Green leaded the small pack of cats to his house, where they would get a treatment. But upon entering, both Gold and Black started to freak out.
"This place stinks!"
"It smells like danger!"
Ruby rolled his scarlet eyes. "This is just a veterinary. This place isn't dangerous at all"" He said.
"What's a veterinary?" Gold asked, biting his tongue as he couldn't pronounce the word properly. "A place where animals like us gets treatment when they're sick or injured. In other words: a doctor for animals." Green explained. "Come on in. My master's must be done with her work by now but I'm sure she'll examine some more patients." He said and opened a door that leaded to a sterile looking room. There was a woman with a white lab coat sitting behind a desk.
"Oh, Green. Back from your daily walk? And I see you brought in some more patients for me." The woman said smiling. "Yeah. I heard Ruby fighting against Red. It's a miracle he's still alive." Green said, looking at Ruby.
"Against Red?! Oh, Ruby, what in the world were you thinking? Why did you do such a thing?" The woman asked surprised. "I didn't do it on purpose! This guy catnapped me and brought me to him." Ruby glared at Gold, who shrunk away in his collar with an uneasy smile.
"So, in other words, Steven doesn't know you're here?" The woman asked. Ruby shook his head. "What do you say that I call him after I patched you up?" Ruby smiled brightly after hearing that. "Yes, I'd love to." He said.
Ruby received some nasty hits from Red. Some cuts had to be stitched and Gold looked amazed how the graceful feline let himself getting threatened without even flinching an eye.
"Even with all those wounds and stitches, you still look so adorable, Ruby." The vet said, almost sounding delighted. "Well, yeah. I AM the most beautiful cat around." The scarlet eyed cat said proud and looked with lovingly eyes at Green's master.
"Oh, you're just so cute! I wish you were my little kitten." The vet said way too enthusiastic. Green rolled with his eyes. "Mistress, you're falling in Ruby's trap again. Like always... Just like the other judges." He said, shaking his head in disbelief. "Eeh-hee."
"So, that's how a show cat looks like." Black said. "Don't act like I'm an alien, you garbage cat!" Ruby hissed angrily. "Scary..."
When the animal doctor wanted to examine Gold, she collided on some trouble. The amber eyed feline didn't felt like it to be stitched up like a rag doll.
"You can better calm down before you get a shot." Green said. "A shot?" Gold questioned. "That's having a needle... in your behind." Ruby said, rather amused. "How is that supposed to calm me down?!" Gold screeched out.
Ruby found it very amusing to see Gold in such bind and couldn't help but to laugh.
"How can you laugh like that, Ruby?! How crueeeeel! OWWWW!"
"I told you, you would get a shot if you didn't calm down..."
After Gold, Black and Blue were up for a quick check. After seeing what Gold had to go through, Black was a little calmer with his check-up and Blue didn't made a fuss at all.
Afterwards, the five cats went to the vet's living area and wait for Ruby's owner to pick him up.
"So... how is it that you and Red know each other?" Gold asked Green when they installed themselves on the soft cushions.
"We met when we were still kittens. I was walking around the neighborhood when I met him. A shopkeeper had kicked him quite badly so I brought him to this place just like I did with you guys. But, Red was a stray and left as soon as he was all patched up. But, the day after he left, I found him looking through my window."
"Now doesn't that sound familiar?" Ruby glared at Gold who grinned. Green smiled slightly.
"Anyway, we started to talk and sometimes I accompanied him on walks and hunts. We became close friends after a short time."
"Wait, what? You accompanied Red on hunts? But, you're a pet cat, aren't you?" Gold asked confused. Green sighed deep. "There are four sorts of cats: Stay cats, like you and Black, shelter cats like miss Blue, pet cats like me and salon cats like Ruby. A salon cat is the sort of cat that doesn't leave the house. Many of you and also humans mistake that small fact." Green explained. "I had no idea..." Black had to admit.
"Yeah, well, anyway... that happy time came to an end when Red... he confessed he was in love with me..." Green looked sad. "What?! Red was in love... with you?!" Gold shot up from his cushion, looking shocked and surprised at the older feline. "Yes, he was. And considering what he has become, I can understand your reaction." Green said.
"But, what did you say?" Blue asked. "I told him I valued our friendship more than anything. He interpreted that in the wrong way and ever since that day, he avoided and refused to talk to me, becoming the cat you all know today. Shortly after his confession, he challenged the local leader of this area, defeated him and claimed the area as his own. I had to watch helplessly how he changed so drastically." Green sighed sadly.
