This story is an added on ending to the episode Alley Cat. It picks up exactly where the original ending left off.
Alley Cat: Johnny’s Kittens
By Audrey W.
Johnny made his way into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Taking the milk carton out, he turned to get a bowl from a nearby cupboard. The paramedic poured a small amount of the white liquid into the bowl and carried it to the parking lot behind the station. He carefully set it down, then stepped back a few feet and leaned against the wall, his eyes on the bowl.
“You know what they say,” Roy offered. “A watched pot never boils.”
Johnny looked over his shoulder.
“Yeah, well, everyone knows eventually it will.” He stood up straight and turned to face his partner. “I just hope the mother can take care of those kittens by herself.”
Roy smiled. “You know what Marco said in the dorm. Cats are independent animals by nature. I’m sure she and the kittens will be fine.”
The younger paramedic gave a doubtful look. “I don’t know about that. Five mouths to feed are a lot.”
“She’s equipped for it, remember?” Roy patted Johnny on the left shoulder. “Come on, Dad. Your kids’ll be fine.”
“Ha ha, very funny,” Johnny mumbled as he followed DeSoto into the apparatus bay. He glanced back once more to the parking lot, then headed for the dayroom.
The two paramedics no sooner sat down, when the tones went off sending the station to a house fire. The men ran to their vehicles and pulled out into the street. His mind on the job ahead, Johnny once again put the new mother cat and her kittens temporarily out of his mind.
It was dark when Johnny and Roy returned to the station. First thing Johnny did when he jumped out of the squad was to trot to the back lot. Marco was walking across the apparatus bay from the locker room, when he noticed Gage go by at a fast pace. He met into Roy near the rear of the squad.
“What’s up with Johnny?”
Roy looked towards the open back door. “He’s checking to see of the milk he set out for the cat is gone.”
“He’s still hung up on the cat?” Chet asked, as he came up to the others. “It was a stray cat . . .heck, I thought he’d be glad to be rid of the population explosion problem.”
“I think he was actually looking forward to being a ‘father’,” Roy said, grinning. “Just give it time. He’ll let it go.”
Johnny came back into the apparatus bay and approached the others still gathered.
“So . . .?” Roy wondered.
“The milk’s still there, untouched,” he said, frowning.
“Well, I wouldn’t worry, Junior. If the cat needs anything, she’ll be back. You took good care of her. She’ll remember that.”
Johnny looked towards the back lot again. “I guess your right. But the kittens--”
“Will be okay, Gage. Geez,” Chet interrupted, shaking his head. He started towards the dorm room. “We’ve still got Boot to take care of, ya know!” He yelled over his shoulder.
The dark-haired paramedic glared at Kelley’s retreating back.
Roy and Marco exchanged glances. It was obvious Gage was more concerned than they first thought.
“Just check in the morning, Johnny,” Marco suggested. “I’ll bet the milk will be gone.”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right.” He watched as Roy went over and lowered the back door. “I hope so,” he quietly mumbled.
“Look at the bright side, Johnny,” Roy said walking back to where his partner and Marco still stood. “You don’t have to worry about finding the kittens a home. Besides, I thought you said earlier they were messing up your life.”
“Roy, at the time I thought they were,” Johnny explained. “But they were kinda cute. I’d like to know they’ve found a safe place to live.”
“Even if you do find out they’re close by, John, what are you going to do?” Marco asked. “None of us can have them, remember?”
“I know,” he said, sounding discouraged. “Never mind. I’ll just think on it till morning.”
The two men watched as Johnny headed for the dayroom. Marco turned to Roy and shook his head.
“He’s not going to be happy unless that milk is gone, is he?”
“I don’t think he will be. You aren’t up to drinking a bowl of milk, are you?”
“Are you kidding me? Roy, we can’t do that.”
Roy shrugged. “It was just a thought.” He sighed. “Well, at least the shift ends tomorrow morning. Maybe he’ll be over this by the next one.”
The older paramedic doubted his own words as soon as they came out of his mouth.
Early morning, Roy awoke and rolled over onto his side. He rubbed his tired eyes, then glanced at the bed across from him . . .
Empty? Where’s Johnny?
He slowly sat up and swung his legs over the side of his bed. Pulling his turnout pants up and securing them with the suspenders, Roy made his way out of the dorm.
After looking in all the obvious places, there was no sign of Johnny anywhere in the building. Roy sighed and opened the back door in the dayroom. As he crept outside in the dark he heard a “shushing” noise.
“Be quiet . . .you’ll disturb them,” Johnny whispered.
“You found the cats?”
Johnny tiptoed over to where his partner stood in the dark.
“Yes, I found them,” Gage said in a hushed tone. “I came out to look at the milk dish around back and the mother was just going around the front corner of the building. She went under a bush . . .the babies are there.”
“So what are you gonna do now? You can’t have pets . . .and six is a lot to take care of, anyway. You know they can’t leave their mother yet.”
“Yeah, I know. I’m gonna call my landlady and see if she’ll let me keep ‘em just ‘til they’re old enough to leave their momma. Then we can take them to the front of a store or a park, and give them away.”
“We? I hope by ‘we’ you mean your landlady and you.”
