If Raven were to tell the story, she would preface the entire story with the fact that it was NOT her fault.
That was a lie, but Raven was very willing to cover that up if it meant that no one knew what really happened with the cat.
Only a few people knew, of course.
Less than ten, perhaps.
That was not the point.
So what if it was Raven's fault that she currently had a cat she did not own sitting on her chest, currently prodding her face and meowing with a dignified urgency?
" What." She said flatly as the cat continued meowing, furry face full of concern as it continued prodding her face with a paw, as though checking if the recently sleeping person was actually alive.
The woman groaned, reaching forward so that she could grab the cat currently cutting off her air circulation, and gently place it on the bed, so that the cat could bother her less from the pounding headache she was currently nursing. She then shut her eyes again, grateful to continue her quest of finding temporary rest.
The next minute she bolted straight up, turning back to stare at the black and white fluffy cat currently sitting on her bed, meowing balefully.
" What on earth?" She asked, eyes narrowed.
" Oh, friend Raven!" Her best friend and roommate cooed as she scratched behind the ears of the fluffy black and white cat that was the source of the disruption in Raven's life. "This kitty is the sweetest new companion that you are currently in ownership of!"
The cat purred. Raven rolled her eyes.
It really was not her intention to have someone as exuberant as Kori Anders as her friend, let alone a best one. It was especially hard when they lived together in the same small apartment, where trying to get respite from each other was impossible. However, the bond that they shared was impossible to break, and Raven had tried numerous times, in the beginning, to do so.
Now, it was an easy, comfortable sort of friendship, where both sides understood each other's boundaries and would do anything for each other. If Raven was asked under pain of death to confess, she would reluctantly admit that Kori Anders was the sweetest woman alive and that she would not have anyone else to have her back like she would in any circumstance.
Right now though, it would help her a hell load if she would stop fussing over their newest acquisition.
" Kori, please stop." She said drily, hoping that her tone of voice would get Kori to stop squealing so shrilly. It was hurting her head so badly. She was lucky it was Sunday, the bookstore could stand to open at a later time than usual.
Kori ignored her, taking the opportunity to tickle the cat under the chin. The cat purred. Kori's eyes shone brighter and Raven could practically see her friend's heart melting in the presence of the fluffy creature.
" Kori, this is serious." She said, hoping her friend understood how serious it was. "I wake up, there's a cat in my room. Let's examine the facts. You never go to my room. The windows were shut, and the door was closed. The cat has a collar. You didn't come home last night as you went to Dick's after you and I were at the bar, so it stands to reason that I must have been the one to bring this cat inside this house. Now think. Why would I have a strange cat in the apartment? "
Kori did not hear a single word that Raven said, as she was too busy trying to tickle the cat on its furry soft stomach.
The cat seemed to like that, strangely enough, it was very affectionate.
"You is such a kitty of goodness!" She crooned. " And you are wearing the edos of tux! Your fluffiness is one of softness! You are a cat of looking smart and fluffy softness! Just like fabric softener when applied to multiple types of fabrics!"
Raven winced. She knew Kori had a love for fluffy animals, but this much gushing over a cat of all things was getting a bit much.
" Kori." Raven said, very firmly now so that she knew her friend could not ignore her. "While I agree that the cat is very cute," The cat mewed, as if in agreement. "It also has a collar, so it clearly belongs to someone."
She was very proud that she was still able to think rationally despite the pounding headache. Drinking the night before had not been a good idea, especially since she was a known lightweight. Due to her lack of exposure to alcohol, two drinks would quickly change her personality from her normal, composed self to a very emotional, very exuberant mess.
She rarely let herself get that way but it had been two weeks after the Malchior incident, and her emotions were getting at her. She needed a release so she let Kori and Dick take her to a bar.
They had separated afterwards outside, Dick having taken Kori home to his apartment in the city. Raven, who had very firmly decided that she was not going to let her ex make her feel like that ever again, decided to take her newfound sense of independence to the next level: namely walking home by herself from the bar 5 blocks away.
