RP:Checking Up On Friends And A Feline
Summary: Khitti and Dominic visit the animal sanctuary to adopt some chicks and a rabbit, while playing catch up with Lanara. After some talking, the paladin mentions to the witch that she thinks her tikifhlee may be pregnant, and after a check up, it's determined that the feline is carrying two kittens! The friends part ways, though it's obvious that things aren't going as well for Lana, as she's pretending to hold it all together.
Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc
It’d been quite some time since Khitti visited Lanara’s animal sanctuary. She of course made sure to check and see if Lanara would actually be there; considering the fact that Venin didn’t exactly care for Khitti much, she wanted to make sure that the boss lady was there the day she decided to go in. The decided upon day would arrive and Khitti would make her way to the sanctuary with Dominic in tow. The templar’s Tikifhlee would be allowed to lurk around in the forest until Khitti was finished, the redhead heading up to the door, eventually opening it and peeking inside, “Lanara?” Dominic played with the seashell charm bracelet around Khitti’s wrist, giggling to himself, “You be careful with that, kid. Your father gave that to me a long time ago.” Well… it was really only a few years ago, but it felt like a long time! Khitti steeled herself against the possibility of being reprimanded by Venin as she wandered inside the sanctuary to look around and wait for Lanara, Dominic ever at the ready to be thrusted at the seemingly always irritated woman that manned the front desk and various other jobs for the witch--no one could resist Dominic’s charm and utter adorableness.
Unfortunately, Venin is at the front desk, wearing her usual scowl, which deepens as she spies the redhead. The caretaker cared little for anyone, and she wasn’t afraid to show her displeasure, which didn’t bode well when she was meeting with benefactors. Donors didn’t want to spill loads of coin on the sanctuary when such an ill-mannered woman was glowering at them from across the table! The diminutive woman nearly breaks the resting bitch face expression when she lowers her dark hues to rest upon the form of Dominic. A rare softness is in her gaze, and for a heartbeat, she forgets that Khitti is even standing there, calling for the founder, and wandering further into the facility. “Lana will be right out. Wait here.” She snaps, before storming into the adoption office and exchanging words with the witch. Both women emerge, and Lana pulls Khitti into a brief hug, before ruffling Dominic’s hair, and giving him a wide grin. “Hi! How are you both doing? I’m so happy that you brought Dominic over! We had a ferret give birth today, and they are just the cutest things! We also have baby bunnies, raccoon kits, and a little fawn in the nursery. And feeding time is coming up soon! Would you both like a tour?” Lana is being her usual bubbly self, and she’s overjoyed that a friend is visiting, as this hour is rather slow at the sanctuary. It would be good to catch up with Khitti, outside of guild duties. Venin is extending a hand to Dominic, and the witch narrows her eyes, wondering if her help had a soft spot for kids and she was just recognizing this. Could it be?! Venin liked children –and- animals?! “Would you like a lollipop, Little Boy? Or maybe a puppy? We have all kinds! Big, small, some with spots! Or a kitty?” This wasn’t going to end well, and Lana stands there horrified. At this rate, Khitti would be adopting one of each animal!
Khitti bit her tongue for Lanara’s sake as Venin gave her the typical attitude, plus more. The caretaker and her boss would return and Dominic would give off his typical ever-adorable giggle when his hair was ruffled. “What do you say to Miss Lanara, Dominic?” A huge grin swept across the almost one-year-old’s face as he proudly proclaimed, while waving his hands in the air, “Frak!” Khitti had her own equally proud expression, the redhead doing her best to keep from laughing. Eventually she would get around to She-Who-Was-Only-Nice-To-Animals-And-Babies, offering Venin a somewhat apologetic look, “He’ll have to take a raincheck on that, sadly. He’s just barely made it into solid foods so far. Give it a few months until we get him acclimated and you can send him what you want.” Khitti was attempting to be nice, seeing as how Venin was actually treating Dominic with respect--it showed Khitti that she did have a heart -somewhere- in that body of hers. And speaking of that kid, he had this curious little bracelet around his left wrist; it was etched and painted with his favorite animal (chickens) and seemed to have a soft red glow to it when you looked at it for long enough. “Probably no cats. We’ve got two of those Tikifhlee from the Shadow Plane… Probably no dogs either. We’ve got Francis. He’s a huge spider from the Shadow Plane also, but he’s more dog than most dogs I’ve seen.” Khitti tapped her chin and eyed Dominic, “I’ve definitely been meaning to get a rabbit for awhile now… And I think the sprout here would maybe like a little chicken of his own, if you’ve got any. And thankfully, for all our sake, we’ve quickly taken care of his little firebug problem, so it won’t get set on fire like he did with his stuffed chicken.” She tapped his bracelet, as if to signal that that’s what it was meant for. “And if there isn’t any right now, I’m certain they’ll end up popping up from some of those farms around here and make their way here. Spring -is- coming, after all.” Pause. “While we’re also on the subject of spring, can you maybe take a look at my Tikifhlee? She’s gained a little bit of weight, and while that’s not really a problem, it’s getting to be that time of year for babies… and I’m not sure if it’s that or I’ve just been letting it hunt too much.”
