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Living Together with Mass Hysteria

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There it was… the Pork-chop. A powerful yet potent enemy. A delicious deviant of devastating due-diligence. Jade stared at it, her green eyes ravishing its crisp meaty surface. She licked her lips as her white fluffy tail wagged. It was just lying there in her dog bowl tempting her, beckoning her. Jade flattened her ears and lunged forward, grasping the meat in her hands and sinking her teeth in. The fibers of the meat stretched and tore, Jade’s conquest nearly… conquested.

Rose and John watched the spectacle from the dining room table as Jade crawled on the floor, losing her grip on the piece of meat and having it whack her in the face.

“Jade…” Rose said, concerned. “You know you can just eat up at the table.”

Jade grabbed the piece of meat in her mouth and furiously shook her head.

“mm fihn,” she said through the chop.

Rose took another sip of tea and turned back to her morning paper. John took another bite of toast.

“Must be murder on her knees,” Rose muttered.

Jade tore a piece of meat off and began furiously chewing. She tried to scratch her ears with her foot to limited success.

“I’ll murder your knees,” she replied.

Rose just gave her an odd look that conveyed a feeling of “what the shit are you talking about.”

John sighed. Pet ownership was a strange new experience. John’s dad had gifted him the pair when he’d moved into his apartment. John had taken a job at the Jape Emporium and to demonstrate his pride and belief in his son’s responsibility, Dad had given him a catgirl and doggirl. They were like roommates that he needed to care for; buying them food, keeping them entertained, stopping Jade from running away to chase birds, it was a whole new experience.

Rose reached a hand up to scratch at her soft cat ears, her tail curling around the back of the chair. Unlike Jade, Rose preferred to sit at the table and not indulge her base instincts… except for the time she ran into traffic or got buzzed out of her mind on catnip.

“Hey Rose, think fast!” Jade shouted, throwing a yarn ball at her.

Rose turned just in time for it to whack her in the face and drop down onto the table. She glared at Jade; Jade giving her a grin.

“Play nice you two,” John said.

“A ball of string?” Rose said, picking it up. “I suppose you’re trying to be funny?”

“Aw Rose, don’t be like that,” Jade said, mock pouting.

“Like what?” Rose asked, narrowing her eyes as she rubbed her fingers through the yarn.

“You know, like such a…” Jade snickered.

“Oh no,” Rose said, realization on her face. “Don’t say it.”

“Like a-”

“Don’t you say it.”

“Like a so-”

“Jade, I’m warning you.”

“Like such a sourpuss”

“Son of a bitch,” Rose said, exasperated.

John looked at the two. Jade was leaning on the counter, chewing on her chop; Rose was untangling the yarn seemingly automatically.

“Jeez Rose, unclench,” Jade said. “It’s just yarn and puns.”

“We need a muzzle for you,” Rose grumbled.

“So,” John said, getting everyone’s attention. “Are you ready for the park.”

“You want to parade us around on leashes that badly huh?” Rose asked.

Jade immediately leaped up and ran to the door, grabbing her green dog leash off the rack and running back.

“Still a sourpuss,” she said, clipping it onto her collar and handing the other end to John.

“Rose?” John asked. “Do you-”

He stopped. Rose had tangled her hands up in the yarn and was struggling to free herself.

“Ok, let me get some scissors,” he said.

“I’m fine,” Rose said, trying (and failing) to untangle herself.

John took the scissors and cut her free easily before going to grab her leash.

Rose and Jade both wore collars; Rose’s was purple with her name engraved on a small metal cat tag in the shape of a paw while Jade’s was green with her name engraved on a dog tag in the shape of a bone. Rose’s collar was more akin to a choker, fashionable and human-like. Jade’s was more collar like; thicker and tougher. Rose had selected it from a sex shop to unbalance her, Jade fell in love with it immediately.

Rose grabbed a book for herself as John fastened the leash to her collar. She turned away, hiding a blush that he hadn’t noticed. They were out the door in no time, Jade taking the time to sniff the rug outside of John’s apartment. It was an odd sight to be sure, two women with collars and leashes on them walking upright… or it would have been an odd sight if it wasn’t so common. Outside of the elevator, there were a dozen other people taking their catboys, catgirls, and dog people out for walks. Some walked on all fours, but most walked upright; either idly chatting with their owners or indulging in their animalistic instincts.

