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7. Bengal Kitty

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#1 Weyoun

Posted 03 November 2002 - 10:02 AM

Writer's comment : A new pet for Vierna... I won't give too much away

Bengal Kitty

Still fighting the heatwave, Viconia strolled down the stairs wiping the sweat from her brow. Even wearing the thinnest clothes she could find in the back of her dresser didn't help to cool her down even a little, nor did eating three icecreams in a row.

The heatwave had lasted for three days now, but tomorrow, it would finally come to an end. It was a dry heat... Dry as a cork, which was definitely a different kind of heat than the humid jungle-heat she experienced when she was a child and was still living in the jungles of her original homeland. Humid heat she could handle, but this was a different thing altogether.

Wondering how her daughter was holding up, the heat-stricken Drow looked around for her child downstairs but was not able to find her... until she strolled into the kitchen, where she found Vierna sitting in front of the opened refridgerator reading a comic book.

"Hi, momma!" she greeted.

"Are you nuts?!" Viconia shouted angrily. "All our food will spoil and... hey," she muttered when she felt a nice cool breeze coming from the fridge, "that feels nice... Scoot over!"

A few moments later, mother and daughter were sitting in front of the fridge chatting about the events of the day.

"I loved the circus yesterday, momma!" Vierna smiled, remembering the trip she and her mother had taken to the circus. Vierna had whooped when seeing the clowns, acrobats, lions, tigers, bears and elephants. But for Viconia, the main attraction was that the tent was airconditioned. Vierna seemed to be dealing with the heat a lot better than she was.

"Glad to hear it," Viconia returned the smile. "So, what would you like to eat tonight? I'll go along with everything as long as it isn't a hot meal."

"ICECREAM!" Vierna shouted. "And cold sausages! And cold pizza!"

"Good enough for me," Viconia said.

"There's practise in an hour," Vierna said.

"Oh, don't tell me coach Fentan lets you play in this heat," Viconia groaned. "It's too hot to be out there."

"Coach Mazzy says we, ummm, 'need to learn how to func-tysun well under different sir-con-stan-ces', so practise is still on..." Vierna added with a smile. "Plus it's nice to play. Most of my friends are just staying inside now."

"I... hope you don't mind I'm not joining you," Viconia muttered, already feeling awful for missing one of Vierna's Little League games, even if it only was a practise-session.

"That's okay, momma," Vierna smiled gently. "But, could you perhaps...?"

"NO!" Viconia said sharply. "You will STILL need to be rubbed in with sun screen..."

"Awwww," Vierna pouted. "That stuff makes me all smelly!"

"Sorry, kiddo," Viconia said, rubbing Vierna's hair. "It's for..."

"...your own good," Vierna finished poutily.

"I promise to have a COLD dinner on the table when you get back," Viconia smiled. "Now, come here and let me rub you in with sunscreen."


After a strangely refreshing game of little league baseball, Vierna DeVir, star player of the Charging Chimps, was on her little BMX heading towards home. Taking a slight detour before going back home, she cycled through a patch of park and passed the huge open grass field where the circustent was standing. Yesterday was the last day of the circus, and right now, many workers were busy breaking down the tent and loading up the supplies to travel to another town. All the animals were already caged and ready for transport to their perspective wagons on the circus-train.

The little Drow slowed down to stop and watch the people work for a while. She felt a little twitch of sadness knowing that the circus wouldn't return for a whole year.

"You... you... mutt!" was shouted across the field as one of the circus-directors was standing at the cage of one of the animals. "Lazying about, eating my food! What good is a circus-animal that's only lying about?!"

There was no reply from within the cage-wagon. There was, however, a 'thump' as the occupant shifted into another position.

"Arrrgh!" the enraged director spoke. "I never should have bought you from those lizard men! I'd return you to the wild, if I could be sure no one would notice you missing! You've embarrassed me for the last time?!"

"Hey!" sounded an angry voice from behind the enraged director, the source being a tiny Drow girl with little balled fists. "Stop shouting at your animals! That's mean!"

The director snorted a moment. "Hey, kid, beat it, will ya?! I've no time for..." Then, the director suddenly changed his mind. "Say, how would you like to own this fine animal?"

"Wow, can I?" Vierna gasped as she looked inside the cage.

"Sure kid, only, errr, how much have you got?" the director spoke.

After digging around in her pockets for a while, she came up with a crumpled bill and some coins. "2 dollars and 67 cents, sir," Vierna said hopefully.

