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More Than One
Kasta walked into the freezing cold house. She had been asked by Charlotte and Emmet Rosemary (the 13-year-old Rosemary twins) to help find their cat. She heard a small “Meow?” and looked around the corner, a small orange Tabby with a white stripe going down its left ear looked back at her. “Are you Ginger?” Kasta asked, bending down. “I'm here to take you home.”
The tabby just stared at her. It had stripes all along its back. She reached into her pocket and took out a small container of cat food, “Do you want food?” she asked. The tabby turned around and trotted off down the end of the hallway, at the end it turned around and meowed again before disappearing into another doorway.
Kasta was the town detective. She had been hired and asked to find many missing items and her specialty was finding stolen or lost heirlooms. She was at first questioning whether she should help the twins as this was Kasta’s first time finding a live animal. The Rosemary twins’ mother, Meredith, was mayor of the town. Meredith had vouched for Kasta when she arrived in town with no written experience, and no prior contacts. Kasta felt that she needed to make it up to Meredith, so had no choice than to oblige to the twins’ request.
Kasta ran down the hallway, not wanting to lose sight of the tiny Tabby. When she finally caught up, she gasped. On the ground in front of her lay a large tabby on the ground. Around it were about eleven little kittens, some were black and white, others were orange. She bent down and carefully put her hand in front of the large tabby’s nose. It let out a soft and sad ‘Mew’.
Kasta then knew that she needed to work fast. She opened the can of cat food, and let the kittens eat. She picked up the large tabby and carefully stood up. “Can you guys follow me?” She knew the kittens wouldn’t understand her, but when they were done with their food, they looked up expectantly. She started walking down the hallway, and they followed her. She then opened the door to the house and made sure that the eleven kittens were still there.
She walked to her car and put the big cat in a basket by the front seat. One by one she put the kittens next to the big cat. She thinks about the route to the vet. Before she could get into her car, the striped tabby from before, jumped up and into the car. Sitting in Kasta’s seat, but still giving her enough room to drive.
During the drive to the vet, two of the kittens started playing. One of the kittens playing put their paw on the door handle and the door swung open. Because all of the kittens were in the basket, they were not harmed, but the kitten next to Kasta was still unsafe. She pulled over and got out of her car, she then took the kitten’s basket and moved them behind her. Putting a blanket around the basket, she then turned to the cat next to her, “all right… Stripey,” she said. She decided to name the kitten Stripey because of the distinctive stripes on his back. She picked Stripey up and placed her with the other kittens. Then she took off down the road.
When she arrived at the vet, an assistant came out the front door to help her bring the cats in. The cats were immediately taken to a room where Kasta followed and sat waiting for the vet to come. They knew Ginger, because she was a patient of the vet, so they decided to call Charlotte’s and Emmett’s mom.
Stripey sensed that Kasta was nervous so she jumped on her lap and licked her nose. The door opened and a vet appeared through the door. Her name tag read Catrina (she/her) After looking at the cats for a second, then turning to Kasta she said; “So… what happened?”
“It all started when Charlotte and Emmet Rosemary came to my house on Saturday evening. They explained that their cat Ginger had left the house on Friday, and hadn’t come home. When I asked them what happened, they told her that Ginger usually left their house to walk around the neighborhood, but she always came back home before dinner. When Ginger didn't, they weren't too worried because she was an outdoor cat and they assumed she was just out for the night. However, when she didn't come home on Saturday Charlotte and Emmet knew something was wrong so they came to me.” Kasta paused to catch her breath. Catrina handed her a cup with water, and Kasta continued,
“After, I asked them where Ginger liked to go, and they gave me a list. On the list was an abandoned house right outside of town. After lunch on Saturday, I decided to check some of the places on the list, but… Ginger wasn't at any of them. At around seven I decided to check out the house right outside of town…”
“That's when it started raining?” Catrina asked,
“Well… if the cats were out in the rain…” he paused, “just finish your story, i'll tell you after,”
“Ok? So... um… I went to check out the house outside of town. I realized that it was going to rain, and it would be cold, so I put on a jacket and got my car heater on. I then drove for about ten minutes, and the rain started. About… fifteen minutes later I arrived at the abandoned house, went inside, and found Ginger lying on the floor. I gave the kittens some cat food I had in my pocket and... brought them here.” Kasta paused scratching Stripey’s ear. Stripey purred and pushed her head against Kastas hand and then she moved forward so Kasta could scratch Stripey’s butt.
“That cat really likes you,” Catrina said, smiling at Stripey. “You know, cats only do that with someone who they fully trust,”
“Really?” Kasta looked down at Stripey. Stripey looked up and meowed appreciatively. “So… what did you want to tell me before?”
“You know how it was raining right?”
“And how was it freezing cold?”
“Yeah…” Kasta waited, she hoped that Catrina wouldn't say what Kasta was thinking.
“Well if you didn't save Ginger in time… she could have died.” Catrina let out a long sigh, “you saved those kittens Kasta,” she said, “I assume that if you found them now, Ginger and the kittens wouldn't have been able to make it.”
“I…” Kasta looked down at Stripey. She knew that if she hadn't found Ginger in time the cats would surely be dead. The door swung open, and Charlotte stepped into the room.
“Kasta!” Charlotte yelled, “Is Ginger here?”
“What happened, Kasta?” Emmet asked, stepping past Charlotte and sitting down in a chair. Kasta explained how she found the kittens at the abandoned house, and how she brought them to the vet.
“They're just getting checked out,” she said, “I wanted to make sure they didn't get hurt during the…'' she paused.
“...Birth…” Charlotte said, finishing her sentence for her. Catrina stood up to end the long, awkward silence,
“Is your parent?” she asked, “I would like to speak to them about the kittens.”
“Wow thank you Kasta!!” Charlotte said, excitedly. She walked out of the room and walked with Catrina to their car.
Kasta sat at her kitchen table. A book was in front of her, and she was drinking a cup of tea. Stripey was sitting in her lap, purring as Kasta scratched her neck. The other kittens had been given away to people in the village. Ginger was safe, and all healthy and at home.
Kasta heard a knock on her door. Opening it, she welcomed Charlotte and Emmett Rosemary, their two new kittens, and Ginger, their trusty old friend. Kasta poured milk for all of the cats and invited the twins to a cup of warm tea.