No one was sure how exactly the rabbit had managed to get into the tiger enclosure. It couldn't have scaled its way in; the stone walls and wire fencing that protected the back end were high enough that the critter surely would have been killed by the resulting fall. The plastic walls that protected visitors were bulletproof-thick, and no one had found any holes dug under them. All of the doors the keepers used to come and go had been properly secured, as had the gates that allowed the cats in and out. And no one had admitted to bringing it in or letting it in from the outside.
It had just... sort of... appeared.
And the keepers found out the hard way that it was also very good at disappearing. Every attempt at snaring the rabbit had ended in failure, the animal using speed and agility and a very strange level of evasive intelligence to escape the nets and hide in the bushes.
Finally, it was time for the zoo to open, and they had to let the cats into the enclosure for exercise anyway, rabbit or no rabbit. The keepers just hoped that it would either manage to stay away from the tigers as easily as it had avoided them, or the tigers would make quick enough work of it that none of the visitors would see.
One of the keepers was busy cleaning the sleeping dens when he heard a shrill little squeak and dropped the broom, quickly rushing to the fencing that separated the dens from the yard. One of the big cats, a sleepy older male with strange facial stripes like a mask, had plucked the small fluffball from a bush. His earlier hopes for a quick, unseen kill quickly dropped as the tiger sauntered out into the yard, rabbit hanging by the scruff from his teeth like a cub. Where an elementary school group had just arrived to see the tigers. "Shit," the keeper muttered under his breath, and frantically signalled for a tranq gun to be brought so they could try to stop the play kill before the kids had to watch.
But before any of them could act, the cat set the rabbit down on an especially thick patch of grass with a surprising amount of gentleness, and the two of them just stared at each other. Then the tiger made a scratching motion in the dirt, and the keeper would swear the rabbit scowled at the big cat before giving a clearly irate foot thump in 'reply'. What in the-
The tiger just bared his teeth in a lazy grin and gave a stretch that looked like a shrug, then stretched out in the grass. Once it had made itself comfortable, the keeper’s mouth dropped open when the rabbit snuggled between the cat’s chin and paws just like it belonged there. “Well... damn," he said quietly as he scratched the back of his head, then called back up to the keeper who'd brought the gun. "Hey, Rita! Tell the boss we got an odd couple!”
The pair in question didn’t pay much mind to the yelling from the keepers, or the pointing and camera flashes from the other side of the enclosure fencing. They would end up on the news and the internet before the day was up, for the first time all over again, but neither particularly cared. Even with all the commotion, the tiger only raised his head once briefly to lick the rabbit's ears, getting a little huff of fond exasperation in return before they fell asleep in the shade of one of the sprawling trees.
'I told you I'd find you again.'