Winter came and winter went. Rosemary grew as quickly as Rebekah had promised, and she was now close to a foot and a half tall. Her fluff had become thicker and even softer; it was still a pale yellow, and her mane had settled somewhere between a canary and a lemon yellow. John had learned a lot about fluffies through the internet, but he’d also learned a lot from Rebekah, too. He’d been buying some of his supplies at the shelter store, which had given him an excuse to see her every week.
As the weather warmed up, John figured it was safe to put Rosemary out to roam around on his screened-in deck. He put a litterbox out there so that she could do her business; she hadn’t shit outside the litterbox a single time yet, and he really didn’t want her to start. Just in case, he only let her out there when he was home. He’d keep the sliding glass door open, but with the screen door closed so that he could hear her. There was a screen door that opened on to stairs that led down to the backyard. He kept that closed and latched at all times.
Rosemary loved seeing the outside. She commented on how pretty the grass smelled through the screening, and she loved curling up in one of the patio chairs and taking naps. He figured he’d work up to taking her in the backyard at some point, but only under his supervision. For now she seemed completely content to stay unsupervised in the safe room or on the deck.
Rosemary didn’t openly question him about how the restrictions were for her safety. Deep down, though, she felt like her daddy was being overprotective. She was a big fluffy now! She was strong and tough, and she was brave. There were things that could hurt her, but she knew how to be careful. There wasn’t anything to worry about.
It was early on a Saturday morning, and John had some things to do around the house. He spent a little time in the backyard, trimming the bushes and checking to make sure there weren’t any fire ant hills popping up. The grass was starting to get a little tall, but he figured he’d wait and cut it the next weekend. Rosemary sat in a deck chair and watched him intently. She loved her daddy, and she loved watching him while he worked. He always hummed to himself, and the sound comforted her.
John walked back up to the screened-in deck and spent a couple of minutes scratching Rosemary behind the ears. It was one of her favorite things, and she cooed in appreciation.
“Now, daddy’s got some stuff to do in the house, okay? I’ll be in there a while, but I’ll come to check on you every now and then if you want to stay out here.”
She nodded. “Wosemawy wan stay hewe. Wuv bwight-wawm, wuv seein gwassies an twees. Fank you, daddeh. Wuv daddeh.”
“I love you too, sweetie. I’ll be in here if you need me.”
He walked back into the house and closed the sliding screen door behind him. Sasha was curled up on the couch, and she peeked out at him from behind her paws. He reached down and scratched her behind the ears, too, then headed to the kitchen to do the dishes.
Rosemary LOVED being on the deck. There were comfy chairs so she could sit or sleep, and daddy had even put down a little bit of carpet so that things were a little easier on her hooves. The screening went all the way up, so she could see EVERYTHING. She liked watching when little monsters would run along the fence. Daddy called them something that she couldn’t even pronounce, but it started with an “s.” They had long poofy tails and they made chittering noises. Sometimes birdy-monsters would swoop down and peck at things in the yard. It was nice being able to see all of those things without having to worry about any of them hurting her.
She was staring at a tree when she heard noises from behind the fence. She turned to look, then cocked her head and listened. It sounded like…voices! She could hear voices! They kept moving along the fence, and stopped right by the gate. As she watched, a small red head peeked under a gap beneath the gate.
IT WAS ANOTHER FLUFFY!
The head disappeared, and a few sets of hooves appeared in their place. They quickly cleared away some loose soil and made the hole bigger, big enough that the red fluffy was able to squeeze under and step into the backyard. Two stallions followed him; one a blue earthie with a yellow mane, the other an orange earthie with a green mane. The red fluffy was a unicorn with a dark red mane. He looked around, not seeing Rosemary, and called out through the hole.
“Fwuffies come, haf nummies. Smawty haf foun wand fo fwuffies. Gud nummies.”
