After much struggling and going through a half dozen blood-soaked rags, Asana and the kitten, whom she had christened Toby, emerged. Toby was clean, but rather damp and very upset. Hissing in between licks, he worked on re-organizing his fur and preening his wings.
Asana sighed and leaned back, tending to her own, new, wounds. Toby had not exactly enjoyed the experience of being nursed and he’d made it obvious by ripping open every inch of her skin or clothes that he could reach with his remarkably sharp teeth and claws. He had, in addition, two small talons at the tips of his wings that he used to help himself balance, and they proved a good defense against salves and bandages.
After a few minutes, the both of them well wrapped in clean white linen and Band-Aids, they simply stood watching and waiting for the other to make a move of some sort. Eventually, Toby stretched and tested his weight on his injured front leg. Crying out, he slumped back onto the blanket pitifully.
Wishing he trusted her enough to let her snuggle him until he felt better, Asana looked around for the next best thing, food.
Maria had had a sweet little snowshoe Siamese,
and Asana knew that some cat food was around somewhere…but then again, would a kitten that was half reptile prefer kibble or raw meat? Torn, and not wanting to give Toby indigestion as well, she finally decided to give him some of both and let him make the choice for himself.
And so she pulled up a chair and he pulled himself to his bowl using his gleaming front talons, and they sat. Asana enjoyed watching the sweet little thing sniff around his new treat, nose twitching, whiskers flicking. She could see powerful muscles beneath his sleek fur, rippling as he hunched over the food.
She gave him a small dish of water as well, and he eagerly leaned forwards. Too eagerly, perhaps, for he slipped and ended up splashing his paws in it, face dripping, and confusedly crying out for help.
Asana jumped up and dried him off, checking his bandages were still secure. Carefully, she lifted his neck and helped him get a real drink. Pleased and full, he finally settled down, and curled up with his tail going nearly all the way around him, and his wings folded out over the top as blankets. Purring softly, he fell into a happy cat nap.
But now Asana was left with nothing to distract her from the rubble around her, the absence of her only friends, the loss of the new world she had only just begun to create and love.
Now she realised once more just how much trouble she really was in, and she couldn’t help wondering how much had been caused by the seemingly-innocent soul in front of her.