You Gotta be Kitten Me
CH 3: Rude!
“Is this… cat food???” Spy scrunched his face with a noise of disgust. “Look, I know we’re cats, but this is just insulting.” He arched his back at Medic and Engineer before he pointedly turned his back to them and sat down, nose up and tail curled around his paws.
Scout, too, made a face at the plates of wet food, though he was brave enough to scoot over and take a bite
only to immediately spit it out and wipe aggressively at his tongue. “Oh that’s wretched!” He looked up at Engineer, expression overdramatically betrayed, and sideways-angry hopped back. “I thought you liked me!”
Sniper cuffed him before approaching the food for a cautious sniff. “I doesn’t smell bad.”
“It don’t smell bad, but the taste…” Scout shuddered.
Sniper gave him an unimpressed look before leaning forward to give a quick lick at the food. He tilted his head, tail twitching, before he finally shrugged and took a seat by the plate. “Dunno what’s got you two so uppity. It’s not bad. Different, but not bad.” Scout scoffed while Sniper got comfortable and started eating.
Heavy hopped onto the table and sat next to Sniper, who acknowledged his presence with an ear flick. “Is good?”
“I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘good’, but it’s not bad.”
“Hmm.” His flicked before he finally leaned forward to take a bite. “Is good enough.”
“That’s the spirit.”
The two biggest cats eating encouraged the remaining cats to approach the other two untouched plates. Soldier took a bite, decided it was edible, and began eating with gusto. Demoman ate slower, pausing periodically to make an unhappy expression or vaguely distressed noises. Engineer and Medic had to wrestle the sock off Pyro who then took one lick and, like Scout, angry-hopped away. Unlike Scout, though, they hopped sideways until they fell off the table.
Engineer laughed as he picked Pyro off the floor and set them back on the table with everyone else. “If you aren’t gonna eat with the rest, then you’ll have to hunt. Cats can’t eat table scraps and people food. Isn’t good for ‘em.”
Spy shrugged and made his way to the edge with a grace only he could possess. “Still preferable to that garbage.”
“Woah, hey, what? No. No! I ain’t eating no dirty-ass mice,” Scout snapped. “Doc, please!” He hopped over and pawed at the doctor’s jacket.
Medic looked him over before finally scooping him up. “Since you aren’t hungry, I suppose I can give you a quick health check,” he said casually, tightening his grip when Scout tried to wiggle loose. “Pauling said she’d come over tomorrow as soon as she could. Hopefully she has an idea of what’s going on.”
“Got it. I’ll make sure everyone’s accounted for in the morning.”
Scout made a few more attempts to get free but quickly gave up and got comfortable. Much easier to do now, given how small he was. He was just starting to get properly relaxed when Medic finally entered the treatment room and made a beeline for the desk. The smell hit him like a brick wall and he retched.
Scout had always hated hospitals. They stank of sterilization and fear. But this? This was so, so much worse. The chemical smell hit him first, burning his sinuses and making his eyes water. Just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse, the smell of blood mixed in with undertones of death and decay.
When he was finally set down on the desk, Scout stumbled and dropped to his stomach while he covered his nose in an attempt to block out the smell. It worked to an extent. Medic, meanwhile, either didn’t notice or didn’t care as he dug through the desk for Scout’s file. A clipboard was finally set on the desk with a sharp clack, followed shortly after by a scale normally reserved for weighing organs. It was the only scale small enough for the cats, unfortunately.
By the time Medic was ready, Scout had adjusted well enough to the smell of the room to start looking around. “Alright, Scout, let’s get your weight.”
Scout looked up at Medic, over at the scale, and back. His tail puffed and he folded his ears back as he silently dared Medic to even try.
Medic lunged and Scout bolted, but Medic had cared for birds most of his life. Catching small, fleeing things was basically second nature anymore. Grabbing hold of Scout was painfully easy, and he dropped the howling, flailing mass of teeth and claws into the scale with ease. “Scout,” he snapped, grabbing the scruff of Scout’s neck. Scout went frighteningly still. “The sooner you calm down, the sooner we can get this over with and the sooner you can leave. Got it?”
He waited a moment longer before he finally released Scout. Scout whipped around and scratched him with a hiss before he could pull away and Medic hissed in pain. Scout hissed back and hunched on the scale and his tail whipped back and forth. Medic examined the fresh scraped and sighed. They weren’t too bad, considering the wounds he’d seen on the field. Still, they were deep and were he anyone else he would need stitches. Instead he pulled a jar of ointment from a drawer and smeared it over the cuts. It wouldn’t fix the cuts completely, but it would stop the bleeding and reduce them to minor scrapes.
“Now that we’re done with that, let’s get started.” A low growl was the only reply. Lord, Scout was going to be the problem child of the group it seemed. With only a brief pause, Medic grabbed Scout and resettled him on the scale. “Hm.” He knew Scout was small but… 12 pounds? He wrote it down anyway. “Okay, stand over here,” he said as he tapped the desk. Scout gave him an angry glare but obeyed.
“More manhandling,” Medic warned before he pressed his thumbs between Scout’s shoulders.
“Ow! Watch it!” Scout squirmed as he was poked and prodded. He didn’t make a fuss when Medic grabbed his wrist and shoulder and tested the range of motion, but he did take another swipe when Medic pressed his fingers hard to expose his claws. “Be gentle,” Scout growled before licking his sore fingers while Medic hissed and examined the new set of scratches on his knuckles.
“Note to self,” Medic growled, “Clip their claws.”
“Not a chance!”
“Now hold still.” The rest of the physical was relatively easy, though uncomfortable. Medic wasn’t gentle and more than once Scout had to smack him away when he dug his fingers in too hard. But Scout was ultimately healthy, from what he could tell. There were no stiff joints, popped sockets, or broken bones. None of the bones or muscles were malformed. For all intents and purposes, Scout really was just a standard house cat. Well, aside from the overdeveloped hind legs which seemed to be a carry over from when he was human.
“Alright, Scout. Let’s take your temperature and then you should be good to,” Medic said cheerfully as he rubbed more of the healing ointment onto his hands. Scout perked up at that and trotted over to take a seat in front of Medic and opened his mouth. Sweet freedom at last.
Medic chuckled as he pulled out a thermometer. “Oh Scout. Cat’s don’t take oral thermometers.” Scout’s mouth closed slowly in dawning horror and he lifted an arm. Medic just shook his head. “Try again.”
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