A cawing sound behind her nearly made her jump out of her skin. A beautiful peregrine falcon now stood where Huma had been a few moments ago. The falcon flew over to the backdoor. Isadora stumbled over to the door in bewilderment. As she pulled the door open, Huma flew out into Dobey’s face. Isadora was pretty sure Huma had hit Dobey on purpose.

“It can turn into a falcon?” Her dad stood behind her gawking at the door.

She apparently can.” Isadora shook her head and walked over to grab some cereal with Dobey hot on her heels.

“Why are you up so early?”

“Going to head to the shelter after I eat and Huma comes back.” She stuffed a spoonful of cereal into her mouth. “Wanted to get an early start.”

He nodded and started pulling out things to make pancakes. “I’m not sure they’d appreciate Dobey going with you.”

“I know.” She sighed. “I feel bad leaving him here, but they’d never believe I was as crazy as they are about cats if he comes.”

The doorbell rang and Dobey ran towards the door with his booming bark. She pitied anyone who tried to break into their house. Not only did they have to deal with two witches, but they had Dobey who would try to tear them into pieces.

She and her dad followed Dobey to the door. Who the heck would be here this early? She should have known before she even answered the door that it’d be the bane of her existence: Caleb. Why was he here? Would her dad be mad if she punched him in the nose? Dobey growled next to her and she patted his head.

“I know it’s early.” Caleb fidgeted and looked at her from under his bangs, but his behavior didn’t fool her. “I felt guilty that I distracted you when Sebastian was taken, so I thought maybe I could help you look for him?”

The last thing she wanted right now was to deal with Caleb while she tried to convince an organization of psychotic women to accept her. She didn’t buy his sudden nice guy act, either. It took all of her willpower not to glare at him and shut the door in his face.

“That’d be wonderful, thank you.” Her head snapped towards her father with an incredulous look on her face. “I’m going to be putting up flyers in a bit. I could use the help. In fact, we can print out some copies now.”

Caleb shot her a cocky smile before turning to her dad. “I’d love to help. Maybe Isadora and I can pair up.”

“Oh, she’s going to be going to local animal rescues to see if anyone has brought him in.” Her dad clapped Caleb on the shoulder. Isadora had to stifle a giggle at Caleb’s stunned expression. “Come with me.”

Her dad winked at her as he led Caleb past. She obviously had never given him enough credit. Dobey followed them growling and grumbling at Caleb. A part of her wanted to watch and see if Dobey eventually snapped and bit Caleb, but she needed to get to the shelter. The only question was: where was Huma?

She went in and grabbed her purse and the car keys since her dad was letting her borrow it. When she walked back outside, Huma lay on top of the car sunning herself as a cat. Isadora shook her head, walked over to the car and opened the door. Huma hopped down and jumped into the car before perching herself on the front seat. How did Isadora find all the freakishly intelligent animals? It quite frankly frightened her a bit.

The closer she got to the shelter, the more her anxiety grew. She clicked her nails on the driving wheel until Huma hissed at her in irritation. Rolling her eyes, Isadora stopped clicking her nails and bounced her leg instead.

She wrinkled her nose at the sign of a heart surrounding a Siamese cat head at the same time Huma hissed and growled at it. At least they agreed the place looked creepy. She pulled into the drive way of “The Safe Haven for Felines.” If by safe haven they meant kidnapped cat, she couldn’t agree more.

The pictures of cats painted on the windows had her shaking her head. She loved Sebastian, but this was obsession not love. With a heavy sigh, she steeled herself and reached over to scoop Huma up in her arms.

Huma sat still and purred while Isadora opened the car door and walked towards the crazy house. When she opened the door, instead of a bell, a machine like cat meow echoed in the building. The smell of ammonia invaded her nose and she flinched. Did they ever clean the cat boxes? Seriously, this was nasty. Based on the expression on Huma’s face, she agreed.

A young woman with black hair and green eyes walked out of the back and said, “Welcome to The Safe Haven, how may I help you?”

She hadn’t thought this far ahead. What did she say? Huma smacked her with her tail, and a sudden thought struck her. Her dad was going to kill her for it, too.

“I thought I might adopt a cat to be friends with my cat here.” Isadora smiled and lifted Huma slightly. “I brought her to make sure they got along.”

“Oh, how wonderful!” The woman clapped her hands and jumped on the spot. “We need more people who think like you. Adoption is definitely the best way to go. So many poor felines out there deserve so much more than they get.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Isadora forced a smile on her face at the same time she fought off rolling her eyes. This woman was definitely cuckoo.

Another woman came out from the back with a Siamese wrapped around her shoulders. Huma crawled up Isadora’s arms and got onto her shoulders. Isadora closed her eyes for a second, but that was all she needed to feel the magical energy coming off both the woman and the cat. Huma curled herself protectively around Isadora’s neck before hissing.

The other cat hissed back at Huma. This would definitely be an interesting encounter. She would bet on Huma, though, if it came to a fight.

~~~~~

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