Monday, October 7, 2013

Week of the Kitty Invasion

"Aaiiiiiieeeeee! Kitten, I know my spice cupboard smells interesting, but you cannot go in there…"

Natasha Marquand, leader and co-founder of the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society froze in mid-step as that comment processed itself through her brain. The one thing that truly caught her attention was the word 'kitten'.

'Did she just say "kitten?"' Tash stepped through the door she heard the mewing coming from. "Rhia-chan, did I hear you say kitt—Awwwwww!" Six black, though most of them had either white or colored blocks on them, bounced around on the brick-tiled floor, chased an invisible toy, or tussled with a sibling. A larger, long haired black cat, lounged in the corner, half-dozing, half keeping an eye on the hyperactive kittens.

Tash squealed again and immediately picked up one of the kittens, a tortoise shell calico. "You're sooooo cute." She nuzzled the kitten. The kitten squeaked.

Rhia froze, a slight bit of fear on her face.

"Rhia-chan, what's wrong?"

"Y-you're not gonna kick the kittens out?"

"Why would I?" She cuddled the kitten again, who looked resigned to being semi-squished. "They're too cute to kick out!" She dashed out of the kitchen, and grabbed the nearest person. "Clairey! Kittens!"


The fluffy white kitty ears of the Librarian twitched back and forth as they registered a new sound.

A squeaking, mewling sound, accompanied by the sounds of excited, almost fangirlish squeals of joy.

Adrian paused in mid step, a horrifying realization occurring to him.

Could it be?

She wouldn't have…

Had Tash got another kitty to play with?

His face turning the colour of his fur, Adrian raced toward the kitchen and threw open the door.

Seated upon the floor were most of the Society's girls, all with expressions of delight on their faces as they watched six, little balls of fuzz waddling around the room, occasionally picking up any that were curious enough to come within cuddling range. The long haired black cat was curled up in the middle of the floor, peering over at her children with a bored expression every time one of them squeaked in a way that could possibly be considered odd.

Adrian's kitty ears twitched.

"Why. Are there kittens. In my Library?" he demanded, his hands on his hips. He was met by the wide, pleading eyes of every female agent in the Society, as well as the six round, inquisitive gazes of the kittens, and he knew he was doomed.

"Well…" Rhia began, blushing as she swept up the long black hairs that had been shed by the mother. "With so many cats it's getting crowded at my house…so I thought maybe they could all stay here? Please?"

Even before Adrian could ponder the decision, she was already depositing the dustpan contents in the bin with a grumble. "Topaz, could you not shed all over my clean floor?"

The cat gave her the sort of silencing glare that one usually found royalty using on their slaves. The Librarian huffed.

"Well I can't say no, since they're already here…"

He was immediately tackled in a hug by every girl in the room, and Adrian silently wondered for the millionth time in his life just what it was about cats that girls seemed to like so much.


A couple of days passed with the new additions to the library. News quickly spread that there were kittens, and all of the female agents, along with a few of the male ones, doted on them. Topaz, especially, queen that she was, drank up all of the extra attention.

There were two incidents that stood out in the first week.

One was when the LPGB decided that the kittens would make perfect mounts for the cavalry.

"Round'em up, men!" General Idea yelled, "They're only kittens, and there are only six of them! It's not that hard!"

"There's just one problem, sir!" Major Detail shouted back. "They think we're toys!"

Major Industry and Colonel O'Korn had been batted off to the side and were being treated for bites by Plastic Surgeon. General Incharge was being mauled by another kitten, and Commander Follower was running for his life from another. Captain Crunch was the only LPGB to actually climb up onto a kitten and was now riding it like a cowboy on a bucking bronco.

It was then that Rhia turned the corner and saw this. Her face turned dark, she growled, took a step in their direction, and then got an idea. A wicked grin grew on her face, and she dashed away.

Two minutes later Shirley came flying down the hall.

The kittens survived unharmed and wondered where exactly their green, moving toys went.

The LPGB? Plastic Surgeon was busy for the next week.

The second incident was when Adrian found himself alone in a room with Topaz.

"Rhia?" Adrian walked into her kitchen with the said cat in his arms. "She's been following me for hours and I have no idea why."

Said cat promptly trilled up at him and rubbed her chin on his arm. Enthusiastically.

