(2018-07-19) The Hallowed Halls of Cletus
The Hallowed Halls of Cletus
Summary: Brier and Callisto resume their efforts to help some stray kitties.
Date: 2018-07-19
Related: Follow-up to this log, the next day.
NPCs: Feed us all, right meow.
Scene Runner: NA

Maple Drive, Shady Cove
Thu Jul 19, 2018

This area of town has fallen into disrepair, there are a few abandoned houses, a large broken down hospital that is no longer in use and an old park. Next to the park there is a skating park in surprisingly good repair, local kids see to the upkeep of their skating playground. The street has several potholes and the grass on the sides of the road is tall and unkempt.

(OOC: Mood music - "Blue Sun" © Mark Isham)


It was the day after Operation Kitten Rescue and Brier had come back into town with Callisto. This time…they had provisions! In the form of cat food (dry and wet), treats and toys! The hippie carries what he can in his backpack, wearing his typical attire and his hair pulled back into two French braided pigtails. "Do you think we brought enough?" He asks, looking over to the other student as they walk.

After not too stellar of a sleep the night prior, Callisto was nonetheless up and ready to go to help out with Operation Kitten Rescue. Not for the first time is her mind wandering toward how… different this is, in comparison to her old ways. Old ways as-in… early 1900s.. when she was an impassive, unpleasant and generally unhappy recluse in the North. And now? Callisto is poised to become a Senior, she's carrying along a huge grocery bag filled with kibble, cat nip toys… even some loose dried cat nip! Between the two of them, they're going in well-prepared. As she purchased her portion of the emergency kit, Callisto received quite an odd look from the cashier.

She does not look like a crazy cat lady.

So here they are, Brier turned out like the flower child that he truly is and Callisto wearing something more practical for dealing with feral cats in an abandoned house. A pair of distressed white-washed denims that hug the lengths of her legs and a fitted tanktop. Her hair has been tied back into one thick braid.

As they walk toward the old part of town, Callisto carries the conversation, "I suspect that we do. All we're missing are the litter pans, but that's moot." Said with one of her rare smiles.

Brier nods "Yeah…I don't know that they'd even know what to do with a litter pan." The blonde looks over to the other student again and the bags in her hands "I can carry something if you need me to. My hands are free." It isn't said in a condescending tone, just a helpful one. He was all for woman power! "Oh hey! Maybe we can stop in town for lunch after? A few students have mentioned some pizza place and a burger place." Hippies eat burgers? This one does!

"T'is alright.. it's light." Callisto chuckles softly. "It may be best that you've free hands, just in case we have another runner like yesterday." She nods toward the expanse of street that has now become cracked, broken up… neglected. In stark contrast to pretty Shady Cove, this area of town looks tired. There are houses here, huddled in and hunkered down and looking out at them with broken windows that may as well be baleful eyes. They pass the skatepark where most of those same skaters are… they glance at the two walking with their supplies, guffawing and snorting.

"This house, over here." She points toward a dilapidated two-storey house that is tucked back into a corner lot, the stop sign knocked helter-skelter into the lawn. One can just smell hints of cat pee, but it's not as awful as in, say, a hoarder house… all of the windows are smashed and airing the place out. Callisto pauses, looks to her friend, "I would like that. Both are very good eateries."

The hippie listens to Callisto, following her directions as they walk. Eventually they get to the house, Brier looking at it "Whoa…" Maybe they could come back another day with cleaning supplies! Not that the cats were picky, but still he liked the idea of them having a safe place. "Alright then, you pick the place and we'll go. I haven't been to either." Walking up the stairs to the house, he'd open the door for her seeing as how her hands were full…and also that's how his momma raised him!

Coming up to the poor old house, Callisto bows her head lightly in appreciation as Brier gets the door. IT's not locked; there isn't even a knob. Someone kicked open the door long ago and to enter the downtrodden space is to see the squalor of years' worth of abandonment. There are 'runners' of damage along portions of wall where somebody even scavenged the copper wiring! IT's really pretty sad… whoever owned this place, once upon a time, probably didn't count on this happening to their abode. Now.. it belongs to cats.

As soon as the two students enter the house, dozens of paws can be heard scattering. The noise drops down into near-silence, as many terrified eyes observe them from nooks and crannies. There are cats here of all sizes: many juvenile, a few seasoned adults… and kittens.

Callisto coughs gently behind a palm. "We've our work cut out for us."

Brier walks into the house after Callisto, hearing the sound of scurrying fluff balls and then seeing just exactly what they were working with. Between the condition of the house and just how many cats seemed to be staying here, the usually high spirited blonde actually frowns. "Poor cats…" He tried to imagine how long some of them must have been here, but quickly switched that train of thought. Obviously they had made a home for themselves, even if it wasn't ideal. They were survivors.