Lanara exchanges a ‘look’ with Venin, and the caretaker gets the hint, finally, to back off on trying to stuff Khitti’s bakery, boat, and guild headquarters, with animals. Yes, Dominic was adorable, but that didn’t excuse the woman’s behavior. The rejected lollipop is placed back into the basket that Lana kept on the front desk for whenever children visited, and Venin leaves the women to their own devices, though a ‘hmph’ escapes her mouth, as Khitti is kind. She still wasn’t too trusting of redheads, it seemed, and she eyes the treat jar warily, as though she thought Khitti was going to snatch a handful of biscuits and overfeed every canine in the facility. Meanwhile, Lana is trying her damnedest not to giggle at Dominic’s use of the cussword, but to no avail. The witch bursts into a fit of contagious giggles, equally as proud as the boy’s mother. He had quite a personality! Lana leads the way as Khitti and Dominic follow close behind, and she peers at her friend over her shoulder, her smile meeting her eyes. The boy liked to play with fire?! The bracelet is noted, and she conspiratorially winks at them, “Don’t worry. When I was a child, I turned my grandfather into a squirrel! Sadly, the spell isn’t reversible, so he has to spend the rest of his life as a rodent. I didn’t even know what I was doing, as I was still in a diaper!” She chuckles, not really caring that grandpa’s life was wrecked by a toddler version of herself, as he was rather abusive to her mother, and that sparked the whole debacle. Along the way, she points out some of the more exotic animals, a white tiger, a lioness, several monkeys, and a fire breathing tortoise. Next, Lana leads them down several rows to visit with the various types of domestic animals, ranging from cats and dogs, to colorful birds and a few reptiles, though they wouldn’t be shown any snakes, as they were forbidden at the sanctuary. Obviously, the founder wasn’t fond of serpents! Last, they pause before a heated enclosure, which houses at least forty chicks, all chirping wildly, and hopping on their feet. One in particular pecks at the glass, his beady eyes focusing on the small boy, as though he were hopeful to have found a friend. “As promised, here are the chicks, and we have some older chickens in the barnyard area, that also need homes. I generally advise two or three, as they like the companionship. And we have some rabbits in the nursery that were just born; they should be ready to go to a home in about a week, as they’re still too small. But, if you want to pick one or two out today, I’ll be sure to hold them for you, Khitti.” She smiles, before she reaches in and removes the curious chick from the cage, holding it in her palms and extending her arms towards Dominic. The child is welcome to hold or pet the bird, as the woman continue their chat, “Ooh a shadow cat?! I would love to meet her, and of course I can look her over. It –is- kitten season! Daath gave me a matagot, they are a much smaller and vicious version of a tikifhlee, I think? Well… Hecate and I are not really bonding, and I was so hopeful of having a cat as a companion again. I may just have her guard the sanctuary, rather than accompany me on my travels.” There’s a pause, as the witch reminisces about Taylor, her shape shifting feline that she had lost a few years ago. “What is her name? As soon as we finish up here, we can bring her into one of the medical rooms so that I can look her over.”
