by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
A middle aged gray tomkat with black tipped ears inclined his head as he entered Augustus Pelletier's office in Haven. "The initial work up and arrangements are finished on the kitten seized on the Kilmin Labs raid, sir."
Augustus set aside his papers. "Since you've brought the report to me, I presume something significant came up. Please have a seat, and tell me what it is."
"Thank you sir." Doctor Kamin Pelletier nodded and did so. "The kitten is definitely a genetic construction. While it is no known species or bloodline, there is a significant proportion of Kat in him. It's difficult to tell at his stage of development, but he's most likely intelligent, or at least has significant potential for it."
"I see." He said steeping his fingers. "Where's the kitten currently?"
"Massra Pellatier volunteered to care for him." Kamin said easily. "Between her MD and vet certifications, and her inclination to do well with young creatures, it seemed most reasonable until better arrangements are made."
Augustus nodded. "My daughter-in-law does have a good touch with the young." He smiled affectionately.
"And Vinnie, as she's named him, seems to like her." The doctor nodded. "He's still of nursing age, and seems to quite prefer breastfeeding over bottle or solid food at this time. Though he will eat some solids."
"Well, in that case I see no problem with leaving him in her care for now. I presume you'll be keeping close tabs on his development."
"Of course, sir." Kamin nodded. "As is she. Though we are trying to avoid bringing him into anything resembling a lab or medical facility for now. It agitates him a great deal, and little Vinnie is quite willing to use his natural defenses when he feels threatened."
"Given where he was found, I can't say as I blame him. Do what you can. Perhaps with some time, he'll lose some of that fear of medical facilities." Augustus suggested. "Any evidence of health problems, at this point?"
"The times we had to have him in the room, we tried to make it pleasant; treats, lots of affection and such. And explained everything assuming he could understand." Kamin nodded. "The only medical issues are ones we simply need to keep an eye on. He may grow out of them in some way, or they may never affect him. His hips are configured a little strangely, and he has very low vital signs, though we are fairly certain they are his natural levels, as he shows no ill effects of them. The biggest issue is his XXY condition."
"Just keep a close eye on him, then." Augustus said simply. "I'd like quarterly reports on him, more often if anything significant comes up." He added.
"Understood sir." The doctor nodded. "Here is his current file, if it raises any questions you'd like answers for." He handed a sizeable folder over. "I would like authorization to have one of the stronger empath/ telepaths available."
Augustus nodded. "I'll forward the file to the empath/telepaths within the company and family, and see which ones consider themselves qualified to assist. I'll forward a list of qualified persons as soon as they're available."
"Thank you, sir." He inclined his head and stood. "I will keep you updated on Vinnie's progress."
Augustus nodded. "Very good, Doctor."
Massra Pellatier, a large, dark orange-gray Caracal, watched her young charge explore the fenced yard to her two-story home on the Haven Estate. Despite all the questions about Vinnie's future, he was little different from other kittens his age, Kat or cat.
She smiled watching him, grateful that her husband had been supportive of her decision to bring the little one into their home. Though it wasn't that surprising, he was part of Halycon Search and Rescue division so looking out for others was second nature. She hoped they'd get a better idea of his age and intelligence soon, so she'd know which of the other family kits would be good playmates.
"Murratt." Vinnie gained her immediate attention as he climbed into her lap and tried to nose his way into her shirt.
"Okay, Vinnie." She said scritching him behind one hear as she undid her shirt to let him nurse. "There you go." She said encouragingly, and gently brushed various dirt and such out of his fur as he eagerly suckled his fill from her firm tit in the warm fall weather. When he let go, it was only to settle in her lap to sleep.
Massra picked up the book she'd been reading as the full kitten dozed quietly on her lap.
Vinnie bolted for the highest convenient perch to sniff at the black, tan and white shekat that Massra let in late the next afternoon.
The calico sat down on the couch next to Massra. "Hello, Vinnie." She said warmly, looking at the kitten staring at her from the fireplace mantle, easily feeling the mixture of curiosity, natural wariness and cognitive process that had to be sentient intelligence. Not at a very high level, but better than the average year old Pellatier kit.
