"Rushton, keep your whirrin' to yourself, would ya? I'm tryin' to get my early mid-mornin' nap in BEFORE it's time for my late mid-mornin' nap. Okay?"
"But Seville, I'm hungry. I'm starving! I haven't eaten in days."
I looked my brother up and down, makin' note of his girth. "Uh... Yeah. The peep gave you breakfast, not all that long ago. I saw her doin' it, and everythin'."
"Breakfast? Today? No, that can't be true. It has been ages and ages since I've had anything to eat. I'm pretty sure the peeps are slowly starving us to death, Sivvers. I'm pretty sure I heard it on the news."
"Hmmm... I don't think you can starve to death in forty-five minutes, Rushy. MOUSES!"
"Seville, it has been WAY LONGER than forty-five minutes since I last ate."
"Forty-SIX minutes, then? MOUSES!"
Rushy looked down at the floor. Liftin' one paw, he started to count his claws. Realizin' he didn't have enough claws to count all the way up to forty-six, he gave up. "That's FAKE NEWS, that is. FAKE NEWS!" he cried, stampin' a paw for emphasis.
"What's fake news? That you had brekkies only forty-six minutes ago?"
"Yeah, that. NO! No... Um, wait a minute. I know! My havin' had brekkies today is what's fake news. I'm telling you, Sivvers, the peep is STARVIN' US CATS TO DEATH!"
I gave my brother a good eye roll and shook my head. "Your sayin' the peep is starvin' us, is what's fake news, brother dear. The peep gave you brekkies less than an hour ago, and I should know, on account of her givin' me my brekkies at the very same time. We sat there in the kitchen, eatin' our brekkies together! MOUSES!"
My brother screwed up his face in deep thought.
"Rushy, you keep screwin' your face up like that, and it's gonna stick. MOUSES!"
He narrowed his eyes and looked me up and down before sayin', "Is that what happened to you?"
"You take that back, Rushy. My face is as handsome as handsome can be. EVERYONE says so, so it must be true. Besides, you're just deflectin'."
"Deflectin'? Is that like when the air escapes from a balloon?"
"Oh for the love of mouses." I let out a big sigh. "Rushy, you're tryin' to make me forget you had your brekkies not that long ago, but you did, so therefore, you can't possibly be starvin'."
"You're goin' on about this fake news stuff again? Mouses Rushy, you keep talkin' like that and the police are gonna come take us all away from the peeps and make us live in a household with a bunch of dogs or somethin'."
"Or worse," and I solemnly nodded.
Rushy's eyes grew as big as flyin' saucers.
I lowered my voice and asked, "You ever live with a family of weasels, Rushy?"
"But nothin'. Peep #1 fed you when she fed me, LESS THAN AN HOUR AGO, and your tellin' the world she hasn't fed you in days is gonna cause nothin' but trouble. NOTHIN' BUT TROUBLE, I say! It's gonna cause nothin' but trouble for all of us cats, for sure. MOUSES!"
"Oh, most definitely so. Sometimes I really wonder 'bout you, mon frere."
"I do," I told him. "Hate to admit it, but yeah, I do."
"And do you worry about me, too?"
"On occasion, I suppose. I mean, long-haired and freaky you might be, but you're still my brother, although how that ever happened I will never know."
Rushy looked thoughtful for a moment. "Do you love me, Sivvers?" he asked.
I thought 'bout Rushy's question for a bit. "Hmmm... I guess so. But don't go tellin' anyone that, okay? Let's keep it between ourselves. I don't need stuff like that going 'round the neighbourhood."
Rushy nodded his agreement before breaking into a wide smile, and then... Then he started runnin' around the kitchen yellin', "Seville loves me! SEVILLE LOVES ME! SEVILLE LOVES ME LIKE BROTHERS DO!"
"Shh! I told you to keep that between you and me!"
Rushy ignored me, as he usually does, and tore out of the room, continuing to yell 'bout my lovin' my brother to anyone and everyone who would listen.
"Oh for the love of mouses." Letting out a big sigh, I ran after my brother, yellin', "That's not true, Peepers! Don't listen to him! He's fibbin' like no long-haired marmie freak of a brother of mine has ever fibbed before! Rushy is spreadin' the FAKE NEWS, for sure. MOUSES!"