18

Feral Purrfessional – Part 5

Image result for cat clinic

Where we are: Katie Kitty has been given a scholarship to Mid-America Animal Tech where she will study providing medical care to the feral cat population. She has bonded well with her roommate. Elise and her father spent Thanksgiving with the Kittys. They are coming back for Christmas. You can read the beginning of the story here.

Katie: I can’t believe it’s already the end of the semester. It seems like we just got here.

Elise: I know. We’ll be getting our first grades in a couple of weeks.

Katie: Yeah, just in time for Christmas. Great timing.

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Elise: I don’t know why you care. You have gotten the top grade in everything.

Katie: I know. But the school’s paying for everything, and it makes me nervous.

Elise: Let’s talk about Christmas break. I can’t believe your mom is going to put up with me and my dad for a whole week. It’ll be just like having a real family.

Katie: Be careful what you wish for. My mother can be a little overwhelming.

Elise: Well, I think it’s going to be fun.

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Before they know it, finals are over and it’s time to go home for the holidays. Edgar has bought the tickets for the train, and they settle in for the ride. Edgar seems to be in a particularly good mood. He even buys the girls mousicles as a snack.

Katie: Professor Khatt, thank you so much for buying my ticket. I’m sure my mother appreciates that she didn’t have to spend the money.

Edgar: I was glad to do it. After all, your mother is going to let us stay with you for most of the holiday break.

Katie: I think she enjoys having people to cook for and fuss over.

Edgar: She is a very nice lady. She has been very kind.

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Rose meets them at the station. She hugs them all and talks about all the decorating and baking she has been doing. When they get to the house, it smells wonderful.

Edgar: Rose, I want to thank you again for inviting Elise and me here for the holidays. I think she’s tired of spending all her time with me.

Elise (hugging him): Daddy, I love spending time with you.

Edgar: I know that. But it’s nice to be somewhere with all these decorations and food. And more cats.

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Elise: That’s true. Your house is beautiful, Mrs. Kitty.

Rose: Thank you. I really enjoy this time of year. Everything’s so sparkly and bright.

Edgar pulls out several boxes in Christmas paper.

Edgar: Do you ladies exchange gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas?

Rose: Edgar! You shouldn’t have bought us anything!

Edgar: I couldn’t come here without something for the kittens. As long as I was shopping for the kittens, I decided to get something for everyone.

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The kittens surround Edgar, looking at the packages and purring.

Rose: We generally open everything Christmas morning, after Santa Claws has come.

Edgar: Sounds good. I forgot that Santa Claws would be coming here. Elise has been too old for a while.

The next night is Christmas Eve. They sit in the living room and talk about past Christmases and tell stories. Finally, they go to bed. It seems like they just get to sleep when the kittens start meowing.

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Muffin: Get up! Santa Claws has been here!

Fluffs: And you should see all the stuff he brought!

Edgar: You must have been very good kittens.

Fluffs: It’s hard sometimes.

Edgar laughs, and they all go downstairs. The kittens are right. The front room is full of kitty toys and treats.

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Elise: Wow! Santa Claws never brought me this much stuff!

Edgar (teasing): Well, I guess you weren’t this good.

The girls exchange gifts with each other, Rose and Edgar. They ooh and aah over everything. There are only two gifts left. They are from Edgar to Katie and Rose. Edgar picks up Katie’s and gives it to her. He also hands her an envelope.

Edgar: Read the letter first.

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Katie reads the letter and squeals.

Mama: Katie! What does it say?

Katie: It’s from the Dean at Animal Tech. She says that since I have the highest grades in the class, I get to study with Maria Meowska.

Edgar: Maria is a former student who runs a feral clinic near the school. The first-year student with the best grades in her first semester gets to work with her at the clinic. There’s very little paws-on experience, but the student learns at lot.

Elise: Katie, that’s paw-some! My roommate is a star!

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Katie: I can’t believe this! It’s so exciting! Thank you Professor Khatt!

Edgar: That’s not my gift. The letter is from the school.

He hands her a package. When she opens it, she squeals again.

