Not long after their first eco-adventure where Zak spoke with passion and commitment to the world leaders at the World Environmental Summit urging them to mend their ways before it was too late, he found himself with his new friend and eco-teammate, Sampson the flying dog, lounging around the park across from his home, recuperating from a very trying few weeks.
Eventually, he got up the nerve to ask the question that he’d had since first meeting Ra-Kit who claimed to be the last magic cat on earth. They’d met at the animal hospital where Zak’s canine companion, Angus, had been brought after being hit by a car. Ra-Kit saved Angus’ life only to turn around and blackmail Zak into helping her with the mission to speak for humans at the World Environmental.
Zak took a moment to clear his throat before asking the question. “Sampson, do you mind if I ask you a question that has been burning a hole in my mind for weeks?”
“Sure, Zak, fire away,” Sampson replied, rolling over on the grass so he could better see his new friend.
“Well, you’ve been with Ra-Kit for quite a few years, right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Sampson replied.
“Have you been her companion since the very beginning?”
“Oh, no,” Sampson replied. “We’ve been together for several decades but not from the beginning. Why do you ask?”
Zak paused, trying to think of the best way to ask the question, then decided the direct approach would be best.
“I was just wondering, how Ra-Kit became a magic cat? I mean, was she born with her magical powers, or what?”
Sampson chuckled at the question. “Well, I don’t know that anyone knows for absolute certainty how that came about, but I can tell you the generally accepted story—the one that’s on file at the Animal’s Spiritual Frontier. I guess you could say it’s the official version and the one I was directed to when I asked that same question not long after becoming Ra-Kit’s companion. Would that be helpful?”
“Yeah, that would be great,” Zak replied, sitting up and plucking a blade of grass from the ground to chew on.
“Well, the story as I learned it starts back in the 1800s—1863 to be exact when the cat that we now know as Ra-Kit was less than a year old…”
“Wait a minute. I thought she told me she was over five hundred years old,” Zak said with a confused look on his face.
“Yeah, well, I’ve heard her refer to several different ages. She tends to be a little creative when it comes to her true age. All I know is the story I learned while visiting the Spiritual Frontier, which, like I said is the official version. Now, do you want to hear it or not?”
“Sure. Sorry. Go ahead,” Zak said as he made a motion pretending to lock his lips shut.
“Good. As I was saying, the story begins in London, England in 1863 where a very young and precocious cat is trying to survive in a most troubling time.
“Quick with that cheese,” Master Cat Beemer shouted to his crew. “No telling how long we have before the two-legs awaken and we have to scrub the whole mission.” The other four cats that made up his gang nodded silently and bent that much harder to the task. Everyone knew the last thing you wanted was to get on Beemer’s bad side. The only thing worse would be to get on Doggin’s black list. If that happened, you’d be cut loose from the clan, then left to beg on the streets like the hundreds of other feral cats of London in 1863.
Times were tough for everyone—two-legged and four-legged alike, but it was far worse to be on your own these days. Better to lick a bulldog’s boots as it were and to do what Doggin and his right-hand cat, Beemer, ordered. So, they all worked diligently to clean out the two-legs’ pantry as fast as possible, which is probably why no one noticed the three mice watching their every move.
“Jaco, where’s Allie? Didn’t I tell you to keep an eye on her and make sure she survives her first outing?”
“Sorry, boss,” Jaco replied without pausing from pushing a large loaf of bread towards the edge of the shelf. “She was here a minute ago. Said she needed to go check on something upstairs. I thought she’d be back by now.”
“You idiot! You call that looking out after her? The only thing she’s likely to find upstairs are two-legs, and that’ll be nothing but trouble for all of us. Stay here and make sure no one slouches off. I’ve got to go find her. Doggin will have us all hanging from the watchtower if anything happens to her. He has great plans for our newest recruit.”
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