I’m feeling for a mango. No, an apple. Which one should I take back for the Cat Pack?! Duh, of course not these fruits! A nice, plump rabbit like the earlier one should do.
So, our Cat Crew (Toaster, Decks, Gretchen, and me) has hired some jobs for each of us. I’m the hunter. Toaster’s the water guy (He finds a lake or something and then reports it to us, and then we all head out there to get a drink), Decks is the bathroom guy (He digs up spots for us to go and do our business), and Gretchen’s the den keeper (She keeps watch over our den and makes our leaf beds and set things up, like leaf bowls and stuff).
“Howdy, Archie!” Toaster calls from behind me. I jump in surprise, but trot over to him. “Whatcha planning to get the crew?”
“I was thinking a couple of fruits would do,” I said sarcastically. He laughed and then looked over to the mango and the apple, suddenly serious.
“Wait, for real?”
“No, of course not! I was just smelling them. Did you find a pond or something?”
“Nope.” Toaster sighed. “Gonna see you later, okay? Bye for now.”
I trotted away, feeling uneasy. The crew barely saw each other after we got our jobs from Gretchen. I was kind of disappointed.
I spotted an extremely fat, slow rabbit walking through the tall grass. I crouched, get ready to pounce. Three… two… one… Gotcha! It was so slow, and so fat, that the crew would be so proud.
When I got back to the den, though, everyone was there. And there was a deer lying next to Decks. “What?” I squeaked.
“Happy Birthday, my friend!” Gretchen squealed in delight, coming up to me and licking my face. “We were just hiring jobs for today, silly. Looks like you have got the crew a birthday desert.”
“Wait, what? It’s my birthday?” I sat down next to Gretchen in the den. Decks and Toaster greeted me the same way, with their ‘Happy Birthday!’ sayings.
“Dig in, birthday girl!” Decks laughs, but I shake my head.
“How do you know if I don’t know?” I asked nervously. Toaster laughs a little too harshly.
“Umm, girl, you told him when he was asking about you when y’all met,” Gretchen mewed, nudging me. “Now eat!”
I still didn’t understand. I got up. “No!” I screamed.
The crew just stared at me. “What?” They said in unison.
Anger rose in me. “All I want for my birthday is to save my girl, Kayla Girl!” I couldn’t deal with their blank stares. They didn’t get it. “That’s why I brought the meal–so we could all have full tummies before our big journey!”
I took the plump rabbit in my mouth (because it looked so good) and ran off through the woods. They could never catch me; their were too many trees, and I blended right in.
I heard their calls, but I just kept running. And running. And running some more. I finally stopped after a few hours and laid down in the shade of a big palm tree. Maybe it was too shady? Either ways, they would never be able to find me.
As I yawned and panted, I took a tore off a huge chunk of my rabbit and chewed thoughtfully. Deeeelicious. Nice and tender.
Movement from behind me startled the whiskers outta me, and I was too tired to turn around. So I just laid on my side to get a better look. “Oh no,” I whispered softly.
I had never been by myself. Well, for this long. I knew that if I was gonna stay this way, I should learn to be my bravest.
But, what was in front of me then, it was… bad. I guess I should have known that it would end this way, since I was found in the wild, so I chewed up the rest of the rabbit. My tummy was full, except obviously not of happiness.
“She’s beautiful,” a man in a dark suit with a pole that had a band on the top of it breathed. I shuddered under the shade of the leaves. “And, she’s just a kitty. Let’s leave her alone.”
“You have to get used to what we do here, Max,” Another, taller, and older-looking man replied, digging for something in a box. “As soon as we find a lost cat or dog, we capture ‘em. And if she’s so beautiful, then she’ll be sold in no time.”
I whimpered. I guess it was time. I mean, from the big white truck and everything, I guess I should have guessed.
“Alright,” the man whispered, but when he came over to me, he whispered, “I missed you, Archie. That’s why I hired for this job, so that I could find you. Now the Kayla’s missing…” he gasped. “Did you come to look for her, Archie? Did you come to look for Kayla?”
I meowed in delight and jumped all over the man, licking his face like a dog. It was Daddy Man! He laughed and tried to get up and out of the embrace, but I pinned him down, smelling and rubbing all over him. Yes, I thought to myself, since he wouldn’t be able to understand me if I said it aloud. I came to look for Kayla Girl.
“Looks like she likes you, Max,” the older man said. Daddy Man picked me up instead of using that rope-pole thing. I licked his face.
“Of course she does,” Daddy Man replied, smiling at me. He kissed the top of my head. “She’s my kitty.”
“Wait, are you sure? Are you sure she’s your lost kitten?”
“Why do you think she’s giving me all the attention, John? They’re normally scared.”
“Come on, John. Let’s hit a move on.”
I was so happy to be back with my man. I had missed him so much. I was glad that he let me sit in the front seat with him while John drove. We drove passed houses, trees, and after about an hour or so, John asked, “This is your house, right?”
I looked over to the house he was pointing at. Brown walls, very tall, very wide, darker brown roof… yep, this was home, alright! “Yes, thank you, John,” Daddy Man said, giving a little hug to John. When we were out of the car, and half way down the driveway, though, Daddy Man called over to John, “Oh, and by the way–I’m quitting.”
“Hey! You can’t do that, Max!” John shrieked from the car, sticking his head out of the window. “Hey, you come back here! NOW!”
We ignored him and rang the doorbell to the house. Mommy Lady opened it, and she looked as if she were crying, but when she saw me… she started to cry again. She grabbed me and cradled me and kissed me, and I licked and rubbed all over.
“Oh, Max,” I heard her cry out loud, “Where did you find her? I missed you so, so, so much, Archie!” She kissed me again.
And then I realized something: I had forgotten that note, and now they’ll never know what actually happened!
“Right out back in the Rapid Forests.”
Mommy Lady gasped. “Kayla… I figured out… she got kidnapped.”
“WHAT?” Daddy Man shrieked, throwing his arms in the air. And at first, I thought coming home was the best birthday gift ever. Well, it was mostly the opposite.