"So…I guess I'll start by getting the dishes out? Then we can put the food out." Brier looks around again, seeing all those sets of eyes staring back at them. "I brought a few water bottles…or do you think they can find that easy enough?" He had dealt with neighborhood strays here and there back home, but nothing of this magnitude.

"That would be best." Callisto concedes, setting down her bags carefully and listening to how even that action and noise sets the kitties to high alert. She kneels to begin digging through the bags, pulling out a sack of kibble. It's not the highest end stuff, but it's not garbage either… they needed a lot of it, without breaking the bank. (or their arms, carrying it)

She hears Brier's words and recognizes, in his tone, a sadness for the creatures. Callisto looks up from her efforts and speaks, in hopes of being reassuring, "T'will be alright. They know well what to do, to get by. They are looking upon us, surely, and are thinking us to be inept and unable to survive as they do. If there is anyone more deserving of sympathy, it would be us. These cats are professionals."

"I brought a few bowls…" On sale at the dollar store, yo! "We can perhaps leave a couple of bowls here, and in one of the bedrooms." Callisto ponders as she pulls open the bag of food.

"That's true…" Brier chuckles as he smiles again. "My mom told me once that cats actually bring dead mice and other 'presents' to their humans because they think we can't hunt for ourselves…so they have to take care of us and stuff." Looking over to Callisto as she pulls out her supplies, he sets his backpack down and gets onto his knees. Unzipping the bag he pulls out his own supplies. "How crazy do you think they'll go once they realize it's food in here?"

"That makes sense. Your mother seems a wise woman." Callisto says, not for the first time. Since meeting Brier and hearing more about his loving mother, the girl has only been further fascinated. She senses movement and looks up slowly, her bright gaze settling upon a rather intrepid ginger tabby that has come out of hiding. Despite being a stray, it's in fairly good shape… not quite so many battle wounds. Must be younger. A few others follow the tabby's example, peering out of their shadowy hideaways in that shifty-full-pupil-dilation way that cats tend to do. Callisto looks down to begin pouring some of the dry food into a dish… and the sound only brings out more felines. Counting adults and kittens, there has to be about 20 in this house. Maybe more. Most are still hiding.

"This place is overrun." The fey girl whispers, "I think they're going to go right out of their minds when they truly catch on to what we're doing."

More trickle out..

Brier just grins at the compliment to his mother "Yeah…" Such a momma's boy! Then, the cats are getting braver. As the ones come out from hiding in front of them, Brier feels something brush against his leg from behind. Looking back he sees an older cat walking by him and leading another grouping of curious strays probably from some other room. Perhaps upstairs and having heard the sound of food.

"Well hey there…" He speaks to the older cat, reaching a hand out gently but not touching the cat yet. The movement and sound of Brier's voice cause a few of the cats to jerk back in alarm, but the older cat simply sniffs his hand before head butting against it and then going in for full rubbies. It had obviously had a home for awhile to be this friendly, but chances are it just got dumped here. Probably due to it's age.

The ginger tabby sniffs the air lightly, clearly born into the feral clowder, and the moment Callisto begins pouring some kibble into one of the cheap bowls the cat skitters backwards, hunches.. sniff sniff. So sketchy. Callisto watches the sleek orange critter with her striking gaze, before looking back down and making to ease back, away from the bowl of kibble. She slides it just a bit closer and leaves it be, turning next to Brier. She holds the kibble in one arm, as she watches the hippie and old man kitty. Looks like an old tom, but it's hard to tell. Maybe it's an old queen!

"T'was owned before, I suspect." Callisto says as she watches the elderly fluff lavish in the touch. She doesn't quite have a bowl to prepare, but she kneels and begins pouring a little mound of kibble right in the proximity to the old cat that is investigating Brier.

Cats can be heard upstairs; their vocalizations, their bodies moving. The house is waking up.

"Yeah…" There's a frown again from the hippie, it looks so unnatural on him. "This cat is so affectionate. I bet he was the best house cat…gave the best cuddles and loved treats. I bet he loved his humans unconditionally…" the only way animals know how to love "…and his humans thought they loved him too…but…" Brier shakes his head "I don't see how somebody can just…stop loving something. How they can abandon a member of their family. That's not love…it's convenience…"

The old cat seems to sense Brier's trouble, giving an extra push against his hand for more cuddles. Brier smiles softly at that, scratching behind the cat's ear to the sound of much appreciative purrs. "You're right, buddy…you're better off without them anyways." He then looks over to Callisto, giving that same hippie smile "Thanks for telling me about this place. I'm glad we can help them…" Had his ramblings been connect to something else or other thoughts? Maybe.

