Tabatha was a small tortoise-shell kitten and Slinky was an over-weight pure white lap cat; it was three in the afternoon and they were discussing food. Tabatha was talking vehemently, twitching her tail and perking her ears.

“I cannot stand those liver and vegetable biscuits, and the worse thing is that my pet went and bought a five-kilogram bag! Which means I have to force it down for about the next two months, either that or I sneak over to the old dear next door – she lets me have REAL chicken.”  Tabatha paused and began to purr as she reminisced about the chicken legs. “Well that’s too bad it really is, though I’m sure you’ll manage. I have nothing to complain about regarding food – my pet gets me those sachets of tuna and lamb; you know the ones on telly that look better than that brown stuff humans eat, I’m surprised my pet doesn’t buy some for himself.” Said Slinky in a slightly bored way, his voice rolling and deep due to his lungs being squashed by his enormous rolls of stomach fat, Tabatha gave Slinky a jealous look then began preening her face. “Caught anything good recently Tabatha?” asked Slinky, Tabatha paused her licking and replied “Yes actually, I managed a few voles last week and yesterday I finally managed to hook a few fish out of the pond – they were quite succulent.” Slinky looked at Tabatha in a sly way as if he was about to say something he knew would annoy her, but she didn’t see as she was wiping her paw all over her face to clean it. “Fish eh? Sounds delicious, shame you haven’t managed to catch that squirrel yet” quipped Slinky. Tabatha stopped preening and sat up straight, she was showing barely controlled annoyance and her face twitched, she didn’t look at Slinky when she said “Don’t talk to me about that squirrel, he parades up and down the wall every morning with that stupid look on his face, anyway I actually scratched his tail the other day – he barely escaped and won’t be so lucky next time.” Slinky chuckled but stopped when he saw the look on Tabatha’s face; she then reminded him that he hadn’t been able to catch even the smallest mouse for over a year. “Yeah, well – I don’t need to do I, I get all the gourmet food I want – plus the odd passing fly” Tabatha snorted at this but changed the subject so that she wouldn’t hurt his feelings “Did you notice that number 12 has a new kitten? It’s tiny… and a marmalade” she added. Slinky looked up and stared at Tabatha “Not a marmalade! Those humans just don’t understand do they? Oh Sure it looks all cute now and probably won’t set foot outside for a few months, but once it’s a year old… BAM! It won’t be safe to walk that end of the street at night again.”

The topic changed and changed again, the warm summer sunshine radiated down and as the sun rose higher the two cats sprawled out further, rolling so that their bellies faced upwards, yet still they talked. Tabatha was laughing as Slinky recounted his tale of when he was chased by a mastiff; “And then, as I sprinted down the alley I saw a boat on the canal, the stupid mutt was still dragging that washing line so he couldn’t see properly; I leaped over the edge of the canal and onto the boat – that dog just carried on and into the water below, ha that showed him alright!” Tabatha giggled and tried to imagine Slinky being thin enough to jump onto a boat. “What did you do yesterday by the way? It rained all day after all” asked Slinky of Tabatha, “I just slept in the airing cupboard all day, what about you?” Slinky scratched his tummy then yawned very slowly, unfortunately killing two passing bees with his breath, “Oh you know, just slept in various places around the house; the sofa, on top of the fridge, in the ironing basket, on the bed, behind the bookshelf, I even tried the bath but I got too cold.”

A little later Tabatha stood up and arched her back in a stretch, she then proceeded to sharpen her claws by scratching vigorously; this woke up Slinky who had been twitching and mumbling in his sleep. “Ooh look, the suns quite low; must be about time for some dinner – I wonder if my pet kept those empty tuna tins he opened this morning?” said Slinky as he too stretched, “Ugh, I’ve only got those liver and vegetable biscuits to look forward to” said Tabatha. The two cats sat there for a moment looking downwards and licking their lips in anticipation of food, then Slinky piped up “So Tabatha, you never mentioned – how exactly are we going to get down from this tree?”