Final installment in the series: The Feline Mind

This time I'll get him. He won't even see me coming!

I smirked to myself at my namesake's naïve thoughts. Behind where I sat on Bella's living room couch, I heard the faintest of growls, inaudible to human ears, as the creature prepared to pounce.

In an instant, I had him in my hands, with his claws splayed to strike me. The orange, blue-eyed kitten snarled at me in frustration.

How does he do that?

"I'm not as easy to sneak up on as your mistress," I chuckled, setting the furball down on my stomach. He tried to scratch me, to no avail, and eventually gave up and lay down to sulk.

I heard Bella approach and looked up in time to see her face melt into a strange, dreamy expression. I quirked an eyebrow at her, and she blushed.

"I see you two are bonding," she said, inclining her head toward the bundle of cat on me. Eddy looked up at her from where his head rested on his paws.

"Not exactly. He was trying to attack me again."

"Eddy!" Bella admonished, kneeling on the floor to bring herself face to face with the kitten. "Why would you want to attack your daddy? Hmm?"

Daddy? Eddy mentally mocked as he pointedly glared at her. I laughed again.

"He does it because he likes the challenge. You and Charlie are easy targets with your slow human reflexes."

Bella smiled and began scratching Eddy in his favorite places; he purred contentedly. "Maybe he just likes me better."

"Well, he does," I agreed, "but that's not why he attacks me."

Bella frowned up at me. "And how do you know?"

"I can hear his thoughts."

Bella left off petting Eddy, who looked back at me with alarm. You can WHAT? Eddy thought, as Bella spoke precisely the same words. I laughed.

"Cats are very intelligent creatures," I explained. "They understand human language, and are capable of using it in their minds – they simply lack the physical tools to communicate verbally."

Bella gaped at me. "So he can understand what we're saying?"

Of course I can, moron. I suppressed a snicker. "Yes, he can."

She sat back on her heels and smirked at me. "What does he make of you, then?"

I resumed Bella's job of petting the kitten, sending him back into a purring haze and making him infinitely more charitable toward me than he'd been a moment ago. "Well, cats are a lot like children – they recognize words, but they lack the capacity to understand a lot of concepts. Eddy knows I'm different from the other humans, but he doesn't understand why or how."

Bella grinned. "Jacob must have really freaked him out, then."

I snorted. "The dog-human? Yeah, Eddy doesn't trust him, at all. He thinks you should stay away from him. Partly for your protection, and partly because of the smell."

"My, doesn't that sound familiar," Bella said dryly. "So what does he think of me?"

I smiled to myself, able to read the genuine affection in Eddy's mind that he had for his owner. "On the whole, you're his favorite. He thinks your human tendencies are ridiculous, of course, but you feed him well and pet him, and you're warm, and you let him sleep in your bed. He's quite happy with you."

Bella snorted uncharacteristically. "That, too, sounds awfully familiar."

I laughed heartily and pulled Bella up to lay beside me on the couch, momentarily dislodging and disgruntling the previously good-humored cat.

"You are nice and warm," I agreed, nuzzling her neck, "and I do like being allowed to sleep in your bed. But I should hope I'm capable of higher reasoning than the cat."

Bella laughed, and I couldn't resist kissing her. Eddy jumped up to the back of the couch to escape injury from our antics.

Stupid humans, he grumbled, and I was too preoccupied to laugh at the irony.