• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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"Are you sure about this?"

Zelda looked at her sister with the kind of indignation that only a ginger kitten could emanate. If she was sure? She had only been planning for this since the day they first arrived at this place, fourteen feeding circles ago. True, she hadn't known for sure how they'd escape. Not until she saw it.

"Kii", they called it. An oddly-shaped weird thing that hung on a funny-dangly string, dangling just without reach from both herself and Malta. They used it in THE DOOR; the BIG opening with a hatch beyond which little kitties should never pass. That's what they said, anyway.

"They" being their Two-Leg-Furless parents. Their only parents, really; her and Malta's real Mama had abandoned them at birth. There had been five of them at the beginning; only three survived into adoptable kittenhood while cared for by the female Two-Leg-Furless that found them. Then, Zelda and Malta went one way and Ragu, their only surviving sister, went another. It had looked as if the three sisters would never see each other again.

Until today.

"Of course I'm sure," she mewed at her noble-looking calico-coloured sibling. "Just do what you usually do, climb up the Sky-Carry-Thing. I'll do the rest."

Malta blinked quizzically with her sand-coloured eyes, looking into Zelda's stone-tinted. Malta had never really considered finding Ragu. "Why should we go?" she'd asked her younger-but-bigger littermate. "It's nice here, with lots of soft food regularly, toys and warm places to sleep all over the house. The Two-Leg-Furlessers here aren't that bad; they give lots of fur strokes and cuddles, and the crunchy food bowl is always full. Why should we leave?"



Zelda's tail, the same sunlight colour as the rest of her, had gone big with annoyance. She had tried to explain that it was a matter of principle. Kittens were never ruled but ruled themselves. And Zelda wanted to rule with her sisters, in a place she chose herself. Easy as tuna pie.

Malta, coquette as she was, was more refined in her movements than the slightly chunkier Zelda, and had long ago figured out how to get inside the Sky-Carry-Thing that Mama Two-Leg-Furless carried with her whenever she went out through THE DOOR. When the Sky-Carry-Thing wasn't used, it was hanging on a "hook", from which the "kii" was easily reached. All it took was a precise flick of a paw.

... flick!

The "kii" hit the floor, and Zelda quickly jumped at it. She took it by the funny-dangly string, dragged it across the floor. Quick, hide it; then she'd have time to figure out what to do. It all seemed to go so well, then, all of a sudden –

"Naw, darling, come look! They're playing with the key-cord!"

Zelda found herself lifted up by strong hands, the key snatched away with gentle fingers and put back on its hook.

By all sacred fish!

But… the arms were warm… the voice gentle…

... next time. She promised herself.

Next time.