Rosemary watched as more fluffies scurried under the gate. There were stallions, mares and foals! No little babies, but still. There were a LOT of fluffies. Four and four and four total, maybe! She hopped down from the deck chair and watched as they all started to num on the grassies in the yard. She trotted over to the door, propping her front hooves against it. Her plan was to call out to them and see if any of them wanted to be friends. To her surprise, though, the door swung open. Daddy hadn’t remembered to lock it when he came back in!
She paused. There were rules that daddy had for her. Rosemary was a good fluffy, and she always followed his rules. No poopies or peepees outside the litterbox. No saying mean things to him, or to anyone. Never demanding anything, always asking politely. Accepting “no” as a final answer whenever she wanted something. And no going outside the house without daddy, ever. That final rule was really important to him because he didn’t want her getting hurt. He always stressed what had happened to Rosemary’s family outside, and how he didn’t want it to happen to her. So to be the best fluffy ever, she had to stay on the deck. She couldn’t go outside.
Except she really, really wanted to. There were fluffies out there, not monsters! They would want to be her friends, not hurt her! Everything would be fine. Silly daddy, he didn’t have anything to worry about. She looked back and considered calling out to her daddy so he could meet the new fluffies, too, but her excitement was too overwhelming. He could meet them later. Right now, though, SHE had to meet them! She nudged the door open again, carefully trotted down the steps, and hurried over to the feral herd.
“Hewwo oda fwuffies!” she said cheerfully as she approached the red stallion. “Fwuffy name Wosemawy! Su happies fo meechu!”
The red stallion stared at her and puffed out his cheeks. “Dummeh mawe, dis am smawty wand nao! Dummeh mawe join hewd ow get wowstest sowwie hoofies!”
Rosemary giggled. “Nu, dis daddeh wand. Bestest daddeh evah.”
“NU!” shouted the stallion. “AM SMAWTY WAND NAO! AN DUMMEH MAWE AM NAO SMAWTY SPESHUW FWIEND!”
Rosemary paused. She had a foggy concept deep down of what a special friend was. She thought about it for a second. Special friend? Special friends would give her special huggies. Maybe special huggies felt good? She knew it involved her special place. She looked down and saw that the stallion’s no-no stick was standing up. That’s it! The no-no stick went in her special place over and over and over again, and maybe it felt good, and when it was done she’d have something. Something. What was it?
Suddenly it dawned on her.
She’d never asked her daddy if she could have babies before. She was so happy with her life that it just hadn’t come up. Besides, babies were the most important thing in the world, right? Nothing was better than babies. Daddy loved her and Sasha, and he took good care of them. He loved them so much. Wouldn’t he love her bestest babies, too? Daddy would be so happy! They’d all be one big, happy family!
“Otay,” Rosemary nodded. “Smawty gif Wosemawy spesh…EEEEEEE!” She screamed as one of of the stallions gave her a sorry-hoofie on the side of her head. “Why huwt Wosemawy?”
“Wosemawy tawkies su much,” the red stallion insisted. “Tuffies, gif sowwy-hoofies su mawe stop tawkies, su smawty get enfies an gud feews.”
“Nu,” she said as she backed up, tears forming in her eyes. “Nu huwt Wosemawy!” But the toughies didn’t care what she said. She felt another sorry-hoofie against her side, then another, then sorry-hoofies on her legs. Sobbing, she collapsed on the ground. The red stallion walked up behind her, and she felt his no-no stick brushing up against her special place. She cried out, demanding that he stop.
“Smawty haf what smawty want.”
Rosemary screamed at the top of her lungs, but all she heard in response was the stallion’s “enf, enf, enf.”
Life comes at you pretty slowly when you’re a cat, especially when you’re as laid back as Sasha. Her dad had only really seen one side of her, which was the sweet, loving, gentle side. She really was a loving cat, and she preferred to just bring out the best in people and bask in the love they gave her. Or, as was the case with Rosemary, she preferred to bring out the best in fluffies.
Because the little fluffy did love her, and it had been nice to have a friend around. Sasha got bored when her dad was away all day. Usually she just slept until he got home. But now Rosemary was there, and Sasha had a friend to play with all day! The fluffy had been smaller than her at first, so Sasha had seen her as a baby, then as kind of a little sister. Now Rosemary was bigger than the cat, but Sasha was still fiercely protective of her. Deep down she knew that the fluffy was more or less helpless.