“Roy!” Johnny raised his voice slightly. He glanced towards the cats, then gave the older paramedic a look of disbelief. Lowering his voice again, he continued. “Wouldn’t you want to help the cat and her kittens find homes?”
“I’d rather clean the garage.”
“Man, a guy thinks he knows a person.”
“All right,” Roy said, sighing. “If it comes to taking the kittens and their mom out in public for adoption, I’ll help ya.”
Johnny’s face brightened. “All right. I knew I could count on you. I’m gonna go call my landlady now.”
Roy reached out and grabbed Johnny’s arm as the dark-haired paramedic turned to go inside. “You can’t call her now. It’s only,” he angled his wrist so he could see the face of his watch. “It’s only 4:23 in the morning.”
Johnny stopped and faced his partner.
“Yeah, you’re right,” he admitted quietly. “You’re right. If I call her now, she’ll get mad and say no for sure.” He chewed his lower lip in thought. “Then again, if I were to call her now, maybe she’d be so tired, she’d be confused and say yes. But then later she would realize she made a mistake because I woke her up early and she’d kick me and the cats out.”
Roy rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Let’s go in . . .I’m ready for a glass of mil . . .er. . .uh. . . juice.”
Johnny followed DeSoto into the dayroom.
The rest of the shift went without incidence. While some men from A-Shift headed for home, Johnny stayed later to call his landlady before leaving. Roy stood nearby, trying to listen to the one side of the conversation.
When Johnny hung up the receiver, he turned to his audience and grinned.
“It’s all set!”
“She’s gonna let you keep them in your apartment? That’s great . . . I guess . . .” Roy said, not sure he was convinced Gage was ready for this. “Good luck!”
“No, she’s not letting me keep them.”
“Then why are you so happy? And I thought you said it was all set?”
“It is, Roy, give me time to explain, will ya?”
“Her sister has a house out of the city with a huge yard around it. She said her sister loves to take in animals like this . . .so all we have to do is deliver the cat and her kittens to Mrs. Blevin’s sister.”
“There’s that ‘we’ again.”
“Someone needs to hold the box with the cats and talk to them on the way so they don’t get scared.”
“I’ll tell you what, I’m driving. . .you can do the talking.”
“I knew you couldn’t say no,” Johnny said, a wide grin on his face. “I’ll grab the box.”
Roy glanced now and then at his partner with the box of cats on his lap. Johnny was talking to the kittens like they were kids going to the doctor for the first time.
“They’ll be okay, you know,” Roy assured. “They’re young, they’ll adjust well. Their mother should be okay, too, I would think. She seems real mellow. Now their ‘dad’, I’m not so sure about.”
Johnny shot Roy a glare. “Will ya stop with the ‘dad’ thing already? They’re cats, Roy . . .just plain ol’ alley cats.”
“Then why am I driving 50 miles out of the city to take ‘just plain ol’ alley cats’ to a new home, when I could be in bed by now, asleep?”
“Hey, don’t blame that on me. I didn’t make you come.”
Roy glanced at his passenger, an incredulous expression on his face. He considered reminding Johnny about the “you think you know a guy” line. But in the end, Gage was right. Roy knew he was glad to see the kittens and their mother getting a real home. That’s why he was where he was now.
A big white two-story house came into view as the car rounded a corner.
“Hey, I’ll bet that’s it,” Johnny said, a smile on his face.
“Yeah, we’re on Sandstone Road and it looks like that’s the only house on it out this far.”
Gage looked down at the kittens in the box. “You guys are gonna love this. Wait till you see your new home,” he said softly. “This is way better than an apartment.”
“Heck, it even beats my house,” Roy said with a chuckle. “These cats’ll be living better than all of us.”
After dropping off the kittens and their mother with Mrs. Blevin’s sister, the two paramedics headed back to the city. Johnny turned in his seat to face Roy.
“You know, we did pretty good finding those cats a home.”
“Yes, you did.”
“And it wasn’t hard to gather them up from under the bush.”
“How’s that cat scratch on your hand?”
Glancing at the red mark on the back of his hand, Johnny absently rubbed at it. He ignored the question and continued.
“I’m serious, Roy. We did a good job of cat rescue.”
“Well, it helped that the mother cat already knew us.”
“Yeah, but I’ve been thinking. . .”
“Maybe we should do pet rescues for people on the side. You know, buy some equipment . . . we could limit it to a medium sized dog or smaller . . ‘course we did rescue that horse the one time. . .you know . . .the one you made me dig out and then stand at it’s less than desirable end to help it up.”
“On second thought, Roy, lets just forget it. I have a feeling I’d be doing more fun parts of the rescues than I would want. I’d better call this one rescue a success and quit while I’m ahead.”
Johnny looked out the passenger window as they entered into Carson. He thought about the mother cat and her kittens and how much better off they were now with someone responsible taking care of them.
“You know, there’s one thing I know for sure,” he said, looking over at Roy.
“You were right when you first said I should feel honored the cat picked my bed to have kittens on because she knew she could count on me. I didn’t let her down, huh?”
Roy grinned. “Nope, you did good, Dad.”
Johnny shook his head in mock disgust, and looked out the window again.
Now if I could just get Roy to stop referring to me as their ‘dad’.
Thanks for the beta, Kenda!