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I called Frank over to the door as I came in and he came over, sensing by the sound of my voice that I’d probably done something I shouldn’t.  Jewel followed hot on his heels, intrigued by the bundle of fluff I held in my arms.  As the Umbreon glowered, the small Vulpix began to shake again, huddling itself back into my arms.  My husband towered over me, looking down at the tiny fire fox.

“Are you adopting more strays?”  He asked with a grin.  I gave him a sheepish look.

“Maybe.  Can I keep it?”

He shrugged.  “You’re the one who wants a petting zoo.  You should put it down before it burns a hole in your jacket..”

Several minutes later, I had the Vulpix in a nest made of towels, inside the bathtub.  The bathroom door was closed, but that didn’t stop several paws from slipping beneath it, both in black and lavender.  I reached out to stroke the shivering fox.

“Don’t worry, little one, they won’t bite.”  The tiny head nuzzled up to my finger, only to snap around and bite me.

“OUCH!!”  I pulled my hand away from the kit as an Espeon materialized inside the bathroom door.

“Katie!”  I admonished, “You know you shouldn’t be in here.”  Her red eyes merely stared at me as my cellphone buzzed on the counter.  I ignored her, going to grab her as she walked up to the Vulpix.  She dodged my grip as the cellphone buzzed again, and shoved her head into the tub beside the Vulpix.  I grabbed at her again, and she merely stared me down.  The cellphone buzzed again as I tried fruitlessly to move her.  In frustration, I grabbed the phone as she sniffed the kit all over in curiousity.  Three new text messages, curious as there was rarely cell reception in these woods.  I scrolled to the first as I watched Katie like a hawk, hoping she wouldn’t attack.

I am here to take care of the young one.

The first message read.  I furrowed my brow as I glanced at the sender.  There was no number, it simply said “Katie”.  I looked at my Espeon, and then at the next messages.

I will teach the young one.

Stop this.  She will be fine.

I stared slack jawed at my Espeon, who was now looking me over curiously.

“How long have you been able to do this?”  I asked in amazement.  The phone buzzed in my pocket.

Always.

“Well, why didn’t you say anything earlier?”  I said, finally feeling justified in talking to my pets.

You did not ask.

“Oh sure Katie, while we’re at it, do you have any other cool tricks to show me?”

I debated how much of Katie’s words were typical feline bravado and how much was truth.  Would she admit it if the reverse was true?  It didn’t matter much, since this discovery was momentous enough.

“Well Katie, you should probably know why I don’t want you in here then.  Don’t you remember when I first brought Jewel home?  You got all defensive and swatted at her!”  The cellphone buzzed again.

She did not know respect.

At least that much was true, I vaguely recalled how unsurprised everyone was when she evolved into an Umbreon.  Wait…  I paused slightly, trying to dredge up the memory of Jewel evolving instead of Jewel as a cat.  I shouldn’t remember her evolving, but it was clear as day.  The scratching at the door broke me out of the memory, and the phone buzzed again as black claws pawed at the bathroom door.

She still does not know respect.  This one will be different.

I looked at the small Vulpix, curiously trying to peek out of the bathtub at Katie’s swishing tail.  It gave a tiny sneeze, sending a cloud of embers out to settle on the linens.  I winced slightly.

“I hope you’re right, Katie, otherwise she may well burn down the house.  I don’t want her being aggressive, or hurting you.”  I was already checking my phone when it buzzed this time.  A picture popped up, showing a Flareon nursing a litter of Eevees.

She will learn control.

I nodded to her, and decided to take this one on faith.

“Alright, I trust you, Katie.  Be a good mother to this one.”  I got up to leave just as the Vulpix pounced Katie’s forked tail.  I squeezed my way out of the washroom, careful not to let Jewel push her way in, when a thought occurred to me.  Just as the door closed, I asked one more question.

“Katie, do you remember being a cat?”  I hastily shut the door, locking Jewel out and leaning back against the door.  Reluctantly, I checked out my two new messages.

Yes.

This is better.

 

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