"SOLD!" the director smiled. "That's more money than that damn thing ever made me. I'll ever throw in the leash."

"Cool!" Vierna smiled. "I bet momma will be really surprised."


Viconia in the living-room, grading some final tests at her desk while a trio of electric fans were aimed at her. So far, they weren't doing much to keep her from getting hotter and hotter. Deciding to give it a rest, she shoved the papers aside and decided to postpone grading until the next day.

Thankfully, she heard the little bell on Vierna's BMX ring as she drove her little bicycle to the shed in the backyard. Her daughter always rung the little bell to announce her homecoming. A few moments later, the heard the backdoor open. Grateful for the distraction, Viconia decided to greet her child.

And sure enough, Vierna was standing in front of the kitchen table and, strangely enough, she was holding a leather leash.

"Vierna?" she asked, but when she saw that which the leash was attached to, her first instinct was to take a few steps back, but she soon recovered and placed herself between her child and the... huge tiger that was walking around in her kitchen.

"Momma, this is Tigger," Vierna smiled. "She's going to life with us!"

"What?! Who?! How?! Why?! When?! How?! What?! Why?! A TIGER?!" was Viconia's reply.

Tigger, the newly named bengal terror, responded by plopping down on her side and lying on her side.

"You... what... if... me... TIGER?!"

"Oh, momma, you said I could have a pet now that the More-cage is paid off," Vierna looked up with hopeful eyes. "I paid 2 dollars and 67 cent for her..."

"Three bucks for a tiger?!" Viconia asked.

"Yeah, the mean old man really wanted to get rid of her," Vierna said, tugging on the leash so Tigger rose from the floor again, this time pushing past Viconia and strolling into the living room, closely followed suit by the two Drow. "He said that 'people don't like lazy animals, but want to see fear-rose-y-ous beasts' and he left as soon as I took her home."

The mental image of a very tiny girl riding her BMX next to a leashed tiger was comical to say the least, but Viconia was immediately thrust back into reality as she noticed the huge tiger had plopped onto the couch and was now purring in content.

"Get that mutt off our couch! The only hairs I want to see on that couch have to be long white ones!" Viconia snarled.

"Come on, Tigger," Vierna said, showing off an amazing control over her new animal. Tigger play-growled in protest and let herself slide of the couch. She immediately headed towards the window in the front of the living room and plopped down right into the rays of sun pouring through a slit in the closed drapes. The tiger immediately feel asleep on her side.

"What do you think that tiger eats?!" Viconia said.

"The mean old man said that 'give her some coleslaw, she's too dumb to notice it ain't meat and scuffs it down', but he's just mean. We can miss a tiny piece of meat, can't we?" Vierna asked, using her sweetest puppy-dog eyes.

"We can't keep a tiger here!"

"But momma, you promised I could have a pet!" Vierna pouted.

"But... a tiger?! Why didn't you consult me first?" Viconia sighed.

"You... promised!" Vierna sniffed and ran up the stairs, leaving Viconia to sigh and watch the sleeping tiger.

"You're staying out in the yard tonight!" Viconia told the tiger. Tigger, merely closed her eyes and purred in the sun.


"You can't be serious," Joneleth said, "he's a existentialist marvel! How can you think otherwise. The way he deals with rejection alone should be enough evidence of that. He just bounces right back and doesn't give a wit about negativity."

"Nah, I have to disagree," Valen sighed. "I think every rejection carves into his soul, weather he knew for himself or not. Now one day, all the frustration would have come out at once in one cataclysmic primal scream!"

"But according to Hegelian views on..."

"Hegel, Hegel," Valen snorted. "You're always on about Hegel!"

"So what's the discussion about?" Viconia said, having just entered the teacher's lounge. "Is that about the new Biography of Van Gogh?"

"Are you kidding?" Valen snorted.

"No," Joneleth said. "We were discussing yesterday's episode of Johnny Bravo."

"Figures," Viconia sighed and let herself drop in one of the comfy chairs near the opened window. Her tired eyes flew over the room, noticing her two friends STILL hadn't cleaned up the lounge after that late-night grading/bourbon-drinking session.

"What's up with you, Vic?" Valen asked. "You are looking a mite glum," she added.

"Vierna?" Viconia ask her daughter who was still standing outside. "Why won't you show what you brought home yesterday?"

As soon as Vierna guided her new pet inside the lounge, Valen and Joneleth stared at the gigantic tiger. "AAAAAAAHHHH!" Valen screamed and jumped into Joneleth arms. "PROTECT ME!"

