Equius is ruing Nepeta’s powers of persuasion when the Jade human exclaims, “Ooooh, is that an original?”
He follows her pointing finger to one of the finest works in his collection.
Hardly daring to hope, he says, “Yes…?”
“That’s so cool! He’s my favorite.” Genuine excitement animates her face. “Well, one of my favorites,” she adds, and lists off six or seven artists known for their musclebeast paintings, including several obscure names that no dilettante would recognize.
“How did you…?” Has Nepeta told her what to say? But Nepeta (much to his chagrin) shows no interest in fine art.
“Oh, I was basically raised by the Internet.”
“…I see?” He is rewarded with an ear-splitting grin.
“Can I take a closer look?” she asks, gesturing toward the painting.
“Of course,” he says, and bustles off to fetch some others that she’ll like.
Maybe he can accept Jade as Nepeta’s friend, after all. Even if she is an alien.