Massra ruffled the kitten's fur gently. "Vinnie, this is Tamara." She said easily. "She's a friend of mine."
Vinnie cocked his head and regarded the longfur female curiously as most of his wariness faded.
After some deliberation, Tamara decided the next step was to see what sort of cognitive process was going on, since even the smartest one or two year old wasn't much of a conversationalist. She brought up her telepathic abilities and did a very gentle surface scan of the kitten.
The expected images and less expected name-tags involved in the scene held most of the space in the forefront of his mind, though she couldn't decide which was more interesting: what was attached to her, or the intense level of non-scene related thoughts going on just beyond.
'Tamara', 'female', 'Kat', 'pretty', 'powerful' were the primary notes attached to her, with 'food?' directed only to her breasts, and an off-thought comment about how that fur she's got must be unpleasant in the heat.
Tamara smiled warmly at the kitten. "Pretty, huh?" She chuckled affectionately. "Why thank you, Vinnie." She said keeping her mental eye on how he processed spoken language, as she tried to gauge his mental age relative to the other kits she'd worked with.
The first thing that hit her was an intense dislike of being called Vinnie. The second was that he was nearly as cognizant of language as most educated adolescents.
Tamara looked over at Massra. "Looks like the little one doesn't like being called Vinnie." She smiled. "And he understands what we're saying perfectly well, which leads to the question of whether he can't speak, or is choosing not to."
"The physical indicated his voice box wasn't developed for our kind of speech." Massra shook her head.
"Okay, so he doesn't like being called Vinnie." The big shekat nodded, and scritched the kit gently. "So what do you want to be called?" She asked.
The cinnamon ball of fluff dropped his nose a bit as he thought hard, focusing more and more on his attention on names.
Tamara stood, and picked up a book at random and walked over to the kitten. "Here's an interesting question, as well as he processes language he should be able to read." She said opening the book where 'Vinnie' could see the pages.
A startled moment later and he was looking at the not quite new idea. While it was clear to Tamara that he understood what she was talking about as reading, he didn't connect the symbols with the words he knew. And it irritated him.
Tamara nodded. "Okay, we'll put teaching you to read on the list of things to do. You're clearly smart enough to learn how, and it would let you communicate until you can physically handle talking." She said as she closed the book. "But first we need to figure out what to call you, since Vinnie isn't it."
Irritated agreement met that statement with something of a nod.
"So, you want help finding a name, or would you rather work it out yourself?" Tamara asked gently.
"*Help,*" he made the tentative leap of 'projecting' a piggybacked message on her telepathic band.
Tamara smiled approvingly. "*Very good.*" She thought warmly. "Okay, so I guess the best way would be to suggest names until he hears one he likes."
"Let me get my book of baby names." Massra nodded, easily letting go of the bit of hurt that he hadn't liked the name she'd chosen.
"Good thinking, Massra." Tamara said, as she tried to decide what name he looked like.
"Is it the V or the full name he didn't like?" The dark Caracal asked as she returned with a sizeable book.
"Not sure, Massra." Tamara said, as the kitten's reaction didn't tell her anything. "But I definitely think it should be a name beginning with a consonant."
Massra flipped a couple of pages. "Let's see. Michael or maybe Mike, Thomas maybe Tom, but I don't think Tommy will work. Nicholas possibly Nick, Sean, Christopher or maybe just Chris, Jacob or maybe Jake." She handed the book to Tamara.
"Okay." She said flipping pages. "William or maybe Wil, or Bill. No, I don't think Bill works." She looked around some. "Alexander, though I think Alex would be a better fit."
The kitten muratted and cocked his head at that, giving Tamara a near-word projection of approval at Alex.
Tamara smiled. "Looks like somebody likes the name Alex." She ginned. "Okay, Alex it is then."
"Alex." Massra said trying it on for size. "Yes, that does seem to fit. Though I can see why Vinnie was upsetting."
Alex cocked his head and made a curious noise at her.
Massra smiled. "Vinnie has kind of a soft sound to it, while Alex has much stronger edge. At least I think so." She chuckled, and scritched Alex behind one ear affectionately.