She was not hurt, had not run into any muggers, and somehow got a cat. All in all, not the worst experience she'd ever had.
She winced again and sipped her tea. Kori was obviously of no help to help her figure out the mystery of the cat, so she had to think back to the evening before.
Her phone buzzed, and Raven frowned. She didn't recall taking her phone out with her. She looked around and it finally sank in that she was wearing last night's clothes, and that her phone was in her jacket pocket. She grumbled and took it out.
50 likes on her Instagram account?
She had never used her Instagram account, so this didn't make sense. Kori had made her make one rather recently as she was rather put out by the fact that she spent so much time with Raven, and yet couldn't tag her in any photos. Raven only acquiesced after Starfire agreed to stop taking her to the "mall of shopping" for a month It was generally understood that while Raven had an account, and let Kori tag her in photos, she never used it, letting it stay on her phone menu for ages gathering virtual dust. She was also unaware that she even had followers on her account, let alone received notifications on the app.
Now though, as she opened the app, she not only had notifications but 100 followers on her Instagram. Did she even know that many people?
" What is the matter, Friend Raven?" Kori called sweetly from her spot, still cuddling the cat.
Raven, who had no idea what was going on, showed her phone screen to Kori.
Kori's eyes sparkled, " Oh Friend! " she said with glee. " You are using the app gram of instants!"
" Instagram, Kore," Raven muttered.
"Yes, and you posted your first pictorial post!" Kori pointed at Raven's profile, which listed that she had one post. Raven, rather grumpily and now filled with trepidation over the fact that she had, most probably, posted something while drunk, was cursing her brain for letting her emotions run rampant and not rationally.
She sighed and opened the profile to see the picture in question.
Her eyes widened as the post was a blurred picture of Raven herself, holding the mystery cat in question. The text had said, " new life new beginnings new friend."
And someone, she wasn't sure who had added what seemed to be a hashtag (she was pretty sure Starfire had told her about it once), along with the word cat. This must have been the reason for the number of likes. She was mortified that the people who liked it were apparently strangers, she could not recognise anyone at all.
" Strangers know who I am and that I have a strange cat?" She growled.
Kori, who got up to look over Raven's shoulder to see what was happening, drew a sharp intake of breath. " Oh Raven!" She squealed again. "You must have made friends with the bunkopf that is the fluffy feline!"
" No," Raven said, more at herself than at the situation at hand.
" Oh, look, you have garnered what seems to be the compliments!"
She had. 5 comments commenting on how cute the cat was, and ten commenting on how cute Raven was, and honestly, she did not need this display of sleaziness and creepy right now.
She checked the photo folder in her phone.
There were a lot of photos from last night. It seemed that she had taken a lot of selfies with the cat, including one when the cat was inside an apartment, behind the window, and then a few where Raven and the cat were taking selfies outside an open window on someone's fire escape.
It pointed to a few conclusions.
1) Kori's insistence that she exercise with her had evidently paid off well if she had managed to make the jump up a fire escape to get that high.
2) She had, evidently, taken pictures with a cat that was in someone's apartment.
3) She might have just stolen someone's cat.
Raven wanted to scream but felt that the sound would make her headache worse, so she decided to do it internally instead.
After copious amounts of tea, feeding the cat some canned fish that they found in their cabinet, and Kori's boyfriend Dick arriving with breakfast and a bemused expression upon hearing that his beloved was now bestowing her love on another creature, the three of them sat down to figure out what to do.
" So it's clear that Raven found the cat yesterday-"
" Stole, Dick," Raven said wryly. " I stole someone's cat."
" We'll agree that you found the cat," Dick said, raising an eyebrow. "Now we have options. We can post it on your Instagram-"
" Unacceptable." Raven shot him down. " No way am I using that ever again. Strangers found me and put a heart next to my face. If I wanted a heart next to my face I would have rather it was more realistic and that I was taking a picture of my kill."
Dick tried to laugh until he realised Raven wasn't. So he hastily coughed and tried to move on.
" So, social media is a no go." He said. He looked a little uneasy now. Good, she hoped he stayed that way.
