You couldn’t remember how long it had been since you had wanted a cat. Now, after moving out of your parents’ house and attempting to survive on your own two feet, you decided that it was high time you fulfill that feline need.
A kitten would be insanely adorable, of course. However, kittens required potty training, reprimanding, declawing, and a whole mass of complications that you would rather not deal with. Instead, an adult cat was the type of feline you would need. As long as it was furry, purred, and had a craving for fish, you would be happy with just about any cat you could find.
This had brought you to a certain little pet shop in the downtown area of where you lived. It was quaint, to say the least—the building was surrounded by old abandoned warehouses and the like, and the pet shop itself kind of resembled a barbershop from the 1920’s. On the colorful sign (which was decorated with cartoon dogs and cats) were the words “World Class Pets.” You had spent the week doing research on which pet shop was the best place to adopt an animal, and according to your notes this was the place to go.
Taking a deep breath, you tugged a bit on your (h/c) hair and cautiously opened the door, which resulted in an old fashioned bell resting atop the glass to chime. It brought a smile to your face, and said smile widened once you entered the store. Inside was like an animal lover’s dream come true: animals were everywhere. Puppies, kittens, dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, birds, rodents…you named it, and the species was there. Well, aside from exotic animals, of course.
Your (e/c) eyes widened as they scanned the overstocked shelves of various pet goods, such as food and treats and collars. Inside the shop, it was a cacophony of zoological proportions—meowing, barking, hissing, cawing, and squeaking…it literally just made you happy inside.
“Hello there! May I help you, miss?”
The unfamiliar voice snapped you out of your reverie. Startled, you spun around with a slight gasp, your gaze meeting with a wine-colored one. It was a guy, who looked to be maybe a couple of years older than you, with strawberry blonde hair and reddish-pink eyes. If that wasn’t strange, his outfit sure was—a red overcoat, with a small red top hat tilted to the side of his head. He seemed quite…eccentric, to say the least. He was carrying a couple of boxes, having emerged from the back of the store.
The man smiled at you, a cheeky little grin as he set the boxes down on the tiled floor and wiped his hands (which were gloved, actually) off on his black pants. “Sorry! Did I scare you? I tend to have the habit of not being noticed until the last moment…anyway, how may I help you today? The name’s Vladimir, by the way—I own this pet shop!”
His accent was actually very heavy—Russian? Or Romanian? Something of the sort. Whatever ethnicity he was, there was something about this guy that just made you feel comfortable…maybe it was because he owned a store full of fluffy animals waiting for you to get your cuddle on with them.
You smiled at Vladimir bashfully. “I-It’s all right. My name is (name), and I’m looking for a cat. Not a kitten; it has to be a grown up cat who knows how to use a litter box. And who is willing to cuddle with me, because I am forever alone.” The last bit was said in a joking tone, and by the grin Vladimir gave you, you knew it wasn’t awkward.
“A cat that is potty trained and likes to cuddle, eh? I think I have just the one…follow me, Miss (name)!” Vladimir motioned for you to follow him with a wave of his hand and set off to the other side of the store (which was bigger on the inside that what it looked like on the outside, it seemed), where the cat section obviously was, if all the meowing was a clue. You couldn’t help but gaze at the amount of cat paraphernalia with wide (e/c) eyes, from the kitty treats, to the cute little mouse and feather toys, to even the amount of different litter boxes they had!
And, of course, the cats.
There. Were. So. Many. Cats.
You didn’t realize the sappy “Awwww!” sound was actually emitting from your lips as you gazed at the cages full of cats with what was most likely an expression equivalent to a child’s at Christmas. Black cats, white cats, tabby cats, orange cats…all kinds of felines! Persians, Maine Coons, Siamese, Abyssinian, Birman…with all your cat research, you could name at least ninety percent of the breeds that were lounging around in their cages. From adult to adolescent to kitten, each and every cat just made you want to pick them up and cuddle them until they returned your affection.
