Notes: Sequel to Leonard McCoy Must Go. For everyone who was so lovely as to comment on the previous installments of this 'cativerse.'

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.

There was a commotion across the road.

The noise had woken him from his third nap, and now Spock sat on the windowsill (Bones would never find out) watching the hubbub. It was noisy and confusing; it was usually quiet here in the middle of the day, once all the neighbours were at work, the dogs chained up, and the other cats also sleeping. But then these people had come. Humans never could do anything with any finesse. There was a van, and some workmen, and a woman, and a dog.

Spock watched with distaste.

There was a noisy dog next door, and a little rat that yapped and thought it was a dog in the garden behind McCoy's. And now this mutt, jumping around the legs of the workmen and the woman like an overexcited kitten. There was simply no need for this overabundance of dogs. Vermin. Jim needed to call those people who got rid of wasps' nests. There had to be an equivalent for dogs.

Dogs were just disgusting. They didn't wash themselves properly, they kept bringing back anything the humans threw away, and they managed to spread their food all over their own faces when they ate. He'd seen enough dogs in the alley, before Jim shut him in the apartment. Ridiculous, stupid, vicious animals. They were born to wear collars.

Never mind the way the humans treated them. Putting them on ropes and dragging them around outside at all hours of the day and night. Chaining them in the yard for when the humans had to go to work. Locking them in cars. Taking them everywhere, like the dog had to be a part of their life at all times. And yet the dogs seemed to enjoy it. Spock couldn't fathom it. Jim knew better than to attempt any such nonsense with him. Even Bones knew better, and that wasn't something Spock could say often about the man.

He jumped down from the windowsill and headed to the cupboard, content that he did not need to watch further. Humans. He could return to his nap. The plates were always comfortable.

"New neighbours," Jim said as Bones hauled on the handbrake like his life depended on it. "Kalomi's gone, then?"

"Gettin' married," Bones said. "She's - what the hell. Jim, seriously, how in the fuck does he do that?"

Spock had jumped up onto the hood of the car the moment that he'd switched the engine off, despite the fact that Bones knew he'd left the cat locked in the house before he went to work. The thing was unnatural.

"Oh, leave him," Jim scolded, unfolding himself from the passenger seat and scratching Spock under the chin. "Hello," he crooned. "And how was your day, buddy?"

The cat fixed him with a look, but arched his spine into Jim's hand when it smoothed down his fur, and offered one long, low purr.

"You disgust me," Bones muttered, going to unlock the door. Spock ignored Jim's attempts at further affection, jumping down and padding after those shiny shoes, catching at one of the laces when Bones bent to undo them. "Gaddahtofit!"

"Leave him alone," Jim insisted, kicking the door shut. "You'd think you'd have gotten used to him by now, Bones."

Bones snorted, toeing the cat ahead of him as it wound around his feet on the way to the kitchen. "I tolerate the animal, Jim. Much like I tolerate you."

"Psh," Jim caught him in the doorway, winding his arms around Bones' shoulders. Spock murred at their feet, before padding away to nose at his food bowl. "Just like you tolerate me?"

"Hell no," Bones grinned, dropping his hands to Jim's waist. Spock jumped up onto the kitchen stool and eyed them dubiously. "Not nearly like I tolerate you." And sure enough, they started those mouth-press-kisses that humans seemed so fond of.

Spock jumped up onto the counter. Eventually, Bones would shout, and then the food would be found for him.

But it took a while.

Night time was the best time.

The humans slept; their world was quiet, and the interference from their constant bustling and yammering gone. When darkness fell, the world came back to its rightful owners - and better still, Bones always put him outside for the night. The man had his uses, Spock supposed.

Even the road was quiet, and tonight he padded over the stinking asphalt to the opposite side. He didn't come here often; it smelt of Tribble, the overweight tabby at the end of the street that pissed on everything that didn't move (and almost everything that did) in a dog-like fashion. He was a disgrace to his species, and Spock avoided him.

Tonight it also smelt of dog, fresh and gagging, rising up from the stone and gravel in waves of stinking, rancid horror. It had gambolled around in that stupid, brainless fashion, but it was also an older smell. The human - the woman, Spock predicted, must have taken it indoors for the night. Poor animal.

The garden had a little wall; Spock jumped up onto the rocks, and eyed the silvery lawn. It was a mess of footprints, mouse droppings, and dog hair. There was a kennel, but it was empty and smelled of new wood, like Jim in the summer. There was no dog.

He jumped down into the grass. A mouse skittered away under the kennel, but he ignored it for the moment. He could flush it out later. Instead, he homed in on the doorstep: a flat grey square, just like theirs, that smelt of perfume and dog and fresh meat.

He settled there, tucking his paws under himself, and eyed the garden. It had no markers. It didn't even have any paths. He could claim this, if he wanted to. But then again, it had a dog. If this stinking mutt was anything like the hairless man's dog next door, then he wasn't interested. Experimentally, he scratched at the bottom of the door and waited, but nothing happened. Nothing so much as stirred.

Maybe it was a useless dog, then.

Tribble was coming; he could hear the great waddling beast crashing through the bushes next door, and he unwound himself with a sigh. He had no desire to witness the spectacle of Tribble fighting for territory. It was rather like watching Jim try to beat Bones at their wrestling game: pointless, and vaguely embarrassing. He stretched luxuriously, and padded around the side of the house to the back yard. It was a clean stretch with no interruptions, unlike their yard, and he explored a great expanse of lawn and a silver tree in the shadows at the end with luxurious laziness. The smell of dog was very faint in the back yard, and non-existent at the far reaches of the garden, but...

The fur on the back of his neck prickled.

Spock knew - feral life had taught him to know - when he was being watched, and he looked up from his explorations to see a pair of great dark eyes looking right back at him from the back window of the house.

He flattened his ears and hissed; the dog simply panted at the window, and did nothing.

It was a...a mess. It was a great big shaggy mess of fur, and Spock was glad for the glass. It would probably stink twice as bad as the sidewalk. He stalked towards the window, claws plucking holes in the earth in case the damn thing thought about doing anything.

It just sat there and panted.

He sat in the shadow of the window, peering up at the ledge, and the dog peered down. The height was irritating; cats were not, after all, designed to sit on the floor and look up to dogs. He launched himself effortlessly, jumping up onto the window-ledge, and felt a thrill of satisfaction when the dog backed off an inch or two before doing something quite, quite revolting.

It licked the window.

A great smear of slobber painted the inside of the glass; a great streak of drool clogged up the view, and Spock wrinkled his nose. The dog returned to its gormless panting, a great grin forming across its jaws. Suddenly, Spock could see why humans brushed their teeth.

It was definitely a useless mutt.

Satisfied, he jumped down. The neighbourhood might be overrun with the mangy beasts, but he didn't have to worry about this one.