Stinky, a small, old, calico cat, sat on the window seat in the moonlight and remembered a time when he knew what adventure was as a member of the Enterprise pride. They’d had enough to fill nine lives; indeed, Brave Tiger, who’d rescued him from a bad place, had gone through all of his defending the pride and its territory. After that, Stinky shared a den with Lady Many Purrs. His antics made her smile when she missed Brave Tiger, and she petted him when he felt the same. In time, she mated with Sleek Panther, and now they had a pride of their own. He heard Malcolm-kun and Mariko-chan laughing in the other room. They were always very gentle with him, but he was too old and too arthritic to keep up with them or to be much fun when they played. He missed the old days and old friends, even Porthos.
“You’ve done well, lad. You’ve taken good care of her. She and Travis are happy. You’ve earned your reward.”
Stinky scampered across the bridge to the Heaviside layer where he’d begin a new life. He’d always been told he was special. He was a true Jellicle cat.