"Murraah," Alex half purred as he walked onto her shoulders and settled there.
Massra chuckled, and kept scritching. "You are spoiled, Alex. But kittens don't stay small like this for long." She said affectionately.
Tamara walked around where Alex could see her. "So, you willing to take attention from a second adult?" She smiled, clearly offering to add to what Massra was doing.
"Mratt." Alex looked at her like she was crazy for doubting it.
"Just checking." She smiled, and took up behind the other ear. "Now we need to work on getting you some kittens to play with."
"Not like there's a shortage of them." Massra chuckled. "My in-laws are believers in big families."
"True, but Alex is special. We can't just put him with any kit; half of them will think he's a new pet. Which he's not." She said firmly.
"Nurrrat!" Alex snapped with his entire body.
"Pat's kit, Terry, seems quiet sensitive to what is below the surface of things." Massra suggested.
"Her youngest?" Tamara mused. "Not a bad idea, though maybe here at first. Some of Pat's older kits are at rambunctious ages." She suggested.
"Very true, and Alex doesn't take gruff from anything." She chuckled with an affectionate scratch for the purring kitten.
"So I've heard." She smiled, as she continued petting the kitten. "And we don't need anyone needing stitches." She chuckled. "Augustus will be pleased to know he was right about Alex."
"I never doubted it." Massra smiled. "He's got a lot of cat in him, but many of my kits did at this size."
"Well, I should let Augustus know how things went." She smiled. "It was nice meeting you, Alex." She said as she made to leave.
"Muur." He made a short sound with a feeling of 'you're welcome to come back' with it.
"You can count on that." She said giving him one final scritch before she left.
"So what do you think about having another kitten over?" She asked Alex as she walked over to the phone.
Alex let out a sharp 'meru' with a nod and jumped up on the desk to watch her dial.
Massra smiled. "Good, glad you agree." She chuckled as she dialed.
"SwiftClaw residence, Patra speaking." A matronly voice on the other end answered.
"Hi Pat, It's Massra."
"Good to hear from you, how's Vinnie doing?"
"Actually, turns out his name is Alex. He'd doing fine. I was wondering, how do you think Terry would like a new friend?"
"Alex?" The shekat asked. "Well, I think he'd be willing. Is your little one still not talking?"
"Not physically up to it yet. But he understands speech quite well."
"Well, that's good. Did you want to bring Alex over here?"
"Actually Pat, I was thinking it would be better to have Terry come here. Some of your kits are a bit more rambunctious than Alex is ready for."
"Understood, I'll bring him over in an hour."
"That sounds good. See you then, Pat." She said as she hung up.
"Well, what would you like to do until your playmate gets here?" She asked turning to the kit watching her, who promptly put his forepaws on her chest and nosed at her breast.
"I'm not surprised." She smiled, unbuttoning her shirt. "You've had a busy morning."
About an hour later Massra's front doorbell buzzed, interrupting her reading and Alex's nap.
"Rrurrat," Alex said as he jumped down and stretched before following her to open the door.
"Good to see you, Pat, Terry." She smiled at the pair on the other side.
"Good to see you too, Massra."
"Hi, Aunt Massra." Terry said brightly from next to Pat. "Mom said you've got a new kit." He said curiously.
"Mera-aat!" Alex planted himself in front of the four-year-old gray tomkit.
Terry blinked. "Hello, you must be Alex." He said with a friendly smile. "My name's Terry."
Alex nodded and walked up to bop Terry's hand with his head.
Terry looked at Alex, grinned and gave him a scritch behind one ear. It earned the young tom a purr and more insistent nuzzling.
"I think the kits get along." Massra chuckled at the pair.
"I'm not surprised." Pat smiled. "You'll probably have Terry over here on fairly regular basis if that's any indication."
Terry had mostly tuned out the adults, as he scritched Alex. He looked at the kitten seriously. "You can understand what I'm saying, right?" He asked.
"Meraat!" Alex dropped his nose in a distinct nod.
"But you can't do regular speech, right?"
A grumbling snort and shake of the head greeted the question.
"Hey, no problem." He said reassuringly, scritching for emphasis. "Can you read?" He asked, not remembering Mom mentioning that.