Rhia looked down at Topaz, up at Adrian, and then noticed his kitty ears, which twitched. It dawned on her, and made her go neon red, much to Adrian's confusion.



"I need to do a couple things and I can't have her following me around. What is it?"

"Ehm….Topaz's kittens are over eight weeks old, and she's officially weaned them off milk. Cats breed nearly as fast as rabbits…" Rhia's blush spread to her ears. "She's in heat and she's..." Rhia's neck started to turn red and a couple spots on Adrian's cheeks brightened with color as well.

"I'm not sure if I should be flattered or scared."

"Scared. Very scared."

"Ah. Right." Adrian handed Topaz to Rhia. "See you later, then!" And he flash-stepped out of the room like his life depended on it.

Topaz struggled out of Rhia's arms and trotted after Adrian like nothing was wrong.

"I need to get that cat fixed." Rhia muttered to herself. "You weren't even a very good mother anyway, you silly cat!"


A couple of days later, Adrian walked into the Monitor Room on Claire's duty slot. And saw yet another cat on Claire's lap. This one was white and orange, and was somewhat small and scrawny. It was quite happy to sit on Claire's lap and purr as she kept an eye on the many screens.

"Claire. Who's that?" Adrian asked.

"This sweetheart? He's Spot. Rhia came in with him a couple hours ago and just handed him off to me. Said all I needed to do was let him have my lap for a while and he'd be perfectly content. And she was right, you sweet little thing…." Claire descended into talking baby talk at the cat. Spot just kept purring.

Adrian face-palmed and left the room.


"Marcus?" Rhia's face was politely curious as she observed the bandaged agent. "Do you like cats?"

Though she couldn't see it through the shades, Marcus blinked, wondering why on Earth the chef had stopped him in the middle of the corridor to ask him this of all things. "Yeah…they're okay…"

"Oh good! Have one," groaning with the weight, Rhia shoved a very large, breathing mass of ginger fur into Marcus's arms, causing the agent to stagger. He couldn't believe just how heavy this cat was. As he struggled to get a tighter grip, the cat dug its claws into his shoulder, and yawned widely.

"He's huge!" Marcus squeaked, as the cat wriggled into a more comfortable position, draped over Marcus's shoulder. "What do you feed him?"

Rhia shrugged. "Same as the other cats. He just grew into his name."

And she turned and headed back to her kitchen.

"What is his name?" Marcus thought to yell.



"Mmmm…" Emily leaned back in her chair and patted her stomach. "Rhia, I think you killed me."

The chef saluted with her ladle, smacking a wandering hand away from her stove as she did. "Finish feeding the mob, and then you can have more soup, Tash!"

"But it's your potato soup!" Tash protested. "It's the food of the Gods!" None the less, she continued on the stack of cat food tins, trying to ignore the wide, pleading eyes at her feet. "And while we're on the subject, just how many more of your cats are you going to bring in here? Not that I mind, or anything, but I don't think Adrian will be happy if we start running up huge bills to feed them."

Rhia frowned. "My parents just want a break. So just this lot I think will be fine just for a week or so."

"D'awwww!" Emily squealed, bending down in her chair to pet the head of a small striped ginger cat. One of his eyes was glassy, and as the eleven year old rubbed his ears, he meowed happily. "You are so cute!"

And she picked him off the floor and cuddled him tightly. "What's your name then?"

"Diego," Rhia said. "He's only two. I found him one winter out in the snow. He can't have been more than six months. He just walked up to me, sat in front of me, and started meowing. And that was it. I had to take him home. He was just too adorable."

"What's up with his eyes?" Emily asked, tickling him behind the ears again, and listening to him purr happily.

"He's a bit blind," Rhia admitted. "But he's the sweetest thing ever…" she paused. "Except with the kittens. He doesn't seem to like them much…"

Everyone turned to look at the kittens, who along with Mummy Topaz were occupying the other end of the kitchen, munching happily away on their food.

"He's probably jealous," Tash said. "Because up until they arrived, he was the kitten of the family."

Emily didn't seem to be listening anymore, cuddling Diego happily. "You're coming to stay with me, Mister Diego…"


Phoenixia turned the knob to the faucet on her bath, fiddling with them both until it was the temperature she wanted. She twisted to grab a bottle off the shelf nearby and her hand went through air.

