"Look at that somei."
"She's the nicest grouch to ever exterminate entire species, I know."
"No, not personally, but over in Ozala and Loro, there's quite a few stories where bird or fish species were last seen just after us Arndans brought our cats with us, especially on remote islands."
"Well, possibly, although, Hanana-Riki had no birds, only fish, and those fish were used to otters, so the cats didn't have the outsized impact they'd otherwise had..."
"I thought otters were freshwater dwellers."
"So did everyone else, actual sea otters don't look like the otters we saw. Err, I sent in a report to the taxonomy group, I still get strongly worded letters about it..."
"My Linni, intrepid explorer!" She hugged him.
"Florin Haban beat me to it."
"I wonder if Mako's ok?"
"According to Dentrag, she is..."
"What, you guys keep track of her?"
"She's part of Laraken Tsumon's family, I keep an eye on her as a professional courtesy."
"And how does he know her?"
"They're neighbours, she has a flat on the same floor in his building."
"Wait, I thought he was just a Sun'ga?"
"Yeah, apparently all those officers are big tippers. No, seriously, Kannie's isn't fancy, but it would be a seriously posh place if it wasn't on the Plaza..."
"Why do you say that?"
"Remember you asked me to take me with you to #3's staff dining room?"
"Oh, yeah, that was nice."
"Number 3's is not even that fanciest spot in the plaza, that's the Nessun College's Executive Mess."
"Jitatin, that can't be right."
"Look, defence is a lot larger than State, and Navy's a big part of the reason."
"Well, d'oh, we're an Island, we can't do much with soldiers if we can't get them to where they're useful. And the Navy's always been the sharpest tool in Kagomine policy."
"Yeah, well imagine the best and brightest having a facility there, just for them, where they plot and plan together, where they call each other to account, where they agree whose names they will give to Meihomei, for discipline or praise. A place where the best they have, the best they can be, is on display, showing each other up."
"That's got nothing to do with you, Robyn? Did I hear you right?"
"No wonder some people hate cats... Self-centered to a fault."
"But not you, not the Feline Advisor to Meihomei."
"Well, I don't hate cats, and I know better, at least, I know some of why they're so self-centered."
"Imagine finding yourself a room mate, despite being able to pay the rent by yourself, now imagine the price to pay was attention, not money or food..."
"What, they consider themselves independent?"
"Robyn here, you watch her all the time, right?"
"You keep track of her kills? Voles, mice, fish, larvae, small birds, beetles?"
"Hmm, not if I can help it, but I do know there's a few..."
"I've asked my pet medicine advisor, for how much food to give her, he asked back: 'how much prey does she take,now that she's in her senior days?'"
"Did you know?"
"No, so I asked some of your folk, over a week they tracked her hunt success rate, and a general idea how much food she could still catch, considering her age..."
"It helps that she's got a hunting preserve basically for herself here, but she's got 35% success rate, and she takes down about six prey items a night, on a bad day..."
"Is that good?"
"Her granddaughters have almost 40% success, but only take about 4 prey items a night, just larger ones, on average, she's mindful that she's getting older, and not as agile, for one..."
"Wait, she gets three voles a night?"
"No, she seems to actually fish for two prey items every night, and gets the rest opportunistically."
"Jor-Jie thought her granddaughters to swim, not her, she's known since before I met her."
"Wait, like otter fishing, like swiming underwater to catch fish?"
"Yeah, or crustaceans, you've not lived until you've seen her catching a shrimp."
"But after a pair of fishes or shrimp, she's still hungry?"
"Or she feels she earned a treat, her medical advisor says she doesn't need more than three prey items of the size we've seen her take, which is why her belly's getting larger. At least with the meals she's been getting at the palace, which is why they're going to wind down the all you can eat buffet she's been getting. Err, that's probably another reason people have issues with cats, they eat even when not hungry anymore, for sport, and can certainly act cruel."
"I'd never have guessed." Her tone was tart, as the multiple armful of kittens she was buried under just decided to go mew in the cutest way possible