Slippers is a soft spoken cat, but she’s also a very smart thing. And, more importantly, in that moment, Slippers is also very fast and very light footed. She slips virtually unnoticed through the zoo, over to the primate enclosure.
“Piotr,” she calls out, sitting down just outside of the exhibit.
It’s not long before the monkey shows up, all shaggy brown and big wet eyes. “My,” says the monkey, in a rolling, thick voice. “My, my! What do we have here? You’re an awful pretty cat to be the new zoo stray.”
“I’m not a stray,” says Slippers, unsure whether to be offended or feel complimented. “But thank you none the less.”
“If you’re not a stray, who are you?” Piotr jumps onto the ground, hovering just on the other side of the steel bars.
Slippers says, “I’m a friend. And I’ve come here because you need to help solve a problem.”
When Slippers and Tom Quartz meet up again, not too long later, the female cat is feeling very proud of herself. She announces, “we can go home now.”
Surprised, Tom Quartz asks, “what do you mean? We still have to help Ada!”
“It’s all taken care of,” says Slippers. She blinks – and a faint white line appears, leading her towards the Door that will lead them home. “Piotr didn’t realize that there was such an issue. The child poked at him through the bars while he was sleeping, and he snapped at it without thinking.”
Tom Quartz has to run to keep up with Slippers. “How does that help with Ada?”
“There’s a gorilla here, Suzy. She knows sign language,” explains Slippers. “That means she can tell the humans what really happened.” The white line wraps around, leading towards a small doggie door that’s been magically affixed to the side of a building. “See? The Room is going to let us come home. We’re okay, Tom Quartz. We took care of this.”
Back inside of the Room, the two cats once more find themselves facing down with Cornwallis. Despite their success, the dog looks less than pleased.
Slippers tilts her head to the side, confused. “Isn’t this what you wanted done?”
“What? Oh, yes, yes, you both did good. Off with you now, back to your own time.” Cornwallis hardly even glances at the two cats. He’s hunched over a dark void in the floor, staring at something neither Slippers nor Tom Quartz can see.
Tom Quartz says, “Are you sure? It doesn’t look like you’re very happy about this.”
“Yes, yes, I’m sure. Quite sure,” insists Cornwallis. He still doesn’t look up from the pit. In the end, the two cats have no choice but to slink back into their own world.
Katelynn E Koontz – Author