Cat Cafe Catastrophe
She may not have a home left to return to
Thorns raked across Lopex's soft gray fur, carving stinging slices into his thin skin.
But still Lopex, the bony, velvet-pawed short-hair cat bounded onward, getting jostled about by many smaller creatures flowing at her like a crushing tide. For the eighth time in the past day, she regretted running away from home.
And now, she may not have a home left to return to.
Smoke choked the warm, humid air and scratched in her tiny lungs, but still she refused to pause unlike so many careening at her.
Heavy, scuffed boots worn by teams of humans shook the hot earth, and at the wrong moment she looked up only to get sent flying into a shallow, swampy ditch.
Lopex cursed, she hated being wet, especially in water that smelled and tasted like the fumes that came from human vehicles, but she couldn't sit idle and clean herself now.
Not when she had to be in the one place every life form seemed to be rushing from. Limping slightly, she bounded back out of the muddy ditch, her amber eyes scanning for the snake shaped dogwood tree, a landmark for her buried treasure.
She caught a glimpse of it, tongue of flame fluttering behind a pink blossoming tree, before another cat, Chellan one she recognized from her neighborhood careened right into her.
“Ah! Curses upon curses, what are you---Lopex?! Has fear possessed you? We must get out of here! With Haste!” Chellan, the large long haired white cat hissed, his blue eyes wide.
“I can't. I need to go to the cafe to retreiv---” Chellan cut her off, fur bristling.
“Lo, this place is going asunder. Besides you can't---” Chellan was knocked by a small, yapping dog and when the large white feline straightened himself, he shot Lopex a glare that could freeze lightning.
“Fine. Die here like the cafe slave of the humans you are.” Chellan bolted into the night, disappearing.
The words stung Lopex like the unnatural, chemical-laced smoke she was breathing in, but she couldn't let Chellan's words get to her.
She liked living in the City-Cat Cafe. She had only run away because, well, she had been curious. She couldn't remember the outside world that she had apparently had come from. The owner of the Cafe, Ezra, with long skinny arms covered in dark lines of ink and a dark fuzzy beard, had been her companion since she could remember.
And she couldn't leave him alone with all the unruly cats in the City-Cat Cafe while the town burned down around them.
So she bobbed, weaved, and darted around rushing creatures, around the twisted dogwood tree, whose blossoms had fallen to the ground, crushed and dirty to the front stoop of the little yellow cafe.
The dark-green door hinged open ajar, and inside she heard a chorus of meows
She used her head to nudge open the door further, and slipped inside. Her eight other family memebers all clawed furiously at the glass door that separated the front entry from the once cozy interior of the cafe.
But where was Ex---
Lopex answered her own question.
Sprawled on the floor behind the box that would make noise and spit out slips of paper, was a human wearing soft pants and sandals.
He didn't smell dead.
So, Lopex did what she knew that would rouse him, she pounced on his back and dug her claws in deep.
Power in Numbers