"Oh, yeah, it's in the other room." She grabbed her bathrobe and left the bathroom door open as she walked out.

When she returned a few minutes later with the bottle in hand to her room, her room door was ajar and there was splashing sounds coming from her bathroom.

Phoenixia's eyes narrowed. "Whoever's in there is either going to regret it, or have the time of their life." She yanked her bathroom door open and froze at the sight of an orange and white cat swimming laps around her tub.

Phoenixia blinked. "That's... new."

The cat chirruped, hopped out of the tub, chirruped again, and looked at her with the biggest eyes it could muster.

Phoenixia turned to go call Rhia, but then the cat was at her ankle, rubbing itself—water and all—against her leg and purring. She sighed in defeat.

"Fine. But it's my turn to take a bath. Got it?"

The cat just kept purring in response.

An hour later found Phoenixia, slightly damp, with the still sopping wet cat in her arms in Rhia's kitchen.

"Which one is this?"

Rhia took one look at the soaked cat, which at the moment looked more like a drowned rat than a cat, and laughed. "That's Toby. How'd you find him?"

"He was in my tub. He even took a bath with me. Had to suds him up, too. I think he liked it."

Rhia started laughing even harder. "He—he was in the bath with you? Ha!" At this point Rhia was bent over double, clutching at her sides.

"What?" Phoenixia blinked in confusion. "What's so funny?"

"Toby's a—a," Rhia gasped in a breath. "He's a pervert! He's constantly going into the bathroom with me, no matter what I'm doing!"

At this point Toby leapt out of Phoenixia's arms, landed on the floor, and shook himself to get rid of the water. Which landed on Rhia, Phoenixia, and everywhere else in the kitchen.

Rhia slumped and deadpanned, "Thanks Toby. I needed that. Really."


"Rosie! Get your furry butt back here!" Rhia dashed down the hallway after a multicolored blur. The blur turned right down another hallway and kept going. Jared turned into the same hallway at the other end, and was bowled over by the said multicolored blur. Rhia caught up to them and found her quarry perched on Jared chest, purring away.

"Wow. She likes you."

Jared, flat on his back, looked up at Rhia. "And which one is this?" The calico cat continued to purr.

"Her? Rosie. Actually, it's Rosa-Lee, but that's too long for a cat to respond to… when she feels like it…" Rhia got a thoughtful look on her face. "She's actually pretty smart for a cat… want to keep an eye on her for a while?"

Jared looked at the cat, back at Rhia, and then the cat again, and started scratching her ears. "Yeah, sure, why not?"

Rhia brightened. "Thanks! Now, she likes rubber bands, so whenever you need to keep her entertained and away from your stuff, just dangle one in front of her face and chuck it away from you. She'll be busy for an hour or so."

"Away from my stuff?"

Rhia looked slightly chagrined. "Ehm… she gets curious. Very curious. And will bat at anything that moves. Including pencils, small objects, and anything that moves and or makes sound. Thanks for keeping an eye on her! Bye!"

Rhia dashed back down the hallway, leaving a cloud of dust in her wake.

Jared dropped his head back onto the floor. Rosie continued to purr. "Great."


Rhia walked into the first kitchen, the one most of the agents used from day to day to make meals, pick-me-ups, and midnight snacks.

On the table was a three foot tall pile of food and in front of that pile was Tyler, stuffing his mouth as fast has he could.

"Tyler," Rhia sighed and brought her palm to her forehead. "What have we told you about eating so fast?"

Tyler looked up from his pile of food, cheek bulging slightly from the amount of food in his mouth. His response sounded something like 'Not to?'

"Right. You know eating that fast means you could choke."

Tyler swallowed. Rhia winced as she watched it go down. "But the only time I've choked was when that toothpick was in that snack. I've checked-there are no toothpicks in this pile."

Rhia sighed, and eyed the pile of food. It twitched, and she froze. "Tyler... is there anything raw in that pile?"

"No. Why?" The food twitched again, and this time they both saw it. "Oh." Tyler started dismantling the pile of food dish by dish, and suddenly an orange and white head, covered in food, popped out.


"Wha? Where?"

Rhia snorted softly. "No, the cat's name is Ginger… he's one of mine." She reached over to pick him up. "C'mere you big silly cat…" And he was big. Rhia finally pulled him free of the pile of food; he was easily the size of a small beagle. And none of it was fat.

