing his arms over his chest.

Catching the pan before it toppled to the floor, Raph spared a look at its contents. He immediately identified the dark brown substance as brownies and had just started to wonder why that was supposed to be so spectacular about that when he noticed two deep indentations that were almost dead center of the chocolatey concoction. After a few seconds of inspections, Raph realized that the marks were in fact paw prints.

"What makes ya so sure Lucy did that?" Raph questioned. Frowning, he pushed the ruined treat back at the younger turtle. "Did ya forget that ya got a cat, too, doofus?"

"My cat is well-behaved!" Mikey insisted. "Your cat is the trouble-maker!"

"Your cat is the one that shredded Master Splinter's shoji, knocked half a dozen beakers off Don's lab bench, threw up all over Leo's bed, and pulled down the shower curtain while I was inside it!" the sai-wielder retorted, standing from his chair. "And that was just in the last two weeks! I could fill a book with all the trouble Klunk has caused!"

"…well…this time he's innocent!"

"Prove it!"

"You prove that it wasn't Lucy!" the younger ninja rebutted as he pointed a finger at his brother.

"I taught her ta stay off the table and kitchen counters!" Raph declared. "So unless ya got video evidence, Lucy didn't do it!"

"Neither did Klunk!"

"Oh, so those pawprints just magically appeared in the brownies, did they?"

"Yeah, magically appeared under Lucy when she stepped in them! Do you have any idea how much work I put into making these?!"

"Get over yerself, Mikey! I know ya made 'em from a damn box!"

Rrrrrreoooow!

Their fight was suddenly interrupted by the screech of a very angry cat. Both brothers' heads turned towards the door in time to see Lucy dart through the entryway at full speed with Klunk right behind her. The pair of felines ran a frantic lap around the kitchen. Then Klunk chased Lucy up the side of the kitchen counter, over the stove, onto the table, and through the pan of brownies, leaving four new prints in additional to the original two. Clawing her way up Raph's arm to his shoulders, Lucy peered around the back of his neck and hissed at Klunk who had stopped short of the big turtle. The orange beast watched his white-furred foe intently, growling lowly in his throat while his long tail flicked back and forth.

"Dammit, Klunk!" Raph swore, rubbing at his right arm which was now oozing droplets of blood in half a dozen places. "Leave Lucy alone, ya mangy fleabag!" He swiped a hand at his pet's attacker. "Get outta here!"

Klunk dodged the swat and leapt to the ground. He was about to dash out of the room when he was scooped up by Michelangelo.

"Hey! I don't try to hit your cat!" he protested indignantly as he held his pet close.

Raph reached up to comfort his own cat. "Lucy doesn't terrorize Klunk like he does ta her!"

"No, she just leaves pawprints in brownies and tries to get Klunk in trouble for it!"

"She wouldn't have run through them if he hadn't been chasing her! And that don't prove that she did it the first time!"

"Yeah, it pretty much does!" Mikey shouted, his forehead wrinkled with anger.

"No, it don't!" Raph shot back. "I'm warning ya, Mikey!" He gestured first at his sibling and then at Klunk. "Ya keep that little spawn of Satan away from my girl or else!"

Turning on his heel, he marched from the kitchen with Lucy riding on his shoulder, oblivious to his little brother sticking a tongue out at his shell.

XXXX

Lucy jumped as the slamming of Raph's bedroom door startled her from her nap high atop his bookshelf. Miffed at having her slumber disturbed, she watched from her perch while her owner paced the floor, throwing objects at random and speaking angrily to an apparently invisible person. She meowed in reproach when he overturned his weight bench with a great clatter and shouted one final curse at full volume before slumping against the far wall and sliding to the floor.

Tailing swishing, the feline cocked her head and continued to observe the mutant terrapin. She could sense that something was amiss with him and it piqued her curiosity enough to lure her to the ground. Her steps were silent as she trotted across the floor and sat down on her haunches right next to him. Lucy waited patiently for Raph to notice her, but after several long minutes he had still failed to lift his head from his arms. Placing a paw on his thigh, she quietly asked for his attention.

Meow?

Raph's head jerked up at the sound. He looked to the side and found Lucy staring up at him. Reaching out with his left hand, he gently stroked the space between her ears.

"Hey, Luc," he greeted in a voice choked with emotion. "What's up, pretty kitty?"

Meow?

Lucy could see the moisture building in Raph's golden eyes and the wetness sliding down his cheeks. She had witnessed him exhibit this misery before and it made her own eyes wide with sadness. Her priority now was to console the ninja she had come to know and love.

Meow.

Climbing into Raph's lap, Lucy placed her paws high on his chest and nosed at his chin. Something between a sob and a laugh escaped Raph. With careful hands, he adjusted her so that she was cradled in his arms up near his shoulder where she liked to nap and held her close while a fresh wave of tears leaked free.

"Least I got ya, Lucy…" Raph whispered hoarsely as he stroked her soft fur. "…it's us against the world, ya know…"

Lucy started a steady purr, nuzzling into the crock of Raph's neck. Her right paw extended and landed on Raph's left cheek where it proceeded to pat gently at his face for a minute before coming to a rest. Eyes closing slowly, she easily succumbed to the notion of soothing the hurting Raphael with a long cuddle session.

"…just like a pair of alley cats."