"That Darn Cat (Again)"

Author: Lieutenant JG Tricia McMillan
Date: April 6, 2384
Location: Cargo Bay

Torasu awoke from his sleep in the cargo bay. The big machine that had hummed when he'd arrived earlier was now silent.

*Pity* He thought, it was such a soothing sound.

Rising and stretching to remove the 'kinks' in his body, Torasu decided that it was time for something to eat.

*Sleeping is so much hard work, always makes me feel hungry.*

He left the cargo bay and walked along the corridor.

Several of the tall things passed by him as he walked down the corridors, most just walked past, a couple said hello and one even bent down and stroked Torasu along his back. Torasu liked that, being fussed was his third favourite thing after food and sleep.

*So which way today, left right or straight on. Decisions, decisions.* Torasu thought as he reached a junction in the corridors.

Torasu decided to go left today, following a slightly familiar smell. Five minutes later he reached a door and sniffed it.

*This is somewhere I've not been before I wonder what lies on the other side.* Torasu thought, scrapping his paw over the surface of the door. It didn't open.

There were several doors like this, most opened when Torasu got close and closed again once he'd passed through. This was one of the doors that remained shut when he approached and it made Torasu frustrated, but he knew what to do, sit and wait.

"Commander Markos, this is Doctor Jin. Could you please come to the infirmary, there's something I'd like your medical opinion on." Jodana asked.

"I'll be with you in a moment Doctor." Commander Markos replied. "Captain, with your permission I'll go see what the Doctor wants." Kira said.

"Of course, nothing happening here. Let me know what is so interesting." Captain Ryan replied.

Kira walked to the rear of the Bridge and exited, heading for sickbay.

This was the opportunity that Torasu had been waiting for and he quickly dashed through the open door unseen.

Hiding in a corner, he started to look around the room.

It wasn't a big room, but it was larger than most onboard.

Torasu sat in a corner for a while looking around, sticking his nose in the air and sniffing around. Several familiar smells came to his nose.

Suddenly, there came a loud noise from the centre of the room.

Captain Evans let out a loud sneeze.

"Bless you Captain." Tricia said from the Helm position.

"Why did you say that Lieutenant?" Nige asked.

"I don't really know, it's just an old Earth custom, when someone sneezes you say, 'Bless you'. It's something my grandmother always used to say." Tricia replied.

Suddenly Nige saw Torasu sat in the corner, washing his face as if he owned the place.

Captain Evans sneezed again.

"Bless you Captain." Tricia said again.

"Captain?" Nige said "Have you ever suffered from any allergies?" he enquired.

"Once when I was a child of six, my parents bought me a dog as a birthday present, but as soon as it would come near me I would start to sneeze. Everyday, I had to have injections to stop the hair from causing me to sneeze." Ryan replied. "Oh no, you're not saying that cat of yours in causing me to sneeze." As the full horror of why he was sneezing came to him.

"I think so Captain." Nige said "And there's more."

Torasu upon hearing Nige's voice jumped onto the console.

"How the hell did he get on the Bridge?" Captain Evans said as he saw the cat.

"I'm not sure, I think he must have sneaked in when Commander Markos left." Nige said apologetically. "If you'll allow me, I'll go put him back in my quarters and lock the door."

"I warned you about this Lieutenant." Ryan said in a stern voice. "Take him to the nearest airlock and put him in it."

"Captain." Nige and Tricia both said in loud, shocked voices. "You can't be serious, he's just a harmless cat, doing what comes naturally." Nige said.

"OK. Just get him out of here." Ryan said, sneezing for the third time. "But this is his last warning. Remember, curiosity killed the cat."

"What?" Nige asked at the Captain's strange remark.

"Another old Earth saying." Tricia said, "It means that cats are naturally curious and always investigating new things. And of course sometime getting into problems."

Just then Commander Markos and Doctor Jin arrived on the Bridge, both a little out of breath.

"Good, Torasu is still here." Kira said.

"You knew that the cat was on the Bridge ?" Ryan asked.

"Sort of Captain, that's why Doctor Jin asked me to go to sickbay." Kira replied.

Captain Evans was quiet for a moment and then sneezed once again.

"Lieutenant, take that cat of yours off my Bridge NOW." Ryan ordered.

Nige picked up Torasu and started to walk off the Bridge.

"Nige, put Torasu in his travelling case and bring him to sickbay in half an hour. I'll explain why later." Kira told Nige as he passed by.

"OK. Come on you nosy feline, let's get you back to safety and away from the nasty Captain." Nige said as he left the Bridge.

"Commander, Doctor I'm confused." Captain Evans expressed "Would either of you like to explain."

"Could we talk in your ready room Captain." Kira requested.

"Sure, if it will help to shed some light on the situation." Ryan replied, rising from his chair and walking towards the door. "McMillan, you have the Bridge until Tyran returns."

The three officers sat down in the ready room.

"So Commander, Doctor would one of you like to put me in the picture ?" The Captain asked, sneezing again. "Damn allergy." He exclaimed.

"Captain, are you having an allergic reaction to Nige's cat, because we can fix that with an injection, no problem." Doctor Jin announced.

"Don't try to change the subject Doctor." Ryan replied.

"Well it's like this..." Kira started to explain. "We appear to have, how can I put this ?"

"Straightforwardly." Ryan replied.

"OK." Kira said, taking a deep breath before continuing. "We appear to have two cats aboard. One secured in Sickbay and the second with Nige."

There was a moment of silence, before anyone spoke.

"Do we know who the other cat belongs to?." Ryan asked.

"Captain, I don't think you've quite understood." Jodana said, "There aren't just two cats, there are two Torasus'."