Map to Los Angeles

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"But wait," I say.
"I thought you all
were assigned different
tasks by Commander or
Capt'n DeeJAY or whatever
you'd like to call him...
Damn it, why do cats
have so many names..."

"Yeah," Hooman #A says.
"Where'd you find time
to set up all these computers
and get rid of the couch?"

Phoebe says, "So Tom and I
went to the shoddy house
down the street;"

Tom continues, "We found
shrapnel of what we believe
was Happy Rock. They destroyed
it to release its magic, so we can
no longer rely on its help
to bring joy back
to this swamp
of a nation."

"When they returned
and told me of this loss,"
Philosopher Jones says,
"I promoted Tom
to Major to give him
access to our artifact
database. He needed
the computer to run
his own algorithms
in hopes we can find
another positivity
energy source."

"Why didn't you promote
Phoebe?" Lahea asks,
squinting one eye
at Philo questioningly.

"I'm already a queen,"
Phoebe tells her
while Buttercup
makes a false alarm
cat vomit sound.

DeeJAY says,
"We're still looking into
nanoscarabtechnologies.
We have a good lead;
I'm Googling the hella
outta that now."

"Don't say 'hella'
anymore," I groan.

"But it's a hella good
word," Greg says.

"Hey Boss," Lahea pipes up.
"Got a map printing out
of the black-and-white Canon."

Philo asks,
"Not the color laser Lexmark?"

"Dude," DeeJAY drawls.
"You and Phoebe
are the only cats here
older than that printer."

Tom turns a shoulder
towards DeeJAY, asking,
"Is Lexmark even
in business anymore?"

Buttercup walks up to us
holding the map, purring.
"Can I accompany
our hoomans this time?"

"Oh hell no," Phoebe starts,

but DeeJAY interrupts,
"That's a good idea."

Phoebe protests,
"I'm the one who knows
how to drive cars! I should
take them to Los Angeles,
not that classless torty."

"Classless?" Buttercup retorts.
"Listen here, you overpriced
show cat, I am not—"

"You'll both go," Philo says.
"Major Tom, can you schedule
them a Meouber?"

"On it," Tom chuckles.

"Phoebe and Buttercup,"
I stammer. "In the same car."

"They said Los Angeles,"
Hooman #A whispers.
"That's a four hour drive."

I ask,
"You think they'll fight
the whole way?"

Then his eyes light up.
"I've got an idea.
Let's grab some
throw blankets and catnip..."

♦️

First draft: September 18

Word count: 393

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