“Alright, you, no more sailor talk in front of the ladies,” Khitti said to Dominic as she followed along behind Lanara. She didn’t seem to think herself at all much of a lady (Brand would probably agree with her). Both mother and son stared at all the animals in awe as they wandered through the sanctuary to the designated area for the chickens. “Well… Brand didn’t give me a limit on how many chickens the sprout should have.” The ‘sprout’ being Dominic, of course. She set the kid down on the ground right in front of the glass, letting him stare all wide-eyed at the little brown chick that chose him. “That one’s definitely gotta come with us. Do you see any others you want, Dominic?” He pointed gleefully at a yellow one that was… well… running around like a chicken with its head cut off and then at another nearby black one. “We’ll take all three of them. As for the rabbits, I think any two will do. I’m not partial to any specific coat color.” Back on the subject of rather large cats, Khitti tilted her head trying to recall if she’d ever heard someone by the name of Daath. Maybe Larewen had mentioned him once upon a time? “I’m not surprised. Might just be a lot more wild than our cats. We got them when they were just cubs and they’ve been around people ever since. And… come to think of it, she doesn’t have a name. Brand, Lionel, and I have had one for at least two years now and I guess we just never got around to it.” She shrugged, “It doesn’t seem to care though.” When Lanara was ready, Khitti would take Dominic out to grab her Tikifhlee and bring it to whichever medical room Lanara had prepared for a large animal. The seemingly sentient, eight foot tall, charcoal-colored feline let out a loud “mowrowr!” and waited for Lanara or Khitti to instruct it on what to do.
The chicks that have been selected are carefully removed from the enclosure, and the little brown one is already quite gaga eyed over Dominic, craning his neck to peer at the little boy from Lanara’s grasp. The witch places the yellow and black one in a small cardboard box, with some wood shavings on the bottom to provide some warmth. The brown chick is held out in her palm, so Dominic could stroke the soft feathers, and the bonding could begin. “Alright! There’s a young white and gray rabbit with floppy ears in the back, she’s just under a year old. She loves to be held, and she’ll eat right out of your palm. I think she’d make a wonderful companion with the chicks and Dominic!” The brown chick is placed into the box with his siblings, as the trio makes their way to the nursery where they look at the baby bunnies, and Lucy is introduced to the newcomers. The rabbit wiggles her nose from side to side, as though gathering Khitti and Dominic’s scent, before she hops over to the door of her cage and eyes them through the bars. The witch removes her, and holds her in her arms, for the pair to inspect. “See? She likes to be held! Most rabbits don’t mind it, so long as you always support their bottom. They don’t like the thought of being in the air, but if they feel support, they are okay with it.” Lucy is a model rabbit, allowing any pets to commence, before Khitti makes the final decision on taking her home or choosing a younger rabbit. As they enter the operating room, which is thankfully empty and newly sanitized, Lanara puts on a pair of gloves and readies one of the surgical tables. “Aw, she doesn’t have a name! Well… That’s okay, if she doesn’t notice! I –have- to name all of my babies, because there are so many and I’ve never be able to tell them apart!” As if Lana could confuse a shark horse hybrid with a reindeer?! She waits until the tikifhlee is brought into the room, and she does a double take, disbelief in her chocolate hues. The magnificence of the feline is so great, that the witch swallows and shakes her head, “I… I don’t think she’ll fit on the table.” She had assumed it would be the size of a panther, or the matagot that Daath had placed in her care. The charcoal cat unleashes a loud meow in turn, as Lana approaches, exchanging a look with Khitti, “Can we get her to lie down on her side?” Thankfully, the room is spacious, and if the nameless feline was obedient, this would all go smoothly. There isn’t any fear in the witches gaze, as she extends a gloved hand, and begins to examine the tikifhlee, first with her eyes, and eventually with touch. Once the feline is in place, she would move towards the abdomen, pressing here and there, before placing a stethoscope and listening for a heartbeat or perhaps several... “Has she been eating more than usual? Sleeping frequently?”
Khitti allowed Dominic to pet the chick a bit before the two moved onto the rabbits. “I think she’ll do just fine,” the redhead said, using her free hand to give it some pets when allowed to do so. “You don’t mind if I change her name, do you? I might try to find something close to ‘Lucy’, just to make it an easier transition for her.” Khitti shrugged when Lanara reacted to her tikifhlee’s lack of a name, “I might sit Brand and Lionel down for a bit and try to figure out names for them. It -is- a little odd. I carry around a sword with a name, but yet I didn’t name my own cat.” It was a bit bewildering to be sure. When it was time to deal with the aforementioned cat, Khitti would instruct it to lay down, as Lanara asked, “I mean, when they’re on the ship, they’re almost like normal house cats--which is to say that they’re really frakking lazy, so I’m not sure if she’s slept much more than usual. But, I do know that their diet hasn’t changed whatsoever since I got them, so that’s why I thought the weight gain was a bit odd.” As Lanara listened to the cat’s abdomen, she’d hear the strong, steady beat of the tikifhlee’s heart… and two other much softer ones.
