(2018-04-15) Herding Cats
Herding Cats
Summary: Eddie searches for a lost cat, Audgrim helps. Audgrim gives Eddie advice about his love life this time.
Date: IC Date (2018-04-15)
Related: None
Player Characters: Eddie, Audgrim

Grimhart Park - Cherry Oak
Four acres in size, the Grimhart Park mainly consists of several inter-connected Edwardian style knot gardens. They come in squares, overlapping each other so that here a thyme border breaches one of box, there a neatly clipped row of marjoram rams right through one of lavender. The paths are made from recycled stones from the old Grimhart mansion, many still scorched from its pyre.

In the back of the garden is a gargantuan hedge maze resembling a tangled green ribbon. Known as the Hart Knot, it covers the north acre in fanciful loops. Surrounding it is a virtual zoo of tidily kept and cropped topiary beasts.

The southern and front-most acre holds artificial brooks and ponds, numerous bridges and islands filled with willows and rhododendrons grown to rainforest size. Many local waterfowl make their homes here, and the largest island offers a cozy little cafe along with a tiny, upscale vegetarian restaurant.

To the west, behind a line of cedars lies the communal gardens of Port Angeles.

"Fancy? Faaaancy! C'mon," Eddie calls in a kind of half-hearted tone, annoyed and embarrassed to be doing what he's doing, "where are you, you stupid little brute?" All his world-saving efforts have kind of hit a dead end, and he still has to pay his rent, so this is what it's come to: tracking down a runaway cat for some lady with more money than good sense. He ambles lazily along the jogging paths, holding up an open can of overpriced wet catfood and wafting it around under every tree he comes across. At least he's got both hands to work with, finally, though the way he moves the left one makes it clear he's still kind of sore. At his age, with those kind of wounds, it might never be exactly the same.

Audgrim smells something tantalizing - he's just entered the park, on a break from whatever he was doing. Playing somewhere, probably. It's cat food he smells and he trails after it, turning around some bushes and almost running right into Eddie. "Hey!" he startles, coming to a halt. "Is that lunch?"

Eddie briefly considers ducking behind a tree or just running away to hide his shame, but it's too late for that. Anyway, he seems happy enough to see Audgrim despite the circumstances, giving the guy a wave. "Yeah," he says, looking down at the can with a sheepish smile, "just not ours, hopefully. Some lady on Cherry Oak has me looking for her cat. Four hundred bucks, if you can believe that, and this is all he'll eat." He holds the can out on display, to show off the label. Weruva Chicken in Pupkin Consomme. "Thirty-two dollars a can. I don't think I've ever spent that much on food. You want to help look? I'll split it with you. The money, or the can, if we don't find the little idiot."

Audgrim is thankfully not the type to laugh at Eddie's misery - far as he's concerned, finding a lost cat is SUPER detective work. "Cats hide very well," he says solemntly, narrowing his eyes as he starts looking around, sniffing the air. "I will help. Don't need money - but I can take some cat food. Save some for me, if we find the cat." Trading 200 dollars for a taste of cat food? He's not the smartest, no. Or he's just being nice. "I can't talk to cats, can you? else this would be easier. Maybe I can smell it…"

"Not unless he's the kind with six legs," Eddie shakes his head, "and I couldn't pick up the scent back at her place. They have all his bedding laundered, all I got was a snoot full of floral detergent. I won't even guess how much that cost." He seems pretty thoroughly disgusted by the whole arrangement, but money's money. He gives Audgrim a nod of gratitude and resumes his course, not seeming terribly invested in the task, or terribly surprised that the Nightsinger would take catfood over cash, for that matter. "You can have some," he agrees, "I already dipped my finger in, and it's a little high class for me. Felt like I ought to be using a special fork. How's it coming with the armor? Nobody eaten by apes, yet?"

"Cat… here, kisse kisse kisse," Audgrim calls, voice all seductively sweet and alluring. For an animal, anyway. "Need one more thing for armor. Root of terror tree. I am terrified about it," he admits - he's got a healthy fear of things in the hedge, after that meeting with the apes. "We went to the stars," he says quietly, eyes alight with wonder as he looks at Eddie. "Denver and me, go to the stars." It's not a euphemism of their wonderful sex life - he means it, literally. "And find headwater of Eridanus." He starts looking around on the ground and crouches to sniff: some park-dwellers walks hurriedly over to the other side of the pathway.

"It's okay," Eddie calls to the unsettled park-goers, "he's Norwegian." They start walking a little faster, and he watches them go, chuckling. Once they're gone he crouches down next to Audgrim and gives a sniff, his own nose even more sensitive than that of the other Beast. "Shampoo," he declares with a nod, "I think we're on the right track. Keep an eye on the trees, from the state of the furniture this little bastard's a real scratcher." All the stuff about the Hedge and the stars and all of that just gets kind of a grunt. It's all Greek to him, and his opinions on the Hedge are a matter of record by now. "Try and save Bea a clipping off that tree, if you live long enough," he recommends, after a moment's consideration. "And you might see if Quiet won't go along. He doesn't scare easy, is my impression."

"I thought asking him already," Audgrim says distractedly, senses a bit overwhelmed - even if his senses aren't as focused as Eddie's. It's more a combination of everything. But he smells it too and he's sniffing the air as they trail along, ignoring the others in the park, very focused. Like an animal stalking its prey in fact - his eyes are gleaming dangerously. It might be good of Eddie to remind him, if they find the cat, that it's NOT to be caught and killed. "We went to Hedge yesterday too, find some things. I got things for Ida," he says smugly. "You can have them if you want. Give to her as present."