An irate, snorting huff and growl answered.
"Do you want to learn how to read?" Terry offered gently.
"Ra'at!" Alex squawked and twisted and stretched to put his forepaws on Terry's shoulders and locked eyes with the gray kit.
Terry looked a little confused, not entirely sure whether this was a positive or negative response. "That's a yes, right?" He asked trying to compensate for his weak feline vocabulary.
Alex nodded and licked him on the nose.
Terry smiled and scritched Alex behind both ears. "Okay, we'll need books for this. Do you know where she keeps books?" He asked hoping that Alex knew the house better than he did.
With a nodded Alex dropped back to all fours and padded into the respectable reading library Massra kept and looked at the older kit.
"Okay, now to find something to start with." He said looking around. He wanted something that wasn't too complicated.
"Try this one." Massra handed a small hardcover book to him.
"Thanks, Aunt Massra." He smiled. "Okay, Alex. Where's someplace quiet?" He asked the kitten, who led him to a back room fitted to be a guest bedroom.
Terry sat down on the floor and put the book down where Alex could see it too. "Okay, it's kind of simple but you need to learn the letters and stuff so it's good for that." Terry said encouragingly, as he pointed out words and then said them, trying to convey the point that the words were represented by the symbols on the page.
"Rattt'at!" Alex did his best to wave with one paw in mimic of the bipeds as Pat took Nathan back home for the night.
Terry waved back with a smile. "See you soon, Alex."
"So did you enjoy having Terry over?" Massra asked quietly, after she closed the door.
The dark cinnamon kitten nodded as he followed her further inside.
"That's good." She smiled, as she sat down in a padded armchair. "If you'd like, I'm sure he can come over tomorrow." She offered.
Alex nodded and batted at her feet with a ratt before taking a few steps towards the den and looking over his shoulder at her with large amber eyes.
"You want something in the den?" She looked at him curiously, as she followed him as the ball of claws and fluff walked ahead of her, only to jump up on the desk and tap at the computer's monitor with one paw while staring at her.
"You're interested in the computer?" She grinned, and scritched him behind one ear as she pushed the 'ON' button. There was a brief pause and then several chords of music as it came on.
Alex watched in understanding curiosity as it booted before turning to grab one of the small children's books in his mouth to drag over.
She noticed and opened the book up. "Okay, we've got one of the kit's books and the computer on. So, what next?" She asked encouragingly.
He batted the book, then the monitor, then pressed several keys. "Att'rat!"
"You want to type?" She said curiously, opening up a word processing program so the keys pressed would show on the screen.
With a slight huff the kitten took very careful aim on they keyboard.
"You want more reading lessons?" She asked gently. "You must have liked what Terry showed you today."
Alex nodded fervently with a strong merat.
"Well, I can certainly do that." She said setting out the book. "Let me know if you already know what I'm teaching you, since I don't know how far you and Terry got today." She said, scritching him approvingly, though he gave her a slightly uncertain look.
"From that little example, it looks like you've got the alphabet and some words down. Sound about right?" She asked.
"Urrr," had an uncertain cock of the head with it before he nodded.
"Okay, I'm going to have the computer put up a word, a picture of what the word is, and have it say the word." She explained as she closed the word processing program and brought up a teaching program she used with young kits.
The computer put up a rotating three-D image of a ball, and spelled out BALL beneath it. "Ball" The computer said.
"That make sense?" She asked, hoping the exercise would help in connected printed letters to concrete objects and spoken language.
"Raaat." Alex nodded and squirmed between her and the monitor, purring as he watched the monitor and mouthed things he couldn't pronounce.
"When you're ready for the next word, just hit the 'Enter' key." She said, pointing to the large key on the keyboard.
"Rurr'tt." Alex nodded and carefully pressed the largest key on the board.
20 KB, Story is Closed-Unfinished, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written May 15, 2002 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Todd McCall
Primary Races: Kat
Contents: Furry. Gen.
Blurb: When an unusual kitten is discovered during a raid on an illegal genetics lab, it begins a very different chain of events than what eventually created the SWAT Kats.
Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.
Page Hit Count from July 27, 2007