Lanara giggled at the desire to change the rabbit’s name, before slipping Lucy into a carrier with some carrots to nibble upon. “Please, change her name to whatever you feel suits her, as she’s your companion, now.” There’s a pause, as Lana smiles at Dominic, “Or maybe let him choose! We aren’t the greatest at naming animals here, but we have so many that are in need of homes, that we pick the first thing that comes to mind, or we name them after something that happens during their rescue. There was a badger that we called ‘Ranger’ because he was rescued by a forest ranger at one of the local parks! We have had several cats named ‘Whiskers’ or ‘Fluffy’ and about a dozen dogs named ‘Spot’ merely because of their coat patterns! It’s hard to be original when you deal with so many and have to tend to the next that enters, so we don’t have much time to think about what we want them to be called.” Several minutes later, Lana is kneeling on the ground before the tikifhlee, listening to her heartbeat, and a brilliant smile appears on her face, as she motions for Khitti to come closer. The stethoscope is removed from her ears, and she cleans off the buds, before handing them over so that the redhead could have a listen. “She’s pregnant, alright! And by the sounds of things, she will be having two kittens!” The witch softly strokes the tikifhlee, sending a calming sensation through her massive feline form, as the cat’s eyes slowly drift shut. “Do you hear their heartbeats?” She softly asks, delighted to be sharing this moment with her friend. “You can listen next!” She promises Dominic.
Khitti nodded in acknowledgement at Lanara’s explanation, “That makes sense. If I had to name all of the babies my spider had with his spiderwife awhile back, I think I would’ve started numbering them instead.” Just thinking about naming thousands of babies made Khitti go a little cross-eyed. Once the tikifhlee was ready and Lanara had her listen of the cat’s abdomen, Khitti would blink a few times, “I s’pose I’m able to spot that sort of thing now--even if felines might not have exactly the same pregnancy symptoms as humans.” She took a listen after the witch handed over the stethoscope and smiled before putting them onto Dominic’s head as well, “Sounds a bit like what I heard and saw of Dominic’s heartbeat when he was still “in the oven”. It’s a lot stronger though. Those babies must be the size of house cats at least right now.” Khitti side-eyed the ground, “Hopefully Brand’s up to raising two more cubs. I’m honestly surprised though that this didn’t happen sooner. Both of our cats are practically joined at the hip, like Brand and I am. They’re sentient enough, I wonder if they can sense whether or not it was safe to have babies in the first place,” she mused. As Dominic listened to the heartbeat, he got all adorably wide-eyed. The stethoscope was pulled off his head then and the kid leaned over in his mother’s arms to rest his head on the tikifhlee’s stomach. Khitti could only smirk at her son and said finally, “I suppose you get to be a big brother after all, kid. Probably won’t have any human siblings for awhile though.”
As the boy places his ear against the tikifhlee’s abdomen, those dark chocolate eyes seem to cover with a film of moisture. Lanara would never have a child, either, at least not in the human sense. It’s likely why she was blessed with the gift of animal empathy, and how she had come to dream about owning a sanctuary one day, which was now a reality. “Goodness! I would number the spiders too! We have a few tarantulas that need homes, and I’m always sure to house them separately, otherwise this would be an arachnid haven!” The tears are blinked away, so swiftly, that Khitti and Dominic would question if she was growing emotional or merely had gotten a hair or dust in her eye. The sparkling diamond on her ring finger, which often was the topic of conversation from any that visited the sanctuary and took up conversation with the founder, seems to be missing on this day. Perhaps it was being resized? Lanara did have awfully tiny hands to match her petite figure. Or maybe things weren’t as picture perfect with Elioyahazer anymore? There’s a lull in the conversation, before Lana pulls herself from her thoughts and smiles faintly to her friend. “You’re right! They are around the size of a housecat at this time, and it’s important to try and keep her as calm as possible in the coming weeks. You don’t want to stress her out, or cause any unnecessary activity, so that the kittens can receive their proper nutrients and get their rest, while inside.” Venin pops her head in the door, after she had finished making up some care packages of bedding, food, and shelter for the newly adopted chicks and bunny, “Anything else I should add on the tab, Miss Lanara?” The witch scowls at Venin and shakes her head, “This visit is free of charge, and Khitti will –not- be charged for those that she’s taking home with her today.” Donations have been steadily coming in, and with Easter coming up next month, Lana is sure there will be droves of potential adopters coming in to see the ducklings, chicks, and bunnies. She’d make up the silver in a matter of hours on the weekend, and there was no way that the witch would charge her friend, especially since she promised that she’d gift Dominic a pet. Glancing at Khitti, she grins, “Of course, we’d never object to any cookies for the welcome desk. Also! I can grab you some lavender spray that will help to keep the kitty calm… It’s also great to spritz on your pillow, when you are in dire need of calming those nerves late at night.”