<FS3> Callisto rolls Psychic: Great Success.

The girl is silent as she watches Brier and listens to his words. Altruisim and care are still two very recent things in her lifestyle, as noted copiously. Since the 1970s, Callisto really paid attention to the human condition especially. She is no Empath but emotions still play a big part in her day-to-day life. She cannot manifest emotions as an Empath would; they do not manifest THROUGH her. But a thought such as this, of this sweet old cat being left here… how it affects Brier. How can she not 'feel' something? A twinge in her thoughts? Spoken words draw from a well of intense thought and something is blipping on the fae's radar. Her lashes flutter as her eyes feel itchy, briefly; it could be just the dust and dander but Brier's words reach her.

"How about this." Callisto says to the soft-hearted boy, "What say you to the prospect of trying to make this house in particular safer for this lot." That's a big order… but there's lots of spare wood and discarded things lying around. "He is better off without whomever deigned to leave him here, but we can at least help him by arranging this space a bit. Even if we find a way to bar the door; the cats can come and go through windows. Would it help to know that their home, here, is made secure?"

IT's a big order, but Callisto is stubborn. She does not like seeing Brier sad.

Brier thinks on Callisto's words, continuing to give all the pets to old cat. "…Dude that's a great idea!" He grins fully then, happy Brier back! "We can bring some cleaning supplies too. Maybe even get a few of those cat tree things or beds…if other students wanna help donate or something." The two of them probably couldn't cover all of that by themselves. Or at least it would take longer if they tried.

The sounds had finally brought more cats from upstairs, but certainly not all. "Alright alright…I guess all of you are right. Less talk, more food huh?" Laughing, he looks over to Callisto and helps in finishing putting out the food.

The fey girl listens to the fluffing up (no pun intended) of the plan and when talk of kitty trees and beds and the like come into play, she inwardly worries. Why couldn't she have hatched this plan when she was rich? Like stinking, inexhaustibly rich…? Even if the funds were tied to bad sources, think of the giant 'fuck you' that would have been to her matriarch to sink a portion of that greedy fae barrow of money into helping cats. Callisto, now disowned, gets by on what she makes at the book store and YMCA; did she have a nest-egg still? Maybe. She won't tell Brier, but if she sinks the remainder of her 'family' savings into the cause.. she could at least cover extra food.

All of this whirling and formulating in the willowy girl's head, in seconds. Then a smile.

"Then it shall be done." Callisto confirms, about to explain more until she startles. A white kitten scrambles it's way up her pantleg. Food makes the cats sociable.

Callisto crumbles as she holds the little thing that matches her hair. "Oh my goodness." She squeaks out, clears her throat.

Brier can't help but smile at the idea of these cats having their own little home. Done up, are as much as possible, with things they need and to let them know they were loved. "Awesome! I'll talk to some of the other students too and see if anybody else wants to help." He then laughs as the white kitten finds Callisto, especially at the other student's reaction. "Want me to take a picture?" He offers, taking out his phone.

Brier's excitement is catching. Tie that in with the marauding white floof and Callisto…. she… gets giddy.

Her lips twitch, and where typically a careful smile would be worn, her mouth opens into a spat of laughter; she is grinning. "Oh~!" She hesitates as the kitten bats at the tapered tip of an elfish ear. "You.." She drops into a calming, warbling whisper of what could be baby talk. Or it's Danish. Or maybe even Unseelie? Either way Callisto is babbling at this kitten and she looks up with reddened cheeks as Brier offers to take a picture? "I.. s-sure. Could you?" She asks almost shyly. Then it occurs to her as she holds the kitten to her chest, kneeling amidst the bric-a-brac and mess in the room. "I shall take one of you, too."

She can take her first picture with her first cellphone! THe dark fae, who doesn't look or behave darkly in the least, holds the kitten to the side of her face.

Brier grins "It's a deal!" With that he holds his phone up, taking a few pictures just to make sure he got a good one. "What's your number? I'll send them." He watches the white kitty some more before looking down at the old man cat by him who was still soaking up all the affection from Brier's free hand. "This is definitely a great way to spend the day."

The girl will pose, holding her little fluffer, for however long it takes Brier to snap a few shots. Once giving him her number, she will ask for his and just LOOK, people.. JUST LOOK. Callisto programs in a new contact. Without having to ask for help. Without accidentally dialing a number in Bangkok. Brier is added to her small list of contacts and she flushes with pleasure, still cradling the kitten and accessing the camera app. She's coming along in leaps and bounds, since her arrival stateside.

