2007-08-17: Star Kitten


Laurel_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif

Summary: Daphne takes Laurel out for a kitten. Laurel thinks Daphne has a boyfriend for some reason. Laurel is weird.

Date It Happened: 17 AUGUST 2007

Star Kitten

Hartsdale, NY

Once upon a time, she told Laurel that a cat might be a good companion for a bunny. The idea was forgotten for a time - at least on Daphne's part - until someone from work told her that his cat had just had kittens.

This seemed like a great idea, because pet store animals are always questionable at best, and this guy's raised some show winners in the past. This litter is an experiment, he's trying to engineer some nouveau breed or something equally ridiculous, and this batch wasn't quite what he was looking for. With guaranteed health - mostly - and really good temperament, Daphne can't think of a better time for Laurel to get a cat.

Of course, this is completely unannounced, and when she knocks on Laurel's door, well. She hasn't actually told her friend why she's coming over to kidnap her from her apartment and steal her away to some mystery location. She did call ahead this time, for once, so in the half hour it's taken Daphne to drive over here, she's hoping Laurel's ready to go— Because she's not sure she can keep the secret much longer. That in mind, she knocks on the door.


Indeed Laurel is ready to go, more or less. Lucky, on the other hand, does not seem to be happy with this development. She wants her friend to stay… The problem with a single bunny… they bond with the human they're companions with far more— it's awesome, because they'll sit in their lap and allow the human to pet them more, but they also get moody when it looks like their human is going to leave. Which is often. Her human has work, after all!

Answering the door, she's dressed in cute clothes, a short sleeved pink top and a pair of jean shorts. And tennis shoes. "Hey, Daphne." She reaches for a handbag that goes over her shoulder (complete with camera and cellphone and all the necessities) and says, "Ready to go."

Meanwhile, in the bunny room, Lucky starts to dig at the blanket next to the door that protects the carpet. Wanna go too.


Daphne looks over Laurel's shoulder, offering some words of encouragement to Lucky - also telling the rabbit The Secret, since there's no way Lucky's going to be able to tell Laurel. "Hi. Hey, c'mon," she says then, grabbing onto Laurel's wrist in order to drag her out of the building. Because this is important. Poor Lucky. She's not going to know what to do with a kitten.

"You're gonna love this," she says as she unlocks her car. There's some things in the trunk Daphne picked up for a kitten - a little carrier, some food and toys. Litter. Some other necessities - all of these are hidden from Laur, of course, at least for now. Actually, she's kind of nervous. After claiming one of the kittens and picking up all the supplies, she's wondering if she should have asked Laurel if she was even ready for a—

No going back now, though! "It's a short drive, kinda near where I live."


New friend!? Lucky calms down in her digging a little, but still keeps at it, just not quite as much. There's still a desire to get out. But she's no longer throwing a fit. There is that much.

Following to the car, Laurel gets into the passanger side and doesn't seem to suspect anything at all is out of the ordinary. They've talked about getting a kitten in the past, but she hasn't really done much towards getting that done yet. It's not on the top of her list of priorities right now. When her friend says it's near her place… she actually expects some kind of new pizza place that she's discovered, especially with the 'gonna love this' bit. And the fact that they keep eating pizza together.

Buckling up, she looks over and smiles, "Well, I'm glad one of us drives. I should learn one of these days… I've just never needed to."


Pizza is awesome, and is one of the staple food groups in any young adult's diet, but not today. At least, not yet. Maybe later, they can do something different, like go out for Chinese or something. Then again, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles need pizza to survive, so— better stick with what they know.

"If you're gonna learn how to drive, don't learn here." A smile is added to the statement. Daphne learned how to drive in the city, and she's probably a slightly better driver for it. However, with as nervous as Laurel often is, she wouldn't recommend it. Could end in disaster. And a lot of honking horns all around.

Five minutes into the drive, while they're stopped in traffic on the freeway, Daphne asks, "How do I sound?" She's been practising that American accent lately, and while it's more work to keep her mind on it than the other, she feels as if she's almost back to where she was before she met Natalie.


