TRIALS OF MOTHERHOOD IV
Four year old Kiara had been playing a game of hide and seek with her brothers when she realized she hadn't seen Mommy for a while. Curious, she slipped away from the playroom and looked around the huge penthouse.
Not seeing her mother in the places he could usually be found, Kiara went to her mother's bedroom. Normally this was off limits but she was becoming concerned. Daddy was out of town again and, this being the weekend, they usually had just Mommy and the servants and of course the guards outside the apartment door.
Tiptoeing into the huge master bedroom, Kiara looked around then she heard a strange sound coming from the bathroom.
Hurrying across the floor, she made for the open door. The bathroom was enormous with a large pool as the bathtub which was one of the reasons the master was off limits. Through another door was where the toilet and sinks were and the noise was coming from there.
As she peeked around the open door she squeaked in shock and fear. She rushed forward to where her Mommy was sitting on the floor leaning over the toilet. He was throwing up when Kiara hurried to his side.
"Mommy, you not feel good?" She asked worriedly.
Her Mommy could only hang his head and pant. Sweat ran down his face and his eyes were barely open.
Scared now, Kiara hesitated, not knowing what to do then it came to her. She whirled around and raced out of the bathroom, through the bedroom, the living area, down the hallway, and into the playroom. Her brothers were wrestling on the floor.
"Mommy sick!" Kiara shouted, tears of fear beginning to run down her face.
The boys stopped and stared at her in shock.
"What you say?" Casimir asked as he jumped to his feet and went to her.
"Mommy throwing up!" Kiara said in anguish.
"Oh, that not good!" Gaspar said with a squeak.
"Let's go see!" Casimir said and ran through the apartment to his mother's bedroom. When they got to the bathroom their mother was laying on the floor.
"Mommy!" Casimir cried and went to the floor beside him. He carefully touched his mother's sweating face and it was hot. His mother never responded as they huddled around him. He panted and his eyes were closed. He moaned every few minutes.
This upset the kittens even more.
"What we do? I'm scared!" Gaspar said anxiously.
"Get help!" Casimir said and ran to the front doors of the apartment.
"But we never supposed to open front doors, Casi!" Gaspar shouted chasing after his bigger brother. Kiara stayed by her mother patting his face gently, tears still running down her face.
"This is emer...emer...this bad and guards can help!" Casimir said importantly and without hesitation opened the front door.
The two panther guards looked down at the two small kittens in unhappy surprise. But before either of them could say anything the kittens started talking excitedly at the same time.
"Hold it! One at a time. What has you so upset that you would break a very important rule?" James, the bigger of the guards, asked firmly.
"Mommy sick!" Casimir said urgently. "He lay on bathroom floor and don't hear us," he added.
The guards looked at each other in consternation. "I'll watch the kittens, you go see what's going on with the Commander," James told his partner, Brad. Nodding agreement, Brad quickly went into the apartment and hurried to the master suite.
He found Commander Feral sprawled on the floor just as the kittens described. Little Kiara was caressing her mom's face trying to wake him. Brad gently pulled her back then checked the Commander himself. The dark tom was panting and moaning. He was running a high fever and there were signs that he had been throwing up.
Pulling out his cell phone hurriedly he summoned the Khan's private family physician, Dr. Wanser.
"Doctor, Commander Feral is very ill and is barely conscious on the bathroom floor. He has a high temperature and it looks like he's been throwing up," Brad told him.
"I'll be there in a few minutes. Wet a wash cloth with cool water and put that on his face until I get there," Wanser ordered him.
"Yes sir," Brad acknowledged then dialed his partner. "James, the Commander is very ill and unresponsive. I've summoned Dr. Wanser, he'll be here soon. Kiara is here with me but I can't leave the Commander. You want to come and collect her?"
"I can't leave this post unguarded. I'll call for more help. We may need it anyway," James answered.
"Good idea...make it quick," Brad said tightly. After hearing James' acknowledgment he hung up and put his phone away. Kiara was becoming more afraid and was crying harder.
Brad distracted her by asking for her help, "Kiara, sweety, it's okay...we're going to take care of your mommy and you can help. Go get a wash cloth for me...okay?" Brad pointed to a stack of wash cloths on the counter.
Hiccuping for breath, Kiara nodded and jumped to her feet. She grabbed two wash cloths and handed them to Brad. He smiled encouragingly at her as he got the cloths wet with cool water.
He knelt back down near Feral and put one cloth on his neck while he used the other to wipe the sweat off the tom's face. Feral moaned in response but didn't open his eyes.
"Commander?...sir?...can you hear me?" Brad asked gently shaking the big tom but he only got more moaning.
To his relief, Dr. Wanser came hurrying in with James behind him. James gently picked Kiara up and carried her away to be with her brothers. He had already called the nanny back from her day off to care for them. She would be arriving soon.
Meanwhile, Brad was bringing the doctor up to date, "He hasn't responded at all since I've been here. I tried shaking him gently but he only moans. The kittens said he had been throwing up when they found him."
"Hmm...he's got a high fever alright," Wanser murmured reading the fever gauge he'd used on the big tom. He pulled out his stethoscope from his bag and listened to Feral's chest. "Well the lungs are clear...that's good news...his pulse is rapid but that's expected under these conditions. Looks like he's gotten a really bad bug. Only thing we can do is cool him down a bit and put him to bed. I'm going to take some blood and have the lab run some tests but I think we're going to find it's a virus," Dr. Wanser said as he got to his feet. "Right, do we have some help here now?" He asked Brad.