"Ooof, you are huge…" She got a good look at him. "Were you eating that food?" She sighed. The stains around his mouth proved it.

"Cool! Rhia, can I keep an eye on him?" Tyler stood up and took Ginger from her arms, and nearly fell over from the weight.

"Uhm… ok?"

"Thanks!" Tyler headed out of the kitchen.

"Just don't eat him!" Rhia called after him.

A faint, "I won't!" answered her.


"…maybe cats just don't like you?" Valerie shrugged, examining Tash's hand, and the small, but painful scratch it had recently acquired.

"Cats like me," Tash corrected. "It's just Pumpkin. I think he's terrified of me."

"Oh he's terrified of everyone," Rhia assured her, glancing at the litter bin, behind which a furry ginger tail was just visible. "Maybe I'll send him back to my parents…"

Valerie made small circular motions on Tash's hand, and the skin immediately began to knit itself back together. Rhia hovered curiously over the leader's shoulder.

"I still get chills every time I see that," she admitted; before her eyes were torn away toward a pleading mewl. She gave a heavy, exasperated sigh. "Recees! I just fed you!"

The cat just mewled again hopefully, his eyes seeming too wide and deep to be natural. He was a little on the chubby side, with white fur and a few splashes of ginger, and as Rhia reluctantly moved to get his food, he stopped mewling, and hurried to her side, as though terrified the food would vanish back into the cold, strange world of the fridge.

No sooner had he begun to nibble at the dry food, when one of the kittens plodded inquisitively across the kitchen floor and began to take a sniff at the bowl. Recee's wide eyes narrowed dramatically, and he opened his mouth wide, teeth bared and gave a loud hiss. As soon as the noise left his throat, his eyes went back to their usual wide and fearful look, and he zoomed across the kitchen to hide behind Valerie's legs.

"Now Recees is terrified of everyone," Rhia explained. "And everything. He's also a total pacifist. Whereas cats like Pumpkin will fight back… as Tash just demonstrated…"

Tash rolled her eyes, and rubbed her hand, even though thanks to Valerie, the scratch was long gone.

"Recees will just run and hide. The other cats know this and bully him too… especially Rosie."

"Poor Recees-lump…" Valerie bent down to give the terrified cat some attention.

"But from the kittens?" Tash lifted an eyebrow. "They're like… a quarter his size…"

"That's what makes him sooo adorable!" Valerie snuggled the cat tightly. "You want to come stay with me, Mister Lump?"

The cat's happy expression was all the answer the healer needed, and she picked him up and hurried from the kitchen.

"…wow," Rhia blinked. "She was a lot more receptive to that idea than I thought she'd be…"

"Yeah… it probably helped that the cat in question was named after her favorite candy…" Tash pointed out.


"You know, it's too bad the cats have to go home now. I enjoyed having them here, and I think so did everyone else." Tash sighed and pouted as she and Rhia walked down the highway.

"I know, but it's been a couple weeks. My parents have had their holiday and now the cats have to go back. It's funny. My parents are wondering exactly where exactly I…" Rhia froze and looked at the scene in front of her. "Aawwww…" She cooed softly.

"Wha?" Tash looked in the same direction as her companion. "Awww…" She went to get closer but Rhia grabbed her shoulder.

"Wait." She pulled her Communicator out of her pocket. "I am so glad Phoenixia installed a good camera on these things." She said in a stage whisper. She turned off the flash started clicking away.

"Ooooooh. Good idea." Tash pulled hers out as well.

The scene was one that one would not expect to see often. Adrian was sprawled on a couch, snoring slightly, fast asleep. A bit of hair was on his face, fluttering up and down as he breathed. His kitty ears twitched as he dreamed.

The special part to this scene was the fact that there were two of Rhia's cats on his lap; Spot and Ginger, three around him; Toby, Jupiter, and Rosie, and one on his feet; Diego. The six kittens were asleep in a group in the crook of his arm. Topaz, imperial and as smug as she was, was curled up on his chest.

"So that's where they all went. Huh. I guess my parents won't mind if they stay here a little longer…" Rhia sighed and smiled at the scene.

Tash smirked and whispered, "So, now that we have some new blackmail material, where do you want to go shopping?"

Rhia's smile became just as wicked. "You have a devious mind, Tash. But who said shopping? I want a manicure…"

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