Gwen was on her way home, on foot because her car was in the shop, when she heard a muffled mewing coming from the alley she was passing. Going to investigate, she found a small grey kitten with its head stuck in a box.
She carefully lifted the little creature and eased the box off its head, tossing it into a nearby dumpster, then placed the kitten back on the ground.
“There you go. Try to be more careful in future,” she told it as she turned to leave. She’d promised Rhys she would be home at a decent time.
As she reached the end of the alley, Gwen heard a scampering sound coming from behind and then the kitten was in front of her, looking up and mewing.
“Sorry. Cute as you are, I don’t need a kitten. I work long hours, I wouldn’t have time to look after you.”
The kitten patted at her dangling bag handle then as she moved away, it started stalking her foot, pouncing clumsily on her toe. Worried she’d step on it, Gwen was forced to stop. A little grey face peered up at her, blinking big yellow eyes. It was certainly persistent.
“Sorry I’m late, sweetheart,” Gwen called as she stepped through the door. “I got waylaid.”
“Oh aye?” said Rhys, coming to meet her. “By work again, was it?”
“I don’t think so, but I’m not completely certain,” Gwen admitted, frowning.
“Is that a kitten?” Rhys could hardly believe his eyes as a small grey head popped out of his wife’s bag.
“Looks like one, doesn’t it?” Gwen’s eyes were wide with innocence, just like the kitten’s.
“Cute little fella, isn’t he.” He scratched the kitten’s head, earning himself a loud purr.
“I think it’s a girl,” said Gwen.
Owen checked his scanner.
“Nope, no Rift energy. What you have here is one hundred percent genuine earth kitten. Scraggly little thing isn’t it? Looks like rat bait.”
“Owen!” Gwen cried, horrified.
“’Ere, don’t talk about her like that!” Rhys held his big hands over the kitten’s tiny ears. “She’s very sensitive.”
Owen snorted disparagingly.
“It’s just a cat,” he muttered, slamming the door behind him.
“So,” said Gwen, peering up at Rhys from under her fringe, “can we keep her?”
Rhys scratched the kitten with one big finger.
“I reckon we don’t have any choice.”
The kitten just purred.
TBC in ‘A Playmate For Nosy’