This wouldn’t be nearly as easy as you had expected. How were you supposed to find a cat that stood out to you when so much commotion was going about? Yao was now making another attempt at the kitten pen, the Scottish Fold now had its hackles raised towards the pure white Persian, and what looked like a white mix with red eyes was fleeing quite loudly from a brown and white cat. It seemed like every cat had its own quirks – something that made it unique.
At least you had one idea: You wanted an adult cat. There wasn’t anything wrong with kittens, you loved them to pieces! But that was the thing. Everyone wanted a kitten. They’re young, energetic, fluffy, and of course adorable. However, the adult cats had a much tougher time finding a nice home. Unlike this shelter, you knew there were plenty of places that euthanized these older animals – not just cats – that failed to find a home within a certain period of time. It was a cruel and unfair way to treat an animal that had most likely already gone through enough pain.
“Me-OW.” It took you a second to register the sound, another to comprehend that this had, indeed, come from a cat. You hurriedly looked and listened to the cats around you, but none of their meows sounded the same. A hiss from under you made you slowly bring your head to the floor.
This was not what you had expected. A medium-sized white cat sat at your feet with a less than pleasant look on its –or her by the bow on her head – face. You were familiar with the blue-gray coloring of a cat, but this one’s actually looked blue. The unusual blue coloring reached from between her ears down to her nose. The rest of her body was a bright white, though not as white as the Persian you had seen before.
“Me-OW.” This time, you watched this little female make one of the most frightening sounds you had ever heard. The look in her eyes didn’t help either – pure hatred. You forced yourself to smile and squat down the cat’s level, grateful that she didn’t lunge at you as soon as you had.
“H-hi there. Is there something wrong?” You tilted your head to the side, (__h/c__) locks tilting with you. Your own (__e/c__) irises met her violet slits with a less than pleasant emotion.
“Me-OW.” Great, now she sounded even more agitated. You studied her closely before noticing a key action. Every few seconds her gaze seemed to shift from you to somewhere behind you with great haste. She let out a few more angered meows at regular intervals that happened to be after she stared off and looked back to you.
Your gaze followed the unfriendly cat’s and you did a complete one hundred eighty degree head swivel. At first you had to adjust to your newfound flexibility and you didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. “I don’t get it. There isn’t anything here –“
“Mrow.” That hadn’t been the cat you were talking to. No, it was deeper and much less frightening. In fact, it sounded rather worried too. Whichever cat had made that sound had sent the cat before you into a fit of meows, making you turn back around. She kept moving from side to side, eyeing you but never making a move. Something fuzzy brushed against your leg and you froze up in slight fear. You didn’t need another crazy cat messing with you.
“Mrow.” That nervous call again. You looked down at your side to find two violet eyes peeking from your midsection. A chocolate brown face looked warily towards the now berserk female cat in front of you with obvious fear. The cat pulled out a little more from behind you, making you gawk at just how big this cat truly was. Based on the female cat’s reaction and the cat’s size itself, you chose to say he was male. Your (__e/c__) eyes met his own violet ones that resonated the fear you had been trying to hide while in this female’s presence. Obviously he didn’t want to be anywhere near her; neither did you.
The female had begun to hiss, causing the large, brown cat to leap into your lap. Wow, he was seriously huge, but in a fluffy way you might add. With him in your lap, you were able to see him in a better light and noticed the prominent nose on his face. It was definitely unusual on a cat, but his shaking was your main priority at the moment. The poor thing looked like he was about to burst into tears!
“Me-OW!” Okay, looks like it was time to move away. You stood from your extended squatting position with the large cat held protectively in your arms. His gaze seemed to be focused horror-strickenly on the spitting and pawing female five feet below, unconcerned with the sudden height difference. You weren’t so lucky. This cat was heavy, not to mention your legs were now the source of the irritated cat’s pawing. You couldn’t take one step without risking stepping on her and, despite your desire to get away, you didn’t want to do that.
“Ouch!” Bella, occupied with the kittens, had not heard your hushed sound of pain. The cat had her claws and was now trying to use them to climb you. Sure, your pants were long enough to protect your skin but claws can and will pierce fabric. The cat hissed again, retrying while the cat in your arms snuggled against your chest for comfort and distance.
