Chapter 27:

The Epic of Boss (5)

A Kat's (GOD AWFUL!!!) Blessing

The three watched TV as they waited for Kat’s mom to finish putting together an outfit for Boss. While initially in awe at the TV and understanding what’s being said, she soon grew bored and went about bothering Ludwig to get him to play with her. He, however, wanted nothing more than to nap.

“And here he is!” Kat’s mom announced from the bottom of the stairs.

She led Boss to the living room to the others. His outfit was simple, with an old black t-shirt that fit tightly on him, and a pair of washed-out jeans that took some time to customize to allow Boss’ tail to move freely.

“It’s somewhat tighter than I would like, but it doesn’t seem to impact my movement as much as I thought it would,” Boss said, lifting his arms.

“Yeah, sorry about the tight squeeze,” Kat’s mom said, patting his back. “You’re a pretty big guy, and there’s not many people around with your type of frame.”

“Pretty big nothing!” Kat yelled, astonished by Boss’ bodybuilder-looking physique. “He’s huge! I didn’t realize you were hiding all that underneath that robe!” She hopped off the couch and went up to him and started squeezing the muscles on his arms. “Geez! Were you this jacked when you were a cat?”

Boss, embarrassed by the attention, turned his head away. “I cannot deny that I was strong for a cat. Or at least I had never encountered one who could match me in a fight.”

Kat continued to squeeze his muscles as he talked.

“Please stop,” Boss asked politely.

Kat obliged and immediately let go.

“You look so cool!” the kitten said, walking around Boss in awe. She then jumped onto his shoulder and latched on.

Boss couldn’t help but laugh, helping her up onto his shoulder where she giggled from excitement.

The pair looked like a father and daughter, which melted Maria’s heart. She was quick to pull out her phone and take a photo to remember the occasion.

“Send me a copy,” Kat’s mom said, leaning over to Maria.

Boss picked the kitten off from his shoulder and placed her back down on the floor. “Now that we’ve covered ourselves, we should look for the other members of the Kingdom of Cats and let them know of Maria’s generosity.”

“Do you know where they might be?” Maria asked.

“I have a hunch,” Boss said, placing a hand to his chin. “If they continue in the direction we have been traveling in search of a home, they should be making their way westward toward the creek. But with everything that happened, there is no guarantee.”

Kat pondered for a moment. “In that case… Hold on.”

Kat ran downstairs and out the back door, where she saw Mrs. Keensley quickly turned her attention to her flowers and began watering.

“How much have you listened in on?” Kat asked with sincerity.

“Wh-what are you accusing me of?” Mrs. Keensley objected. “That I’ve been eavesdropping?”

“Yes,” Kat answered without skipping a beat. “Is Mr. Keensley fishing out by the creek this morning?”

Mrs. Keensley held off answering for a moment, then pulled out her phone. “Should I be asking if he’s seen a large group of stray cats?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kat answered.

The text was sent post-haste. Moments later, she received a photo from her husband that was taken roughly an hour earlier, with a comment that he thought something was going on.

“Great! Can I borrow this?” she asked, grabbing Mrs. Keensley’s phone and running back upstairs to the others.

“Why, that’s them!” Boss said, astonished by the photo. When Kat zoomed in on the photo, Boss noticed that they were being led by Marshmallow. “Looks like he managed to take hold of the reins to keep things moving smoothly. That’s good.”

“Great!” Kat said before running back outside and returning the phone to Mrs. Keensley.

“Was that them?” Mrs. Keensley asked.

“Yup! Thanks! Also, I’m gonna have Maria send you a photo in a bit. Would you mind going around town and explain to everyone what’s going on so they don’t freak out?”

A sinister chuckle escaped from Mrs. Keensley. “That’s my specialty, my dear. I’ll let everyone know within the hour.”

“Thank you!” Kat said. She then ran back upstairs to the others. “Maria, can you send that photo you took to Mrs. Keensley? She’s gonna go around and let everyone in town know of the situation so nobody freaks out if they happen to see Boss.”

Kat’s mom let out a loud, singular “Ha!” before saying “It’s nice to have her talents be used for good for once.”

“Sure thing,” Maria said as she texted Mrs. Keensley the photo.

“Alright, Boss! We’re good to go!” Kat said.

Boss nodded. “Thank you. All of you, for everything you’ve done for us.”

“Everyone in this community is family, Boss,” Kat’s mom said. “We take care of each other. And as of today, you’re part of this family as well. You be sure to let those stray cats know that as well, okay?”

Despite the invitation to become a part of the human’s “community,” Boss wasn’t completely convinced. However, maybe now that there could be a direct line of communication between the townspeople and the stray cats, some of the misunderstandings between them could be ironed out. Maybe help turn around some of the abuse the strays had felt over the years from humans.

This could very well become a turning point, Boss thought. Maybe our relations with humans could warm up as long as a line of communication could be had.

“I will,” he replied.

Boss turned and knelt down to the kitten and rubbed her head. “You stay here while I go searching for the others, okay?”

“Whaaaat?!” the kitten cried out. “But I wanna go with you and see everyone!”

“It might take some time before I manage to find them, and we’re still not completely used to our new bodies yet. I would feel better if I knew you were somewhere safe.”

The kitten wanted to object, but she relented. “Okay…”

Maria knelt down next to the kitten. “How about you come with me back to my place? The Kingdom of Cats is going to be heading in that direction anyway, so why don’t we get there ahead of time and get things ready for them?”

Excited by the idea of welcoming all the others to their new home, the kitten agreed. “Okay! Let’s go right now! Boss will find them in no time, so we need to hurry!”

Maria looked up at Boss, who gave her a nod.

“I can drive you two, that way we can get there even faster!” Kat’s mom suggested as she took out her car keys.

“How does that sound?” Maria asked the kitten.

The kitten nodded in excitement. She didn’t quite understand what Kat’s mom meant by “drive,” but she understood “get there faster,” and was okay with that.

“And I’ll go with Boss and help him look,” Kat said.

“Thank you,” Boss said.

With their game plan set, the group split up. Kat’s mom and Maria escorted the kitten to the car while Boss and Kat got started running toward the creek.

Though Kat had managed to increase her sprinting speed ever since becoming a catgirl, she was no match for the transformed Boss. If he were to participate in a race with the world's fastest runners, Boss would easily do laps around them.

“Boss! Slow down!” Kat yelled.

Boss turned around, realizing how much of a distance there was between them. “Apologies,” he said. “I wasn’t aware that I was going as fast as I was.”

“And here I thought I’d become superhuman, yet here you are making me look like an elementary school kid accidentally signed up for a college track meet! Makes me wonder what else you’ll be able to pull off with that new body of yours,” she said.

They reached the small forest where the creek ran through, where once again Boss showed off his talents by easily maneuvering around the trees and bushes with ease from years of practice as a cat. Even the awkwardness of his new body didn’t seem to hinder him at all.

When they reached the creek, they came upon Mr. Keensley, who had set up a spot underneath some shade.

“Hi, Mr. Keensley!” Kat called out from across the creek. “You remember which way those stray cats went?”

Mr. Keensley silently pointed in a direction, his hand gripping a can of beer.

“Aren’t you drinking a tad early?” Kat questioned.

Mr. Keenlsey took a sip. “One of the benefits of being retired!”

Kat chuckled. “Thank you!” she shouted.

“Good luck! Nice to meet you, Boss!”

Boss nodded, and the two went running deeper into the forest.