I haven't decided if this pair of stories is in any universe in particular yet, but this is the same Honey found in "Leave Sleeping Cats Be." It takes place several months after that one, but you don't need to have read the other flash fiction for this one to make sense, just a general idea about typical cat personality traits.
If you'd rather listen to the story, you can find the audio version here.
The ginger cat introduced himself to the lost child. He nudged the little girl’s elbow with his nose, and she lifted her head off her knees with a jolt, looking around like she expected to be attacked any moment. When her eyes landed on Honey, they were wide and bloodshot from crying.
He mewed and sat down next to her, wrapping his tail around his paws.
“Are you a nice kitty?” the girl asked.
Honey blinked amber eyes at the child and mewed again, tilting his head to the side.
“Mommy and I were walking to the store,” the girl explained, sniffling and wiping her nose on the back of her hand. “She stopped to look at something, and I was watching a butterfly.” Her lower lip trembled, and tears welled up in her eyes again. “Now I don’t know where I am, and I can’t find Mommy!”
The tip of Honey’s tail twitched, and he pinned his ears back as the child started crying again. Human kittens were big but utterly helpless creatures that took far too long to mature in his opinion. He supposed it was a miracle of biology human queens bore so rarely and only one to three kittens at a time as they seemed incapable of managing a decent sized litter.
Living with Michaela had taught Honey the limits of human senses. The creatures were virtually blind and deaf, and their noses were even more useless than their eyes and ears. He figured he’d have to see the child back to its mother, or she’d be left to fend for herself. Looking the kitten over, he could tell she wasn’t even close to half grown yet, so Honey knew she’d never survive as a feral.
Honey rubbed his face against the girl’s shins and butted her hand with his head, sniffing her shoes and hands as he did so. Traces of the queen’s scent lingered on her skin.
The child’s stubby fingers smoothed over Honey’s fur, and her crying began to calm. He began to purr, both as a means of further comforting the human kitten and encouraging her to continue. Honey turned and wound back around her shins as he scented the air. He couldn’t get a trace of the queen’s scent on the air, but he could tell where the kitten had walked earlier. Maybe leading her down the same path she’d followed would lead back to her mother.
It took a great deal of mewling and headbutts to get the child up on her feet, but Honey managed it somehow. He trotted a few feet away from her before turning back to look over his shoulder and mewled again.
“You want me to follow you?” the child asked.
Honey dipped his head and mewled again, turning to look back down the path he’d scented.
“Okay,” she stuttered.
Honey heard the tap of her shoes on the pavement, and he began trotting along as he followed the kitten’s scent. He led her past a couple houses and around two corners, stopping now and again to get her attention and steer her back in the right direction. He caught a hint of the mother’s scent after the third turn, and sure enough, he saw a human queen with similar markings looking around and crying for her kitten.
“Mommy!” the child cried and took off running for her mother.
Honey watched the queen greet her kitten and check her over. His tail twitched, and he grumbled low in his chest. Would she keep a better watch on her kitten in the future?
Ears twitching as he caught Michaela’s faint voice calling for him, Honey turned away from the lost child. She was back with her mother, and there was a saucer of cream waiting for him at home.
Each story in this series is 700 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first prompt like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me" and "Culture Shock." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, home-schooling mom, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves fantasy, mythology, and all flavors of science fiction.
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