Sally and Billy in Babyland
Their friend panted, eyes squeezed shut, unable to walk. Sally and Billy sat with her, cradling her in their arms, just as they had done when they first met.
“What do we do now?” Billy said.
“Let me think,” Sally said.
The cats who had been freed sat and stared at them.
“Don’t you have a plan?” one said.
“Sort of,” Sally said. “But we were only trying to rescue Kitty. This is all very unexpected, so now we’re improvising.”
“I see,” said the cat. “Allow me.” She turned to the others and announced, “Battle plan Omega. Go!”
All the other cats slipped off into the night.
The remaining cat faced Billy and Sally again. “You will care for her?”
“Yes,” Sally said. “We’re family.”
With that, the remaining cat turned and fled into the night.
Sally and Billy settled Kitty inside Billy’s backpack and slipped out of the Kit-Kat Klub the way they had come in.
“Now what?” Billy asked.
“We need food and water for Kitty. Let’s go back to Tommy’s house.”
They hid in the yard behind the house and agreed that Sally would go inside for supplies. Billy would run away with Kitty if anything went wrong.
As Sally foraged in the kitchen, Wendy surprised her.
“What are you doing?” Wendy asked.
“Looking for food.”
“But why were you outside?”
“I was curious about the sirens.”
Wendy nodded. “That woke me up, too. I thought maybe you and Billy tried to rescue your kitty.”
“Oh, well, if we did, we’d probably not tell you so you wouldn’t get in trouble for aiding and abetting.”
“What does that mean?”
“I think it means you get into trouble for helping us,” Sally said. “I heard it on a television show.”
Wendy went to the cupboard and dug deep behind the boxed cereal. She pulled out a bag of cat food. “I saved this in case we got our own cat back. Her name was Lady Meowsalot. I called her Lady.”
“Thank you,” Sally said. “I’m sorry about what happened to Lady Meowsalot.”
“I miss her.”
Sally hugged Wendy. “I’d invite you outside to meet Kitty, but I don’t want to get you into trouble.”
“I don’t think it’ll matter,” Wendy said. “So I’ll go.”
Kitty, nestled in Billy’s arms, drank the water and ate a little food. This revived her somewhat.
“Do you have an escape plan?” Kitty whispered.
“Yes,” Sally said. “Now that we found you. We have to — ”
Sirens blared from all across the town. Police! The wailing sirens rose and fell as the cars turned up and down streets, but there was no mistaking that they were closing in.
“Maybe we should wait,” Sally said.
“Maybe we should run,” Billy said.
A police car drove along the street and swept the houses on both sides of the street with a spotlight.
“Okay, we can wait,” Billy said.
William came outside and found them next to the shed. “I feared this might happen,” he said. “Wendy, I need you inside. I can’t bear to lose family, again.”
“We’re sorry,” Sally said. “We’ll go now.”
“No. There are patrols on the street and they are going door to door. We’re pretty high on their list so they’ll be here soon. If they don’t find you out here, come inside later and we’ll figure out what to do.”
Sally moved them behind the shed, further out of sight, and waited.
When the police arrived, there was no mistaking what happened. Sally heard the front door kicked in and a man shouting for the family to sit on the floor. Then all the police shouted at each other as they searched the house.
After still more shouting at each other, they moved on to the next house and kicked in that door.
“Hey,” Billy whispered. “Why don’t they search the back yards?”
Kitty looked left and right into the darkness. “Either they are stupid, or — ”
A dog barked. Then two more dogs barked. Border patrol! While the police searched the house, the dogs searched the yards.
“I hadn’t thought of this,” Sally said. “Let’s get inside.”
“No,” Kitty said, lifting her head and sniffing the air. “They’re too close.”
Sally peaked around the corner of the shed and two dogs were in the yard. While one sniffed around the house, the other made its way across the yard.
His sniffing quickened and he walked with purpose to the shed.
The dog had picked up their scent.