Sarah smiled. She didn't quite expect to think that smiling was a good thing. But this was important. This was a kitten.
"So yeah I work as a prop master and I just...”
"So what kind of hours do you work?” the woman across the table inquired, with more force and sense of incrimination then Sarah had seen detectives employ. Considerably more.
"It’s not set hours - it varies, day to do."
"That’s what I was afraid of," the woman noted. "You do know that cats need to have someone present at least once every 24 hours or more."
"Oh, of course!" Sarah assured her. That was 90 percent of the time true. Occasionally ‘Mazing business cropped up, or boyfriends, or...well, she could make it a hundred. "It tends to be 10 to 12 hours, but the start times vary.”
"Are you *sure* you have enough time to devote to this animal?"
"Certainly," said Sarah, "She’s going to be super-loved."
Sarah went back and forth on using the ‘S’ word. She tended to either use it a lot in bursts, or just never say it as corny. It was, but, well... she had a bureaucrat to impress and needed a superlative.
"The adoption is free, of course, but there’re fees totalling 125 dollars.”
Sarah paused. Okay, yeah...she could pay that.
"Plus mandatory sterilization fees of 120."
"Mandatory?" Sarah asked, concerned. "But what if I want her to have kittens of her own? They’re so ....."
"Its part of combating the plague of feral and stray animals in the city," said the woman who looked as you might expect an axe murderer would. "And it’s not like it’s a purebred, or anything."
"So this will be 25 dollars for the cat, 15 for the litter box, 3 bucks for the litter," the clerk at the pet store informed her.
"Is this cat in anyway a purebred?" Sarah asked, holding up a little grey and brown kitten.
The clerk smiled at her, in the ‘I am uneducated but I want to help’ kind of ways of quality clerk" no ma’am, it looks just to be a randomy kind of tabby."
"And she is so adorable" said Sarah.
"Yeah. Super-cute," agreed the clerk.
Sarah was delighted to bring her home. Sarah put her little kitten in the big apartment and showed her everything...the kitchen, the bedroom...the bathroom – yep, that pretty much it. Sarah hadn't had a real pet until she was about 10. And this completely excited her.
"Meow," said the little one.
She clapped her hands with joy.
It walked around the apartment curiously. Sarah smiled. As she watched it explore things.
For about five minutes.
"Awwwwww," She said as it got under the chair and batted at it.
Then she got a flash. There was going to be a rockslide in Reseda.
And ‘Mazing Girl left.
It was about three hours latter before she got back. There was a robbery at a produce factory that demanded her attention.
The little kitten (she hadn't decided the perfect geek name) was sleeping on her couch. Awwww...
She watched it for a few minutes and felt guilty. Kittens only have one real time to be in your house the first time. She would have to move if she wanted to do that, and she still hadn't paid off the mortgage on it. And now she tuckered out. She had missed it.
Ahh well...she setup the littler box, and went to the bedroom of her own she watched a little TV before going to bed.
When the cat started meowing around 2 AM
She ran out to see it at the water bowl she had put up but had spilled everywhere.
She refilled it.
The cat started to drink, so she pet it.
The cat looked up at her curiously. It meowed.
"It meows a lot," Sarah told her friend Janey, the fantastic Knife Girl, on the phone.
"Cats tend to," said Janey, "Actually that’s just hearsay, I never had a cat."
"Really?" asked Sarah.
"Never really had a childhood," said Janey. "I entered the army when I was 9, before that I was way too poor for pets. Even cats. Since then, I guess I would worry too much that I won't come back"
"What do you mean?"
"The life I lead - I mean one day I am going to die. There is so much damm risk involved in doing this. Live by the knife; die by the knife. I'm okay with that - but what about what I leave behind - when is someone going to come into my house next? It could be weeks. I feel guilty about my boyfriend, though I suppose theoretically he could go to the store himself - but well. He'll cry. a cat can't.”
Sarah paused. She hadn't thought of that.
"Plus, I am not big animal person" admitted Janey.
Sarah lived in a condo which meant she didn't have a superintendent as such. She also didn't really know her neighbours super well (again!). This wasn't New York where you could live years in an apartment and never meet the person 3 feet from you. But neither Mr. Wilkers, a computer something, and Mr and Ms Lister, a couple who she strongly suspected did stuff involving S&M a lot (‘which is the dom?/Which is the sub?’ was a game she played whenever she saw them - 84% of the time she suspected Mr. lister was the latter) she really trusted to come into her apartment. And what would she say? "If I don't come home after a couple of days, I am dead – or check local radio reports to see if ‘Mazing Girl is eaten or something like that"
Plus she wasn't absolutely sure if anyone she knew was worth giving unfettered access to her apartment, and its secrets. Namely, her ‘Mazing Girl costume: which actually wasn't that unusual given the world of cosplay she lived in. She could just say that it was something she wore to a con. Sure, it was a very good ‘Mazing Girl costume...but she had seen better.
But she did have a 3D printer, which was kind of pricey. And an Xbox, though they were coming out with a new one. But the TV was expensive.
She petted her kitten.
