Once upon a time, there were two kittens. Okay there were eight kittens, but we’re going to talk about the ones that were born first and last. The ones in the middle aren’t important for this story. These two were named Ace and Zane, born in that order too. This was the problem. Ace figured because he was born first, therefore the eldest, he was smarter and stronger. But Zane argued that perfection comes with practice. With this being said, he was obviously the most intelligent of the clan. And so they continued.
In school, Ace painted abstract pictures, throwing the vibrant colors across the canvass with the greatest of ease. The other kittens clapped for him and told him how marvelous and creative he was, and that he should be an artist.
Zane took his time. He’d find the exact subject with the light spilling flawlessly, and paint a picture so lifelike the other kittens tried to touch the contents. After all, they were hungry. They all cheered and raved on telling Zane he should be an artist. And so it went on.
In high school, the kittens became more catlike. Their strong bodies and silky thick fur drove the females crazy. Their opposition still remained apparent. Ace, the star player of the football team, drove the girls out of their minds when he scored a touchdown and then pointed at them from the end of the field. They thought he was the best. Zane, however, didn’t pay much attention to the girls. Don’t misunderstand – he wasn’t rude, but his focus was on finding a cure for a deadly disease. He was no one’s hero, at least in his mind; he only wanted to make life better for others.
As they continued growing, Ace always had at least two purring girls on his arms, stroking his fur and rubbing against his side. These university years were destined to be the best. Zane felt the same as he completed his studies discovering new hypothesis for illnesses he never considered before.
One day, the two of them decided to call a truce. They met at a local milk shop and went in for a bowl. A sassy kitty with silky white hair and the bluest of eyes asked them what type of milk they’d like. Ace, of course, wanted his loaded with sugar and a whole lot of chocolate flavorings topped with a handful of marshmallows. Yeah, basically hot chocolate. Zane, aware of the scientific outcome of the drink and the effects so much sugar has on the body, had his plain and white. Both thought theirs was best. Both of them also had the eye on the swishy white tail as their server strutted away.
Licking the chocolate from his lips, Ace said, “Did you see the way she looked at me?” Stroking his whiskers, he leaned back against the seat. “She wants to fly the Ace.” Generally speaking, Zane tended to ignore Ace’s boasting, but not this time. “I’m fairly sure she has eyes for me. I’ve never seen a cat as beautiful and smooth walking as her before. Did you hear her voice? It was smooth as fresh milk.” Once again, just like when they painted in grade school, the race was on.
Ace removed his letterman's jacket so when she returned with the check, she could easily see the biceps he’d curl her up in. He winked at her, and with his silkiest voice he purred. “Hey, kitten,” grinning mischievously, “What are you doing later today? I’m playing in a state game. Want to come and watch? I’ve got a ticket midfield.” He pulled the ticket out and casually held it in front of him.
The white kitten with the name “Leticia” stamped on her nametag smiled warmly and glanced from Ace’s devilish eyes to Zane. But Zane stared shyly into his cup of milk, afraid to speak. “That sounds purrfect,” Leticia accepted his invitation. She took the ticket and replaced the bill for the drinks in his hand, high tailing it out of there.
“You see?” Ace gloated, “That’s how it’s done, my brother.”
“Didn’t you only have one ticket?”
“No, I have two.” Ace produced another ticket and held it out. “Do you want to come and see your big brother in action? Or are you going to be dissecting mice?”
Zane’s mouth turned down at the corners for a second, and his eyes narrowed. But instead of saying something mean and insulting, he said, “I’d love to come. It isn’t every day I get to see my big brother win the state championship, is it?”
Ace threw the ticket at Zane and then the check. “You can pick up the tab,” he said. Putting his jacket back on, he reminded Zane, “Make sure you aren’t late. You don’t want to miss Ace in action.”
Zane pulled his wallet out and stuck the ticket inside. He removed some money for the drinks. “You mean to tell me Vanessa and Chelsea aren’t coming to see you this time?”
“Well, they were,” Ace shrugs, “but they'll just have to see me after the game.”
“Aren’t you going to be with Leticia after the game?” Zane stands up next to Ace looking him in the eye. Even though Ace stood a tiny bit taller, Zane could hold his own. “She’ll sort of be expecting it.”
Ace smirks. “She’ll be with me, alright. But she’ll need to share.”
Leaving Zane standing there with the bill crumpled in his hand, Ace chuckles. “See you at the game. And get one of those foam fingers so I can spot you easily when I score, would ya?” He strutted out the door and left jingling the bell on the handle.
Leticia watched him go and curiously waited until Zane approached the register. “You’re getting this one, eh?”
He shuffled his feet a bit. “Well, the two of us don’t do a lot together, so I figured we’re brothers so ‘why not?’ right?” Removing money from his wallet, his school ID fell out and landed on the counter. Leticia noticed the logo and his name before he picked it up.
“Zane, huh?” she said as the cash register opened and she exchanged the bills for a pawful of change. “A university student, I see. Like your brother?”
Before he could stop himself, he chuckled aloud. “We’re brothers, alright. But not so much alike.” Popping his wallet back into his jeans, he said, “Guess I’ll see you at the game?” He showed her his ticket. Leticia smiled, and he casually walked out the door.
The game bustled with hoards of cats lining the stadium. Just as expected, Ace had the fans cheering the entire game as he crossed the end zone with touchdown after touchdown. Of course, Zane held the foam finger up and waved it about. He offered Leticia to give it a go, but she passed. Regardless, they all had a great time.
After the game, the two of them waited outside for Ace. A stampede of people from cheerleaders and players to fans paraded out after him. The star's smile gleamed. “State Championship! We’re going to celebrate!” he chimed, throwing his burly arms around Vanessa and Chelsea. “You two should come along, too. Be a part of the winners for a change, right?” he directed at his brother.
“Actually,” Zane announced, “I think I’ll leave you to your groupies for celebrating. I’m going out for an anchovy pizza and then heading back to study. I’ve got finals tomorrow.”
“I gotta work,” Leticia sighed and dropped her head. “I’ll probably grab a bite and hit the hay.”
“Fine then, be party-poopers,” Ace sang as his friends scooped him up on their shoulders and carried him off.
“If you’re going to get something to eat, could I interest you in a cheesy, hot, anchovy pizza?” Zane asked.
“My favorite!” Without even thinking, Leticia purred loudly.
And because Zane was patient and put his studies first, he graduated and got an amazing position working at the Smithsonian researching their findings and making an unbelievable income doing what he loved.
Ace won numerous awards and trophies. He was even one of the first selections for a pro football team. Unfortunately, the very first game he played, he received a hard blow that permanently injured him. Now he works at a hardware store.
What happened to Leticia and Zane, you may wonder? It doesn’t take a scientist working for NASA to know these two hit it off beautifully, having numerous litters of their own. But hey, they could afford it!