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The Playmate


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The Playmate

"And just what the hell am I supposed to do with this?"

The big, friendly cat ran figure eights around his legs easily standing as tall as his waist.

"Cody! Mind your manners!" his mother scolded.

Cody said, "But I had my heart set on a dog. I'm not even sure that I like cats."

The cat looked Cody in the eye and he could hear, I'm not sure that I like little boys either but I'm willing to give it a try.

Cody looked at the big cat with wide, startled eyes, then to his mother and grand mother. He slowly backed away from the cat but fell backwards on his behind.

His grandmother said, "Spoke to you did he? That's a good sign."

Cody nodded his head. "You mean I'm not bonkers? The cat can... talk?"

His grandmother reached down and stroked the huge cat and said, "Well, maybe a little bonkers but it runs in the family. He's telepathic but he will only chose to communicate with a very few people. Cody, we will all soon be moving to Evergreen. What do you know about the place?"

Cody said, "It's a world in the constellation of Scorpius 1,200 light years away around an F class star. It has massive seas, jungles and woodlands. It's a stage 3 colony that exports agricultural products."

His grandmother nodded and said, "Yes. Just like the travel brochure. It also has dangerous predators and maybe even things that no one has discovered yet. Your new friend is a tigra-pard. He was genetically engineered from tiger and leopard DNA. He will grow to be as big as a standard tiger but, given time he will bond with you. He will become like a brother to you and would die before he would allow any harm to come to you."

Cody took in what his grandmother said. He reached out and gently stroked the big cat behind the ears. The cat looked back at him with calm, intelligent eyes. The boy said, "Wow, he looks so... smart."

The cat circled Cody rubbing against him and sat beside him purring. He heard the voice in his mind say, Thanks. You appear to be smarter than I first thought too.

His mother said, "He is smart. Almost as smart as a human. His intelligence and senses are more tuned to nature than a human can possibly be. He can smell, hear and see dangers much better than a human can. When we are living on Evergreen, he can help to keep you out of trouble with the local predators."

Cody asked, "What's his name?"

His grandmother answered, "That's up to you and your new friend."

Cody looked at his new friend and thought, what do you want your name to be?

The big cat answered, My name is Raja.

Cody said, "He says his name is Raja."

His mother said, "You can name him anything you wish."

Cody said, "If we're going to be friends, I should respect his wishes."

His grandmother said, "This is an excellent start."

Cody heard Raja's voice in his mind, Respect is always a great place to start with friends. Now let's play!

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What gave it away, the knobby knees, the mustache, or the blue hair rinse? ;)

(Hah, I'm tempted at some point to dye my hair bright blue, just to confound a few people and make them wonder! Heheheh!)

Nothing against telepathic critters or grandmas or guys named Cody or Codey ;) or Indians Eastern or Western, for that matter. Kinda predisposed to like all the above.

Hmm.... How many grannies wear heels, though? I think I need some "sensible shoes."


Oh, I'm probably never gonna live this one down. But I've got this mental image of a sort of Ruth Buzzie style (or Mrs. Doubtfire or Tootsie) style granny now....

(OK, also have a soft spot for Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. If you say, "Who's that?" good for you, youngun.)

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