Let it be known throughout the land that (name) is a crazy cat woman…
“Aha, here we are! Say hello to Miss (name), Alfred!”
Vladimir’s voice snapped you out of your cat-induced stupor, and you turned towards him to see the eccentric man pulling out a cat from its cage. It was quite a large cat, with short white fur covering most of his body—except for the area around his neck, which was a dark brown and longer. While that was strange, what was stranger still was the dark semi-circles under its bright blue eyes, giving the feline the impression of wearing glasses.
The cat and you locked eyes for a few moments. The cat’s gaze was playful and mischievous, and you could have sworn the feline was grinning at you. Its fluffy tail swished back and forth as its nose twitched, presumably scenting the air, and it opened its mouth to let out a meow that you could have sworn sounded frighteningly close to laughter.
“This is Alfred,” Vladimir proclaimed as he dumped the cat into your arms. Immediately, the large and furry animal curled up in your embrace, his body vibrating like a motorcycle with the force of his purring. “I think he’s the best choice for you. He can be a troublemaker, but he’s very friendly and lovable…just make sure you give him McDonald’s once a week, or else he’ll get feisty.”
“McDonald’s? For a cat?” You rose an eyebrow as one hand absentmindedly scratched one of Alfred’s ears, the other hand giving his furry back a nice rubdown. He was so soft and warm! Just what you were looking for in a cat. Especially since he was so friendly and amicable to you already.
“He has acquired tastes,” Vladimir explained with a shrug. The cat in your arms—Alfred—looked up at you with his large, sky blue eyes and gave you another meow that sounded just like someone laughing. He rubbed his face against your chest, an action that made your cheeks heat up and push him down a bit out of embarrassment, and continued to purr loudly. “Purr…~ Meowahahaha~!”
“I’ll take him,” you blurted out immediately, overcome with kitty feels. Honestly, you had no idea why, but you just seemed to click with this furry feline…who apparently liked hamburgers. “I’ll take him right now. And get McDonald’s on the way.”
That made the eccentric man laugh, leading you to the checkout counter. Less than twenty minutes later, you were heading back to your car with one arm full of various cat supplies, and the other full of the cat said supplies were meant for. Somehow you managed to dump the cat litter, litter box, cat food, cat dishes, and the like into the back of your car without breaking a leg. Sliding into the driver’s side, you set Alfred the cat down on the passenger’s side and pointed to the seatbelt, saying in a joking tone, “Don’t forget to buckle up, Alfred! I’m a safe driver but you never know.”
By the time you had buckled yourself up, started the engine, and turned back towards your newly acquired feline, you were absolutely shocked to see that Alfred was safely secure in his own seatbelt. The two of you stared at one another for a full minute, your (e/c) eyes wide and full of disbelief, until the cat gave you a feline grin and meowed his laugh-meow.
You blinked rapidly, before slowly turned towards the front of the car and gingerly placing your hands on the wheel, pulling out of the parking space with a poker-faced expression plastered to your face.
“…well. I’ll just pretend like that never happened.”
An hour later, after a hectic stop at the McDonald’s drive-thru, you were home at last. By “hectic stop,” you were referring to the fact that Alfred seemed to desire every freaking item on the damn menu. Vladimir had been correct when he had stated that the large cat had an acquired taste for McDonald’s; as soon as your order had been placed in your hands by the employee at the drive-up window, Alfred had begun to squirm in his seat and meow pitifully.
Somehow, despite being a cat, he had perfected the “puppy dog eyes” technique.
Of course, you hadn’t been able to resist, and had immediately opened up the Big Mac you had ordered for Alfred, setting it on the seat and warning him not to make a mess. The entire ride home had been full of slurping and burping…and none of it was from you. Yes indeed, you had seemed to adopted a cat who was more like a human male than a…cat.