Joneleth, struggling to keep the vampire in the air, snarled in response. "What do you think you are? A dryad?! You're a vampire, remember?"

"Oh, yeah!" Valen said and slid from the lanky elf's grasp. Taking up an attack posture, she bared her fangs, extended her claws, directed them at the tiger and hissed in a threatening fashion.

"Oh," Joneleth smiled sarcastically. "Now, that was convincing..."

"I'd like to see you do better, non-vamp!" Valen glared.

"Sure," Joneleth said, spreading his legs a little and coiling both arm back, while opening his mouth with a sardonic grin. "How about this..."

"Amateur," Valen snapped.

"Well at least I don't have to wear braces when I return to the coffin," Joneleth retorted.

"AH!" Valen retorted. "That was BELOW the belt, and you know it!"

"I'm not the one with the crooked teeth..." the elf crossed his arms.

"Oh, yeah?!" Valen retorted. "Well, well, well... At least I didn't used to be married to a blonde airhead bimbo with a lower IQ than the number of breasts on her body!"

"Hey, I divorced Ellesime just in time," Joneleth said. "While I still had my bank-account relatively intact..."

"Guys?" Viconia asked. "The tiger?"

Tigger, in the meantime, plopped down on her side next to the table near the window.

"Oh," both vampire and elf said at the same time. "We were a million miles away," Valen said.

"Great pet, huh?" Vierna smiled. "Now, it'd be greater if I could KEEP her, but she's a great pet."

"Way to put the pressure on, little V!" Valen gave her a thumbs up.

"Why can't you keep her, Vierna?" Joneleth asked.

"Duh!" Viconia made a grand gesture and supported herself against the table. "She's a TIGER! A wild, huge striped circus menace with big teeth and ditto nails who could swallow Vierna with one bite!"

"It's just a cat, only bigger," Joneleth said. "Now Ellesime had about ten elven catshees hanging around her. You don't know the hell of ten talking cats who can't discuss any another subject than the bad quality of the food in our house."

"Besides," Valen said, pointing at the tiger, "the cat doesn't seem all that dangerous to me..." At the moment, Tigger was softly purring while Vierna had crawled against her, softly stroking the striped fur under her chin.

"A circus animal," Joneleth chuckled. "Probably raised by demi-humans, so quite docile. Plus, you're elves so you should be able to connect with Tigger very quickly... Besides, I've heard of stranger pets. What about that halfling who kept all those Umberhulks?"

"Or the Half-Orc who kept over a dozen Stirges," Valen finished.

"Well, Vierna did say that the Tiger used to belong to a orphanage before they were forced to move to another building and had to let her go, so she's pretty much used to kids. They did remove her claws as well," Viconia said, for the first time, it seemed that she might actually consider letting Vierna keep it.

Then, the first incident occurred.

"Okay, monkeys," the nasal voice of Edwin, Dean of University, floated into to room, not noticing the tiger. "I have here the latest budget-cuts and ARRRRRRRRGGGHHHH!!"

Showing amazing dexterity, the red-blazered dean jumped from the ground to the table, from the table to a closet, and from the closet into the hanging lamp, to end up looking down at the tiger and clutching at the lamp for dear life. "Who let that THING in here?! Call animal control! (Don't look it in the eyes! They hate it when you look them in the eyes!)"

Tigger, in the meantime, raised her hair of the ground to look at the noisy human, but then plopped back down to the ground for another nap.

"Kill!" Valen pointed at Edwin.

"Did you see it?!" Edwin panicked. "The bloodlust was in its eyes! (He's got a taste for a tender morsel! Oh, why do I have to be such a muscled hunk of a man?)"

"FRESH MEAT!" Valen shouted at the stricken dean while Edwin clambered higher into the hanging lamp and Joneleth was snickering loudly.

At that moment, Tigger yawned, doing no harm but showing an amazing array of large, sharp teeth, while letting out a sound which sounded most like a growly yawn. Edwin shrieked and climbed even higher.

Vierna in the meantime, was looking on, noting happily that Edwin's reaction to Tigger was scoring major points with her mother. "Don't worry about Tigger, just come on down!" she smiled.

"I think not! You're trying to finish off Edwin by feeding him to your tiger. (Damn, I knew all those years of hitting on her mother would come back to haunt me! That kid wants revenge! I can see it in her beady little blue eyes!)" Edwin replied, but was almost drowned out by the sounds of creaking. A few seconds later, the lamp (and half the plaster of the ceiling) plummeted towards the floor, causing everyone of cover their heads.

