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Cats Gotta Cat

Chapter Text

Kryten strolled into the laundry room, humming a jaunty take on the theme from “Androids.” Laundry day always made his processing units happy. He scooped an armful of wet linens out of Frank, and popped open the dryer. Like quicksilver, a shimmering purple form shot past him and dove into the dryer just as the mech threw in the damp sheets.

From somewhere under the laundry came a screeched, “Bud, watch it! This suit is dry-clean only!”

Kryten sighed. “Mr. Cat, sir, get out of there immediately,” he ordered.

The lump of linens shifted and was tossed aside, and Cat clambered out of the dryer. “Man, you never let me sleep anywhere,” he huffed.

Kryten just shook his head as he pressed “start.”

———

rustle rustle rustle

Rimmer stirred slightly in his bunk at the faint sound, but didn’t awaken. Lister was sprawled on the sofa nearby, snoring like a blocked drain and dead to the world.

rustle rustle squeak

“Hngh mmph,” Rimmer mumbled, rolling over onto his side. Lister burbled on, undisturbed.

squeak squeak squeak

Grumbling, the hologram buried his head under his duvet. His bunkmate briefly ceased snoring, then promptly resumed his nocturnal serenade at a volume and timbre not unlike the growl of a medium-sized chainsaw.

squeak squeak squeak

BANG

Rimmer sat bolt upright, shrieking, “LIGHTS!” and bashing his head on the frame of Lister’s bunk. Snorting like an alarmed water buffalo, Lister flailed his arms as he slid half off the sofa.

The bunkroom’s environmental systems obligingly switched on the overhead lights, illuminating a bizarre tableau. The Cat was perched on the bunkroom table, sumptuously clad in elegant canary yellow silk pajamas and dressing gown, hair in curlers and tucked under a stylish cap, and clutching a ragged scrap of yellow vinyl.

Lister gaped blearily at him. “Smeggin’ hell, Cat, what are you doin’?”

Cat bristled indignantly. “Nothing, Monkey Man!”

Rubbing the tender spot on his abused head, Rimmer spat, “Nothing? You’re in our smegging room in the middle of the smegging night, sitting on our smegging table! I’d hardly call that nothing, you bloody stupid animal!”

“What, Goalpost Head? You accusing me of something?”

“I’m accusing you of being a git, you empty-headed moggy! I...”

Lister, who had somehow managed to pull himself into a more or less seated position on the sofa, and was gazing around the room in a half-drunken, half-somnolent fog, suddenly piped up. “Where’s me banana?”

Rimmer stared at him, bewildered. “Your what, now?”

“Hey, I ain’t seen it!” Cat shoved his hands behind his back.

Lister peered at the felinoid suspiciously. “Come on, Cat! What’s that you’ve got there, man?”

“It’s not your banana.”

“Okay...”

“It’s banana-colored vinyl.”

“You what?”

“From a big inflatable banana, which may have looked just like yours, and may have been in this room, but wasn’t yours.”

“The smeg?”

“It was mine. I marked it.”

“Eh?”

“I marked it, so it was mine.”

As Rimmer snickered, Lister pondered Cat’s bizarre logic for a moment, then asked, “So, what happened to, erm, your banana?”

“I was chewing on it, and I punctured it with my tooth.”

“Cat, why the smeg were you chewing on me banana?” Rimmer guffawed, earning himself a glare from Lister. “Shut it, smeghead,” the Scouser added, glowering at the hologram. “Not a word from you.”

“Cats chew on plastic when they’re bored. I was bored. Man, you don’t know anything about cats, do you?”

“Bored? At 3 AM?”

“Why? You know a better time to be bored?”

Lister put his face in his hands and shook his head. “Cat,” he said, voice muffled by his fingers, “get the smeg out of here. Rimmer, keep your smegging mouth shut. It’s not funny.”

“Yes, it is,” Rimmer smirked.

“Is not.”

“Is, and you know it.”

“No. I liked me banana.”

“Yes. Cat, get out. Listy, come to bed. I have a much more satisfying banana to show you.”

Cat leapt off the table and lunged for the door, yowling, “You monkeys are disgusting!”

“Indeed. Lights off!”