The moment that started a beautiful friendship.
Comic: "Getting To Know You" (click for full size)
|Number of Comics||18|
|Dates Published||January 2nd - February 10th 2012|
|Grape, Peanut, Fox, Max, Res|
A Holiday at the Zoo
Housepets Babies! is the 50th arc in Housepets!.
The doorbell rings. While Peanut's instinct is to get the door first, Grape wants to do it this time. As they fight for it, Grape tells whoever is there that the door is unlocked, and to let themselves in. With that, Res opens the door. Grape insists it's not a bad time, and urges him to step over them and make himself at home.
As Grape goes to make some tea for Res, Peanut asks if he's the writer of Pridelands. Res bristles, having just gotten done with a book tour and wanting to get off that topic for now. After some awkward silence as they figure out just what to talk about, Res mentions he'd never even met a dog before meeting Peanut. Peanut replies that he never met a cat before Grape. He and Grape didn't actually grow up together, but when they moved to Babylon Gardens, Earl and Jill Sandwich were convinced Peanut needed a "sibling".
Flash back a few years back, and a puppy Peanut being taken to the pet shelter to find another dog to be his sibling. Peanut wants to sniff everybody. Things don't work out too well, as none of the other dogs seem to like Peanut. The puppy slips free of his collar and ends up in the cat wing. There, he finds a purple-furred kitten who wakes up to find a puppy panting happily as he looks in at her.
The cat tells Peanut to get back in his cage. Peanut says his parents brought him here to find a sibling to unload his manic energy upon. The cat thinks calling one's owners "Mom" and "Dad" is silly. She reminds Peanut all the pets there don't have "parents"; they were all stray, seized or surrendered. Except for "Delusional Steve", who'd been there for years thinking his parents would be back for him.
Peanut takes a liking to the cat, but Jill calls him and picks him up. The cat realizes the puppy is going. Noticing Peanut's mood lowering as he was taken away from the cat area, Jill asks Earl about considering a cat. Earl thought she didn't like cats; Jill says she just never met one she liked. Earl says the purple-furred kitten could be named "Grape", fitting perfectly with Peanut. Jill is annoyed with Earl's family's theme naming. She's also clueless about why he finds Jill's name funny.
In the present, Peanut mentions that it took a while for the neighbors to warm up to her. Res notices her in a picture with a lot of other dogs. Peanut says she preferred to hang out with dogs for a very long time. In a new flashback, she non-chalantly scratches Bino's face on the way into a Good Ol' Dogs Club event. Fido introduces Officer Ralph to talk to them about stranger danger, though Joey makes the presentation difficult.
Later, Fido talks to Fox, who is wearing his bandana over his muzzle. Bino runs in to tell Fox about the cat who came in. Fido tries to remind Fox that they are supposed to be cat-neutral, but Fox goes off to "deal with" the cat. Fido tells Fox his life is not an "action blockbuster". Fox adds "yet" before asking Bino to fetch his trenchcoat. Of course, he gets annoyed at Bino when he sees the cat that was reported is just a kitten.
In the present, Grape comes back in and violently pulls Peanut away from Res, not wanting him to ruin their moment. Res says it's okay, and thinks it's "kinda cute" that she's so friendly with dogs. Cut to Grape sobbing in her room, having locked Peanut and Res out. Peanut moves to take Res to the window, which she usually keeps unlocked (for "reasons"), but Res wants to hear more of the story first.
Back to the flashback, and Maxwell; who at this point still has no bite mark on his right ear, gloats to Grape that Fox had been kidnapped. He says Fox deserves it for being a bully, though Grape reminds Max that he is as well. Max thinks this is the beginning of a new age, until he ends up being kidnapped by a stranger as well after being lured with catnip, and ends up in a locked cell right next to Fox. Max is convinced they will be slowly tortured and killed, but is content to tell Fox off the entire time. However, Grape sneaks in, dropping into the cell through a window and untying them.
Grape didn't call the police yet; she had just spent the previous ten minutes clinging to the underside of a car to follow them. She also can't see over the fence. As the occupants of the house prepare for a birthday party for a pet named "Fluffy", Fox gets cold feet about an escape. Max helps build some courage for Fox, noting Grape had far more bravado than either of them. Then they find out what they're facing: Fluffy is a giant alligator.
Max decides to create a diversion for Fox and Grape to escape, and jumps Fluffy, trying to wrestle it. When he's knocked over, Grape grabs a broom and charges Fluffy, trapping its jaw with the broken-off broom handle. She uses the rest of the broom to beat the kidnappers into submission, much to Fox and Max's awe.
There are tears all around as Fox is freed, the kidnappers are arrested, and Fluffy is seized. Fox solemnly thanks Grape for saving him, admitting his previous attitudes were obnoxious.
Back in the present, Res enters Grape's room through the window. He tells Grape about the story Peanut just told, and tells her he doesn't think her hanging out with dogs is weird as well. The two of them have a moment, as Grape admits she overreacted, and Res says she's amazing.
Then Peanut ruins the moment by telling Res that Grape's shelter name was Princess Periwinkle.
- Res visits Grape after meeting her in Hope of the Pridelands.
- Delusional Steve is introduced.
- This comic shows us the following events happening in the past:
- How Peanut and Grape met.
- The first time Fox was kidnapped, having previously mentioned it in A Sinister Shadow.
- Max, Fox, and Grape being taken by a strange man to be fed to an alligator.
- Max did not have a bite mark on his ear at the time.
- Mrs. Sandwich's name is revealed to be Jill.
- This arc's archive address refers to it as "tbd", which stands for "To Be Determined", suggesting Rick Griffin started the arc before deciding its name.
- Mrs. Sandwich's name being 'Jill' is a reference to Jill Valentine from the Resident Evil series, in which she jokes she could've been made into a "Jill Sandwich" in the first game.
- In addition the alt text in the comic Poetry In The Raw is a reference to a famous line from the game: "master of unlocking."
- Puppy Peanut's line from Who Still Has A Photo Album Anyway, is used for the fourth Housepets! book, "Are Gonna Sniff Everybody"
- It has been stated by Rick Griffin that in the main run of the comic Peanut is about 4 years old, and Grape about the same. In Taking A Swipe Rick states that Grape is about 2 years old. This suggests that this story arc takes place about 2 years prior to the comic.
- In this story arc it is also said by Res that Pridelands started 2 years ago, meaning that he started the book series around the same year as the story arc.