" Why can we not do the redrawing of the staircase?" Asked a still enamoured Kori, now cuddling the cat like a baby.
Raven and Dick turned to look at her, confused. Kori herself looked frustrated, trying to figure out the right words for the situation. " The tracing?" She inquired.
Dick sighed. " Retracing of steps?" He asked his girlfriend gently. Kori nodded.
Dick turned to Raven again. " Couldn't hurt." He said.
So it was because of this that Raven, Kori and Dick were walking back towards the bar, with Raven now holding the cat with trepidation as they walked across a busy intersection.
" Remind me why we are carrying it?" Raven asked. It wasn't that she disliked cats. On the contrary, she respected their need for space and their independence. However, the cat was heavy, and trying to make sure the cat didn't struggle out of her arms was hard, especially with the traffic and cars whizzing by.
It was also a very bright day, and her hangover really couldn't handle this amount of sunshine. The sunglasses she found before she left the apartment were helping, and so was wearing the hood up on her favourite black chunky knit cardigan.
The cat did seem uncomfortable at first but once Raven readjusted her grip, the cat was relatively content.
" It is possible that someone within these blocks has seen the cat before and they can give us more information on how we can locate the owner," Dick explained, with the authority of an investigative journalist with a focus on crime. Which he was.
"Oh yes!" Kori chimed in, " The smart looking feline would have had admirers from afar!"
" Let's rephrase: why am I carrying it?" Raven said, with an emphasis on the word I, raising her eyebrow behind her sunglasses.
"Because the cat seems to like you the most, Raven," was Dick's simplest answer.
It was true. The black and white cat, while it had loved Kori's shower of affection, had kept going towards Raven and winding itself around her ankles, headbutting her at times trying to get her to pet it. Raven, exasperated, gave in after 5 minutes trying to avoid the cat and petted it delicately on the head. The result was a very satisfied, very happy looking cat.
She couldn't help it, she had to smile at its face. But still.
"I mean, we could have gotten a carrying case or something." She grumbled to the cat. "You're not exactly light."
The cat's ear twitched.
" You're lucky you're a cat." She muttered, turning the cat around to face her, and lowering her shades to look the cat in the eye.
" Annnnnd I'm talking to a cat." She said.
The cat headbutted her in the shoulder.
" You're lucky, I've met worse conversationalists," she grumbled.
After some futile searching, they decided to stop by a bodega that was connected to a mechanic shop to get drinks, and maybe a can of cat food.
The only person available in the store at the moment was Vic Stone, the main mechanic and the store owner's grandson. Raven knew him, he often came down to the bookstore asking about the latest graphic novel and often ended up discussing politics with her.
It helped that Victor Stone was the most levelheaded, smartest man she had ever met. If it were not for his passion for cars, he would have gone into mechanical engineering, robotics, or even pure mathematics.
Right now though, he fixed cars and helped out around the store, and he built cars and engines in his spare time.
Raven cradled the cat in one hand while removing her shades. Victor always kept it dark and cool in the bodega.
The man grinned as he saw the three of them enter the store, " Kori and Raven !" His grin widened," And the mysterious Richard Grayson!" He teased. Raven shifted the cat in one hand to throw back her hood, Kori nodded happily, while Dick rubbed the back of his neck, careful not to disrupt the gel in his hair.
Then Vic's eyes fell to Raven's arms, and his grin dropped, " Isn't that Garfield 2?" He asked in disbelief.
" Garfield 2?" Dick asks.
" Friend Victor, you know of this cat? " Kori asked eagerly.
" You poor bastard." Raven whispers to the cat.
" Yeah, that's my roommate's cat!" Vic laughed. " Hey, little buddy!" He tried to reach a finger over to the cat but the cat jerks away, burrowing closer to Raven.
" Yeah, he doesn't like me." Victor smiles ruefully. " Thanks for taking him back, my roomie's been worried sick about him, 'He didn't come home, Vic! He's all lost and alone! What if he's been kitty-napped?' "
Victor laughed. The kittynapper kept a straight face and decided it was best not to tell him what had happened.
