Stray Thoughts

A Daria ficlet

by wyvern337

Daria wondered why she was doing this. Was it because the stray was so disgusting? Did it appeal to some kind of anti-cuteness aesthetic? Did she -- the thought was angrily dismissed almost as soon as it formed -- feel sorry for it?

The animal was hideous. By rights it probably shouldn't even be alive. It was crawling with parasites of various kinds, and its filthy matted fur stuck out in tufts here and there. It was so emaciated Daria marveled that it could move at all, and it didn't seem to be fattening up any even after weeks of feeding it the cat food she'd taken to buying out of her allowance on the way home from Highland Middle School. Probably had internal parasites of some kind, as well, she mused as the dry cat-kibble rattled into the empty cottage cheese container she'd salvaged from the trash and washed out. Time to top up the other one next to it that she'd been filling with water, she observed.

As usual, the sound of food being delivered brought the cat running. It didn't trust humans, though, not enough to get within reach. Likely a good thing, thought Daria, with those two inbred mutants she knew from school running around loose. She and the cat had sort of an understanding: it never let her approach close enough to touch it (as if she'd want to take the risk of disease!), but it didn't hide from her either. Instead, just out of reach, the scrawny orange tabby flung itself down on its haunches, one hind leg thrust out, and regarded her with its good eye while it waited for her to finish supplying it and go back indoors. If it had a good eye, that is: one was always squeezed nearly shut, while the other bulged grotesquely in its socket.

After she'd finished pouring the food Daria straightened up and looked at the cat closely. She found herself thinking about whether she might eventually manage to establish trust with it...she could barely imagine touching the creature as things currently stood, but maybe if she could get it to a veterinarian? Have it cleaned up, checked out, made well? Could she possibly get her parents to let her keep it inside? She'd never had a pet before, and had never really wanted one. Now, for whatever reason, she found herself considering the prospect, and kind of liking the idea. Not merely for the horrified reactions she was sure it would elicit from her sister and her mother, either. Okay, thought Daria, might as well admit it to myself, if no one else: I like the idea of having that kind of companionship.

Yes, she thought. Get it to a vet, get it fleadipped and wormed, vaccinated and licensed, give it a name, maybe even manage to housebreak it...she might even find herself a little less lonely.

"So what do you think?" Daria suddenly asked the cat.

"Ack! Tpth!" it replied agreeably.


Disclaimers: Daria and all ancillary characters are the property of MTV/Viacom. I just borrow them occasionally, for strictly non-commercial purposes.