"Oh my mouses! OH MY MOUSES! Mason, was that you? Are you okay? Did somebody hurt you? Are you in pain? Are you..."
Seville watched as his sister calmly padded across the family room floor. "Wait a minute... You look okay. What's up with the blood-curdling screams?"
"Peep #1 wanted to clip my claws."
"She did? MOUSES! Did she snip too far down? Did it hurt? Was there blood? Were there guts? Was it like an episode of Criminal Minds? Was there..."
Seville narrowed his eyes. "Wait a minute... I don't see any blood. Neither yours nor the peep's. You sure Peep #1 hurt you while clippin' your claws?"
Mason sat down next to her brother and gave him a smacky-paw to the side of his head. "You have Pickerel between those ears, Seville? I said, Peep #1 wanted to clip my claws. Wanted. Wanted as in wanted, not as in she actually clipped them."
"But I heard you howling with pain, Mason."
"It was a preemptive howl. No pain involved." Mason lifted her right front paw and carefully inspected a shiny, razor-sharp claw. "I didn't feel like having any claws clipped today."
"Oh. Oh! Oh. But you know, she'll just clip 'em tomorrow, Mason. Peep #1 is persistent like that. She keeps comin' back. She's like the Energizer Bunny, only without the bunny ears. One day, I was sound asleep, dreamin' of nip fields and mice and the like, when I felt one of those mice tuggin' on my paw. When I opened my eyes to get a better look at said mouse, the nip fields vanished in a poof of dreamcloud smoke, and I found Peep #1 clippin' my claws. She's sneaky like that, that ol' peep of ours. Sneaky as sneaky can be. MOUSES!"
"Don't I know it," Mason scowled. "She was sneaking around with those claw clippers yesterday morning. She even managed to clip this one claw of mine," and when Mason lifted her left front paw, out popped a recently clipped claw. "Peep #1 is responsible for this. MOUSES!"
Seville leaned forward to get a better look at the claw. "She do your entire left paw?"
"Are you kidding me? I caught her snipping the first claw and when I realized what she was doing, I jumped down from the chesterfield and gave her the dirtiest look. You know the one. That look where I combine an oh-how-could-you-do-such-a-thing with a you-dirty-rotten-scoundrel along with a touch of don't-you-love-me-anymore-peep."
Seville smiled to himself. "That's a great look, sis. Works like a charm. In fact, I've used that look, myself, a couple times. But still..."
"Still what?" and Mason stifled a yawn.
"She still comes back. I'm telling you, it's that Energizer Bunny thing she has going on. All she's missing are the ears. MOUSES!"
Mason stretched out a paw. "Well my new policy is no more than one claw may be clipped during any twenty-four-hour period. I'd like for there to be no claws clipped, of course, but what with her sneaking about while I'm asleep... The fact is, sometimes, she catches me when I'm not looking. But I figure that if she only manages the one claw a day, by the time she gets around to doing all my claws, it'll be time to start all over again. Keeps her running. Running in circles. Kind of like chasing one's tail, only better."
"Like chasin' a bunny's tail?"
"No, a cat's tail, Seville. Your own tail."
"Better than chasing your own tail?"
"Yes Seville, better. Better because if you happen to catch your own tail while chasing it..."
"You can chomp down too hard and that always hurts," Seville finished his sister's sentence. "Yup, I know all 'bout that," he nodded, wisely.
The two cats sat in silence for a moment, thinking about running in circles and chasing their tails.
"But you know," began Seville. "If you don't allow Peep #1 to clip your claws, and you keep pullin' on the chesterfield like you've been doin' lately..."
"What's she going to do? Take me to the groomer to have my claws clipped? I don't think so, Seville. In case you hadn't heard, the groomer at our hospital is allergic to cats!"
"I know! I KNOW!" Seville cried before falling to the floor in a fit of laughter and madly thumping his tail on the carpet. "Stop it! STOP IT! It's too funny... A groomer allergic to cats... MOUSES!"
By this time, Mason was also on the floor laughing. She rolled onto her back, wildly waving all four paws in the air. "It is too funny. A groomer allergic to cats! Too funny... Too... Too..."
Mason sobered quickly. "But do you know what's not funny?" she asked.
Seville scratched behind an ear. "Uh, the peep's hair this morning? That wasn't funny. That was HILARIOUS, for sure. Did you see that bit stickin' out at the back? It was like a malformed tail or somethin'. Or maybe she's tryin' to grow bunny ears! I think she slept on it funny but on the other paw, maybe that's the new look she's goin' for these days. Maybe..."
Mason reached over and gave her brother another smacky-paw to the side of his head. "Sometimes I think you have Mackerel for brains. What's not too funny is... The peep might not take me to the groomer for a pawdicure, but I'm thinkin' she might ask Dr. Teresa to clip my claws when I go in for my next check-up, and if I'm not mistaken, I believe I overheard the peeps talking about making appointments for our check-ups in the next couple of weeks and..."
"And preemptive howls don't work with Dr. Teresa. When Dr. T. goes to clip our claws, she means business, for sure. Before you even realize what she's doin', she's done both front paws!"
"Oh Seville..." Peep #1 called as she came around the corner.
"Look out!" Mason cried. "There's a peep with claw clippers on the prowl. MOUSES!"