"So that's why Red dislikes pet cats so badly. He must have gotten angry when you rejected him." Blue said. "What else should I have done? If I lied to him, we both would have gotten hurt eventually. I thought the best thing was telling the truth. I thought he would understand that. Guess I was wrong." Green said.
"You shouldn't give up hope. I'm sure he'll come around someday." Blue said smiling. "Yeah, I know. Because, if I give up hope now, it'll only become worse." Green said, returning the smile.
"But, what has Ruby got to do anything with Red anyway?" Gold asked. "It's a case of being on the wrong place at the wrong time. Isn't it, Ruby?" Green looked at the scarlet eyed feline, who nodded slowly.
"So... you were indeed a stray?" Gold asked, still not believing that.
Ruby sighed deep.
"Yes. Yes, I was. My parents died in an accident, leaving that I had to survive on my own. I always had my mother to protect and feed me, so I never imagined that this world would be so cruel, so cold and so scary. For days I wandered around town, not being able to find something decent to eat. When I eventually found food just laying there, ready for taking, I had no idea I was stealing someone else's dinner. I was so hungry that I didn't pay any attention to that fact. It was already too late when I found that out. Red attacked me without remorse. I never was so afraid in my life before. All I could do, was run. My savior was my master. He heard us fighting and came in between us. Red ran away when he showed up."
"So, you could escape unscathed?" Gold asked. Ruby shook his head. "No. Red wounded me badly." The scarlet eyed feline removed his white cap from his head, revealing an ugly scar.
"Oh my..." Blue gasped, holding both her hands in front of her mouth. "Red really did that?" Black asked breathless. Gold could only stare at the gap in Ruby's head. He now understood why Ruby always wore a hat or a headband.
"When Steven brought Ruby in to threat the wound on his forehead, it was two days after Red's confession to me. His sadness must have turned into anger back then and Ruby was there at the wrong place at the wrong time." Green said. Ruby nodded.
"I was really happy when my master found me. I felt safe again, after being alone for so long. But... when my wounds were treated, my master putted me back on the place where he found me." He said.
"So... he wasn't planning on taking you in?" Gold asked. "No. But he changed his mind when I kept on following him. He couldn't leave me all alone in the dark and cold and took me in. From that day on, I became a pet. And I still don't regret it." Ruby said.
"I hope I can find such a master too one day." Blue said. "I'm sure you will. If you really want to find an owner, you'll just have to be patient and wait and then the perfect master will surely appear before you." Green said. Blue smiled at him.
"Ruby?! Ruby, where are you?!" The elegant cat's ears perked up when hearing his master calling for him. Steven rushed inside the living room. Ruby shot up, throwing himself in his owner's arms.
"Master! Master, you're finally here!" He cried happy. "Oh, Ruby! I thought I lost you when I couldn't find you anywhere. I was so relieved when the vet called to say you were here. Are you alright? Are you hurt somewhere?" Steven asked, hugging Ruby tightly.
"Just a little wound on my side. But it's nothing to worry about." Ruby replied. "Oh, no! That's just plain horrible!" Steven exclaimed worried. "I'm fine. The vet already took care of my wound." Ruby said, smiling cutely. "Is that so? Then I have to pay the bill for that." Steven said, revealing his wallet.
"Oh, that's quite alright. It happened after my hours after all." The vet said smiling. "No, no. I insist. I can't thank you enough for taking care of my Ruby." Steven said. "How about I consider the debt as paid if Ruby wins his next show?" The vet suggested with a playful wink. Steven sighed. "I guess you leave me no other choice." He said.
"But, oh! I totally forgot. I'm afraid we have to wait till next time because tomorrow's show got cancelled." Steven said. "For once, I'm happy. I doubt I could have won in this condition." Ruby said. Steven smiled tenderly at him. "I'm just happy I have you back." He said. "But, why in the world did you run away?" He asked.
Gold shrunk away. He already imagined Ruby's owner yelling at him for catnapping him.
"I heard you were about to adopt a new cat and I ran away because I didn't want that. I guess I was jealous..." Ruby looked away with a faint tint of red on his cheeks.
Gold looked wondered at Ruby. Why didn't he told his owner that he was the one who catnapped him? Why did he suddenly lied to his owner?
Steven smiled lightly.