“Jade, Rose, John!” came a voice.

The trio turned to see Nepeta walk up to them. Nepeta was a catgirl like Rose. She was short but lean and muscular, the sweat from a morning jog glistening on her brown skin, her ears were dyed blue just like her tail. She had Equius on all fours leashed to her. He was wearing a muzzle, likely at his own request, and he gazed up at them from behind his sunglasses. Equius was human… but this was normal behavior for him.

“Off today?” Nepeta asked.

“Yeah,” John said, smiling. “Going to the park with these two.”

“It’s a great day to be outside,” Nepeta said, staring contentedly up at the sky.

“Your computer is working fine I trust?” Equius asked from down on the ground.

“Yeah Equius, wow, that was amazing,” John said. “It’s been running without a hitch.”

“Excellent,” Equius said. “I grow sweaty at your approval. Should you need me to fix anything else, please simply ask.”

“Alright mister, time to give you a bath,” Nepeta said, yanking him away. “Have fun, you guys.”

The trio headed to the park, Jade always running as far as the leash would allow in order to smell anything she found interesting enough.

Rose walked next to John, not indulging in anything particularly animalistic. At the park, John asked,

“Anything on your mind Rose?” John asked.

Rose seemed a bit surprised at the question.

“Not really,” she said.

He released her leash and she climbed up a nearby tree. Hoisting herself onto a thick branch before getting comfortable and opening her book.

“Have fun,” Rose said. “Jade’s chasing a cat, go make sure she’s ok.”

“Jade’s what?!” John asked, turning around.

Jade had unclipped her leash and was running on all fours after a stray cat, barking at it.

“Damnit Jade, not again!” John yelled running after her.

Rose left them to it. Jade had a lot of energy and it was better she let it out here rather than running laps in the living room at night. She turned back to her book, opting to lose herself in it to avoid the shenanigans taking place around her.

A squirrel alighted on a branch near her head and tilted its head quizzically. Rose hissed at it and it scampered away. No distractions.

“Jade stop!” John yelled running after her.

“No!” Jade yelled. “I need to catch this cat.”

“Why?”

“I just gotta!”

“Jade stop you’re going to get thirsty.”

Jade turned her head from her prey and shot him a lecherous toothy grin.

“Damnit,” John thought. “Shouldn’t set her up for any innuendo. Stupid John, stupid.”

Unfortunately, as Jade gave him the ambiguously lewd grin, she was still running full speed on all fours. Without her eyes in front of her she did not see the very unfortunate tree; said tree would receive the brunt of a distracted doggie girl crashing into it and knocking herself into a daze.

“Jade!” John yelled.

“Wuzah kuf wah?” Jade said, lying on her back as the world spun.

“Jade?” John asked, arriving by her side. “Are you alright.”

Jade for her part saw four different Johns and after concluding that he hadn’t multiplied, tried to focus on the real one.

“Jade?” John asked, “How many fingers am I holding up?”

He held up three fingers above her head. The number grew and shrunk before her eyes so she lifted up her own hand… and extended her middle finger.

“Good, you’re fine,” John said, unamused.

He reached a hand down and pulled Jade up to her feet. She staggered a bit and John put his arm around her shoulder to steady her. Jade, for her part, appreciated the feeling of John’s strong arm around her. His protectiveness was always a cute and kind of sexy. Her bushy white tale began to wag. He reached out and steadied her glasses before leading her away from the foul tree.

“Well, we’re not here ten minutes and you might have given yourself a concussion,” John said, scratching her fluffy ears.

“Could be worse,” Jade said. “Remember that time we went for ice cream?”

“Jade, you know chocolate is bad for you, why did you eat it?”

“I don’t know! It’s tasty! You’re the owner, you should be more attentive to what your pets eat.”

“Rose doesn’t give me nearly as much grief.”

“Rose tangled herself in a ball of yarn this morning!”

“Yes. And that’s still less grief than you give me.”

Jade sighed. He had a point. She’d gotten them in trouble with her howling at night. She couldn’t help it! The moon just looked so pretty and howl-worthy! It’s not her fault she had no self-control.

John sighed and walked them over to the park’s small restaurant. He ordered three bottles of water and handed one to Jade. They sat on a bench on the restaurant’s patio.

