California Dreamin’ (open)


Himbo? I hardly know her
Jun 13, 2022

It was a slow day at camp. Quiet, lazy. One of those days where the sun seemed to move in slow-motion, and all one had to look forward to was tomorrow. The kind of day where a nap was a fun enough activity to pass the time with. Of course, there was excitement somewhere. Whispers on the periphery pertaining to tension with another group of cats.

It was all dreadfully interesting, Cow was sure, but he didn’t have the head for politics. If someone wanted the boneheaded bovine’s opinion, he would say both sides should settle their differences with a race. Whoever won was in the right, whoever lost was in the wrong, easy peasy. Why wasn’t he in charge?

Turning away from the pastime of solving sensitive struggles with a sledgehammer, Cow contemplated the concept of this other group of cats. More specifically, their makeup. What if they had some cuties in their midst? A wry smile crossed the tomcat’s milk-drenched maw as the cliché fantasy took form. Two star-crossed lovers, forbidden from meeting by forces beyond their control. The passion, the struggle! It could make anyone’s heart melt.

However, that vision brought with it a question. Sitting up, Cow called to those nearby. A conversation could pass the time, as well as answer his query. “Hey…” he started, tone bereft of the usual bravado and confidence only someone with his (lack of) intelligence could conjure. “Having a crush…or being in love…or whatever…what does it feel like?” It was an odd question, considering his age. Cow was still pretty young, but he should have been around long enough to experience something so universal. ​
— He'd just happened to be passing by when Cow uttered the stupid question. A 'mere coincidence, his rational mind knows, but he can't help the twinge of annoyance bubbling within his gut. What? Had he finally noticed his distinct lack of a mate? His singleness? He'd noticed and decided to point it out to the group, asking him particularly, expected to only receive dumbstruck stuttering as an answer?

"Uh... like, when you're talking to someone... and they say the dumbest shit you've ever heard, but like, you're okay with it," he eloquently explains, the grace of all known poets, dead and alive, congregating within his supple mind at that very moment. "Because they're your idiot, ya'know." Probably, anyways. He's never had that, he thinks. Maybe when he was a kitten.

But still, all this brilliant knowledge coming from a guy without experience? How cool was he? "And they tell you what to do and stuff, but ya' don't get mad."
  • Like
Reactions: Cow

╰☆☆ The silver tabby has never once had a crush in his life. At least, he doesn't think so. His father has had all the success and happiness in the world, and he's had no mate to speak of; none of his siblings are betrothed or otherwise coupled; his aunt, too, remains single and happily so. Haze has seen a handsome tom stride by and appreciated the ripple of muscle beneath their pelt; he's taken a second glance at a she-cat sunbathing, her liquid pose and relaxed expression.

But a 'crush'? He laughs at Onceler's response, bent whiskers crinkling with amusement. "That's also how you feel about family, though, too," he says. "And friends." He doesn't pause to consider that Onceler might not have any friends.

He tosses Cow a glance. "Why do you ask? Haven't you had more mates than you know what to do with?" Haze shrugs. He supposes being mates with someone doesn't mean you have to like them. It's not something he's terribly interested in, he supposes.

The situation he’s created was one of the rare instances where Cow was looking for a serious answer, so he couldn’t help the frown that formed when Once started speaking. However, such unbecoming contemplation was wiped away as the grouchy cat continued, and the boy began to chuckle. Passive intoxication from the Pierian Spring (if such a comparison were even apt for the course language) was not enough for the oaf, though. Cow always had to be doing something, so an errant stick was batted between paws as he soaked up the words like a particularly stupid sponge.

The bovine blockhead couldn’t tell why cats didn’t get along with Once. The other had a way with words that Cow couldn’t help but appreciate in its simplicity. Still, perhaps simplicity wasn’t the way to approach such an abstract concept. “‘Lotta cats say tell me what I say is stupid. Guess that means they don’t love me?” It wasn’t a statement made out of self-pity, more matter-of-fact. Cow didn’t really mind. After all, what good was it to get bent out of shape over someone who’d already made up their mind? “But I don’t really get mad at anything folks say. Does that mean I love everyone?” It seemed Cow had made the mistake of taking Once’s words as gospel.

Haze’s interjection brought the boy back to some form of reality with the reminder of friends, which he couldn’t help but pout and ponder at. “If the feeling’s the same for both, what’s the difference between a friend and a crush?” Unnerved at the small patch of silence he’d created, Cow quickly moved on to answer Haze’s question and bring back at least a bit of levity.

Sending the stick he’d been playing with flying into the camp wall, Cow let out a bark of laughter. “You got me confused with someone else? No, I haven’t been lucky enough for a she-cat to grace me with her presence, emotionally or physically.” It was an awkward way to leave things off, stating a distinct lack of success. Still, a small part of him had to wonder why it mattered so much.

Eager to fill the air, he spoke again. “If everything is imperfect in this world, love is perfect in its imperfection.” A goofy smile crossed Cow’s milk-drenched maw as he looked towards his compatriots. “That’s good, right? Can’t take credit for it, though. I heard it once a while back, still don’t really understand it, to be honest. Too much of a tongue twister, y’know?”

Talk of mates soured Daisy Flight's comfortable mood. She lounged behind a well grown fern beside the apprentice den. It had been some time since she had visited her little, crush, as Cow put it. Memories of his tall, shadowy form striking out across the rooftops beneath the wobbling haze of the summer sun lay oppressive on her mind. Always in a rush to see her. Well, who wouldn't be? she internally huffed, smoothing down those oh so intrusive regrets and insecurities.

Once and Haze's inputs were both correct, she supposed, in their own ways. She certainly found herself putting up with a lot of stupid comments. But that seemed to encompass love in general rather than infatuation, which appeared to be Cow's quarry. Listening to the two-toned tom ramble on struck Daisy Flight with the conclusion that he was taking this all far too literally. The curious tom's closing statement was sound enough however.

"Imperfection certainly seems to be an aspect of it. Can't have both cats so loved up that they'll put up with everything though, love is supposed to be about helping and sustaining each other. It's all very layered and subjective." Lifting a lazy, charcoal paw to flag down those in the conversation she shifted weight so that her head popped up from behind the foliage. "Finding them attractive eases things along too."