" So erm, do you know where I can find... Garfield 2's owner?" Raven said, forcing herself to say the name of the cat with no shortage of distaste.
" Oh that's not his actual name." Victor laughed. " I just call him that. You'll understand why I call him Garfield 2 when you meet his Cat-Daddy. He's just upstairs in the apartment, panicking."
Garfield Logan, known to his friends as Gar, BB, Grass Stain, Tofu Boy, and once Blue Steel (it was an old, old Halloween thing), was not, in fact panicking. He liked to think he was, at his age, a rational, calm adult.
" 'DEAR GOD!' " he recited out loud as he hastily typed, his keyboard rattling loudly, which showed honestly how rational and calm he was as an adult. " 'Please please please please PLEASE SAVE MY CAT FROM EVIL FORCES! He's only a year old, he can't help but be the adorable cat-son he is to me! I love him with all my dear heart and he's my first and only cat-son! If found please contact Garfield Logan at this number.'"
He finished the poster with his number, added a picture of the cat, and then added another exclamation mark at the end of the word, 'Forces'.
It just made sense.
He printed the poster and was pleased with the results, and was about to take the poster downstairs to the shop office to make copies when suddenly there was a knock on the door.
He fumbled to the door, wondering who it could be, and opened the door to meet the eyes of the most beautiful and scariest woman he had ever seen in his life.
While shorter than him by only an inch, she looked imposing and regal,and had a scowl on her face. Her eyes were rimmed with something soft and dark and it highlighted how beautiful and huge they were.
She was also carrying...
"MC NUGGET!" Gar yelled loudly, grabbing ahold of his beautiful cat Son and holding him in his arms. The cat showed his affection by headbutting his owner in the face.
" I can't tell what was worse, Garfield 2 or MC Nugget." The woman muttered.
Gar didn't mind it, the scary beautiful woman had his kitty cat back. "You found my baby boy! Oh ,thank you thank you thank you!"
In his overeagerness, and using one arm to hold on to MC Nugget, he threw his own body weight against the woman in an impromptu hug, and planted a kiss on her cheek.
The woman flinched. " Get away from me before I slap you." She said lowly.
Garfield laughed nervously before he moved away from her. " Hey hey, sorry mama." He looked over MC Nugget, making sure he didn't have any injuries or any scrapes. "I'm just... thank you for finding MC Nugget. He's my cat and I don't know what I would do without him."
The woman would only tilt her head and raise an eyebrow. " I get it." She said coolly.
Now Garfield was getting a little teed off . What was with this woman? He reached his hand out, " Garfield Logan." He said civilly.
The woman snorted, "Like the cat?" She said.
Yeah, Garfield was officially annoyed, " Yes I've heard all the jokes." He said shortly.
Was he really acting this short around a beautiful woman like this? Where was his usual charm and charisma? What on earth was up with this woman?
He was interrupted from his thoughts by MC Nugget, who had sprung from his arms to land neatly on the floor in front of the woman, twining his body against her ankles. If it weren't for the fact that he knew the woman was rude and evil, he could have sworn that she had a small smile on her lips.
He snorted. Scary, beautiful women didn't smile. Especially around beautiful cat-sons like MC Nugget.
He watched her bend down and hold out a hand against the cat, who paused, sniffed her hand, and bumped his head against her palm. She scratched his head once more before she stood up again. "Please lock your windows before your cat escapes again. You were lucky this time."
Gar bristled. Who was this woman to chide him like that? But before he could say another word, the woman had turned and left, going down the stairs back where the bodega was. With a huff, he slammed the door shut.
" Who does she think she is?" Gar muttered to MC Nugget as he picked him up. " Lecturing me like that? What is she, my teacher?"
MC Nugget made a sniffing noise.
" Yeah yeah yeah, you like her, we get it," He grumbled as he grabbed his traitorous baby cat son and brought him into the kitchen. "I raised a shameless cat boy who likes scary women."
MC Nugget made a small chirping noise.
" Keep that up and you'll be disowned." He grumbled as he grabbed MC Nugget's water bowl and filled it up with water.