Ebe doesn’t look very happy to have visitors. Despite the fact that she’s a young thing, there’s something imposing about the way she looks. There are lithe muscles beneath her bright orange and black pelt, and sharp eyes that watch the two house cats even as she steps down from the boulder to join them at its base.
Slippers tries to be brave, but her instincts are screaming at her to run. This entire enclosure smells like predator and it’s a hard thing to shake. She gives the tiger cub a thin, shaking smile. “We’re really sorry to bother you. I don’t entirely know why we’re here, if I’m being honest.”
“Honesty would be helpful,” advises Ebe, sitting down and lifting her head up.
Tom Quartz whines at the back of his throat. His ears are flattened out, tail twitching with unease. “We’re being honest, I swear. Slippers is a good cat – and so am I! We’re just trying to do our jobs, and make sure that everything is okay.”
Ebe demands, “and what, exactly, do you think your job is?”
Slippers takes a deep breath. She says, “we were told that something is wrong with Ada. I don’t – I don’t know what, I swear. But we were asked to come here, and see if we could help.”
Ebe still doesn’t look happy. She looks around the enclosure, as if she’s trying to find something that might help sway her mind. Whatever she’s looking for is either there or it’s not, because the tiger cub lets out a sigh that makes her entire body shudder and shake.
She sinks down onto the ground, then, stretching out over the dirt floor. Her claws dig deep into the earth. “I don’t know how to help, either.”
Slippers, feeling particularly brave, takes a small step forward.
Tom Quartz hisses, his tail snapping out to brush over her flank.
It earns him a rather irritated look, and a shake of Slippers head. The she-cat is determined to make sure that their mission is accomplished, and she won’t let age old instincts and a bit of unease stop that! So she takes a step forward, and then another one, and another, until she’s able to sit down beside Ebe and press their shoulders together.
Slippers is much, much smaller than Ebe. It’s only more clear now that they’re pressed together. She says, “why don’t you tell us what’s happened? Is Ada in here with you?”
Ebe shakes her head. She lets out a sad, rumbling sound. “No,” says Ebe, sounding just as miserable as she looks. “No, she’s not. Not anymore, at least.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author