Not a *standard* DISCLAIMER:
The character of Tyrus Cassius McQueen and the *Space*
universe are the property of Glen Morgan and James Wong and
Hard Eight Productions, borrowed with all my love and
admiration for their enchanting work - but nevertheless without
their permission. No copyright infringement intended.
The character of the cat simply belongs to herself, since she's 15
years old by now, has already lost some of her teeth and yet
manages to be a nuisance to our family, which she is a madly
loved part of, we couldn't bear to lose...today more than ever.
This is for you, Pinky (aka the Monster).
The idea for this little story has its roots in a discussion we had
back on jmdg-l some time ago. I owe the inspiration to my
friends on that list. Yeah, the much-talked-about *Cat or Dog ?*
question...Well, here is my solution - it's very sappy....don't mind...
Rated PG due to (very little) light swearing.
Comments would be highly appreciated and may be sent to
BTW: This is my first piece of fanfiction ever in a language
other than my native one - so, please, be nice, ok?
It was pouring.....BADLY pouring.....and cold.
"Holy shit!" swore Major Tyrus Cassius McQueen, gazing
out of the driver's window of his car. He looked up to the pitch
black sky that released the water it had saved for seven weeks -
for far too long - and now tried to drown them as a reparation.
With the rain had come the cold - a relief after the tropical high
temperatures of the last two months - but nonetheless unexpected in its extreme. He shuddered.
A look at his wrist watch told T.C. that it was time to go.
The briefing would commence in three minutes and he was still
in his car on the parking lot hesitating to face the pouring rain.
Rolling his eyes and taking a deep breath, he finally stepped out
and slammed the door shut behind him, then he turned on his
heel and ran towards the squadron's building, covering his head
with his windbreaker.
He arrived at the front entrance. It took him a moment to shake
off the water and finger-comb his bristle short hair while
standing under the little roof that protected the front. When he
was just about to open the door, he noticed a movement on the
ground to his left out of the corner of his eye. He turned and
saw a kitten cowering under the bush standing next to him.
She was soaked-wet and shivering. The moment T.C. made
eye-contact with her, she came out of her insufficient refuge
and trotted towards the door. When she reached it, she stopped
and looked up to the pair of pale blue eyes that kept staring at
her - stunned.
"What the hell are YOU doing here ???"
She mewed in return, her tail held up and its tip slightly
twitching. Her emerald eyes stayed locked with his.
T.C. assessed her to be barely three months old. Taking a quick
look around, he couldn't see another cat, so the kitten was ob-
viously on her own. And she *obviously* expected him to let
her into the building.
"No, you *can't* go in there! Animals are against regulations !"
He stated that with mild sternness. But she just sat down by his
feet and mewed questioning once more, not taking her glance
off him - not for a second. She made a miserable sight, with her
wet fur coat and those incredibly big eyes in that little head that
just wouldn't let go.
T.C. was at a loss of what to do. He didn't have the time to deal
with her - through the glass door he could already see his squadron file into the briefing room - neither did he want to leave
her here in the cold and pouring rain. But animals were not
allowed in the building...and he *really* had to go now. The
kitten started to tremble again without letting that deviate her
naively asking gaze from him.
In a rush, T.C. turned away from her and slipped through the
door. He had almost made it across the hallway into the room
when he slowed down and stopped again to glance back out-
side through the shut glass door. She was still sitting there - and
still looking at him...with those eyes...
He made a face to the cat - raising an eyebrow, sighed *Ok,
then* to himself and hurried back to open the door just a little
and let her in. Without waiting to see where she would go, he
turned again and jogged into the briefing room, barely making it
The briefing was long and after 45 minutes the CO decided to
take a short break. Some of his team mates stood up, a lot of
them groaned and flexed their stiffened muscles, and McQueen
also felt the need to stretch his legs. So he walked out of the
room to stroll down the hallway. He wondered where the cat
may have gone and went looking for her - finally finding her
behind a corner, curled up on a chair. She appeared to be
sleeping peacefully but must have noticed him nonetheless
because her eyes opened, slowly and without moving any other
part of her body. Her fur coat had dried and she seemed to feel
fine now, radiating an impression of relaxed composure.
T.C. narrowed his eyes, returning her glance and folded his
arms loosely over his chest. Coking his head to the side, a faint
smile appeared on his face.
"That's better, hmm.....?"
As if reacting to his question, the kitten yawned and lolled
lazily. The smile on T.C.'s face widened into an ear-to-ear grin.
"Yeah, I thought so.....But that still doesn't solve our little
problem of *you* being *here*."
A loud sigh escaped his mouth.
