The little sugar glider is quick on his feet. Calla moves through the halls like they’re familiar. “Just up this way, magic cat. Almost there now.”
“That’s what you said two halls ago,” huffs Tom Quartz. His ears twitch with irritation. “Do you even know where Ada is?”
“I do, I do! Of course I do! Rude, that’s what you are. You’re just as rude as every other magic beast to have tried to get something out of me. I said that I know where they’ve locked up that tiger, so that means, well, it means that I know where they’ve locked up that tiger.”
And with that, the sugar glider hops, skips, and races up ahead – only to come to a skidding stop when a door pushes open. The human that steps out into the hall is wearing a white lab coat and looking at a clipboard.
“Hide,” hisses Tom Quartz, flinging himself into a partially open side door. He’s not sure what becomes of Calla but doesn’t hear yelling, so Tom Quartz assumes that the little sugar glider is alright.
The room that he’s just let himself into is very dark. It’s only Tom Quartz’s feline eyes that allow him to see through the shadows. And, much to his surprise, luck must truly be on his side for, there, in the cage tucked against the wall, is a tiger cub.
Now, the important thing to remember is that Tom Quartz is in a time long ago. Zoos were not nearly as well put together as what we are used to in the modern time, and they didn’t have the equipment that we would envision being included in their offices, computer rooms, and vet areas.
As such, the enclosure that Ada finds herself in is remedial at best. The tiger looks tired, worn, and rather ill. She doesn’t even lift her head when Tom Quartz walks up to her.
“Ada,” he says, surprised to see the tiger here. It seems that the sugar glider didn’t know where Ada was after all. “Are you alright?”
Ada cracks open her brilliant green eyes. She’s resting her muzzle on her paws. Ada says nothing.
Tom Quartz puts one front paw on the heavily barred cage that the tiger is in. “Ada, I’ve been looking for you. Are you alright? Why are you here? What’s going on?”
“I don’t know you.”
“I’m – I’m Tom Quartz. I’m part of the Presidential Pets.”
“Oh. I supposes that’s why you’re here.”
“I – yes?” Tom Quartz isn’t sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it doesn’t sound like Ada’s particularly happy to see him. He says, “I came here to help you.”
Ada closes her eyes. The tiger snorts. “No,” she says. “You came to help yourself. Go away, cat. I’m not interested.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author