Chapter 1 New Arrivals

Nekki was always in love with cats but he never expected to find so many on such a cold day. It was the middle of winter and he was trudging home through the thick snow from the work. No one else was around on the snow-free sidewalks except for the occasional family going sledding with their kid. Nekki shivered from the cold despite his warm garments. Just as he passed the corner of the street, the young adult heard a strange noise. What could that be, he thought. Nekki followed the noise and to his amazement he found a heavily pregnant cat.

"Hey cat, what happened?" Nekki said. The cat looked in pain and it tugged at his heartstrings. "Alright cat, I'm gonna take you home," Nekki concluded. He gasped when he noticed that the cat had a gash along her neck. Nekki scooped the cat up and unzipped his jacket. He placed the cat in his jacket to keep her warm and ran home.

Nekki got out his keys and opened the door to the house. He placed the pregnant cat on a towel he got out of a closet and went to the bathroom to get out a roll of cloth for wrapping up wounds and some something to clean the wound. When the young adult got out of the bathroom, he moved the cat next to the radiator and washed the gash on her neck. Nekki cleaned it up and wrapped the bandage around the cat's neck snuggly. Once the female cat was fixed up and placed on a clean towel, he was shocked to find that the cat was giving birth. He watched as the cat breathed deeply before tensing. The female cat gave birth to the kittens. As the last kitten came out, the mother cat gave a sigh and closed her eyes. Nekki felt for a heartbeat but didn't sense one.

"You did great and I will treat your body with respect," Nekki praised. But I don't blame her for leaving these kittens after giving birth to them, there are so many, he thought. He counted all of the kittens and was surprised to count ten kittens. They were all oddly colored as well, not at all like their mother, a silver tabby. Strange, he thought. Neko continued to warm the kittens until all of them were squirming around, looking for their mother so they could suckle.

"I'm sorry kittens, your mother is dead. I have to bottle feed you," Nekki said. He stared at all of the kittens. The first one that came out wriggled a bit and the others also began to wriggle. Good, they're all alive, he thought.

"I'm going to bring you all to the vet so I know which kind of formula to get for you," Nekki told the kittens as he wrapped them up in a new towel. He walked to a closet by the door and got out an old cat carrier and placed a small blanket inside. Nekki then placed the bundle of kittens into the crate.

As he walked to the vet, the wind picked up and the snow fell heavily. "Don't die kittens. Just a little longer," Nekki said. The young adult finally made it to the vet when it felt like a blizzard had just blown in. He opened the door to the vet. The woman sitting at the front desk was filling out paperwork and when she heard the door open, she looked up.

"Do you have an appointment?" the woman asked.

"No, I don't but can I make one?" Nekki asked. The woman looked through her papers and peered at the crate.

"What's in the crate?" she asked.

"Kittens. I found their mother in the alley and brought her home. She was pregnant and gave birth after I brought her home. The mother cat died after giving birth," Neko replied. The woman's eyes widened.

"Let's have a look now. We have to check them to see if they have any diseases. Come with me," the woman said. She led Nekki through the veterinary office until they came to a small room with a metal table screwed into the wall.

"The vet, Mr. Hikigen will see to your kittens now," the woman said. She closed the door to the room. A tall, older man with blond hair entered the office through another door.

"Hello, my name is Aka Hikigen but you can call me Mr. Hikigen," the vet said as he held his hand extended. Nekki shook it with a firm handshake.

"My name is Nekki Giniki. Nice to meet you," Nekki said.

"What have you got in the crate?" Mr. Hikigen asked.

"Ten kittens," Nekki answered.

"Ten kittens? That's a lot," Mr. Hikigen said surprised. Nekki nodded. "Tell me how you came across these kittens." So Nekki repeated the story to Mr. Hikigen.

"Well, that's interesting. Who would leave a pregnant, injured cat alone in an alley?" Mr. Hikigen asked.

"I dunno, but I was lucky to have found her or else these kittens would be dead," Nekki replied.

"Well, let's see them," Mr. Hikigen said. He opened up the crate and took out the bundle of kittens. The veterinarian unwrapped the towel they were in and placed them all on the metal table. A few of the kittens mewled while the rest of the kittens squirmed on the table.

"What odd colors," Mr. Hikigen observed.

"Yeah, I noticed that when I was rubbing them. Look at that one, it's blue," Nekki pointed out.

"Hm, and that one has green forelegs. This one is practically red," Mr. Hikigen said.

"What can you conclude about these kittens, sir?" Neko aksed.

"Well, you have unique kittens. Also, all of the kittens except for the indigo and white one is male. That's all I can really say," Mr. Hikigen said.

"But can you get me the formula to feed them?" Nekki asked. He stared at his kittens on the table. They were beginning to whine and mew so he figured they were hungry.

"Yeah, I can get you the formula. Let me get it for you. I'm going to guess that you need some bottles as well," Mr. Hikigen said.

"The bottles would be good, thanks," Nekki replied. "Is it okay if I feed them now 'cause they're hungry?" Neko asked.

"Sure. You know how to feed them?"

"Yup. I've taken care of kittens before."

"Alright."

Mr. Hikigen left the room and in a few minutes came back with ten bottles and a bag of kitten milk formula.

"I'm guessing you know how to prepare the formula if you've owned cats before," Mr. Hikigen said.

"Yeah, I know how to," Nekki replied. He took the bottles with the formula in them and fed the kittens all of them at the same time, placing the bottles between each finger. Mr. Hikigen raised an eyebrow.

"I see you have a lot of skill," he said

"I've raised cats all my life so I know how to feed many at the same time," Nekki said. The kittens were drinking their fill of the formula and one by one they stopped drinking and fell asleep. The young adult stroked a few of them, then put them back into the towel, wrapped them up, and put them back in the crate.

" I could see you to the front desk," Mr. Hikigen offered.

"No thank you. I'm fine," Neko said, turning down his offer. He picked up the crate, opened the door, the door and exited.

"Wait," Mr. Hikigen shouted. Neko turned around to see the veterinarian walking up to her. "Do you by any chance know Naki Giniki?" Mr. Hikigen asked. The young adult froze.

"Why?" Nekki asked.

"She used to come here regularly. You two seem to be similar in personality and appearance. Are you two related?" Mr. Hikigen replied.

Nekki was silent before answering. "She was my sister. Naki…" he paused. "…isn't around anymore." He walked down the hallways leaving Mr. Hikigen, noticing the eerie silence. I guess no one wants to trudge around in the snow, Nekki thought. When he went to the front desk the woman was there with her papers again.

"So how much do I have to pay?" Neko asked.

"For the check-up, formula, and bottles? $500," the woman said.

"Okay, do you take checks?" Neko asked. The woman nodded so Nekki got out his checkbook and wrote down the check for them. The woman took the check and went back to her paperwork.

"Thank you," Nekki said over his shoulder as he left.

A couple weeks past and the kittens were now able to see. A few of them were surprised by what they saw while others still didn't open their eyes.