Julia walked, reluctantly, down the row of cages where the cats were housed in this shelter. Her best friend Justin had talked her into getting a pet, saying she shouldn’t have to come home to an empty house every night. He was walking in front of her facing her and talking up each and every cat he saw.
“Just, I’m not even sure if I’m a cat person.” she said.
“Oh, don’t give me that, you stop to pet every single cat we ever run across!” Justin stated.
Julia couldn’t explain to him why that happened, it wasn’t her fault, cats were just drawn to her. She shook her head and looked at the next cage, just as she was passing the one on her left side, a paw came out and touched her arm. She turned to look and locked eyes with the most beautiful cat she had ever seen. He was black and his eyes were amber, she could not look away from him.
Justin, noticing how intently she was looking at the cat, came back to her and said “There now, this one has obviously caught your attention, what do you think, has it found it’s forever home?”
Julia just nodded, so Justin took off before she could change her mind and told the lady at the desk, “She’s found the one she wants.”
Justin raced back and found her still mesmerized by the cat, “I’ve let that woman know that we will be taking him, did you have a pet carrier or shall I grab one of the boxes from the front?”
Julia just nodded again. Justin was just about to take off up front and grab one of the cardboard carriers, he was puzzled how taken she seemed to be by this cat. “Ju, are you okay?” he asked .
“What, what, oh yeah, I’m fine, we’ll take this one.” she replied.
Justin still a little uncertain about the way she was acting slowly headed to the front desk to ask for one of the cardboard carriers, he kept turning to look back at her, something was definitely off.
The woman grabbed one of the carriers and headed back to unlock the cage so that Julia could hold the cat and put it in the carrier. “Now, it’s a fine one you’ve chosen. He was just brought in tonight and as there is no collar, chip, or tattoo we were just going to hold onto him until tomorrow and then put him up for adoption, but since you are here and obviously find him attractive, we will just have you sign the papers. If his owners do call, I will let you know. He is in such good shape, someone must have loved him very much.”
Julia just turned her head to the side so the woman couldn’t see the smile that she was trying to hide.
“OH, now look there, he has markings just like a black panther, what do they call those again, oh yeah, I remember, they call them rosettes. They do look like little roses don’t they, funny we didn’t notice them earlier but we just wanted to make him feel at home.” the woman started rattling on.
Julia took the cat from the cage, popped him into the carrier and closed the top. She was trying so hard not to laugh. She pulled herself together and went with the woman to the desk to pay for the cat.
“Dear, you do know that he is not neutered right, it was on the cage door, and we do charge extra when it is an unneutered male or an unspade female? The extra charge is so that you bring him back to have him fixed. We can’t have anymore little dears running around than we have already, the poor things.” the woman explained.
Justin stepped up and paid, turning to Julia and saying “you can pay me back tomorrow.”
Julia just nodded again, she knew if she opened her mouth that they would think she had gone off the deep end, because she could not hold her laughter back.
Justin paid, and got the information about getting the cat neutered and walked to the car with Julia. “What is wrong with you?” he demanded.
She burst out laughing and said trying to sound like herself “I’m just happy.”
Justin looked at her and nodded “Um hum. Sure.” He didn’t know what was going on but he knew something was, Julia was never like this. She was as straight arrow as they came, except that she didn’t mind him being gay, and they had been friends for years so he knew something wasn’t right.
It took about 20 minutes to reach her place and Justin helped her carry in the cat, her briefcase and all the other things she always seemed to have with her.
Julia turned to him and gave him a peck on the cheek “Thank you for helping me get him home, and thank you for suggesting this, I am sure that I am going to be happy with this little guy .”
Justin gave her a peck back and turned to leave “Ju, you really are okay, aren’t you? You just seem a little unlike yourself right now and I’m kind of worried about leaving you alone.”
“Oh don’t worry about me, I’m fine and I won’t be alone, I have my new house guest and he and I are going to get to know each other.” she replied. “I’m just fine, so quit worrying about me.”
Justin just frowned and turned to leave. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” he said.
“Oh, did I forget to tell you, I have to go see my parents tomorrow, they want me to come by and see what I want before they sell their place and move to Florida. They invited me for dinner and to spend the weekend, so don’t worry about me, I will see you on Monday morning bright and early.” Julia told him.
“Now you sound like yourself, sheesh, you had me worried.” Justin said as he walked out the door.
Julia stepped forward to lock the door after him, then turned around with her hands on her hips and looked at the nude, 6’6” man standing in her living room and said “Explain!”
“Can I at least get some clothes on?” Resh asked.
Julia walked him into her bedroom pointed to the bottom drawer of her dresser and said “ the stuff you left behind is in there.”
She left the room to go get herself a drink, she had not intended to ever see him again and she needed something to keep her on an even keel before he tried to sweep her off her feet again.
Resh walked into the living room, threw himself down in the chair and said “Can I get one of those?”
Julia poured a second drink and then handed it to him and sat down on the couch. “OK, this one is going to take some explaining.” she chortled.
“Don’t you dare laugh, it wasn’t funny at all.” he said somewhat grumpily.
Julia burst into laughter, she couldn’t hold it back anymore and she just howled.
Resh wasn’t at all amused. As she settled down he began to explain “I was coming to see you, I don’t care what you say, we were meant for each other, anyway let that go for the moment. I was taking a route through the backyards when this elderly woman spotted me. I immediately shrank down to cat size so that she thought she had just imagined how big I was. She doesn’t like cats one little bit, because she scooped me up before I could twitch and put me in a basket and took me to the Animal Control place.”
By this time Julia is gasping for breath and tears are running down her face, she is laughing so hard.
Resh jumped up, grabbed her and started swinging her around in a circle. “You can laugh all you want, but I am not letting you go. You are my mate and I’m sorry I was such an ass.” he pleaded.
“I love you dammit, and you are coming home with me.”
Julia stopped laughing and looked at him. He had never said that before. “I will not let you treat me like a piece of baggage that you have to carry around. You are my mate, but I will not be disrespected by you or anyone else. So, if you are planning to take me home to the old same old, same old, it’s not going to happen.” she stated firmly.
Resh pulled her into his arms and told her “I didn’t know what was going on until I got back from Florida, believe me, I put a stop to that immediately and the pair of them are now banished and looking for a new place and lair to be a part of.”
Resh dropped his head and kissed her until she was breathless. She purred and kissed him right back. “Ok, I’ll come home, but this time I am going to tell Justin. He is my best friend and has been for years. He’ll freak a little just at first, but then he will suck it up and demand to meet everyone.”
Resh just kissed her again and said “Let’s go home.”
They both turned into their leopards and started the journey back to their lair.