"What am I supposed to do with you now, for god's sake ?"
He would have to think of something fast because if someone
else discovered their little intruder, it was more than likely that
she would be taken to an animal shelter. And he really didn't
want her to end up losing her freedom just because she had
caught him at a weak moment and had made him violate regulations. He knew the value of freedom quite well himself - he
would never go and cause its loss to any creature that didn't
deserve it. And she *definitely* didn't deserve it.....especially
since she was still so young..... So, he would have to bring her
back outside.....into the rain...and the cold..... He frowned at
that outlook. Nevertheless, it was the best solution. But before
he had to do that, he would do something else first.
"Well, you just can't stay.....But let's go and see if we can't find
some milk before you have to go. At least, your stomach will be
McQueen lifted her from the chair by catching her under the
belly - only partly surprised being able to feel her ribs directly
beneath the skin.....yeah, she would need the milk.....badly,
perhaps.....He took the kitten in his arms, only a handful of fur
and eyes, glanced around to check if someone was looking his
way and then walked over to the small kitchen at the end of the
hall. After he had closed the door, he put her down on the floor
to take a look into the fridge. He managed to produce a bottle
of milk and a small bowl while the cat strolled around curiously.
As he kneeled down with the vessel in his hands, she rushed to
him immediately and started licking the milk - standing upright
on her hind quarter - even before T.C. could place it on the
"Ho, ho ! Don't hurry ! It's coming !"
He lingered on his knees for a moment, then stood and
retreated to the nearby shelf, resting his right elbow on it and
leaning his head on the shoulder. Relaxing into this position, he
watched the kitten drinking hastily.
"Hey, slow down! No one's gonna take it from you."
He couldn't help but smile when he reprimanded her softly.
*Poor little one...* She was alone, hungry, with no home to
save her from that disgusting environment out there - forced to
depend on herself....at such a young age. His facial expression
saddened. Ironically, McQueen knew exactly what that felt
like...he had to live that way since he was *born*...His gaze
He flinched involuntarily when he felt something cold and wet
touch his ear. The little cat had finished her meal and -
obviously- hopped upon the shelf unnoticed since she was now
right next to his face, purring loudly into his right ear while
nosing it. He grunted but with a smile in his eyes.
"Tasted good ?"
In return he pressed her small head against his hair, wandering
her body along his cheek, still purring tremendously.
"Well...I guess that was a *yes*..."
His voice trailed off. Somehow he liked that feeling of her fur
gently touching his skin and he closed his eyes to enjoy this
sensation. After a moment he extended a hand to stroke her
back but Kitty was obviously looking for something else and
she turned to make him gently rub her neck and throat. Obeying
her wishes, he crowled her - first softly, even hesitating, but
some moments later he increased the strength since the cat
seemed to enjoy it in a big way. He frowned playfully at that
cute little animal buzzing around his head, letting his fingers
slightly trail along her body. She cocked her head a little to the
side and watched the man.....not so intimidating this time...
*assessing* came to T.C.'s mind when her eyes blinked sleepily
but wary at the same time, her nose only some inches away
from his. He found himself wondering what conclusions
she might have drawn concerning him...
He could have continued forever but the clock was ticking and
he knew he had to return to the briefing. Letting out a deep
breath, he sighed extensively and bumped his head softly
against hers as a gesture of saying goodbye.
"Time to go - for both of us."
T.C. snuggled the little fur ball to his throat and left the kitchen
for the entrance. He could hear it before he saw it through the
glass front door - it was still raining cats and dogs.....His jaws
"Sorry, but it's better this way.....believe me."
He pushed the door open and put her down near the bush
where she had cowered an hour ago. The kitten crouched
immediately under the plant, looking at McQueen with those
irritatingly wide-opened eyes again. He stiffened under her gaze
- but it had to be. He could only whisper her goodbye.
"Go.....go now.....And watch your six."
Suddenly, he blushed with embarrassment. Turning hastily, he
left the kitten in the rain with the strange feeling of running
The briefing took another hour but T.C. had trouble concentra-
ting. The picture of that little cat looking back at him from
beneath the bush in the rain kept occupying his thoughts. To
the extend that the CO once recognized his forlorn gaze....that
didn't focus on the important charts.
"Major McQueen, I'm sooo sorry if this issue is boring you but
would you mind...?"
The CO's voice brought T.C. back into the real world of the
briefing room. He had flinched when he was called and looked
somewhat disoriented for a moment but he regained his composure quite quickly.
"Sorry, Sir !!!"
