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Rated: E · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2242701
Prologue for an fantasy/adventure story, starring our cat, Bella.





Heka, the large Abyssinian, cut a sleek figure through the dark night, sticking mostly to the back alleys and quiet streets. He was neither as young nor as fast as he used to be but he still managed pretty well. The furry burden he carried by the scruff of the neck hardly moved at all.

The Queen had been reluctant to give her daughter to the humans but Heka had convinced her it was the only way. The cycle was old, repeated over centuries, and the result was always the same. Something needed to change.

The kitten was awake. She was aware and curious, taking in everything around her with a calm, measured patience. A brown tabby, she was, by any and all standards, a very pretty cat. She wore her white boots with pride and - even at this tender age - groomed her white chest and the white smudge on her nose with care.

The kitten watched the world fly by her as she was carried away from the only home she has ever known, away from her mother, away from her sisters and brothers, across what seemed to her to be an indescribable distance.

The smells of this world were so different from what she had come to know, so varied: sweet smells, sour smells, happy smells, sad smells. The kitten took them all in. After what seemed like a very long time, she felt herself begin to drift off to sleep, lulled by the steady rhythm of the Abyssinian's steps.

The Abyssinian wove his way along the carefully plotted path. It had been a while since he was out in the open, able to move through the outside world in this way. He carefully crossed streets and avoided the cluster of cars that - even at this late hour - seem to haunt this town. Finally, he stopped. Putting the dozing kitten down at his feet, he took in the area.

It was a peaceful suburban street, a seemingly careless mix of houses and apartment buildings. The Abyssinian focused on one house in particular. The house sat on a neatly manicured lawn, with a carefully tended garden and a large oak tree. A paved stone driveway led up to the 2-car garage and, on the other side of the garage stood a squat, rectangular brick building. The sign on the building read, "Valley Krav Maga." Picking the kitten up again, the Abyssinian made his way across the street to the neat, little house.

He climbed up the cement stairs and gently dropped the kitten on the rattan welcome mat. For a moment, the Abyssinian simply stood, watching the sleeping kitten, a mix of feelings brewing in his old chest. On the one paw, he knew that it was his duty to leave the kitten here but on the other paw, she was so young, so innocent, so completely unaware of the path that the Goddess had chosen for her that the older cat felt sorry for her. But, as always with the Abyssinian, duty came first.

He placed one paw on the sleeping kitten's head and the other on her heart and raised his voice in benediction, as he had done so many times before in the past. "The blessings of the Goddess are upon you, Princess. Sleep now. Rest while you can. Our paths will cross again soon...Courage and Light be upon you."

Heka slowly crept away from the kitten and climbed up the oak tree. Using his long, powerful tail, he began to launch several good-sized acorns at the large, central picture window of the house. After two or three acorns had found their target with a loud THWACK, he heard a stirring of voices and began to see movement inside the house. Slowly, the front door opened and a pale yellow rectangle of light spilled out onto the front steps, illuminating the small brown, black and white bundle of fur that was sleeping there.

"Oh, Rob," Erica whispered, "it's a kitten..."

"The kitten made those noises at the window?" he replied, puzzled.

"No, babe. I have no clue what that was but look at...ohhhhhhhhhhhhh" she cooed.

The kitten, having been woken up by the door and the human voices - the first she had ever heard - stretched out on the step. She rolled onto her back and put both front paws way over her head. Curiously, she looked at the humans upside down. They smelled good to her and so did the cozy, little house that was now open to her.

Rolling back onto her front, the kitten stood up, arched her back and stretched. The kitten, still a little groggy, wobbled her way over to the humans, rubbing her side on the legs of first the woman, then the man. Then, she promptly made her way inside the house and jumped up on the beige chair that sat in the middle of the living room. She turned around twice before settling into the chair. She curled her tail around her whole body, half-covering her face and almost instantly fell back to sleep.

"Umm, I guess we have a new pet," Rob whispered, not wanting to disturb the kitten.

"Oh, she's not going anywhere, babe. She came to us and we're keeping her. What do you think we should call her?"

"How about Fluffy?" Rob said slowly.

"No," Erica replied, "she's not a Fluffy or a Buttons or a Socks. She's so pretty. I think we should call her Bella. It means 'beautiful' in Italian. What do you think?

"Bella it is." He closed the front door of the house slowly, as quietly as he could.

Outside, the Abyssinian climbed down from the tree. He made his way to a park located near the house. There, the cat found a statue garden that surrounded a small man-made lake. He passed sculptures of several woodland animals until he came to one particular statue that did not seem to fit with the others. It was the figure of a woman who had the face of a cat.

Heka bowed at the feet of the statue, his front legs extended beyond his body.

"It is done, Goddess. The Hidden Paw has been placed in her new home," the Abyssinian said. Heka bowed once more to the statue and walked back into the dark night.

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