The Shelter

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After rolling over for what felt like the hundredth time, Isadora groaned and buried her face into her pillow. She screamed in frustration. How would she manage to get through the day without any sleep? A cold nose on her arm had her whipping her head around. She’d forgotten she let Dobey sleep on the foot of her bed the previous night.

Dobey had laid his head on the edge of the bed and whimpered until she finally caved. She didn’t have the heart to make him sleep with the shape-shifting cat animal thing, who had immediately plopped itself on Dobey’s bed.

She scratched Dobey’s ears and he snuggled up against her. For some reason, it felt oddly comforting and she soon found herself drifting into a light slumber.

Before she knew it, a blaring sound woke her and she resisted the urge to throw the alarm clock against the wall. Dobey yawned and wagged his stubby tail at her. With a yip, he jumped off the bed and danced around the floor. She stifled a giggle at his antics. Today was going to be a long day if she giggled at everything.

As she stretched her arms above her head, the cat jumped up next to her. Isadora really needed to either pick a name for the cat or find out her name. Huma. The name popped into her head out of nowhere. She glanced down at the cat sitting on the bed.

“Huma?” When the cat nodded, a shiver went through her body. “Did you…?”

She couldn’t finish the sentence because of the uneasy feeling deep within her gut. Huma tilted her head to the side in confusion. At least the animal wasn’t telepathic. Isadora was already frightened enough it without adding something else freaky into the mix. How had she known the name?

Dobey barked and pawed at the door. With a groan, she rolled out of bed and in her sleepy state almost rolled too far. She steadied herself on her nightstand while pulling her legs out from the tangled sheets. Her feet touched the cold hardwood floor and she resisted the urge to crawl back into the warmth of her bed.

After she pulled out some random clothes, she walked in a zombie-like state to her bathroom. When she was done with her shower, she yawned and went into her bedroom to find Dobey sitting by the door with Huma spread out across his dog bed.

Isadora rolled her eyes and stumbled over to her door. As she opened the door, Dobey sprinted out of the room and down the stairs with happy barks. The clock on her bedside read 7:30 AM. She had no idea what time the shelter opened, but she planned to be there first thing. When Isadora walked out the door, Huma ran up beside her.

“What the heck is that thing doing barking this earlier?” Francis rubbed at his eyes before glaring at her.

“Oh, probably excited to play with all his toys again since someone keeps hiding them.” She tapped her chin. “I bet he’s looking for some new chew toys. You may want to hide your favorite baseball. He might just get his teeth on it somehow.”

Francis’s eyes widened and he ran back into his room. She giggled when he slammed the door shut. Apparently being sleep deprived made her an evil genius. Maybe now was a good time to work on her evil laugh. She inhaled, but before she got the chance, Dobey barked from the bottom of the stairs.

She shook her head. Wow, she really needed to get her act together if she were going to get Sebastian back. Huma never left her side while Isadora walked down the stairs and let Dobey into the backyard. What did dog-cat things like to eat anyways?

“You hungry?” She glanced down at the weird creature, who nodded.

“What do you even eat?” A weird sense of familiarity flickered through her when she went to the cupboard.

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