That was it; you had had just about enough of this female. Could she not see the utter fear the male aimed her way? You planted your feet firmly on the ground, your (__e/c__) eyes staring authoritatively at the female’s light violet ones. The large brown cat looked curiously at you, but your gaze was focused directly on the menace at your feet. An inaudible deep breath was taken, preparing you for your counterstrike.
“No kitty. I’m not letting you mess with him.” You said sternly, but in your normal voice. She seemed taken aback at first, as if your sudden scolding had been the first she’d heard in a while. She didn’t seem to take kindly to it either. “Me-OW!” You stood your ground, your strength only encouraged by the hopeful look the brown cat was sending you. There was no way you were losing to a cat, especially one with what seemed like a less than pleasant attitude (or obsession).
“NO kitty. You can’t have him.” You hugged the cat even closer to your chest and despite your now irritated composure; you couldn’t help but smile at hearing the large cat purr. It was a nice, warm feeling, like he completely trusted you. His purring was deep, sending small vibrations through your body very similar to one of those vibrating massage chairs. It was rather relaxing –
“ME-OWWWW!” The cat was still there?! You were pretty close to losing it by this point. That small moment of peace had been destroyed and the cat in your arms had gone back to a light shivering.
“DANG IT KITTY I SAID NO!” Whatever Bella was occupied with, your raised voice was lost to her. Seriously, what was so important?! There was no time to figure it out or even ask as you noticed the growls and hissing begin. You looked down half-heartedly to find the cat crouched down, hackles raised, and teeth bared at you. That’s right, you. This kitty had claws. Oh look, there they were now sliding out of her paws. Fantastic. This was about the time panic began to set in, the first moment of “fight or flight” your teacher had so many times explained during health. There was only one thing left to do.
“BELLAAAA THIS KITTY’S BEING A STALKER!” Her name may have been what triggered her return to reality, or maybe it your loud plea for help. She took in the situation rather quickly and just as the cat jumped she was able to pluck it neatly from the air. Involuntarily you had turned to shield the cat in your arms and, upon feeling no impact, turned back. The cat wasn’t hissing anymore, but was indeed growling and trying to wiggle out of Bella’s strong grasp. Despite the potentially dangerous situation, Bella gave you a genuine smile.
“I’m sorry about that! Natalya hasn’t done that in a while. Then again, it’s been a while since someone showed Ivan some attention.” The way she said it made your heart ache. This fella, this sweet boy that was now purring so happily into your chest had been at the shelter for that long? You looked down at him, stroking his long chestnut fur with one hand while he sent what could only be smiles at you. He just seemed so lovable….What could have possibly possessed someone to just surrender him to the shelter?
“Ivan is one of the few purebreds here at Nekotalia Animal Shelter.” Bella explained. “He’s a Siberian which explains his size. He has to have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever met too, but the other cats don’t seem to like him much.” You were still petting his soft fur, oblivious to the fact that Bella was trying to sugarcoat the fluffy mound in your arms. Not that you needed her too. “He’s pretty playful too and –“
“I think I’d like to adopt him.” You unknowingly interrupted her, a broad smile on your face as you stated your request. Bella returned it as she left for the paperwork and to put Natalya, who had gone berserk upon your words, into her cage to rest for a while. Ivan’s purring only seemed to swell in volume.
It hadn’t been very long since you had first adopted Ivan – only a few short months. And, well, how could explain him? Oh: He was one of the sweetest, most laid back and loyal cats you had ever come into contact with. And he loved to be pet, letting out the most soothing purrs in your lap.
You did find something quite odd though. When the weekend had come to a close and you had returned to school, you never failed to find him waiting patiently by the gates for you to come out. He had never even driven in the car with you to school, so how could he know where you were? Your questions were only answered with a “Mroww~” that soon left you dropping the mystery.
You always walked over to the local park in the evening despite your guardian’s constant nagging about staying out so late. There weren’t many people out during the evening, not to mention the sunset was beautiful from the park bench overlooking the lake. Ivan had taken to joining you on your daily trips shortly after entering your home and to be honest, you were glad to have someone to share the time with. It was only an added bonus that Ivan liked the sunflowers that dotted the landscape.
