Sharon’s note: The actual book this was supposed to be from starts when Molly is a teenager. It’s probably going to be a YA novel. I’ve got too many other projects going on right now, but I’m thinking for right now about doing some shorts about her and Kitty in her childhood. What do you guys think? Warning: Author has been looking at pictures of baby mountain lions and really wants to pet one.
I ran to the hall closet to get Daddy’s kit. Seizing it by the handle I dragged it to the kitchen. It was big and heavy, but I was strong and determined to save the kitty. Maybe if we saved it, Daddy would let me keep it.
As Daddy started unloading the bucket, and I tugged his robe. “I’ll be the nurse!”
He bit his lip, then squatted down beside me. “This isn’t like when we fixed your bear, Baby. This will be really messy and a little scary. You can leave any time you want to, but make sure you really want to do this before we start.”
My heart swelled and I looked Daddy square in the eyes and swore, “I will stay with you the entire time and we will save the kitty.”
Daddy got to work. He cleaned and tucked and stitched and winced a lot. I was really queasy, it didn’t smell good, but I stayed and helped the entire time. I handed Daddy things, fetched him trash bags and some plastic razors from the bathroom, and petted the kitty’s head to calm him and let him know that we were there to help.
“It’s okay, Kitty, I’m going to save you,” I whispered in his ear. The ear twitched, the fur tickling my lips. I grinned up at Daddy. “He heard me.”
“Sure he did, Baby.” Daddy fastened the last bandage and stepped away from the counter. “Well that’s the best I can do for right now. George is supposed to be home tomorrow. If your kitty makes it through the night, I’ll have him come over to check him over.”
“He’ll make it.” I patted Daddy’s leg. “He wants to live. I’ll go make him a bed.”
“Molly,” Daddy hesitated, looking at Kitty who was just laying on the table and wheezing. “Baby, we can’t keep him.”
I seized his bathrobe, looking at him with wide eyes. “But Daddy, we have to! He came to us and we saved him.”
He squatted next to me again. “Baby, I know you want to keep him, and you were so brave today. I will talk to Mommy when she gets home about taking you to the shelter to pick one out, but we can’t keep this one.”
“Why not?” I stomped my foot.
“Mainly because I’m not sure it’s actually a cat.” Daddy looked at Kitty and licked his lips. “I think it’s a baby mountain lion.”
“Cool!” I bounced on my toes, then scrunched my face. “Wait, he’s mostly black. Mountain lions aren’t black.”
“Well, I think this one is. Besies, do you remember what I told you about our town?” Daddy stood up and tossed his gloves it the trash bag.
“It’s a special town and the Woods are dangerous and that’s why we never go past the white stone ring.” I rolled my eyes. “What does that have to do with Kitty?”
“Like you said, Baby, he doesn’t look like a normal mountain lion. I think he’s from the woods. As soon as it looks like he’s going to live, we’ll call the wildlife rescue. They can take care of him until they can release him into the wild.”
“But . . . but . . .” I snuffled and clutched at Daddy’s robe. Then I had an idea. “We can’t send him away because we’re responsible for him.”
“You told me that there are rules for dealing with the people in the Woods. That following the rules keep us safe.” Daddy raised an eyebrow, but didn’t say anything, so I continued. “Mommy read me a story that said that if you save someone’s life, you are responsible for them. It’s a rule. We have to follow it if we’re going to be safe.”
“Have to talk to your mother about what kind of bed time stories she’s reading you,” he mumbled. “I don’t know Baby. Your mom and I will have to talk about it.”
“Okay,” I said, rocking back and forth on my heels. Once Daddy said he had to ask Mommy, I always won. “I’ll just make the kitty a bed.”
“Yeah, sure.” Daddy looked down at his robe. “Look, I’m going to go take another shower. Go ahead and make him a bed, but don’t try to move the kitty on your own. Leave him on the table for right now.”
As Daddy left I leaned over the counter to whisper in Kitty’s ear again. “It’s okay if you’re magic. I know we’re still going to be best friends forever.”
I kissed the top of his head, and the Kitty’s eyes cracked open. They were the prettiest shade of gold. He purred once then closed his eyes again.