Andrew Wright hastily pulled his hand out of reach of the hissing cat. Jim’s body vibrated from barely restrained anger, a feeling he couldn’t recall ever having had in his shifted form.
“Daddy! Don’t yell, you’re scaring Mr. Frosty,” the boy protested.
Jim pushed his forepaws against the small clavicle and stared at the boy. Mr. Frosty?
“Mr. Frosty?” Andrew echoed Jim’s confusion perfectly.
The boy, Tony, lifted his chin, daring his father to object. “Yes, Mr. Frosty. It’s the name I gave him.”
“Tony,” Andrew sighed.
“I want to keep him,” Tony declared.
Deciding this could be interesting, Jim changed tactics. Instead of hissing and pushing away from the boy, he snuggled closer and purred loudly. Tony tightened his arms around him. Laboriously, the boy clambered to his feet with the big cat in his arms.
“Tony,” Andrew sighed again, his voice taking on a pleading edge.
He carded his left hand through his hair, ruffling it until he looked decidedly disheveled. Jim gazed up at him, waiting for Andrew’s next words.
“Tony, I know you’re missing Lady, but we can’t just take in a stray cat.”
Yes, why not?
Jim watched Andrew, how he struggled to find the right answer. “Well, we don’t know what kind of diseases this cat has. It doesn't have a collar or anything, and I don’t want either of us to get sick.”
Jim saw Tony mulling this over. Obviously he didn’t take the comment lightly. Jim reverted to an unfair tactic—he pushed his head against Tony’s cheek, rubbing and eliciting happy giggling noises.
He heard Andrew mutter in defeat. “Oh, great. All right, let’s take Mr. Frosty inside and towel him off.”
Point one for Jim, the cat.