Tabby lay on the soft warm green lawn. Spring had finally arrived, and no longer did she have to find comfort in dark, dank places. She hated the muddy spaces beneath sheds and porches. The dark didn't bother her so much. But to finally feel the sun warm her soft coat, to be able to close her eyes and lick her sore paws in this sweet late spring morning was a welcome respite from a long winter.
Her ears twitched as she heard the footfalls of a creature on the nearby concrete driveway. She didn't want to open her eyes, but her curiosity was too powerful. She opened her right eye and spied the tom she adored so much. Pepper was what the other Ferals called him. He was beautiful, speckled black and grey with dark grey eyes that were as cold as stone. But she was still terribly fond of him. She couldn't understand how or why.
Pepper, as he so often did, regarded Tabby blankly as he did any other Feral. He liked to keep to himself. The other cats didn't so much fear him as much as simply left him to his own devices. He was known to have some of the sharpest claws in the neighborhood and the local society had deemed him too dangerous to approach without caution. Tabby's paws were still sore from the particularly nasty chase the night before from the evil ones, those with the nets and the loud screeching calls of "here, kitty, kitty!" I have a name, you dimwits, she would snarl, not that these stupid humans would ever understand.
As Pepper's attention drifted away from Tabby, she let out a mew of both sadness and frustration. Pepper heard it, but pretended to ignore it. He took a quick glance at Tabby before slowly crawling up the hill of the yard across from Tabby. It was a dark and shady place with a big rough lot out behind it where the humans would leave shells of their metal roaring machines that they used to move themselves around at incredible speeds. Tabby had tried to ride one once, and it only moved a block or so before she leaped off, dizzy from motion sickness.
That same sort of sickness came over Tabby as she watched Pepper turn his long, luxuriant tail to her. He had once again decided her not worthy of his attention, she felt. She sniffled a bit and returned to licking her paws. If only, she thought, she could lick her breaking heart.