The CO turned away irritated and McQueen slightly shook his
head in embarrassment and anger.*C'mon, Tyrus, you've got
work to do! Leave it! Why are you bothering you with a damn
cat ?* He didn't like to be distracted from his work, especially
not by such a silly matter. He tried to refocus his mind on what
was said, the anger still in his heart, even though it just felt
more like discomfort of having been caught not paying
Lucky to having it made through the rest of the meeting without any more incidents, he left the building for the parking lot.
But when he stepped out the front entrance, the ongoing rain
reminded him of why he had gotten into trouble - and he
couldn't help but take a short glance at the bush when he passed
by. She was gone. *Good* he pouted - he didn't want to bother
himself with that cat anymore.*You've seen where that leads
As he proceeded towards his car, the rain was diminishing, but
it was still cold. He wrapped his windbreaker tighter around his
body while searching for the car keys in its pockets. Being busy
digging, he didn't notice the shadow behind him - following.
Just before he would have reached his car, there was was a
sound. He froze.
He turned for the cat, on his face a mixture of confusion and
"Where are you coming from, eh? Why are you still here? What
do you want from me, eh? Leave! Leave me alone!"
Hmm...That came out a little louder and harder than he had
intended. But the kitten was obviously not impressed by it,
anyway. Once more her green eyes - *Aargh!* - kept staring
holes into him. He took a step to reach his car and saw the cat
following him. Her innocent obtrusiveness was just driving him
"I told you to go. Leave - or you will have been in freedom the
longest time. SSSSHHHHTT!!!"
He tried to scare her away waving with his arms, yelling. He
couldn't stop although he knew that he was making a pretty silly
scene. Major Tyrus Cassius McQueen of the United States
Marine Corps stood in the middle of the base's parking lot in
the rain and was yelling at a cat like a bloody fool. And the cat
didn't even seem to hear him. He wanted her to leave because
he feared for her - as he had to admit to himself -, wanted her
to leave *him* alone - he didn't need a silly cat to distract him
from work...He had no use for a pet...*Whose talking of a pet
here!?* he asked himself with surprise. He was confused and
angry about the embarrassment he was to himself - nonetheless he couldn't help but keep yelling - Marine style.
"Listen, CFB: you will go now and take THAT direction-"
leaning down and pointing to the forest-like part of the base,
"- and leave this base. MOVE IT !!!"
Kitty's only reaction was a questioning glare. T.C. considered
himself either losing it completely or the cat *really* looked
kinda pissed off with the Major's behavior. Well, if she was...
she was probably right. So, after he had vented, he rolled his
eyes and started begging.
"What exactly it is you want me to do? Adopt you? I got into
trouble because of you some minutes ago. I don't need that.
I don't want a pet ! I don't have any use for you!"
Well, that sounded much more convinced than he felt right
now. If she just took those eyes off him!...He could lose himself in that emerald...He felt his defense melting under the
scrutinizing glance of a 12 week-old kitten that just *sat* there
and looked up to him - unimpressed. He never wanted a pet.
Never thought of it. But yet....Usually, *he* chose with who he
spent his time. Well, this question had obviously been taken
care of on his behalf. This time he *was* chosen - and he just
couldn't think of any way to get rid of that little animal that
seemed to have adopted *him* against his will. And then, he
suddenly realized that he had lost this battle before he had even
known that he was fighting it....And that he liked the kitten.
Liked her fur. Liked her purring. The sight of drinking the milk.
She was stubborn - drove him crazy...Well, she might even fit
his character. He couldn't help but smirk. So he finally
surrendered his weapons to her.
"OK, ok.....fine, then....."
Grumbling at her, but at the same time he was also losing the
battle to restrain that smile that desperately wanted to make its
way onto his face. He finally produced his keys out of his
pocket, plodding stiffly to his car in a vain attempt to regain at
least part of his dignity, opened the door, reached for the trunk
handle, stowed his jacked there, clambered onto his seat and
looked back to the cat.
She was gone.
Confusion took over. He leant out of his seat and nervously
glanced around. An unexpected rush of fear caught him. Where
did she go? Why did she leave - Now? She was alone....he was
alone ...and wanted..needed her...And now that he had finally
realized it - she left?
His head twitched from the sound to his right. Kitty sat on the
seat next to him. He stared at her and it took him a second to
recompose himself. Then he sighed and smirked.
"Ok, I'm not gonna ask how you made it into the car unnoticed.
I will also take you home with me - FOR TODAY...But let's
make one thing clear : NEVER EVER SCARE ME LIKE
THAT AGAIN !!!"
Making a face to her, he slammed the door shut and started the
"Ok, let's hit the road. First of all, we'll drop by a store and get
you some milk and kitten food..."
© Susi Patzke 1996
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