Dixie is a dainty thing, one of the cats owned long ago by President Abraham Lincoln. He was recorded saying, more than once, that the cat was far more intelligent than any human could ever hope to be.
That’s fairly close to the truth, if we’re being honest. And so it’s something of a privilege to be able to speak with her. Laddie Boy has only seen the other cat a few times, and he’s only ever spoken to her twice before on any sort of a personal level.
It’s something of an honor.
She doesn’t keep the two dogs waiting for long, stepping out of her own door and into the Room. Her tail is held up high, sharp green eyes scanning over the mostly empty space. When they land on Laddie Boy, she gives a loud, long purr. “There you are. I was hoping to be able to speak with you today.”
Laddie Boy dips his head just a little, in a sign of respect. “Dixie. I think that I need help. There’s something wrong in my White House.”
“Yes,” says Dixie, padding over to the dog. “There is.”
“Can you… help me?”
“I’m going to try. We’ve recently realized that a very important paper is about to go missing.” Dixie sits down, wrapping her tail around her legs. The tip of it flicks up, just a little bit. “It’s a deviation in the time stream, and something that we can’t allow to happen.”
Laddie Boy echoes, “a deviation in the time stream? What does that mean?”
Across the room, Cornwallis snorts. “It means that the world is made up of countless red strings. They’re meant to travel in a single, forward motion. Straight lines, that end in a straight point.”
Laddie Boy nods. “I know about that. We all live on a different string, right?”
Dixie’s eyes spark. “Exactly. Sometimes, the strings get tangled. This happens when we cross over into each other’s timelines.”
“I didn’t know that was possible,” gasps Laddie Boy, wide eyed. “Is that the problem now?”
“No,” says Dixie, with a grateful twitch of her ears. “Thank goodness. This is just…a place where the string has started to fray. Treasury Secretary Mellon has recently recommended to Congress that income tax rates be cut. He wants the excess profits tax on corporations to be completely abolished.”
Laddie Boy gives a slow nod. While he doesn’t completely understand the things that are said in the White House, he does try to pay attention and listen. “I’ve heard of that. But…what does it have to do with me?”
Cornwallis growls, and the sound echoes off the walls of the Room. “Be quiet and you might find out!”
Abashed, Laddie Boy ducks his head and mutters, “sorry, I won’t interrupt again.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author