"Remember, we're here to feed the cat, not eat him," Eddie says, picking up on Audgrim's hunting seeking demeanor with some amusement. He trails along a half-step behind the Nightsinger, better himself at tracking people than animals, stopping every once in a while to get a whiff of the air and point in a likely direction. The trail seems to be leading them off the actual trail and deeper into the park. "I don't know if that's a good idea," he says kind of quietly, after a long silence. "Me and Ida are… I don't know, exactly. It's always been complicated, and now with this Sophia broad…" he trails off and shakes his head. "What'd you find?"

"Cat tastes good," Audgrim murmurs, but he snaps out of it and his eyes take on a more normal look. Right, no killing the cat. He stops and puts a hand on Eddie's shoulder suddenly, leaning down a bit to stare the other man in the eyes. "Sometimes, you are dumb. Ida likes you. You like Ida. What is so hard?" He snorts, and lets go of Eddie again, shaking his head and muttering something in Norwegian. "We find leaves of razor maple. They break easy but they are like razors - maybe make something out of it. She likes very stabby things, right?"

"I like everybody," Eddie says, deadpan. He goes quiet again for a while, the way only a Winter really can, even his breathing and his footsteps muffled into a sullen silence. After a while, and a few scratched up trees, he cocks his head to one side. Listening to something, a kind of wet noise with intermittent crunching. He looks around and snorts a laugh. "I guess he will eat something else after all," he says, tapping Audgrim on the shoulder and pointing in the direction it's coming from. There, sat below a tree, is a white-haired, blue-eyed cat, the fattest either man is likely to have ever seen, muzzle red with blood as it enthusiastically consumes a squirrel it's somehow caught. "She does like sharp things," he finally admits, considering.

"Mmmhmm," Audgrim says, shooting Eddie a long look. He stops, watching the cat. "I like eating squirrel, too," he says, almost jealous of the fat white ball of fluff over there. "How that fat cat caught a squirrel? Is it super cat." He snickers amusedly, and starts to approach carefully, crouched down. "Ksksksksks," he says, that odd sounding calling of the animal. "Hold out cat food, see if he likes it. Or I can try to dive at it and catch."

Newly affirmed in his status as the next best thing to a Bengal Tiger, Fancy makes that warding sound that cats make when guarding a kill, all r's and w's. Possibly he can sense Audgrim's hunger. He scoops up what's left of the squirrel, blood-soaked tail dangling down, and gets back on his hind legs ready to run or fight. "Check the great white hunter over here," Eddie smirks, but he does like Audgrim suggests, slowly kneeling down and sloooooowly extending the can of catfood, wafting the scent of chicken and pumpkin and probably caviar for what they charge for the stuff over at the prideful puffball. "C'mon, c'mon, that's right," he says in soothing tones.

Audgrim goes the route of trying to charm the kitten, making cute little noises and holding his tail still as he approaches, crouched down with his hand held out (he dips his fingers in the catfood can first). "Sweet kitty, ksksksks," he soothes, using what knowledge he has of animals in general. "We got good food for you here too, see… Ksksksks. White fluffy ball, you very pretty."

For all that Fancy seems to enjoy his new status as a fearsome predator, expensive food and baby talk and definitely more what he has become accustomed to. The can is enough to keep him from running, for a moment, and the weird Norwegian cat-whispering technique seals the deal. He waddles pridefully forward, squirrel still in mouth, and drops the carcass at the feet of the Nightsinger. He does a figure eight through Audgrim's legs, smearing squirrel blood on the tall man's pants, then haughtily approaches the food (and by extension, Eddie). The detective watches the cat eat for a while, then reaches out a tentative hand to pat the cat across the back. When he doesn't get swatted for his trouble, he seems to chalk this one up as a victory. "Thanks," he says, "I'll get him home in a minute. If you want to drop those leafs by the office I'll make sure Ida gets them, I'm sure she won't use them to skin me alive or anything."

Making sure not to do any sudden movements, and daring to pet the cat a few times while continuously making silly noises at it, Audgrim's quite charmed by the little animal too. Maybe they charmed each other. He eyes the dead squirrel now - it looks tasty, it does. "Must eat real food, must eat real food. Or maybe just a little taste…" He bends down to grab the carcass, stuffing it in a pocket of his coat. His clothes look almost nice these days, but he still wears them out in about a week. Denver's clothes bill must be rather high. "I want a cat," he says. "Think Denver wants a cat? I will ask." He beams a smile at this. "And will come with them today - you make something nice for Ida with them. And watch your fingers."

"I think one just gave birth in the alley outside your window," Eddie says, "in the dumpster." He watches the cat eat a while, then stoops down when it's finished to scratch it behind the ears. He's not as smitten as Audgrim, but he's better with animals than one might expect, just one of those tell-tale signs that he actually is a Beast, as much as he might try to pretend otherwise. With the meal complete he leans down to scoop up the cat, finding no protest. To look at him, Fancy is more used to being carried than to walking under his own power, anyway. "I better get this fat little jerk back to his owner. Thanks for the help, Grim. If it doesn't work out with the music, you've got a real future as a pet detective." He hands the Nightsinger what's left of the high-dollar catfood, new seasoned with squirrel blood, as agreed.

"Thanks! I got a whole lunch now," Audgrim says, quiet happy. He was getting hungry, cause he forgot to eat earlier. "I will go look for cats outside house," he says, all distracted now by other 'shinies'. "AFter lunch and nap." Of course. Nap first. "Let me know if Ida like leaves, okay?" He gives Eddie a rascally grin.

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