Brutus licked his paw and brushed it over his ear. Something was itching him so he repeated the brush a few times, trying to reach the itch through the fur with his claw.
Mildred did the same.
“Oh, there you are!” Brutus exclaimed seeing her. “I’ve missed you.” He brushed up against the other cat and Mildred returned the favor. “How has it been?”
“Beastly,” Mildred sighed in her usual nonplussed way. Brutus was convinced she’d been an aristocratic lush in a previous life. The kind that poisoned her husband by accident and was only mildly surprised when he’d actually dropped dead from it. “You know how the food is; something from a can, something from a bag that smells like human feet...”
“Oh yeah, he’s not really very good with the food. But hey, beats having to chase down three-legged rats!”
“Does it?” She arched her brow.
“Well, the pizza isn’t half bad.”
Mildred sighed and licked her paw. Brutus mirrored her.
“Yesterday when he came home with that… female-creature,” she continued without looking up.
“Sure. Pitiful gangly thing. Of course the dog was all over her. Some can’t help but be desperate. Just shoot me if I ever fawn all over a human like that.” She raised her gaze.
They were staring each other directly in the eyes.
Brutus felt that familiar twinge in his chest. She was so... so. The feline queen. The one he worshiped and waited for. The one always watching over him. His dark half. His judgment and bile and yet… she was just like him. When she brought home half dead shrews and tore open their guts, he saw himself doing the same. The blood tasted just the same on their tongues. They both protected fiercely their home from the things moving in the night the humans couldn’t see.
Brutus lifted a paw and pressed it against the glass. Mildred did the same. The two black cats sat silently looking at each other, like punctures in the universe.
The front door cracked snapping Brutus out of the moment.
“I... I think I need to go. I think he brought a box,” he said looking over his shoulder.
Mildred meowed dryly. “I suppose we all need to do our duty. For the sake of the country and the family and such things. Protect these fools from the portals they bring into their houses,” she said looking over her shoulder.
Brutus turned back and their eyes met for a brief moment.
“You know I’ll be back and we will figure this out eventually. Even if it takes nine times nine lives,” his gaze dropped to the ground. That was a sacred vow. It gripped his heart tighter than veins and squeezed the blood from it to his feet. But he knew it was true.
Then Brutus got up and headed right, into the living room.
The cat in the mirror sat still for a moment before it too got up and headed left into the living room.