Sasha, however, wasn’t.
Her dad knew that she’d been a stray before he took her off the street and gave her a safe place to live. But what he didn’t know was that she’d been one hell of a survivor. Fierce, merciless, and vicious whenever she was cornered. She’d had to kill all sorts of animals for food. She’d also had to kill dozens of fluffies in self-defense. It was always one of those damn smarty fluffies, always backed up by a herd. Sasha couldn’t understand what they were saying, but they’d shit on her and try to kick her hard with their hooves. Some of them tried to bite her. Most of the time fluffies ran from her when they saw her, but when those stupidly brave smarties attacked her out of the delusion that there was strength in numbers, well…
As a result she’d learned how they fought. How to avoid their kicks, which didn’t really hurt very much anyway. How to avoid their bites, which really just felt like a hard pinch. She was damned good, and she had taken down entire herds. Never for fun. Never even for food, because she preferred food that didn’t talk to her like humans did. But in self-defense? Oh, yeah. She’d go all the way when threatened.
Everything was fine. Sasha was curled up in a ball on the couch, listening to Rosemary babble about something from out beyond the screen door. It made Sasha happy to hear the fluffy sounding so happy.
Then the screams started.
Sasha leaped down from the couch and ran to the screen door. She couldn’t get through it! Rosemary was out there and something bad was happening to her! Sasha yowled and snarled in anger, throwing herself at the screen door, rattling it in its frame.
I’m going to fucking kill you, she was shouting at whatever was hurting Rosemary, in a language that only Sasha herself understood. I am going to fucking murder you and bathe in your fucking blood!
John was loading the last bowl into the dishwasher when he heard all hell breaking loose in the living room. He ran in and found Sasha hurling herself at the screen door, making nightmare noises unlike anything he’d ever heard from her before.
“What the fuck?” he asked, watching in amazement.
Sasha didn’t stop. She continued growling and yowling, slamming into the screen door. She’d never reacted this way to anything, not even to the squirrels who would come up to the screen and chitter at her.
“Sasha, you’ve got to cut that out,” he said, stepping closer to the door.
As he got to the door, he noticed two things. One, the door leading into the backyard was slightly ajar. Two, Rosemary wasn’t in her chair anymore.
Then he heard her screaming from the backyard.
“Motherfucker!” he shouted, opening the screen door. Sasha bolted out and, before John could even make it to the other door, she was through it and down the stairs. The cat was like a bolt of fuzzy lightning. John followed her, not realizing that by the time he got to the bottom of the stairs most of the damage would already be done.
The herd perked up as Sasha started yowling. They knew the sounds that kitty monsters made, and they really didn’t want to deal with one. Especially not one that sounded this angry! Most of them made scaredy poopies and scaredy peepees, and most of them ran and scrambled back under the gate, rushing into the cover of the trees and bushes. A couple of mares and stallions stayed, figuring that if the monster hadn’t attacked them yet then they were probably safe. The toughies and the smarty didn’t run. They were too busy with Rosemary.
Rosemary was sobbing. The smarty was intent on getting good feels from her. The toughies were focusing on keeping Rosemary in line. Besides that, they were thinking about how they’d both take a turn with her once the smarty was done.
So none of them saw the screen door fly open. None of them saw Sasha clear the steps in one leap. None of them saw her until she was tearing the smarty away from Rosemary, setting on him mercilessly with teeth and claws.
“NU!” shouted the smarty! “NU HUWT SMAWTY, KITTEH MUNSTAH!” He screamed as her teeth tore into him, then screamed louder as one of her back legs kicked at him, claws fully extended. In one slash his special lumps and his no-no stick were torn from his struggling body. “NUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEE!” he screamed at the top of his lungs, unable to form words. He wanted to tell the toughies to help him, but he couldn’t. All he could do was scream.
Until Sasha tore his throat out, anyway. Then all he could do was twitch on the ground and wish he was dead.
