Honor's eyes rose as she caught the signing one of the 'cats out of the general line of sight of the rest of the room, and almost dropped her head to the desk.
"Stinker, what have you been telling the other 'cats?"
He bleeked in amusement.
His fingers danced through the signs, and she shook her head.
They're both going to kill me when they figure out what their 'cats are up to.
"Truth Seeker has lost her mate."
"I know. But her and Dreams of Peace's mind glows fit together. They're just going to push a little."
"And who am I going to have to stop them killing when it all backfires, Stinker?"
Nimitz' evasion told her that answer, and she looked up from her signed discussion with the 'cat, realising that at least a few pairs of eyes were on her.
"I'm sorry, Elizabeth, Eloise. The 'cats were just passing on some gossip, and I got a bit distracted."
"That's alright Honor. Care to share?"
Honor blushed, and Hamish laughed.
"I'd suggest asking Ariel later, your Majesty."
She looked towards Eloise, and Sharp Claw, the 'cat draped around her shoulders hands flickered through a group of signs so quickly, only her artificial eye caught them all. Honor almost sighed in relief, as a piece of gossip she could share was transmitted.
"The 'cats were just discussing mind glows, and who among the volunteers might be compatible with them, your majesty. Only someone decided to declare her claim on Admiral Tourville anyway - Lurks on Branches is a bit annoyed."
"Anyway?" her monarch asked leadingly.
"One of the 'cats helping with interrogations has been trying to sneak in to the camp to adopt him for the last month, I believe."
"And our sentries have been preventing that?" Elizabeth asked, more for confirmation than anything else.
"Pretty much, your majesty."
"Well, the 'cats are technically Manticoran nationals, so…" one of the others started, but Elizabeth shook her head and looked back at Ariel.
"Please tell me I don't need to declare you a sovereign nation?"
Ariel just pointed at Sam who started to 'sign and bleeked in amusement.
"We understand why they stopped Rebel Voice, Soul of Steel, but we'd just decided to help her into the camp when the prisoners were released."
Elizabeth sighed tiredly. "Next time something like that comes up, just come speak to me about it and I'll have the 'cat in question escorted through provided its deemed safe for that prisoner to be speaking with whoever it is ... And should I be considering Ariel my ambassador to the 'cats, or you Samantha?"
Samantha's ears flicked back in distaste, making the answer entirely self-evident.
"Would that all elections to political office were so smoothly managed," Hamish murmured.
She flowed down off Hamish's shoulders into his lap, before sticking her head back up and signing two words at Nimitz that had Honor, and those who recognised them snickering.
"'No contest'?" Elizabeth guessed.
Honor shook her head, "'Sam says kittens are easier. Though easier than what is a bit ambiguous. I'm given to assume she means politicians."
Nimitz signed another comment, and this time Honor did laugh when she caught what he was asking his partner.
Does that mean we can discuss more kittens, love?"