Well, now that you were safely home with a half-asleep cat (all the carbohydrates and fats from the McDonald’s must have gotten to him), it was time to set Alfred’s things up around the house. Setting the snoozing cat on your couch gingerly, you smiled and patted his furry head before setting up his bathroom in the laundry room. Once the litter box was full, the next thing on your agenda was food—though you didn’t think he’d be needing a meal just yet after the Big Mac and fries. You filled up the water dish and food bowl anyway, setting it just outside the kitchen door, and figuring that it would be good enough for now.
A white slip of paper posted to the bag where all your purchases from the pet shop suddenly caught your eye. Wondering why you hadn’t noticed it before, you pulled it off of the plastic surface and scanned your eyes over the words carefully. “I forgot to mention…Alfred is a peculiar cat. A special cat. Aside from his fatass appetite—”—here you let out a snicker, but carried on reading, “—he’s a very loyal cat, and will be like your bodyguard. Trust me…you’ll love him! From, Vladimir. P.S. …don’t let him watch horror movies by himself.”
Now thoroughly confused, you glanced over at the sleeping cat on your couch with a curious frown. “…I wonder what that all means. A bodyguard cat? Weird. Though he certainly does have a fatass appetite…”
You shrugged, setting the note on the counter and heading back over to the couch. Very carefully, you tugged Alfred into your lap, stroking his fluffy neck with a small smile. “Well, I don’t really care. I finally have my own cat, and he’s adorable and sweet and…strange. But I like that. Welcome home, Alfred!” You placed a soft kiss on the edge of his nose, and the cat in question sniffed in his sleep before starting up his motorboat of a purr. Your smile widened, and you slowly stretched out across the length of the couch, setting the vibrating cat on top of your stomach and continuing to scratch his neck as you rested your head against the pillows.
Alfred’s right eye groggily peeked open, gazing at you in a sleepy feline manner, before he gave you what you now figured was as much of a smile as a cat could manage. He yawned and snuggled more closely against you, his tail swishing a couple of times before it wound its way around your forearm. His paws kneaded against your chest—making your face heat up as it had in the pet shop earlier—and you carefully flicked at his paws.
“N-No, Alfred…boobs are off limits for a scratching post,” you muttered, squirming a bit. As an answer, Alfred merely squirmed himself, until he was practically laying across your chest with his furry face buried in your neck, purring even louder.
Sighing, you figured that him using your boobs as a pillow was better than the alternative. Placing another kiss against his white furry head, you rubbed his cheeks and tickled the area under his chin, causing him to sneeze slightly and tickle your neck with his whiskers. Giggling slightly, you rolled your eyes before letting them slide shut, sighing with content.
“Well, I guess it’s time for a cat nap, right, Alfred?”
Alfred purred louder in response, his tail tightening from where it was curled around your forearm. He yawned sleepily, before letting out his signature “Meowahaha!” and snuggling into your chest even more.
“My boobs aren’t always going to be your pillow, though. I hope we have an understanding,” you added tiredly in a deadpan.
“And I’m not going to take you to McDonald’s every day—that’ll be a special treat for every once and awhile. I’m not made of money, you know.”
“…and don’t do human things like buckling yourself in the car, because it’s kind of creepy to me.”
You groaned slightly, mentally slapping yourself in the face. “Oh, great…now I’m talking to my cat! …and he’s answering! Screw this, I’m going to sleep…” Screwing your (e/c) eyes shut even tighter, you groped around the couch feebly for the blanket that was tossed over the side with one hand, as the other was currently massaging Alfred’s ears. At last you succeeded and tugged the heavy fabric so it draped across you and the cat haphazardly so that you would both be warm enough but Alfred could still poke his head out.
With one last pat to his head, you hugged the cat tightly to your chest and mumbled, “Good night, Alfred…I hope you and I can be good friends. Though…we’re off to a nice start already, aren’t we?”
You couldn’t help but smile as Alfred seemed to nod against your neck, his purring even louder than before as he practically answered your question.
Weird guys in overcoats at the pet store really did know the right pet for the right person, after all.