"Would you like a picture with your old friend?" She asks, looking down at the old cat that is languishing with the hippie.

Though the fey girl considers, "We may have to return to the estate to get cleaned up, if we are to eat somewhere. For we certainly will smell after this visit. Perhaps if we are to work here often, we shall have to designate clothing for here and only here." Callisto reasons out, waiting to snap a photo with Brier and the old kodger cat. It makes sense, as there are some at Winbarry who are terribly allergic to cats. Her lips crook up at the mention of the day itself, "It.. is, truly. Thank you for coming out. I needed this."

Giving her his number in return, Brier then sends her the pictures before shaking his head. "Are you kidding? You're the one who had the idea and told me about this place. So thank YOU!" At the mention of the picture he nods and lays on his side, getting down at the old cat's level rather than trying to pick him up or get him to move. "How's this?" He'd then continue to pet the cat, lifting up a treat and offering it to him which is of course taken very readily.

Snap. Callisto gets the shot, twice… though she waits as other cats come in at the prospect of treats! Her lips curve into a gleeful little smile; her heart is happy. Funny though now none of the younger ones take away food from or otherwise antagonize the elder cat. The product is Brier, down on kitty-level, soon surrounded by about five other curious felines that are emboldened by the food and fact that these people aren't trying to hurt then.

Snap, snap… Callisto puts her phone away and moves carefully toward the bag. While Brier packed more cat toys, Callisto brought with her more cat weed and she pulls out a little plastic tub of… the nip.

"T'is a pleasure." Said as she does all of this while not missing a beat in holding her white kitten. Talent!

As soon as the lid is removed… there is the smell of catnip. Let the calamity begin!

One of those pictures is certainly Brier, caught mid laugh at the surprise of suddenly being surrounded by cats looking for treats. He does his best to hand them out fast and to all who come seeking. However, soon the smell of kitty drugs are released. Cat nip! Heads raise. Ears perk. Meows sound! "Oh…I think we're about to set off a kitty rave."

The fey girl feels the white kitten moving in her elbow, wanting down.. and it is with marked regret that she sets the little one free. White floof wants in on the drugs! Callisto pinches up some of the aromatic, fine greenish herb and sprinkles it along some of the old, beaten hardwood. This was a nice house in it's time. Immediately some of the feral cats slink in to sniff… then sniff…. hold crap they SNIFF. Suddenly there's cat bodies whirling and rolling and sliding and reacting to the cat nip as something in the plant just drives them mad.

Callisto starts laughing as her kitten, who turns out to be a mean drunk, baps some of the other cats. She backs out of the fray slowly and kneels closeby, where Brier initially laid with the older cat. She's sprinkling some of the nip close to the old man.

"I'm going to have a look around the house to see what we must do next."

Brier feels the clamor and paws of cats and kittens as they try to get to that sweet delicious herb! Old man cat stays by Brier though because why would you leave constant cuddles!?! His nose does move and twitch though, indicating an interest…when Callisto obliges and bring the drugs to him! Happy old man cat sniffs of the drugs and then moves his head from Brier's hand down to the herbs on the ground and gives them a good push through.

Brier laughs and then looks to Callisto "Okay I can come with you! Figure the cats want to get their rave on. Cletus…" He looks and points to the old man cat "You're in charge." He then pushes to stand up, giving Cletus one last good rub of the head before looking to Call. "Lead the way!"

"Cletus..?" Callisto echoes the name, then turns on a heel to watch the kind-hearted boy. Her expression looks puzzled, then amused. "T'would be hard to name all of them. I yet wish I retained some of the… boons that I had before I was disowned. I will have had the funds to fix this. All of this." She's not trying to brag, for her tone is bittersweet. "T'was not money, or even a connection that I wanted anymore. We shall make do with what we have now." A nod to Brier, and herself. No use mulling over things beyond their control.

With one more look to the drugged-up kitty rave, Callisto turns to ascend a flight of filthy-yet-stable stairs. This shall take them into what is indeed an array of rooms, all of which have been emptied of cats. A good thing. It appears that all of the animals have congregated in the downstairs den and judging by what's there, it's a manageable number. It's just too bad that cats breed so easily, in this case.

"It appears that much has been taken from this house… as long as we find a way to secure the place a little, we'll be off to a good start." Proclaims Callisto, before preparing to sink herself into what will be a good hour and a bit of tidying up the abandoned space. Bowls will be placed.. and plans made!

And Gods above, a shower had upon returning to Winbarry, reeking of mustiness and cats.

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