The Cat Sanctuary

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After flying through the clouds, then ferrying across still more stretches ocean, we arrived at the Cat Sanctuary

on the remote island
of Lana'i, where the first
Hawaiian king looked
from the mountains
and shores upon
the surrounding
lands and decided,

"I will unite
my people together."

So the cats
of Feline Society #777
are similarly aligned
to each other's cause,
despite differences,

kittens and eyeless elders
alike wandering through
a cat-friendly campground
of seven-hundred and
seventy-seven felines.

No walls separate them,
no cages or borders;

if they don't
agree with their neighbor,
they leap into the trees,
like lounging panthers,
aware of the moral
imperative to share space.

We don't search long before we find Lahea Ikaika, who lives by the alias Rhea in these parts of

the world. She's the length
of an adult hooman hand,
and her eyes bugger
from her head like
her mother squeezed
her out of the womb
a wee extra hard.

"I was born in a bush
at a Marriott,"
Lahea tells us,
"on the island of Maui."
She licks her paw,
then lifts her leg into
the air for more licking,
before she yawns
and continues,
"When I realized
the wormhole goofed
up and sent me to this
chain of islands, I sent
word to the Mainland.
So you're from
Feline Society #337?"

She shoots us
a distrustful glance,
like we made Commander
DeeJAY's story up.

"You see," she says,
"ever since I reached
the Cat Sanctuary,
I've worried Proxima
Centauri B would send
lizards in human skins,
similar to Orange Man,
to purge me from
the safety of Da Loker's
B.I.R.D. defense system."

So we ask her,
"How do we prove
we're from Earth?"

"Bring me fish,"
she says. "Freshly cut
poke from the Lana'i deli;
if the locals trust you,
I'll trust you, too."

♦️

First draft: August 18

Second draft: September 18

Word count: 318

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