My apartment was at the top of the building. It was an afterthought, I think. You took the elevator up to four, then you went down the hallway and took the stairs up to the top. You crossed the 'trying to be a patio' to my door and stood in the rain before you let yourself in. The bonus was, no neighbours to bitch about noise. The downside was, well, this was Langley, I entered my roost soaked more often than not.
Oh, you touristy types are all like 'Why not bring an umbrella?' Well, let me tell ya, if I bought an umbrella every time it rained, I couldn't pay rent. Perhaps if I didn't lose them every time I got on a bus it'd be a different story, but few are the Vancouver'ites who use the damn things anyway. Pull your hood up and squint, that's our answer.
So, my place. If it looks like some sort of hoarder lives in it, well, there's a pretty good reason. Though, I prefer extreme pack-rat to hoarder. I mean, you can walk through the place, there were seats to sit on, and there weren't any fire hazards. However, it was packed with sparkly things, various ingredients for various crafts, CDs, cassette tapes, VHS, Beta, you name it if it was a media form, I had it. I liked technology; I was generally the first to buy the new spiffy thing no matter how expensive it was. Which is kinda why I'm always broke. I should just steal them, but I kinda always felt guilty about that. Why can I steal a diamond encrusted watch off a guy who beats his wife but not his beta max? I don't know, just the way I am, I guess.
I was greeted at the door with a demanding meow. Apparently poor Miss Fluffikins hadn't been fed in a week. Or at least, that was her story. Cats can only tell time when its to do with things they don't like; medications, vet trips, sleeping hours of the two foot, that sort of thing. I looked down at her, "If I go into the kitchen and find plenty of kibble with a hole in the middle, I'll wring my hair out on you." I told her quite firmly. She just flicked the tip of her tail at me, we both knew I was bluffing.
I was fairly sure that Miss Fluffikins was a spy for one of the cats. I didn't think Cougar, I'm not sure he would even talk to his smallest cousins. Actually, for all I knew, there may well just be a Cat now. Certainly cats get worshipped enough. I can't say I know all my cousins, I'm pretty busy trying to make it day to day. By the way, next time you see a magpie, do say hello, okay? Every bit helps. Anyway, what would I do with her? Toss her back out into the rain? When I'd found her she'd been huddled under a juniper bush. Yeah a juniper bush in the Pacific North wet, I had to wonder whose brilliant idea that was, the plant wasn't doing much better than the soggy cat and her fresh born kittens. What can I do but pick them all up, bring them home and eventually find homes for everyone but the single mom. She'd decided I was her pet and didn't want to leave.
I put the kettle on with a yawn. As it boiled I checked email to find Horse had sent me a frighteningly large amount of money. How expensive was Toronto these days? I transferred said small fortune into my bank account and went over to WestJet's site to get myself a flight. I love WestJet, they're all about the happy. If I have to be stuck in a tincan with a bunch of mouth breathers and whiny children, I at least want people trying to placate me and make me happy while I'm there.
I'd just booked the flight and had started my tea when the door crashed open and a storm rushed in. I turned, a bit wide-eyed to look up at a soaking mad Cougar. "Dude! It was unlocked!"
Cougar's about five ten, but he seems twice that, just due to presence. Dirty blonde hair he kept gelled back, well, when it wasn't dripping wet, muscles of a lacrosse player and green eyes you could lose yourself in. Too bad he's such an asshole. "I know." He said, stepping forward. I couldn't help the meep as I scrambled out of the chair, it scrapped across the cheap lino, and backed up. "I opened it and then smashed it open. I would just hate to let you lose your damage deposit." He was snarling, that couldn't be a good sign. What had I done now?
I hit the wall, shit. "Whatever it is, I didn't do it!" I squawked.
He grabbed me by the front of my shirt. It was an easy swipe, he didn't even seem to be trying, the bastard. "It wasn't funny." He growled down at me.
"Shit dude, you never think its funny." I muttered, looking from side to side. Miss Fluffikins was about my only ally and she was quite sensibly hiding under the couch. I could see the tip of her tail lashing; not Cougar's then.
"Decapitating Lynx to make him reform for no reason? Washing my place in his blood? How is that supposed to be funny?" His face was like an inch from mine and he was growling. I could feel his hand starting to shift to paw. Shit, Cougar was bad enough on two feet with no claws.
"Wasn't me!" I yelped. Unfortunately, he wasn't listening. My shirt was starting to rip. Son of a bitch, this had been a steal at Value Village, did he know how long I had to camp the place to find something this cool that had actually made it to the floor? I don't have many options when it comes to violence, my answer is typically to book it out of there at top speed. Unfortunately, that's a little hard when you're practically pinned against the wall, hung onto, and aren't fast enough to get out of arm's reach of your aggressor. So, I did what any incredibly canny girl would do, I hopped up onto tip toes and planted a kiss on his lips.
I think I was flying across the room to land very heavily on the second couch before he even realized he'd tossed me. This, however, gave me a chance to scramble for the balcony. I managed to grab my medic's bad on my way past. "I don't do blood and guts, Coug! You know that! Someone's playing you!" He just growled wordlessly. His form was starting to get more than a little fuzzy. Shit, he was practically all berserk. Had that someone been screwing with his head? While I'd be the first to call Coug a bit of a psycho, he wasn't usually this bad!
I managed to get the glass door open and scrambled out onto the balcony. It would probably be a more useful thing if it hadn't been built on top of the concrete squares that were trying to be a patio. But, I suppose, it did define my land from no man's land. Cougar was down to all fours and his words were yowls. Well, I could still understand him just fine, but since it was just profanity at this point, I won't bother translating.
I decided the hell with it, shifted and launched myself into the sky. One thing I am good at is shifting, I can do it faster than any of my cousins, and I could take whatever I was carrying with me. Many of them lost their clothes when they alter. I didn't know if hoped a mad Coug was one or not, considering he'd have to take my clothes. On the one hand, it'd serve the jerk right, on the other, I didn't have so many clothes I could spare a set. I circled my building a few times, but it didn't seem that he was going to be calming down any time soon, just growling and spitting, growling and spitting.
It was with a long sigh that I turned east towards Abbostford. I really could have used the break of not having to find somewhere safe to change back. My neighbours, if they looked up, might see a really angry tom cat spitting up a fuss, but humans would kinda notice someone appearing were a bird used to be. Some would rub their eyes and decide they needed more sleep, some would see. I really didn't want to deal with the crap that was someone seeing.
I totally hoped my phone was in my bag, I was going to need some luggage too. I started to alter course to head towards the Value Village when I grinned, I didn't have to go second hand, I had a large wad of cash in my bank from Horse. My chuckles may have sounded like caws to the locals, but it was a pretty merry sound to me. I'd managed two victories so far today, hopefully I wouldn't need to make for a third before landing in the self proclaimed centre of the universe; Toronto.