Katt realized that she didn’t own an umbrella.
Embarrassingly enough, it took getting caught outside during a sudden shower for the prospect to be properly nailed into her skull. It wasn’t as though purchasing one hadn’t crossed her mind once in a blue moon. Rather, she hadn’t found herself in dire enough need for one. Not when she could just power through a light drizzle with minimal dampness of fur, or for those persistent showers, use her jacket.
She was a busy girl. Who makes time for something as mundane as buying an umbrella?
Mother nature apparently had enough of letting Katt get away with that flimsy excuse, as shown by the rainstorm almost soaking her to the bone. Home was a good walk away. Just enough to be annoyingly menaced with neverending matted fur until then. Lovely.
Maybe this was her excuse to admit defeat and go to Nook’s Cranny.
Predictably, the thought quickly slipped from her mind once she no longer felt her head being pelted with rain.
“Ugh, you again?”
Katt might’ve assumed she lucked out and the rain stopped had Whipping Boy not reared his nerd glasses.
Raymond didn’t seem to mind that Katt had effectively stared at him with the words “GET LOST” all but written in neon lights across her eyes. In fact, she certain that was why she couldn’t shrug him off no matter how hard she tried. He just kept creeping back to her like a zit that got some sick kick out of getting popped. The weirdo.
Figures he had exactly what she could’ve used right about now. “You uhh…looked like you needed an umbrella.”
He looked at her with that same pathetic mewling expression she’d always seen when he looked her way. “And you look like you need to take a hike.”
Naturally, it went through one of his pointed ears and out the other. “Don’t you have an umbrella? It’s raining.”
“Yeah thanks, Captain Obvious, I can see that it’s raining.” Katt barked rudely. “And of course I have an umbrella! I just…left it at home.”
“But the forecast said that it was gonna rain all d-“
“I know what it said, moron! What you think I’m stupid enough to not have an umbrella?!”
“What kind of idiot doesn’t have an umbrella huh? Are you calling me an idiot, Raymond?!”
“Good! Then stop bugging me about it then!”
Katt counted her lucky stars he didn’t notice the way her tail frizzed up when she lied through her teeth. Then again, he always focused on her face whenever she had the grievance of having to deal with him.
Luck had seemingly ended there for her. Almost immediately she was again reminded that she was caught out in a storm with her only source of reprieve coming from this loser.
Raymond seemed to come to that conclusion as well as he made that annoying smile. The one that was enough to rile up another one of her migraines. That’s the one.
“Do you…maybe want me to walk you home?”
For a moment, Katt narrowed her eyes in irritation. Already, she was chiding herself for even entertaining the idea of subjecting herself to Raymond’s company for more than 5 minutes. The violent pitter-patter of rain was giving her much fewer options on the other hand. Katts and rain don’t mix.
She took a sharp breath of defeat. “…Fine.” His eyes wasted no time dilating like a firework. She quickly put a stop to that. “BUT. Ground rules. There is to be no talking, nor begging for abuse of any kind.”
He nodded repeatedly.
“You are only here to hold the umbrella so that my clothes don’t get absolutely ruined. Capische?”
He nodded again.
“We are to go to my house and my house only. After that, you go…drool over file cabinets or someth-I don’t know, whatever it is you do.”
Another nod. This time more excitedly.
Instant regret hit like her Bob driving a car. “Let’s just get this over with.”
Katt didn’t slow down for him. He made every attempt to keep the umbrella shielding her even though it lacked the proper size to accommodate them both.
It was the closest thing to having a nice and quiet stroll home.
“Stop breathing so close to me.”
“Would ya quit it with the constant apologies? Sheesh, what are you, some kind of doormat?”
Raymond opened his mouth to speak but for reasons Katt didn’t know nor cared enough to press about, he clammed back up.
They continued in relative silence. Raymond, as expected, didn’t have a single complaint despite taking the brunt of the rainfall. Katt didn’t need to look back to notice that his dress shirt and vest were positively waterlogged. Was he really so whipped that he’d catch a cold or something for her?
For whatever reason, that seemed to bug Katt even more.
“Really?” She remarked now offended. Raymond slightly flinched in confusion. “You’re not even gonna bother keeping yourself dry?? Look at you! I know you can’t see anything from how wet your glasses are!”
He avoided her gaze out of embarrassment. Not like he could see much of it.
Why was she not ditching him and his freaky…freakiness?
Why couldn’t her conscience bear to see the little geek look so pitiful?
“Just…just get under here. I’ll hold the stupid umbrella.”
Raymond did a double-take. “R-really?”
Only ‘cause seeing him trip over him like an idiot was leaving a bad taste in her mouth, she told herself. Katt rolled her eyes muttering an uninterested grunt. “Hurry it up before I change my mind.”
No normal person smiled that much from sharing an umbrella. Raymond seemed to like subverting expectations.
While the idea of anyone being outside in the rain long enough to catch her with this idiot seemed slim, Katt still hoped to keep any plausible assumptions down to a minimum. Raymond blissfully followed along, uncaring that his fur still sopping wet.
He was a special kind of hopeless.
After what felt like hours of damp footsteps through the mud, Katt’s humble home eventually came to view.
“Finally,” she grumbled. “Alright bozo, that’s your cue. Go on. Shoo.”
Imagine Katt’s shock (or rather lack thereof) when he didn’t scurry off.
He fidgeted in place at her doorstep. “Umm, Katt?”
Oh great. “What?”
“Thanks for doing that. Sharing the umbrella I mean.”
“Don’t mention it. Ever.”
“I mean it. No amount of bells in the world will be worth what I do to you.”
Raymond gulped, only the slightest bit shaken enough not to get a rise from it. “Yes…Ma’am?”
“Good, now buzz off. I’m keeping this umbrella. I need a…spare.”
“Oh and Katt?”
“Any chance that this means you can maybe…”
Katt narrowed her eyes. She allowed herself the naïve thought that maybe the next thing that came out of his mouth would fall within the steadily thinning realm of normalcy she had so desperately tried to cling to. “Yeeeeah?”
“…Kick my a-“
The door slammed in Raymond’s face.