Sasha looked back at Rosemary to make sure she was safe. She was lying on the ground, sobbing into the grass. A quick look around revealed that dad was coming down the steps, and the other fluffies who were near the fence were making a quick retreat. She turned her attention to the two stallions in front of her, growling.
The blue stallion charged at her, aiming to avenge the smarty. He knew there was no way he was going to escape, so he might as well try to fight the monster. He leaped at the monster and tried to bring down his hooves on its side with all his might, but the monster sidestepped him. As he landed, he felt claws raking down his side as the monster reached out and swiped at him. Before he could react he felt the claws rake him again, then felt sharp teeth sink into the back of his neck. There was a sickening crunch, and he fell to the ground. He tried to move, but he found that his legs suddenly wouldn’t work.
“Huhuhuuuuu,” the toughie cried. “Why weggies nu wowk? WEGGIES! NEE WUN AWAY FWOM KITTEH MUNSTAH!” No matter how hard he tried, no matter how loud he yelled, his legs wouldn’t listen to him.
Sasha turned to the orange fluffy and prepared to pounce.
“SASHA! NO!” John yelled, making her freeze. She turned to look at him, and the orange fluffy seized that moment to run away, scaredy poopies trailing him as he went.
He ran over and scooped Rosemary up. The fluffy was sobbing uncontrollably, and as soon as she was in his arms she buried her face in his chest and sobbed even harder. He held her close, and she wrapped her legs around his arm, hugging him tightly. She cried out in pain every now and then as she shifted, as the bruises and hurties from the sorry-hoofies hit her. He looked down at Sasha, who was standing at his feet, looking up in concern.
“She’s okay, Sasha,” he said soothingly. “You did good. But Jesus fucking Christ, what did you do?”
John looked over and saw the last fluffy escape under the gate. Great, some of the melting snow must have taken some dirt with it, and they probably dug out the rest. Guess I have to fix that ASAP. He looked down and saw the gurgling red unicorn, its throat torn out, its genitals sitting in the grass a couple of feet away. Then the blue stallion; he’d watched as Sasha crushed his spine at the base of his neck, leaving him crippled and unable to run.
He walked over to the blue stallion. “What the fuck happened?” he asked, his voice low and angry.
“Hoomin…hoomin hewp fwuffy.”
“How about you go fuck yourself, you little shit? Tell me what happened and maybe I’ll help.”
“Pwease hewp fwuffy, hoomin.”
“TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED. WHAT DID YOU DO?”
The blue stallion sobbed. “Smawty say dis smawty wand now, den pwetty mawe hewe an’ smawty say ah, dis new speshuw fwiend. Smawty gif mawe enfies. Mawe nu wike, den kitteh munstah gif wowstest huwties.”
The red stallion had raped Rosemary. John was angrier than he’d been in a long, long time. “So what were you going to do with her when he was done?”
“Tuffies gon haf speshuw huggies an’ enfies wif mawe. Nao weggies nu wowk, nee huggies! Nee weggies fo wun an pway!”
“You’re not going to be running anywhere, you little shit. What’s going to happen is this - I’m going to leave the two of you out here to die while I take care of Rosemary. If you’re still alive when I get back, well…either way you’re going in the garbage.”
The blue stallion cried out. “HOOMIN! HOOMIN PWOMISE HEWP FWUFFY IF FWUFFY TEWW WHA HAPPEN!”
John turned away and headed toward the steps. “I lied.”
Sasha followed him up to the deck. John locked the screen door, then looked down at Sasha. “You have to stay here. You’re covered in blood, you little fucking murder machine. But when I get back I’m going to give you a bath.” He reached up on a shelf and took down a bag of treats, emptying it on the deck’s rug. “Here. You’ve earned these.”
The cat didn’t follow him as he walked back into the house, shutting the sliding glass door behind him. Rosemary was still sobbing, unable to speak. John knew he had to get her to the vet, and fast. The closest one he knew of was at the shelter. He hoped the vet would be in today, even though it was a Saturday.