The door to Belling Home & Vet for Rescues slammed shut from the wind. Within seconds, cockatoo Harriet’s voice traveled from the front of the house to the room down the hall that boarded senior cats: “Cool beans, drip drip.”
Nana froze in place. While all the other cats continued to nap, run up and down the room, and scratch the cat tree, Nana’s eyes were locked on the room's glass door.
Her ears were perked up but all Nana could hear was ifled chatter. She rolled her eyes up in impatience.
Nana wanted nothing more than the conversation to come to a quick end and the tap of approaching footsteps to begin. Her ears, which usually stuck up, were starting to fold back on her head trying to catch the sounds outside, and disappear into her peculiar fur: a rich tone of caramel with brown parts that resembled a shawl-like pattern.
The hallway between the senior cat room and the front of the house was not long.
𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘯, 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘯.
But to Nana, it might as well be infinite. That was why every time Harriet squeaked her odd welcome to a chuckling group of visitors, Nana wasted no time making her way toward the door.
𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦.
Visitors to Belling didn’t always turn out to be whom the cats hoped for. Sometimes they were only—
“A bag? What kind of a metaphor is that?” one cat questioned right before another asked what a metaphor means.
According to Nana, there were three types of humans known to come into Belling:
“The first types are the bags,” Nana said to a group of cats, all lined in a row like students in front of her and listening in awe. “Those who excite us but give us not much else are a diversion from our goals.”
A war cry had bubbled in the crowd. “Ban the bag!”
“The second is the cans, and we like them.”
“Like a food can!” exclaimed one of the normally quiet cats,
“Mhm” “Exactly” “Dolphinately,” murmured the rest of the group in an endorsement.
“They feed and pet and shelter us,” Nana continued, feeling emboldened by everyone’s complete attention, not minding the skeptics. “And then there are the rarest, the bowls.” Everyone was eager to hear about the bowls, the excitement made the cats stand ready to jump.
Nana knew about the bowls; she had lived with them once, a long time ago. “Home is where you have a food bowl to your name.”
Only a few hours ago a “bag” came to Belling to deliver the daily paper, which consequently meant one of the humans who worked there, named Jackson, would bring the old papers into the senior cat room to line the litter boxes.
“So rude. Nothing in yesterday’s paper either… It’s as if they don’t care about reporting on felines anymore,” the second oldest cat in the room Harold said as he kicked the litter back to cover the newspaper after finishing his business. For some reason, he thought litterboxes were an okay place to have a conversation.
However, to Nana, it never mattered who was at the door. She walked up to the glass door every time someone was in the hallway, just in case. She shared the room with twelve other cats, so she could not take any chances. If someone was to be adopted next, Nana wanted it to be her. And what better way to guarantee a favorable outcome than being the first and, if she could manage it, the 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 cat a visitor saw?
𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴𝘵. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘳, Nana thought. Two years, eight months, thirteen days, and counting to be exact.
“Hiya, peeps. Scoot over. Yes, scoot, please.” Sameera was trying to find a spot for herself among the crowd that had gathered to watch Nana and whoever was at the door.
“Sshhh.” Harold threw a quick warning look from in front of them, where he was laying on his side.
“Then make some room for me quick. I don’t want to miss the moment,” Sameera hissed back, her eyes twinkling behind thick glasses tightly wrapped around her head with a green beanie hat.
“Ow!” Sameera’s perception of depth wasn’t great and she was pushing and stepping on tails as she tried to squeeze in.
“Ah isn’t this perfect, it will be perfect. Nana finally meeting her forever family…” Sameera said finally finding a nice spot for herself.