President Luthor cautiously picked up the phone. He never knew what to expect from this caller, but it was rarely anything normal.

"One of your cats just ate Steve McQueen!" Sure enough, not normal.

"Would you mind explain-"

"Oh, never mind, he was just lurking." Lex hung up and decided that even his drive to know everything had limits.

Dr. Gregory House hung up the phone on his end and watched the President's cat Meggie and his pet rat, Steve McQueen, darting back and forth at one another. Meggie dashed into the hall with the rat on her tail, and so House followed them. Especially since he had a meeting.

The head of DHHS watched the two animals cautiously. "Why are there a rat and a cat chasing one another down the hall?"

House attempted to look rueful. "Well, I tried to teach them volleyball, but they just prefer tag. No ambition."

Dr. Eric Foreman heard about it later. He considered hearing these kinds of stories his penance for having started the train of events that brought House to DC as the President's epidemiology advisor.

It all began with an innocent visit to his cousins, the Ross family, in Smallville, Kansas. He hadn't seen them for quite some time and had also heard the legends about the Smallville Medical Center and its bizarre cases. He hadn't known at the time that his trip coincided with pharmaceuticals billionaire Vogler's visit to Smallville to visit Lex Luthor. Luthor had described the visit to him.

Vogler was exerting all his efforts of persuasion to convince Lex Luthor that LexCorp would benefit from having drug patents extended indefinitely, "to be competitive with other industries." He wasn't having much success and sat back petulantly in his chair.

"Why won't you see the logic of this?"

Lex Luthor considered answering with the truth. "The cats won't let me because Martha Kent would be disappointed. If she's disappointed enough, the flow of treats might slow down. Or at least that's my hypothesis about why they threaten me with dire consequences." Instead, he replied, as smoothly as one of his favorite car's engines and with the same underlying purr, "It's not a priority for LexCorp or for me."

Meggie, the fluffiest and most innocent-looking of his cats, had purred and trilled her way onto Vogler's lap, despite his glares. As Vogler scowled, "You don't want to fight me over this," she positioned her back legs and delivered a solid, hard kick, claws fully extended, into a particularly vulnerable spot. Vogler howled in pain and bent over. The other two cats, Tissy and Allie, leaped onto him with the glee of a legislator in sight of PAC money, and gouged him with claws and teeth just like the legislator gouges constituents.

"You scared them," Lex said, reproachfully, as the Furies had extracted the last of the blood they wanted and Vogler got up, bleeding from several deep cuts and punctures.

"I'll...I'll sue you for this, Luthor."

"Really? I'm sure that from the security tapes, it looks as though you tried to kick that poor little cat as she got off your lap and then her sisters came to defend her. The press would have a field day with it."

Vogler pursed his lips and considered his options. Lex cut through his thoughts with a, "Here, I'll drive you to the medical center."

Foreman had been at the hospital when Vogler limped in. A few words persuaded the medical staff to insist on keeping Vogler overnight and a few more words had persuaded Lex to bring House in for a special consultation, which consisted entirely of House gloating, "Kitty cats? A few kitty cats did this?"

Lex Luthor couldn't ignore that kind of quality in taunting a fallen opponent and first appointed him as medical advisor to Congress. House's on-the-record speculations about whether senility or STDs were more likely the causes for some of the Congressmembers' votes had further won Lex's esteem as well as the cats' and so he was a shoo-in for Epidemology Advisor.