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Katie: It’s my own stethoscope and examination tools! Thank you!

Rose: Those look awfully expensive.

Edgar: We can’t have our intern looking like she had to beg for her equipment. Besides, I get a faculty discount. (He grins.)

Finally, Edgar gives Rose her present. He watches nervously while she opens it.

Rose: Oh, my goodness! It’s a necklace with a heart on it. Edgar, you spent too much money.

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Edgar: Nothing is too much for you. Will you come north and marry me?

Rose looks at him and starts to cry. Edgar looks scared.

Rose: Of course, I will.

Epilogue: Rose and Edgar were married a few weeks later. She and the kittens moved into Edgar’s house. Katie graduated with honors. She and Elise joined Maria’s feral clinic and expanded it to offer services to the entire area around the school.

Image result for and they all lived happily ever after

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10

Cat Forum: Living with a Hedgehog

On this edition of Cat Forum our two resident experts, Super Snoops (SS) and Kommando Kitty (KK) will answer questions regarding living with their somewhat unusual housemate, Horatio Hedgehog.

Host: How did you feel when the humans brought a hedgehog into the house?

SS: We didn’t know what it was. It looked like a gift for us that needed to be unwrapped to get rid of all the pointy things.

KK: But it smelled horrible. Not like any mouse I’d ever known.

Host: When did you find out what it really was?

KK: The male human was cuddling it. Can you imagine actually wanting to hold that?

SS: And he held it up to the female, and said it was an early Christmas present. She was all excited and told him how cute it was. No accounting for taste.

KK: We went on the computer and looked it up. It said African Pygmy Hedgehog.

SS: We wondered when it would be going back to the Africa Hedge.

KK: Soon we hoped. It smelled really bad.

Host: Did you try to make friends with it?

SS: I went up and tried to sniff it, but it totally ignored me. I put out a paw and it totally ignored me. I went a little closer. It was way too prickly to get close to.

KK: I looked from the distance. It was all rolled up and made funny noises. And it smelled …

Host: Yes, we understand. Hedgehogs smell bad. Did he sleep with you?

SS: They gave him a cage, so I didn’t have to worry about being attacked in the middle of the night.

KK: True. But it was a really nice cage. His exercise equipment was right there. Along with his food and his water.

SS: And he got really good food. Better kibble than us.

KK: And a heater.

Host: Did you try to make him feel at home?

KK (purring): Did you know they eat hedgehogs in some places?

Host: Moving on. Did he get in the way of cuddle time with your humans?

SS: Not really. Apparently hedgehogs like it warm, and the humans keep our house at cuddle temperature (as they like to call freezing). So he only came out at night.

KK: I don’t know why they bothered. All he did was sit in a ball and sound like he was going to explode. I don’t understand the appeal. You can’t cuddle it, you can’t play with it, and you can’t eat it. It doesn’t even look attractive all balled up.

Host: I imagine things have smoothed out a bit.

SS: Yes, he seems to have calmed down a little….

KK: And he almost ran away from home twice. I even had to rescue him one time. And they gave him a couple of baths. It was hilarious. The only thing funnier than a wet dog is a wet hedgehog. He tried to shake the water from his quills.

Host: Did I hear you correctly Kommando Kitty? You rescued him?

KK: Yeah. The idiot tried to go down some stairs. I stood guard over his lifeless little body until a human noticed. Turns out he wasn’t lifeless, he was sleeping.

Host: So things must be a little better.

SS: I watch from my cat tree. He appears to have bonded with the male human – my male human – rather than the female human – her human (motions at Kommando Kitty). He even ate out of my human’s hand. See if I ever eat out of his hand. (tail flap)

KK: Horatio does ignore my human now. Pretty good trick of hers – buy him worms and let the male human feed him. I still stay close to keep an eye on him, though.

Host: The three of you are living in harmony now?

SS: You could say that.

KK: Yeah. We don’t look up hedgehog recipes on the computer anymore.

Host: Well, I guess that wraps us up for this edition of Cat Forum. Come by the next time for a discussion of Baths: Evil Incarnate?