the story of isabel and icebat
one day, the little grey cat known as smoky wandered too far from home, and lost her way. she slept in the woods, foraging for food, pawing through piles of leaves to find a bit of water. she stayed away from the road, where the trucks flew past and the dogs lunged from their leashes. as the days passed, she felt her belly grow smaller, and fear and hunger became all she knew.
one day she found shelter under a wheelbarrow in a backyard filled with songbirds and puddles. she stayed. but she was so hungry. once she let the red-headed girl who lived in the house come close enough to touch, but she panicked and flew back to the barrow.
a few weeks passed, but the red-headed girl didn't give up. so one night, as the skies filled with storms and the wind blew her fur backwards, she gave in to the pangs in her belly and let the girl approach. and this time, the girl had a bowl in her hands. from five feet away she could smell the food. all fear flew from her mind as she trotted up the steps onto the wooden deck, and ate.
and ate. and ate. and ate.
relaxed for the first time in months, she sat on the deck railing and felt, finally, full. she let the girl approach her, and the hand trailing her fur felt so soothing.
that night, hurricane isabel churned the skies into a dark mash, and she hid under the porch and waited. she didn't feel afraid. at all.
the next day, the girl was back, with more food. but this time, she also came with a crate... and a trip to the doctor... and a safe, warm place to sleep... and new playmates... and a new name... and food whenever she wanted... and love whenever she wanted.
a few months later, the girl brought home a toy, something that looked like a creature she'd seen when hiding in the woods. it terrified her, and as her eyes locked on its vacant face, her back arched and her fur stood on end. her whole body curved to the left.
she approached it, slowly, carefully. she sniffed it. and it smelled of home. her body returned to normal as she kneaded its polyester belly with her paws.
they've been inseparable ever since.