Khitti had noticed that lack of a ring, but was unsure if she should say anything--especially not with Venin around. Thankfully for Lanara, she’d not noticed the tears though, but there was still a vague concern flitting around in Khitti’s brain. Lanara had been so excited to get married--probably even moreso than Khitti was--and now the ring was missing? There was the off-chance that Lanara just didn’t wear it while she was working. Imagine if she had to do surgery on an animal and lost her ring inside it! The redhead’s eyes got a little wide at the thought, but her attention soon returned to Lanara, “Thank you, Lanara. You didn’t have to do that, but I certainly appreciate it. And of course I’ll have some cookies and such sent over!” She smiled and pulled Dominic away from the impossibly large feline, giving the cat a small pat on the butt, as if to say ‘Time to get up!’. “The lavender spray would be lovely. I’m still having nightmares every so often, so it’d definitely help.” Once Venin was truly gone for the time being, and before Khitti and company exited the examination room, the redhead asked quietly, “Things are alright with you, yeah?” She paused, trying to find a way to make it seem a lot less awkward, “It’s just been awhile since we’ve had one of our talks, so I figured I’d check up on you while I was here.” Dominic started to squirm in her grasp, seemingly getting a bit tired from all the socializing--he was very much like his parents, “And I should probably get this one home soon too. Looks like he needs a nap. I’m sure he’ll be dreaming of those little chicks of his.”
Lanara eyes the medicine bottles that line the shelves, lightly touching two or three, before she has an ‘aha’ moment and grabs the spray bottle of lavender. It would be perfect for helping Khitti and the kitty with their sleeping habits and anxiety. “Nightmares, huh? Yeah, I know all about those…” Ever since she had that impromptu trip to the shadow planes with Meri, Encara, and Talyara, her own sleep had been restless. Making a small detour around the room, she opens a drawer and rummages inside, before she finds the purple stone she’d been seeking. “This is amethyst… It works wonders if placed beneath your pillow. It will chase away bad dreams and it helps with headaches, too!” Handing them over to Khitti, she gives the tikifhlee a final pat on her flank, watching the majestic animal rise with pride. “She’ll be a wonderful mama! And I can’t wait to visit the kittens! If there are any concerns or if you need more spray, please don’t hesitate to drop in!” The question is sensed before it’s voiced, and Lana sighs, “Things are okay… Just, sort of in the ‘comfortable’ stage, I guess? Eli and I have both been so busy with life.” Well, nothing changed on Lana’s end, truth be told. He was inattentive, rude, and had been sleeping in the guest room the past week. However, she keeps silent on these matters, and gives Khitti a faint smile. “Don’t you worry, Khitti! Things will be normal again, soon enough. I’m keeping busy… It’s sweet of you to check on me. I better get back to work, but I’ll stop by the bakery soon and we’ll have one of our long talks, I promise!” A chaste kiss is given to both Dominic and Khitti, upon their cheek, “I hope you both enjoy your nap!” The witch heads towards the rear of the facility while Venin gets all of Khitti’s animals and supplies boxed up at the front counter, slipping some human treats into one of the bags for Dominic. She clearly has a soft spot for little ones! Lana sighs heavily and sags against the wall, tired from pretending everything was okay, and regretting that she didn’t open up to Khitti, perhaps one of the few remaining people left that she trusted.