And they are mutants— or aliens maybe. Laurel still isn't sure. Maybe they're both! Alien Mutants! Or… something. Anyway, she laughs and nods, "Well, I could always learn while on a job upstate— I do a few of those a year. Wedding season in Niagara— that sort of thing." There's always some major photography jobs in big tourist traps like that— people visit and they get married or have their honey moon, and they want photographs. But those are pretty few and far between.

There's a pause, and she looks over and listens carefully, "You sound a lot better than you did in the hospital," she teases, reaching over to nudge her shoulder playfully. Not anywhere near hard enough to be a distraction or anything, just noticable. "It sounds pretty good. Though I don't think there's anything wrong with your accent— even if it— you know— happened under mysterious circumstances."

And another alien.


"Spend a couple weeks somewhere." It takes longer than that, and there's the whole— How does one learn to drive as an adult? Daphne has no idea, honestly. She can't blame half the people in the city for not wanting to drive, though. With all the ways the Get Places, it's not really that necessary. And driving is dangerous.

Traffic is crawling again… At least they're moving. "There's something wrong with it. I'm not from Australia," she says. Plus, it's probably the most stereotypical Australian that could have possibly been managed without sounding fake. At least she regained the ability to cover it up.

Around fifteen minutes later, they're pulling into Daphne's neighborhood - a couple blocks down, sure, but close enough so that the houses look mostly recognisable. She's getting a little nervous, evidenced by the fact that she's tapping her fingers on the steering wheel as she pulls up to park in front of a strange house - definitely not a pizza place. "So…" Ah, no, she can't give away the surprise just yet. They're so close. "C'mon, he's expecting us."


"I travel for my job sometimes, so I can do that," Laurel says, thinking on recent vacations that she's taken, and how they might lead her to become a better driver. "I know how to drive, I'm just not really good at it most the time," she adds on, so her friend doesn't think that she's totally incompetent when it comes to driving. She does know the basics, and she has a license. She just doesn't drive because this is New York City and most people don't really drive. Seriously. It sucks to drive in the city.

Yeah— guess not being from Australia would put a damper in having an accent. "At least it was a cute one— it could have been worse." She could have been forced to talk like … all those other weird accents out there. There's a ton.

As they get to her neighborhood, she looks around. Mmm. This doesn't look like a place they'd find a new pizza place— and when they pull into a drive way and He's Expecting Us

"Oh my god, Daphne! You got a boyfriend!? Why didn't you tell me!?" Miss understanding much?


Nothing else matters as soon as those last words come out of Laurel's mouth. "A— what!?" Sometimes, she has to wonder if Laurel… wonders about her. After all, since she's known the other woman, Daphne's never had a boyfriend. It's just never come up, and the excitement displayed on Laurel's face is classic, and receives one of those looks that could possibly melt stone. No- not quite. It kind of dissolves into ammusement after a moment. Blue eyes stare.

So the question is, how do you correct someone who's not only wrong, but so wrong, it's hilarious. "No," Daphne says. "I didn't. Come on." She's slightly embarrassed, but not enough so that she's going to cancel. Stepping out of the car, Daphne laughs, rolls her eyes, and shakes her head. Once Laurel's out of the car, she calls back over her shoulder as she heads up the driveway toward a detached garage. "This surprise is for you, not me."


Oh, she's wrong? Laurel gets out of the car and watches her friend carefully. What's wrong with having a boyfriend? Sure— the two of them have been single for as long as they've known each other. They kind of joke about it at times. Their non-existant boyfriends and all that. It's just one of those things… But… As she follows towards the detached garage, she can't help but ask a serious, if rather confused question, "You didn't… get me a boyfriend or something, right?"

Hey, they're at a house! A private residence! And there's a HIM that is EXPECTING THEM. It seems like a logical jump that it would be a boyfriend. It's definitely a man. But if it's for her and not… she's confused now.


"One-track mind," Daphne mutters, reaching around as Laurel catches up with her to take the other girl's shoulder. Following this, Daphne will open a side door into the garage and shove Laurel inside.