“What were you going to do with the cat once you caught it?” John asked.

“Iunno,” Jade said, before taking a swig. “It’s not about the end result, it’s about the chase.”

“You weren’t going to eat it?”

“I’m not hungry right now.”

John gave her a weird look.

“I shouldn’t leave you and Rose alone then,” he said.

“Oh,” Jade said, a smile rivaling the one that preceded her crash. “I’ll definitely eat Rose if you leave us alone.”

“Uh --- huh,” John said, rolling his eyes and taking another sip from his bottle.

“I mean that in a sexual way.”

“Yeah Jade, that was obvious.”

“I don’t know John, this stuff can fly by your head sometimes.”

“Jade, you can be really obvious about this stuff. Not even I’m that naïve.”

Jade sighed, John sighed, and some random kid accidentally spilled his chocolate milk on John’s shirt. The kid and his mom apologized and John and Jade left the restaurant.

“Jade, stop,” John said.

The doggirl was licking the milk off of his shirt, dragging her tongue across his chest. She could swear she felt his nipple harden.

“I can clean you myself,” she said.

“No. I’m just going to run this with water and toss it into the washer.”

Rose looked up from her book again. John and Jade had arrived back to the tree she’d climbed up. He had a brown stain on him and she had a bruise on her forehead.

“I dare not ask,” Rose said.

“Good,” John replied, tossing her a water bottle.

“I’m going to see if I can wash it out,” John said, heading towards the restrooms.

“Did you run into a tree again?” Rose asked Jade.

“And?” Jade asked.

Rose gave her a look that was a mix of concern and inquisitiveness.

“Rose,” Jade said.

“What?”

“Why did you climb that tree?”

“For a nice relaxing place to read and have a nice view.”

“Can you get down?”

“… … … …”

“Rose, someday if I get knocked up I’m going to have like a dozen kids or puppies or whatever. Even carrying all of those kids, I don’t think I’ll ever be as pregnant as that pause.”

Rose sighed, “Fine. I’m stuck.”

“Rose!” Jade said. “Why do you keep doing this? You know you can’t get down.”

“Why do you keep running after things and not look where you’re going?” Rose shot back.

“I-” Jade tried to make a snappy comeback to that, but was distracted.

At the showers, John had taken off his shirt and was soaking it in the spray. Jade’s eyes devoured John’s lean, muscular figure. She could see his shoulder blades shift and glisten in the afternoon sun as his toned back was dotted with beads of sweat slowly making themselves downward. John’s father had instilled a good work-out regimen in the hopes that someday John could lift refrigerators as well. Jade wanted to run her hands over his tanned torso and put her tongue to his brown nipple again (this time sans shirt).

From the corner of her eye, Jade caught Rose staring as well. Her pale face was turning red in a blush she tried to hide behind her book.

“See anything you like?” Jade asked, a smug tone slipping into her voice.

Rose pushed the book up to hide her face from Jade. Not responding because her voice might crack.

“Doggie needs her bone… does kitty need one too?” Jade asked, her voice playful but not in a chaste way.

“Jade just… shut up,” Rose said. “I’m fine.”

“Rose, don’t be such a pussy.”

Rose glared at her, more out of the atrocious pun rather than a projection of her embarrassment.

“Guys?” John asked, wringing his shirt out as he spoke to them. “Ready to go?”

“Rose is stuck in a tree again,” Jade said.

“Aw Rose, again?” John asked. “Why do you keep climbing up there?”

“I’m not stuck!” Rose snapped.

She tentatively moved from her position and stretched a leg down to a lower branch. Then she lost her balance and flailed a bit before hugging the trunk.

“I’m a little stuck,” she conceded.

John sighed and asked, “Jade?”

“On it!” Jade said.

She leaped up the tree, climbing it with ease. The dog in her couldn’t do it, but the human in her scaled trees since she was a puppy-girl. She grabbed a protesting Rose up in her arms and skipped from branch to branch until she hit the ground. Rose bounced slightly in her arms, slapping her head against Jade’s chest. Rose expected to hit the taller girl’s ribs or sternum, but she felt only softness. Rose blushed again.

“Soft, aren’t they?” Jade whispered in a voice only Rose could hear.

Rose scrambled out of her embrace and clipped her leash back on. The pair followed John home.