The Sentinel

Accepting Presents

Disclaimer: The characters of "The Sentinel" belong to Pet Fly, etc and are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended
Notes/Warnings: While this story is suitable for all audiences, it does include a cat's (Lily from Comfort) and her thoughts on killing and eating a mouse. If that grosses you out, you might want to skip this.
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Accepting Presents

I can't believe it. The unmitigated gall of my human has just...


Sometimes I just don't know why I bother.

I can feel my eyes narrow and my tail swish threateningly as he steps out of the water room.

A portion of me acknowledges that he doesn't look very healthy and is insisting that I go over and offer comfort. After all, nothing makes my humans feel better than when I scent them and purr. They always reward me with ear and chin scratches.

A larger part of me, however, is not pleased and that is the part that's winning right now, so I just glare at him and he glares at me. I ignore the amused look of the jaguar in the corner. I know he can't really hurt me. Blair calls him and the wolf spirit animals. I guess only I can see them all the time, though I'm pretty sure my humans have seen them too.

Jim returns my glare as best he can. Given the sickly green color of his face, it's not terribly effective.

Huffing out a little breath, I turn my back to him and stare out the window waiting for Blair. I bet Blair would have accepted my gift.

I've never been so insulted. For weeks the mouse had been scurrying in the walls keeping us awake. Many nights Jim and I sat together waiting patiently for it to make its appearance so we could remove it as a stressor in our lives. It was good to be on the hunt with one of my humans.

Jim isn't a bad hunter, though his lack of a tail and odd use of his paws is something of a drawback. Still, I was more than willing to teach him a few things about hunting small prey and he was very patient and still for the most part. I felt as though he would appreciate my teachings as Blair never would. My Blair just doesn't seem to have the ability to sit still for long enough to properly wait out a rodent.

Still, my humans had to leave and do whatever it is out there that gets them hurt so much.

It was somewhere between my mid-afternoon nap in the sunbeam and my counter-exploration time that the little beastie finally made its appearance.

Though it was hardly my best or cleanest kill, it was well done given our relative positions and the amount of term papers in the way. Why Blair feels the need to fill perfectly good sunbeam-nap areas with term papers I'll never understand, but then, humans are rather quirky creatures.

So, I captured the mouse and decided to be merciful, killing it immediately rather than taking my pleasure with it first.

As I was about to eat my kill, my sense of fairness came to the fore. Jim had spent several nights with me stalking the creature, so it was only fair that I share the kill with him.

Lifting the small corpse, I climbed the stairs to Jim's room and settled on his bed, certain that he would most quickly spot his portion of the spoils if it was resting in the midst of the soft blanket.

I was even so kind as to leave him the nice, meaty hind-half of the mouse in the mistaken belief that he would accept my praise for his hunting skills and perhaps show his fealty and gratitude for my lessons and gift with a bowl of cream.

How wrong I was.

He arrived home while I was still working on eating my half of the mouse and just as I loudly cracked the creature's skull, he arrived upstairs and saw me with the mouse half-in my mouth as I chewed on it.

The look on his face was not what I expected and I tried to ask him what was wrong, completely forgetting about my kill hanging half out of my mouth.

I am well aware that such poor manners are offensive, but I didn't deliberately try to talk with my mouth full. I was just concerned when all the color drained suddenly from his face and he raised a hand to his mouth before dashing downstairs.

Leaving the carcass where it was, I ran down after him and found him in the water room bent over one of the water devices regurgitating.

It was only natural for me to worry that he had a problem with a hairball, so I steeled myself and walked into the hated room (I'd had one or two run ins with the indoor rain maker and have done my best to avoid the room ever since). I walked over and brushed against Jim, asking as sympathetically as possible if he was all right.

He pushed me away and said, "Go away, cat. I can't believe you were eating..."

At that point he leaned once more over the water device and regurgitated.

Having made it clear that he did not want me around while he was taking care of his needs (something I can understand since I prefer to handle such things in private as well), I left the room and returned upstairs to perch on the bed near the kill and wait for him to return, assuming he would be more than ready to share in our bounty when he returned.

A few minutes later, he left the water room and I heard him cross to the kitchen. I perked up, certain he was going to retrieve a bowl of cream for me.

Instead I heard the cupboard open and the sound of a plastic bag being retrieved. Surprised, I could only assume Jim was preparing to store the mouse remains for later so he could enjoy them more fully when his stomach settled.

I waited patiently while he climbed the stairs and entered the room.

As I suspected, he came over to the bed and quickly got my kill in the bag and the bag closed. I didn't quite understand the shudder that ran through him as he sealed the bag, but I followed along to see where exactly he was going to store it, after all, fresh mouse will only keep so long...

That's when I found myself truly offended and I finally understood his earlier sickness had nothing to do with a hairball and everything to do with refusing my offering. He threw the mouse away! He just took the bag and put it in the garbage!

I couldn't believe it. He just took my present and threw it away. If I'd known he would be so ungrateful, I would have just eaten the whole thing myself. I mean, yes, they feed me, but a little fresh meet every now and then just hits the spot.

He never once thanked me for my offering, just yelled at me about killing things and eating on his bed - which he then went upstairs and stripped as if I'd done something as unforgivable as soiling them.


That's when I took up my perch on the windowsill and let him know exactly how offended I was.

When the sound of the door opening signals Blair's arrival, I turn to jump down and and plead my case, but Jim beats me to it. He's right there in Blair's face going on and on about what I'd done as if it was something awful! I can't believe it.

I watch Blair narrowly. If he's going to react like Jim did I can guarantee there will be a few surprises in the morning for both my humans.

But Blair just laughs at Jim and closes the door, saying he's over reacting and that he should be grateful I'd finally caught the mouse that had been keeping him up at night.

Exactly my thoughts!

Jim muttered something like, "it hadn't been Blair's bed", but I'm sure I don't know what he means.

He then came over and scratched my ears and petted me. I let both of my humans know exactly how pleased I was by the attention making sure Jim know all the purring was for Blair and not him. I couldn't quite make out his expression, but I knew Jim wasn't pleased.

Blair drew me from my thoughts at the mention of cream for dinner as a reward for capturing the mouse. I knew who would be getting all my love and attention for the rest of the night.

Jim just snorted in disgust and sat heavily in the chair as I followed Blair to the kitchen, still purring and rubbing against his legs. Maybe next time Jim won't be so ready to throw away my offerings.


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