It was hard living in Tortuga. There were the constant threats of getting killed in one of the alleys by some random mugger or even being jumped by some of the neighborhood children and being beaten until unconscious. Not to mention the chance of one of the whores hiding a knife in the sleeves of their dresses perhaps, ready to kill their clients and take all of their money without a second thought.

And that was just the worries the humans went through.

With a soft yawn, a ragged looking cat woke up and stretched out, arching his back for a moment before sneezing and shaking his head rapidly.

He was a rough looking cat; his bluish-gray fur ragged and badly matted with the filth that he lived in. He even bore a scar from a particularly rough fight; a thin curving line over his left eye. One fang also poked out from his mouth, making him look almost adorable until he used said fang to bite down on a human's hand.

He had a kind of mane of long fur around his head, leaving the top with just short fur as the rest of his body. A young child had once tied a white cloth around his neck and now it was ragged and torn up from exposure to life in Tortuga.

The cat's name was Pintel.

Huffing softly, Pintel sat down on his haunches and licked his paws, using them to rub his head for a moment or two as he thought over his options for the day.

He could always go and harass those two odd cats that seemed to always end up arguing over something random again. They had once been owned by Naval officers but were left in Tortuga when their owners were killed one day in a bar fight.

Then there was that one strange cat who walked as if drunk all of the time who was able to catch sparrows really well; Pintel could always steal some of those for a meal.

Of course, the leader of the cat gang Pintel was in was really good at getting them treats like apples on occasion. Pintel could just go and collect his daily share.

Before Pintel could properly make up his mind about what to do, the sound of a cat shrieking in agony pierced through the numerous sounds the humans themselves were making and without thinking it through, Pintel raced towards where he heard the shrieks coming from.

It was the cat from that old slave ship; he had found a young naïve adolescent cat and he was currently giving him the old Tortuga alley cat greeting; a hideous biting and clawing session that left most new cats dead.

Bo'sun was a large hulking black cat with white spots in a kind of design on his face, making him seem all the more scary as he told the alley cats stories about what happened to the humans on the slave ships; although most of the cats chose not to believe him.

There was no way that humans could possibly cram thousands of other humans into an airtight room; leaving them with the dead and sick during their long voyages…

Right?

The cat being beaten was formally from Italy; his owner having brought him over on his ship just this morning and just let him out to stretch his legs. He was a scrawny looking thing with golden and brown striped fur. His eyes were also oddly colored; his left one a deep blue and his right one a deep brown color that was almost dead since it didn't move like the blue one.

The unfortunate cat's name was Ragetti

When Pintel finally arrived on the scene, Ragetti was on his side, his front paws badly chewed up and bleeding as Bo'sun pressed a paw down on his head, pinning him down to the ground as he opened his mouth and hissed loudly.

A low feral growl stopped Bo'sun from biting down on Ragetti's neck and he looked up in surprise; blinking when he saw Pintel standing there, his back arched and his hair standing on end as he hissed at him threateningly.

With a huff, Bo'sun shook his head and lowered it once more to bite down as Ragetti mewed weakly in a pleading manner.

Pintel was smaller and much rounder than Bo'sun and so when he barreled into his side, the impact was like being hit with a cannonball and Bo'sun was hurled away from Ragetti; landing violently on the stone ground.

Pintel snarled at him once more as Bo'sun struggled onto his paws and with a huff the cat ran off, deciding to try and save face by not chancing at losing a fight with Pintel.

Weak mews woke Pintel up from his rage, and his fur slowly flattened back down as he turned to tend to the injured cat.

Ragetti's paws were in bad shape and his tail was missing some fur in the middle from being chewed off by Bo'sun.

There was no way that this new cat would be able to make it on the streets of Tortuga.

Alone anyway.

Lifting up his head, Ragetti mewed once more at his rescuer and Pintel huffed and put on a stern look as he walked up and licked Ragetti's wounds to try and help stop the bleeding.

Ragetti's purring made him stop, and he looked up at him as Ragetti looked at him with a kind of goofy smile on his face, thanking him in a series of meows and purrs for the rescue.

Pintel growled at this and shrugged it off, scolding Ragetti for being a stupid little kitten before going back to licking his wounds.

It was better to hide his smile by doing that anyway.

Weeks later the humans of Tortuga would often point and laugh at the two seemingly mismatched alley cats that often ran past them; one of them small and round and mean looking and the other long and thin and very friendly with all of the children of the town.