It was seven o’clock at night and you had just finished watching the sunset for the night. Ivan had rushed off to chase something or the other just a few minutes before and had probably gotten sidetracked by a patch of his favorite flowers. The first star appeared in the darkening sky, signaling dusk’s reign was about to end for the night to conquer. A small patch of orange and yellow stretched across the lake’s horizon, causing the water to glisten and shimmer in the fading light. Overall, it was a great spectacle you felt lucky to see every day. The last family on the lake had gone home over an hour ago and you had reveled in the sounds of the small park creatures.
But now it was time to go. “Ivan!” You shouted, (__h/c__) blowing in the faint breeze that had picked up. It was quickly growing darker now as the night’s patience growing thin. “Ivan, где ты?” You had had no idea taking Russian at your school would later help with your pet. You never did understand why he became so happy when you spoke Russian. Still, there was no site of your easy to spot companion and you sat back down on the bench with a huff. He’d be back eventually.
The first crickets were starting to chirp and you had been prepared to take a nap when the bushes rustled behind you. “Seriously, where have you been?” You didn’t turn to look behind you, your eyelids closed as you tried to muster the strength to be the least bit irate at the Siberian. There was no response and you huffed again. “What, got nothing to say –“
A glove closed around your mouth, stopping you mid-sentence and prematurely silencing your scream. Something cold and metallic was pressed against your right temple and someone’s foul breath ran down the nape of your neck. A trigger sounded. “Scream and I’ll pull it.” The voice was unfamiliar, but undoubtedly masculine. A shudder ran down your spine, but you had enough sense not to make any audibly loud noise.
“Now give me everything you have.” You still couldn’t see your attacker’s face or body, not that you were eager to anyway. But it would’ve been nice to let him see the smirk on your face. “I’ve got nothing. Sucks for you.” Even in a potentially dangerous situation your mouth enjoyed its fun. The thief, however, was not amused.
“Shut up. Well, if you’ve got nothing materialistic then maybe I should just sell you off instead. Whaddya say?” Your smirk disappeared. Now this was serious. You’d seen those movies, Taken standing out in your mind right away. That was not something you intended to go through, but what could you do? At least if you went with him you wouldn’t get shot on the spot, although thinking of the alternative seemed worse.
There was some more rustling from the bushes behind you and you expected the man’s buddy to come join him in your predicament. The man’s shout of pain, however, was not expected. The gun fell to the ground and you quickly took hold of it. Somehow you were able to discard the rounds from the gun and scatter them across the ground. Yes, probably not the best idea but right now what else could you do? The gun was quickly chucked into the lake, sinking into the depths to never be seen again.
The man’s shrieks had been joined by violent hissing. You twisted around to find the man stumbling about, a blur of brown fur running around his body. How could he move so fast for such a big cat? Your intervening would do nothing extraordinary but you still worried about leaving your beloved kitty to face a previously armed attacker on his own.
Turns out there was no need to worry, for the man retreated with the shrill cries of a woman. His weapon was forgotten completely, his sole mission to escape the thing that had left his face and body a bloody mess. You could’ve cared less for your fleeing attacker as you focused on the form now resting peacefully on the ground. His right paw was held up, leaving him to support his weight on the other three as he limped over to you. That breaking sound you just heard? Oh, that was your heart.
There was no way you were going to have your savior do so much work and you quickly dashed to his side. By now you’d gotten used to his weight and had no problem picking him up. You had only taken your first step when shock finally hit you. First one leg fell to its knee, then the other. Ivan’s fur was dampened first with one, then two, then multiple tears as the events of the past few minutes registered in your mind.
“Ivan, thank you. I, I’m so sorry.” You stuttered between choking back the worst of your tears. You cuddled the cat like a teddy bear, no longer able to hold back your sobs as you cried into Ivan’s thick fur. You sat there for a few minutes until you noticed the vibrations in your lap. No, the purring.
Here he was, injured, in the dark, wet from your tears and he was purring? It didn’t take long to realize they were not purrs of happiness, but of comfort. You were able to successfully pull yourself together to start walking home, cuddling your hero close to your own body and drawing strength from his gentle vibrations.
He didn’t leave your side for the rest of the night even when you went to sleep, his purrs lasting through the dark night.