Captain Jack and the Snack Attack – ALT POV 6 of 6 – Posted Dec. 28, 2017
The wide grin on Gordie’s face fell when his gaze landed on Kenton’s. No doubt Kenton was projecting the agitation he felt. “Everything okay?”
“Yes…no…well, probably? Sorry…” Kenton stepped back and lifted an arm to the side. “Come on in. I’ll explain.”
Gordie pushed the door closed behind him. “Anything I can do to help?”
“Actually, yeah, you probably can. Here, let me have your coat.” He hung it in the foyer closet and turned back to Gordie. “I’m worried about Captain Jack. I can’t find him anywhere.”
Kenton held his breath as he waited that short second for Gordie to reply. This was the moment of truth. Would Gordie understand, or wouldn’t he?
“Ah.” Gordie’s expression and posture both seemed relaxed. Maybe this wasn’t unusual. But the words that followed chilled him. “Is there any chance he got outside?”
“That’s why I’m a little freaked out. I went out back early in the afternoon to bring in some firewood. I didn’t notice him getting out, but he’s never gone into hiding like this before. I’ve looked everywhere. I can’t figure out where he could be.”
Kenton wanted to kick himself for running on so nervously. What must Gordie think? Gordie remained silent as Kenton led him past the kitchen and through the living and dining room area to the sliding glass door.
A security floodlight lit the backyard, and the six-foot high wooden privacy fence enclosing the space was clearly visible. Gordie craned his neck, presumably trying to get a peek at the front portions of the fencing. “Are there any gaps, or dips under the fence he could fit through? An older cat—especially one with claws—could easily get over it, but I don’t think Captain Jack would yet.”
Kenton blew out a heavy breath. Partly in relief that Gordie, who had far more expertise in the area of kitten behavior had taken away one of Kenton’s biggest fears, and partly because Gordie didn’t seem to be judging Kenton harshly for losing his kitten. “Good. I wasn’t sure. I checked all around and don’t think he could squeeze out anywhere.”
Gordie gestured to the left. “You looked behind that wood pile?”
“Yeah.” Multiple times, in fact. “And I pulled off the cover to make sure he wasn’t up in there somehow.”
“Good.” Gordie pointed to some evergreens to their right. “And you probably checked around those bushes.”
“Yes.” Looked behind, under, shook the darned things. You name it, Kenton had done it.
“Okay, odds are he didn’t get out in the first place, and it sounds like you’ve checked it pretty thoroughly.”
Kenton nodded, but furrowed his brow. Much as he appreciated Gordie’s reassurance, and it really was helping knock his worry down a notch, part of Kenton couldn’t shake the image of the poor kitten huddled and scared outside in the cold.
“But,” continued Gordie. “You’re not going to be able to enjoy yourself if you leave the house before he surfaces.”
Tension drained from Kenton’s shoulders at the understanding timbre in Gordie’s reply. He pressed his hands against his thighs to keep them from visibly trembling. “I need to be here in case he’s out there and comes to the door.” Hopefully Gordie could hear the apology implicit in his tone. “He’s never gone into hiding like this before. I’ve tried everything, even shaking the bag of kitty treats he loves.”
“Do…um…do you want me to go, or would you like some company?” Gordie tensed, and Kenton wasn’t sure which potential reply Gordie dreaded. “Maybe I could help you take another look around the house?”
“Would you?” Kenton placed a hand on Gordie’s arm. Gordie’s last sentence seemed to indicate he’d like to be invited to stay. It was all Kenton could do to hold back from throwing himself into the man’s arms for a big comforting hug. “Stay, that is.”