"Yes sir...What do you need us to do?" Brad asked him.
"Four of you carry him out to the pool. I want two of you in the pool to hold him up," Wanser ordered briskly.
With quick efficiency, four powerful guards carefully carried the weak Commander to the pool side where they stripped him then gently lowered him into the waiting arms of two other guards already in the pool in their boxers.
When the water covered his body, Feral suddenly cried out in a panic. The two guards holding him tried to soothe the bewildered kat.
"Easy Commander, it's alright..." Dr. Wanser soothed calling out to the struggling kat.
Blinking Feral stopped fighting the guards supporting him and stared up at Wanser owlishly.
"Wanser?" He ask hoarsely, looking confused.
"Yes, Commander. Your kittens found you ill in the bathroom and got help from the guards. They are very bright. I think you have a virus. The pool was to cool the high fever you have," He told him gently then turned his attention to the guards holding the tom, "Move him closer so I can recheck his temperature."
The guards helped Feral move to the side of the pool. Wanser leaned over and ran his gauge over Feral's forehead. "Hmm, okay, that looks better. Take him out and towel dry only. I don't want him heated again."
The guards helped Feral up the pool steps and servants moved close to quickly towel dry his body then two new guards helped him walk to his bed. He was tucked in with only a sheet and a high stack of pillows so that he was partially sitting up. Wanser ordered some cool gatorade to be brought then sat down to take some blood from Feral's arm.
"How's your stomach feeling...still queasy?" He asked as he put a bandaid over the needle site.
"Only a little," Feral said wanly. "My throat is raw."
"I'm sure it is. I want you to drink a little gatorade...it'll help your throat and I'm going to give you an IV. You're too dehydrated right now. How long were you throwing up?" He asked.
"Not sure...wasn't feeling so good when I got up this morning...felt worse after breakfast with the kittens...I didn't eat," Feral said thickly, his eyes having a hard time staying open. He felt awful.
"Alright. Let's get some fluids on board. I know you're tired but try and drink a little of this," Wanser urged him handing Feral a glass a servant had brought. Feral was trembling a bit as he brought the glass to his mouth and drank a few mouthfuls then fell back to the pillows exhausted.
Wanser took the glass and handed it off then set up an IV. "Here...one of you hold this at this height," he ordered one of the guards and showed him how high to hold the IV bag. After ten minutes it was empty and Wanser took it back and removed the needle from Feral's arm. "There that should make you feel a little better. Rest now. We'll see if you can eat some soup a little later," Wanser said gently patting Feral on the arm and letting him fall asleep.
Wanser walked out of the bedroom followed by a group of guards. A servant stayed by the Commander's side keeping watch.
The kittens saw the doctor passing through the living room. Their nanny was there taking care of them. The kittens had pleaded with her to allow them to wait and see the doctor when he left. She relented knowing how worried they were and she had to admit she wanted to know too.
Casimir was the first to reach Wanser's side. He halted and looked down at the little ones now clinging to his legs.
"Mommy, be okay?" Casimir asked pleadingly.
Wanser smiled warmly, "Yes, your mommy will be okay. He's just got a very bad cold and needs lots of rest. You did a very smart thing getting help for your mommy so fast. What you can do now is keep quiet and not bother your mommy for a while. Do you think you could do that?"
The kittens nodded their heads solemnly. He smiled, patted each one and left to have the blood tested.
"Alright little ones, how about we go into the playroom and each of you do a picture for your mommy. He loves your drawings." Mandy encouraged them as she hustled them toward the playroom.
The kittens did their best to keep quiet and were allowed to see their mother at bed time for a few minutes.
"See pictures we draw Mommy?" Kiara said eagerly as she pushed her drawing ahead of her brothers into her mother's lap.
Feral was sitting up and eating some broth and crackers. He was feeling a little better but was still very tired. He smiled wanly at his kittens and commented on each drawing.
"I'm sorry I can't kiss you goodnight my loves. Mommy doesn't want to give his cold to you. Thank you for getting me help. I'm very proud of you all," He said warmly waving good night to them as the nanny gently hustled them off to bed.
It took Feral three days to get over the worst of the nasty virus he'd caught. He was still required to rest so was in bed when his mate returned from his business trip.
Shere Khan had been nearly run over by his excited kittens. He gave each of them a tight hug then frowned when Casimir told him Mommy had been sick while he was gone.
Casimir proudly told his father what they had done when they'd found their mother ill. His heart tightened when he heard of his mate's illness but relaxed when they told him Ulysses was on the mend. He gave his kittens extra hugs and praised them for helping their Mother in his time of need then presented each of them with a new toy he'd bought for them. They squealed in delight and raced to their playroom to play with their presents.
Sighing, Shere, handed his briefcase to a servant and made his way to their master bedroom. He found his mate propped up with pillows and watching TV. Feral turned his head and gave his mate a welcoming smile.
"I heard you were ill, my love," He said questioningly as he came and sat at his mate's side.
"Yes, apparently I caught a nasty virus. I'm grateful to the kittens for getting me help when they did. It helped me recover faster and they've been very good at behaving and staying quiet too." Feral said with pride.
"Yes, they told me what happened. I gave them some presents I'd acquired on my trip which are being admired and played with as we speak. So glad I got them something since it seems they earned it," Shere smiled warmly at the thought.
"I'm just glad you're home," Ulysses murmured as Shere leaned close and kissed him gently.
"So am I, my love. I only wished I had been here but since I wasn't, I'm glad the kittens were there to help," he purred lovingly as he nuzzled his mate gently.