Sharon’s note: So, yeah, even though I have like a dozen other series going on here I’m going to start another one. Because, ya know, inspiration. So continues the story of Molly and Ki . . . er, Panther. His name is Panther now, because Kitty is undignified. Warning: All bad grammar in this story is totally the author trying to sound like a little kid. No, really. 🙂
“I have decided that your name is Panther,” I informed the kitty. “Daddy says you might be a special cat from the Woods, so calling you Kitty is too silly. Panther fits better.”
Panther didn’t lift his head, or even open his eyes. Instead he lay in the sunbeam on my bed, ignoring me. In the bright morning light, you could actually see the little bit of brown in his mostly black coat, and could even make out the darker black spots. He’d slept a lot for the last six weeks. Daddy said he had to so he could heal, but the cuts on Panther’s belly had been reduced to fine white scars that were mostly covered by his recently regrown hair. He didn’t need to sleep any more. He was just being a cat.
I poked him in the side, and he finally opened one golden eye to glare at me.
“Well, what do you think of your new name?” I put my hands on my hips.
Panther’s eyelid lowered a little, then opened wide before closing completely. This was close enough to a yes for me. I scratched behind his ears and he purred.
“Do you want a ham sandwich?”
Panther’s eyes snapped open and his ears pricked up. He hopped to his feet and shook himself. In happy little pounces he followed me down the hall and rubbed against my calves while I pulled the sandwich stuff out of the fridge.
“You want to make your own lunch, Baby? I was going to order pizza.” Daddy came in through the back door wiping the dirt off his hands with a rag. Him and Mommy were gardening, I think planting peppers.
I tapped my lips and looked at the ceiling like Mommy did sometimes. “Well, I want pizza, but you said that Panther really shouldn’t have pizza, so I’m going to make him a sandwich.”
Daddy looked at Panther with eyes narrowed. He said he didn’t hate my kitty, but I got the feeling he really didn’t like him, or maybe was scared of him. I didn’t understand. Panther didn’t even scratch when he was annoyed with you.
“Baby, I’m not sure sandwiches are good for him either. This is why we got the special cat food.”
“Oh, Daddy, come on! He loves ham.” Panther purred loudly in agreement and I pointed at him. “See?”
He wiped a hand across his face. “Alright, he can have one piece of ham. Then go ahead and change your clothes. You can help Mommy and me outside until it’s time for lunch.”
“Okay, Daddy.” I tossed Panther a piece of lunch meat, which he caught neatly, then went to my room.
I started pawing through my draweres for my grubbies. Daddy called them work clothes, but Mommy called them grubbies. I liked the way that sounded better. Panther was back to laying on my bed in the sun beam.
“Uh! Where are my grubby jeans?” I’d emptied the entire contents of my pants drawer onto my floor.
“They’re in the closet, on the floor.”
“Why would they . . .” I froze, then slowly start to turn around. On my bed was a boy. He was about my age, with shaggy black hair and pale brown skin with darker patches. His eyes were the same gold as Panther’s. Oh, and he was naked.