She still hadn't named it, but she was learning about it. It was a very alert cat. It wasn't scared but had a way of looking around as if it was taking in everything, and everything was a bit strange to it. It wasn't friendly or standoffish, just observant.
This was a personality.
It was a cute personality, in the way fear was cute.
Sarah petted it. It didn't meow at her. That was a minor victory.
But after a week she wasn't spending all that much time with it. Sarah knew abstractly that with work, superheroing, and the occasional geekish activity – well, there was only 24 hours a day. She didn't spend a whole lot of time at home, which suited her. She hadn't gone to any movies or games, but she still had work to do. As for Mazing Girl - it would be kind of negligent to cut down on patrolling and saving the city because she had a cat. It was, no matter how she loved it, a cat.
There was an old joke that most American cats are better treated then children in Uganda, and while this was abstractly a stereotype that either way you look at it was post colonialist nonsense, there was a vague truth to it, which could be abstracted to her, being the worlds strongest and most powerful person - kinda. To split hairs too much on that...
She also realized that cats don't necessarily need huge amount of human contact, but food and occasional litterboxing.
She hugged it gently.
She wondered what would happen when she got a man. Would that be the same? Just as long as she occasionally fed and litterboxed him.
No wait...she didn't need to do the last one.
The kitten snuggled into her leg a bit as she petted it and started to kneed Sarah with her claws. Designed to somehow give it milk. She looked down. Nope...not today.
The claws where sharp, especially on a young animal, it would have been quite painful.
However, Sarah’s invulnerable skin was immune!!
Yes: she was the perfect cat person.
Then the solution came to her. Well, to one of her problems.
The woman was walking to her car that night when it happened. Quickly, surely, the man came behind her and pressed her head into the car and wanted, demanded, her money, the car, her...who could say?
‘Mazing girl knew abstractly that it would happen, but it was still a shock to watch just how fast it was. She wasn't telepathic, but she could see the fear in her eyes.
It was time for ‘Mazing Girl to move.
She decided to be impressive, to make him think twice about ever doing it again.
She moved from a shadow...and grabbed him.
Then Sarah tossed him up into the air.
50 feet, 100.
She jumped up after him, smiling as she did.
She waved to him. you would think he would scream, but there was something eerie in how silent he was.
She grabbed his body and turned him upside down.
And put his head between her legs. Forward. Like the Undertaker did it. she wanted to make him see the city. This was a classic move in wrestling called the piledriver - and what was being driven was his head.
And they started to fall. Down, down, down...
He still wasn't screaming. Breathing, but not screaming.
Wrestlers don't do pile drivers from 200 feet up. Interesting to see.
As they got about 20 feet to ground the screaming started. But it was almost too late to get his throat.
They hit the ground in a mighty smash. the hard concrete of the parking lot stunning even ‘Mazing Girl’s awesome thighs a bit.
And she let him go.
He was fine, because a wrestling piledriver doesn't really hurt at all. The thighs really absorb all the force.
Of course, he didn't know it, and he fainted somewhere along the way and collapsed on the ground.
The woman came up to her.
"God...thank you! Thank you! I don't know how I can ever repay you"
"I do," said ‘Mazing, dusting herself off. Her butt actually looked a little dirty. Ahh well. But she wasn't going to ask her to kiss her ass, that would serve no purpose.
Well not much of one, and besides she was a hero and didn't do that sort of thing. This wasn't really professional wrestling.
‘Mazing Girl reached to her back pocket and pulled out a small standard brown key
"This is a key" said ‘Mazing. "Wait a second. Do you have a phone?"
"Of course," said the woman.
"I should have asked that before. And a name?"
"Alright, Angie," said ‘Mazing Girl "Take this key. Someday - and this day may never come, you will get a phone call. It will tell you of a door to unlock. Behind it is something really very precious. You must guard it protect it with all costs. At all costs."
"Wow," breathed Angie.
"I’m going to need your number," said Sarah. She took out her phone. There were probably cooler ways of doing this, like getting it in blood, but it was convenient and let her save lists.
"Oh, of course," said the woman. "Is it the source of your power. Am i going to be the new ‘Mazing Girl...is it..."
"It is your destiny."
The girl took the key
"This is an awesome responsibility. You look young...well I did once too. And callow. This will teach you much about the world and how it works."
"Wow...I don't know what to say."
Mazing girl looked at her and jumped into the air.
for nothing more needed to be said.
Sarah sat at home on the patio playing with her cat. She liked playing with it a lot, it’s amazing how much fun you can have with a cat and a piece of string..
She was starting to feel good about this.
She had five keys made - she only had the phone number, and people change numbers often in the digital age. Plus they, may loose the key, be an asshole - five was a good number, and she had given out two. Well three more to go. Her mom had agreed to call them if anything happened to her - which well, which may or may not happen.
But until that time, until that day, she had a friend.
And She would name her Super Skittles.
Wait...did something like that happen with the Fantastic Four?
I mean name your family member after the one you most despise?
And what the fuck was going on with Sue Storms breasts in the most recent costume? With the cut out four in her cleavage? She had, like, two children, not that that made any difference, but do you want to look like a slut to them? Yeah slut shaming, not a good thing, sex passivity, but some abstract standards.
Anyway: Super Skittles.