It's a small room, kind of like an entryway, with another door directly across from the one they just entered. There's a reason for this - it's to keep the cats that are inside from escaping, which means Daphne makes sure the door to the outside is closed before she opens the next one. Laurel might notice that, despite the fact that this is a garage, it's cool, insulated, and kept at a comfortable temperature. She'll probably also notice that it smells a lot like cat poo, and the reason for that will become obvious when the door is opened into the larger room of the garage, where there are four kittens playing around on an astroturf-covered floor. Cat towers, a few cages that are open - all hosting cats. There's the strong smell of feline, mostly because there are several litterboxes that need cleaning, though this is intermingled with the scent of cat food, which is also present in abundance.

"I told you I'd find you a kitten. There should be five…" Another kitten comes bounding out from inside one of the cat towers, crashes into his siblings, and starts the fight of the century. "Ah. There. Take your pick."


Hey— hey! Laurel is shoved, and she makes a quiet protest at this action. Shoving isn't good! But at least neither of them end up running into invisible walls. That would suck if they had. It's a little odd. She notices things pretty easily, so this room, seems off for a normal garage. Most people don't bother to air condition their garages, she's noticed. It's a waste of cooling bills. And she wouldn't blame them for that.

It's the opening to the second area that catches her attention. Oh god. It's a cat lady's house! Or… cat guy? Since she said he… maybe it's a cat guy. Oh wow. They have little towers! She's never seen anything like this before.

While she's looking around, it strikes her what this is about, just as her friend confirms. "Oh— OH. I'm getting a kitten today…" That makes so much more sense now. It really does.

The fight of the century has begun, and she sneaks closer to get a better look at them. "Are— did you pay for the kitten already? Or is this a… take it off someone's hands kind of deal?" It'll still need to go to a vet and stuff she guesses but… Looking into the pile of kittens fighting, she watches them, trying to pick out one that she likes. There's one kitten that falls out quickly, moving to lick his paws instead of fight more. He gets pounced on by some of the others, and he playfights back, but then tries to wander off again. A mostly white kitten, with black spots in a few places.


"Well, this guy's got a breeding program going, but these kind of aren't what he was looking for. They're already fixed." The kittens look to be just about two months old, maybe a little older. "He doesn't want whole generations of cats from the program running around, so he's— Well." She looks back toward the door to make sure he's not standing there. "He's a little crazy about his cats. But he's giving these away. It's the stuff I have in the trunk of the car that's already paid for."

AND GOD, DO THEY TALK. It's impossible to shut out the chattering, because they're kittens, and they tend to be extremely vocal - both audibly and in her head. Still, even baby cats aren't quite ferret or meerkat calibre in their silent voices. Most of their focus is on whatever happens to be moving at the time… Most of them will quickly fixate on Laurel's shoelaces, to that end, and one brownish-gold kitten will grab one of the ends and atempt to run off with it. Only to fall flat on its face when it gets a few paces away. Shoelaces are like that.

Daphne crouches down, idly holding her hand out to the litter. <Calm down for a second. Let her take a look.> …And a second is about what Laurel gets, because they all do sit, but a moment later, they're pouncing on shoelaces again, and hanging off Daphne's outstretched hand. Mewling follows, along with a chorus of <PICK ME!!!!!> in Daphne's head, which prompts the animal handler to chuckle a little. "Looks like you're just going to have to take all of them."


Hey— hey— that's my shoe lace. Silly kitten. "I can't adopt five cats," Laurel says, bending down to tie her shoelaces again first, double tying them like some kind of child who can't keep their shoes on, and then watches them from the knelt position. They're so cute. Part of her almost wants to adopt all of them… but it isn't a possibility. "My landlord said I could only have one cat. I asked…" The bunny didn't cause too much of a problem. They're considered small animals even though they're the same size as a cat in some cases. But cats and dogs have a different classification, and the apartment only allows her to have one cat.

Or one small dog, but they aren't getting a dog.

So she reaches out and chooses the one she… already chose a few minutes ago. The mostly white one. Cradled against her chest, she points the kitten at her friend, "Do you think this one likes me?"


