Rhys Llewelyn, provisional Agent of MEOW, was beginning to question his life choices. A couple weeks ago he'd been a lazy, if homeless, cat. Free to go where he wanted and eat all the food he could find. Today, he looked at his morning kibble allotment. He wasn't sure it'd be enough to get through the morning but if what his friend Alex had told him about the physical fitness testing, was true, maybe Rhys didn't want to eat too much. The only advice the kitten could give Rhys was, “Don't spew!” . Rhys planned to heed that advice.
Rhys went outside with the rest of the trainees. He was the only full-grown cat in the class. The rest were ten-week-old kittens. They'd been training for four weeks and Rhys had only been here a week. The kittens were in awe of him, though, because he had some field experience, and with Clouder Number Nine at that. Well all the kittens except one, a tuxedo Manx by the name of Finn. Finn had been the star pupil in class until Rhys came and he was jealous of all the attention so he made life difficult for Rhys.
The dozen trainees filed out of the mess hall and onto the exercise yard for the physical fitness testing. Rhys was surprised to see several humans among the felines. Then a voice sounded in his ear. It was the Yorkshire accent of Finn.
“They have to keep in shape too,” Finn smirked. “I, for one, wouldn't want to be in the field with a human I don't know was capable of keeping up.”
Rhys nodded. It made sense. He tried to get in his position in the line up but Finn bit his tail. Rhys yowled. The door opened again and this time Lady Gwen walked out. She had seen what Finn had done to Rhys but couldn't single him out, though she would keep an on on the two. Rhys made as if to greet her but she shook her head ever so slightly and he stepped back into his place.
Lady Gwen got the field started with some stretches. The feline agents did have a bit of an unfair advantage when it came to doing the Cat/Cow stretch but everyone was equal in the Downward Dog. They had been at it five minutes when the door opened again and Angus MacDougal came out.
“You're late,” Lady Gwen said.
“Yes, my lady,” Angus agreed.
“You know what that means?” Lady Gwen asked.
“Yes, my lady,” Angus said. “I'll stay after and do the extra Burpees.”
The white feline in charge nodded. Angus took his place at the side of the line in which Rhys stood. The humans and felines worked their way through push-ups, Burpees, squats (which the cats did on their hind legs), and running an obstacle course. Angus was the fastest human. No one was surprised at this. While the other humans had been military, Angus had been Special Forces so it was expected. But the surprise was that Rhys was faster than the kittens though Finn was right behind him.
The cats were dismissed to their lunches when they completed the course. The humans went about their business, except Angus. He stayed behind and did his punishment for being late. Rhys stayed to watch because he wanted a chance to ask the human about how Nala was doing and if he could go see her.
“How did you do that?” asked Myfi, a cute little Welsh accented marmalade kitten, as she came up to stand beside Rhys.
“After being chased through a town by an angry dog and a few other feral cats,” Rhys explained. “That small obstacle course is nothing.”
“That would do it, I suppose,” agreed Myfi. “You coming in?”
“Not right now,” Rhys said. “I want to speak to Angus, I mean Commander MacDougal.”
“You can call me Angus,” said the human as he walked up to Rhys. “Just not in the class room.”
Myfi looked at the tall Scot as he crouched down to talk to them. She was a little in awe. They said he had disarmed a bomb with seconds to spare a week ago, and it wasn't the first time. The other stories that floated around the Agency were equally hard to believe and heroic. That Rhys would call him by name and be able to speak to the human without being mission related just increased her awe of the older cat. She stammered something about seeing Rhys around and fled back to the mess hall.
“What was it ye wanted?” asked Angus, after the kitten had fled.
“How's Nala doing?” Rhys asked. “And can I go see her?”
“She's responding to the medication,” Angus answered. “And I believe she'd welcome a visit from you.”
“I'll have to see her tonight but that's after visiting hours,” Rhys said.
“Not if I take you,” Angus said. “I know the head vet and can get you in.” He smiled. Liz, his wife, would let the other cat visit when he could even if it wasn't exactly visiting hours since she knew about the training schedule.
“Would you really?” Rhys asked. He wasn't used to people, or cats for that matter, doing things for him.
“I'll meet you in the mess right after dinner,” Angus said. “But you'd better go eat your lunch. You earned it.”
Rhys nodded and ran back to the mess.
“That's why you were late,” Lady Gwen observed as she came up next to Angus. “Wasn't it?”
“I hadn't had a chance to check on Nala this morning,” Angus agreed. “Too many meetings that went their full allotted time.”
“You could have said,” Lady Gwen said. “I'd not assigned punishment for checking up on your charges.”
“It would have set a bad example of justifying one's actions instead of owning up to the consequences,” Angus said as he stood. “Besides, I've been slacking off on the exercise and need a kick in the arse.”
Lady Gwen chuckled.
“You may go about your business,” she dismissed him.
“Thank you, my lady,” he said with a salute and walked into the building.
After dinner that night, Angus met Rhys, as agreed, and escorted him to the Veterinary hospital wing of the headquarters.
“You may have fifteen minutes but after that Nala needs her rest,” Liz said to Rhys as she led him back to the area where Nala was curled up on a cat bed.
Rhys thought she had her laser beam out but then looked again. It was a strange tube that entered Nala's throat. He came over and talked to her in Cat.
“I have some paperwork to do so I'll be in my office,” said Liz. Rhys nodded his acknowledgment.
Liz went into her office and Angus joined her.
“How is she doing?” Angus answered.
“Really well,” Liz said. “She should be able to come home with us at the start of next week. She'll need some care but should be back to herself in about a month.”
“Good,” Angus said.
Liz sat down at her desk and started on her paperwork. Angus took the visitor's seat, pulled out his phone and started working on his reports as well. When the time was up he stood, kissed his wife and went to find the cat.
Angus escorted Rhys back to his quarters for the night. Trainees weren't supposed to be wondering around, after lights out unescorted. The cat was full of how much better Nala was looking and that they had had a nice conversation. Angus smiled to himself. He'd need to remind Nala of the fraternization rules but there was time for that later.
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