"I'm just glad I have you back. Let's go back home, shall we? I'll make you your favorite dish and make you some warm milk with honey when we get back." He said. "That sounds great." Ruby said, smiling big. "But first you really need a bath. You're absolutely filthy, Ruby."
The graceful feline glared at Gold, who just grinned back.
"Well, I... I can't help that, now can I?" He said with a small pout. "It's alright, it's alright. What do you say we take a bath together?" Steven asked. Ruby smiled brightly. "I'd love that!" He exclaimed happy.
Gold's ears perked up.
What was that? Taking a bath together with Ruby?! But I want to take a bath with Ruby, too!
All kinds of different scenes started to play off in Gold's head. None of them made him happy because they all concerned Ruby and his owner having the time of their life in bath. And sometimes, he imagined something wrong...
"NO! This can't be happening!" He screeched out, making everyone to look at him.
"Uhh... everything okay, Gold?" Black asked, wide eyed. Gold, who caught on that everyone stared at him stunned, sat back down, concealing a pout.
"Oh, by the way, Mr. Stone, it was Gold who protected Ruby from Red." Green suddenly said. "Is that so?" Steven looked at Ruby. The graceful feline looked away, trying to hide the red color that suddenly began to spread across his cute face.
"Y-Yeah... kind of..." He had to admit.
Steven smiled at Gold and reached out with his hand to the cat's head, petting him. "Thank you for protecting Ruby. I would be completely lost if I were to lose him." Steven said. Gold blushed as a weird sensation filled his body, making him feel warm and fuzzy.
"Ah, uh... I-It was n-nothing..." He stammered, feeling a little nervous.
Ruby looked how his master petted Gold on his head. The usually hyper and blabbering stray actually looked kind of vulnerable like that.
"Master, I need to tell you something." Ruby said, yanking on Steven's jacket, pulling him down. The graceful feline whispered something in his owner's ear, standing on the tips of his toes to do so.
Steven was stunned and surprised what Ruby told him.
"Ruby, are you sure? Just a while ago you were..."
"It's alright. And I'm sure he won't mind either."
"Well... alright then. If you're really sure about this."
Gold tilted his head a little in confusion. What were those two talking about?
Ruby stepped up to Gold. A dark shade of red colored his face.
"I... I was w-wondering i-if you wanted to... to come and live with m-me..." He stammered, the red color on his face became deeper with each word he said, murmuring the last couple of words.
Gold pulled big eyes.
Ehhh? Did Ruby just asked me to come and live with him? ME? Wow! That, that means I can take baths with him and, and sleep in the same bed with him and cuddle him and kiss him and, and, and... Ahhhh! I can do so many things with him now!
Gold was in high spirits after hearing that news, and everyone could read that off his face. He tackled the elegant cat on the ground, rubbing his cheek against Ruby's.
"I want! I want! I waaaaant!" He mewed out. "Alright, alright! Stop rubbing yourself off on me! You're gross and filthy! Ahh! You're reopening my wound, you idiot!"
"You're going to have your hands full on that one, Steven." The vet said, chuckling at the sight of the two cats. "Yeah..." Steven laughed uneasy.
Blue looked sad at Steven, before looking at the ground. The older male noticed that and petted her head.
"I'm sorry you can't live with us anymore, Blue. I was looking forward to it." He said. Blue shook her head. "Don't worry about it too much. Ruby is the only one you need. I'll defiantly find a master that's only suited for me one day. So, don't worry about it." She smiled cutely, making Steven to smile too.
"Don't worry, I'll bring her back to the shelter and I'm going to help promoting it too. She'll find a perfect owner of her own soon." The vet said. "Thank you. I appreciate it." Steven said.
"That said. What are you going to do, Black?" Blue asked the other stray. "Me? I'm going back home of course. Someone has to keep Red company." The brown furred cat said grinning. "Be careful. Red is in a bad temper now." Green said warning. "Tell me about it. It's gonna be a drag but someone has to go through it." Black said and stood up.
"Well then. Later, guys!" He jumped through the open window and disappeared into the night.
"Shall we get going too?" Steven asked Ruby and his new cat Gold. "Yes, please!" Ruby said, who was still unable to push the other feline away.
Going home was no easy task either. Gold never sat in a limousine before and he wouldn't stay with his hands off of the juice machine, making that it went ballistic and covered everyone with sticky orange juice.
Ruby was starting to regret his decision already...