Likely, they'll all find very loving homes within the week. It's just that this is the first day they're up for adoption, and Daphne wanted Laurel to have her pick first, before the ad hit the papers. "I don't think they'll mind if you don't take them all." Daphne's almost tempted to take another one for herself, but… no. She's already far beyond the New York City allowance for animals, and she's almost got more than she can handle as it is.

It certainly doesn't take too long for Laurel to make a selection. The little white kitty mews excitedly as he's picked, making a face much like all the joyous LoLCats one might find on the internet. "I'd tell you if he didn't," Daphne replies to the question. She's in the unique position of being able to tell someone if their animal really does like them.

However, the other kittens are now trying to crawl up Laurel's leg. The chorus of PICK ME grows to a creschendo, and Daphne almost instnctively places her hands over her ears. It does no good, of course. "That's the one, huh?"


"I always wanted a white kitten— when I was growing up. We had a cat," Laurel explains softly, still holding her chosen kitten while the others paw at her and try to climb. Oh, they're all CUTE but she suspects they'll find good homes someday— and she doesn't want her rabbit to be outnumbered by things with claws. The poor bunny wouldn't know what to do. She's already all stressed out… At least having Daphne there will make intregrating them easier. She's seen how Shadow gets along with the rest of the animals. Even the ferrets.

"And at least if he's white there's no way he'll blend in with— Him? — he won't blend in with Lucky." A mostly white kitten with black spots and a mostly black bunny with white spots. It sounds like a good pair in her opinion.

"I'll have to think of a name now… Mmmm… What's your name, little guy…" She took so long coming up with a name for Lucky. Mmmmm… "Andromeda? No… that's a girl's name. Mmm… I'm thinking stars though. And— Leo. He'll be Leo. Lucky and Leo." She likes the way that sounds.


"Maow? Maow?" the others ask as they try to climb Laurel's leg. Then, one of them spots a bit of dust in the air, and suddenly, Laurel just isn't that important anymore. In fact, the kitten in her arms is even trying to see what all the fuss is about. Much less so than the others, though, since he's content enough for his motor to be going.

Allowing one hand to stray from her ear, she crouches down to give all the remaining kittens another good tumble, before she heads for the door. As soon as it's open, the rest of the little ones make a dash for it, and the reasoning behind the double barrier because much clearer. They're fast little buggers. As Daphne tries to corral them back into the garage, she smiles; it's impossible to tell whether or not 'Leo' likes his name, because she's hearing all five kittens and a whole bunch of cats all at the same time. Picking out one voice is hard. "You sure you just want one?"


"Awww, he's purring," Laurel says, cuddling him against her chest as she stands up. The others get a fond glance, but it's the kitten in her hands, the already named bundle, that has most of her attention. Love. There is definite affection for the little critter. And she fully intends to return all of that motoring with hand pets and rubbing at the ears and playing with the tail… She'll even forgive the little tiny kitten claws poking against her skin.

"Just one," she says, though the little ones are very sweet and tempting all. "I'm sure they'll find nice homes, I don't know if Lucky can handle two new friends… Especially not kitty friends." At least Lucky will be bigger than Leo for a while. She can teach him who is the boss. Which might be important with their relationship. Smiling happily, she faces her best friend.

"Thank you."


"They do that. A lot." Whether they're happy, or scared, or excited, or— Generally any potential mood a cat can have, they purr when they're kittens, ALL the TIME. It'll taper off as he grows, though it'll never completely go away. That's the nice thing about cats… They always have a relaxing motor.

Admittedly, Laurel did pick out one of the cuter ones, though, really, they're all adorable. And it's probably for the best that there's only one cat around when they try to introduce Lucky to it. Rabbits are notoriously skittish.

After she has the remaining four kittens in her arms, she ushers Laurel into that little atrium. "Thank me after it wakes you up chewing on your toes. Or pees on your bed, or sheds all over your clothes, or makes a mess out of the litterbox." Daphne smiles. Sure, Laurel's used to owning a rabbit, but a kitten is something totally different. "But, you're welcome. You're gonna love 'im."

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