"Oh, nice going, Eddie!" Valen snarled. "Way to destroy our precious rec-room!"

But Edwin could not hear her. In a sprint that would put the Road Runner to shame, he shot out of the room to avoid the tiger... who was still sleeping next to the table.

Vierna was smiling broadly, knowing she was at least one step closer to keeping her new pet.


Sighing, Viconia woke from her short night of sleep. Last night, the cat had been put out in the yard and the fence had been closed. Still, Viconia could not let go of her fears. Quickly tossing her legs from the bed, she headed to the window, where a decanter of cool water was standing on a table near the window. Dipping her hands into the decanter and wiping some over her forehead, trying to get herself to wake up.

Forcing her eyes to open, she stared out the window into the backyard... and saw Vierna lying in the green grass... and tigger standing over her.

Letting out a primal scream, Viconia raced down the stairs, grabbing a broomstick as she headed towards the backdoor. But as soon as she came out the backdoor, she heard that Vierna was... giggling.

Instead of eating her, the tiger was licking her rough tongue over Vierna's cheek, and her daughter was loving it!

Sighing, Viconia let go of the broomstick and sank to the floor. "I'm getting to old for this," the Drow muttered softly.

"Momma?" Vierna said, looking up from playing with her new pet. "You're not wearing any pants..."

Viconia looked down and noticed she was only dress in her sleeping shirt and underwear and sighed. "Shouldn't you be heading towards school by now?" Viconia said.

"Awwww, momma," Vierna pouted. "In a minute, okay?"

Viconia dragged her now even more tired body up the stairs, and quickly tossed on a pair of old jeans still lying over a chair in her bedroom. Sighing, she splashed some more water in her face, and prepared for a long day at work. Outside, Vierna rang the little bell on her BMX, signifying she was leaving for school...

But again something went wrong. Not even half a minute later, the little bell rung again... Again and again, frantically. Looking out of the window, Viconia noticed her daughter was racing back into the backyard, ran from her bike and fled into the shed, closing the door behind her. To her horror, Viconia soon found out why.

A huge hippogriff swooped down from the sky and started pounding on the shed's door. From the collar and broken chain around its neck, it was obviously an escaped animal. Cursing, the stricken Drow raced down the stairs for a second time and grasped for her broomstick, while the wild hippogriff pounded on the door of the shed outside.

"A shotgun," Viconia muttered. "My kingdom for a shotgun," she shouted as she burst from the backdoor... But it seemed it wasn't necessary. Tigger didn't like the intrusion any more than Viconia did. The huge tiger forgot her lazy nature and jumped against the hippogriff knocking it away from the shed. Tigger snarled, while the hippogriff took a few steps back. The tiger jumped a second time, again driving the hippogriff back... this time driving it into the arms of the Animal Control officers, whom has just halted their vehicles in front of Viconia's house.

While the animal control officers were taking care of the hulking hippogriff, Vierna stepped from the shed, being hugged by her stricken mother.

Tigger, in the meantime, resumed her state of laziness and lay in the warm grass.


"Well, this pen is almost finished..." Jan Jansen spoke while he and his assistant were adding the final touch to Tigger's new iron/wooden/glass enclosure between the shed and the fence in Viconia's backyard. The pen looked much like a chicken-hutch, only bigger. It had a steel frame, which was coated with wooden boards at the bottom and was open above that. The ceiling, which was still in the works, was to be make partially from glass to allow entrance of the sun, and partially from wood to give the tiger some shade.

At the moment, Jan's, the university's auto-shop teacher, assistant Cernd was welding part of the pen. "Well," Cernd started. "Life is like an almost empty gas tank... You never know how much miles you're still gonna get..."

"Is he alright?" Viconia asked.

Jan looked at Viconia and twirled his finger at the side of her gnomish head. "Ain't quite right up there. Does his job like a pro, but can't open his mouth without pouting car metaphors... Now, turnip metaphors I can live with, but this is just too much..."

"If you give your kid a tiger," Cernd spoke at Viconia. "She must be like the carburetor of your life. Keeping your life going at a steady pace, and having your engine purring like a happy pussycat."

Viconia glanced over at Vierna, currently smiling as she sat on tigger's back while the big cat walked in circles across the garden. The Drow decided to join them for a time.

"Just never put diesel in a car meant for petrol," Cernd called after her.

"Oh, will you SHUT UP!" Viconia retorted.

Cernd shrugged and continued welding.

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