This week's prompt is: "Suffer the little...." or use one of the alternate prompts:
Use: three, hairy, billiard ball or "When can I see you again?" or "He/she said what?" or
Use: scales, tradition, engine or use: dapper, dandelion, direct or "If I were you, I'd..."
Pet Smart by Lily Sawyer
Usually Ben spent Saturdays doing chores around the house, or out in the garden pulling out the dandelion weeds. That is, if Tom was at the firehouse working. Ben did enjoy when his man was home and they could spend their days off together doing whatever their hearts desired. Of course, many of those activities took place in their bedroom.
Were they there right now doing the horizontal tango? No, here they both sat in the antiseptic smelling offices of the Lancaster Animal Hospital. Tom held the cat carrier on his lap, while Ben tried to comfort Smokey. Yes they’d named the kitten Tom had rescued in an abandoned house that burned to the ground Smokey.
It seemed a fitting name for a firefighter’s cat.
“I’m sorry, Ben. I know you’d rather be spending your time in a better place than a vet’s office.”
“Who said that? I’m here with my man and our sick kitten son.” Ben didn’t think of himself as a cat person. He hadn’t grown up with pets; since his mother was allergic, he couldn’t have any. Sure, he’d had many friends who had dogs and cats, but he never thought they’d have any of their own.
When Tom had brought that poor, pitiful-looking kitten home, how could he say no? That had been a month ago; now that kitten had him and Tom wrapped around his little paw.
Recently they’d noticed Smokey hadn’t been eating, and he was sneezing, so they brought him to the vet. Dr. Samantha Brooks was highly touted by their neighbor, Ross, who took his two labs here, and he highly recommended this place.
“Hello, gentlemen, what seems to be your kitten’s trouble?” The doctor had a very warm and friendly demeanor. She put Ben at ease right away, and he hoped that Smokey would remain calm, too, during his exam. Tom had taken the cat out of the carrier and he was sitting on the stainless steel exam table. He had a ‘what the hell is going on’ expression on his face. He was a very friendly cat and didn’t make much of a fuss on the table.
“Smokey’sa rescue cat. I’m a firefighter and I found him in an abandoned home that was on fire. He was checked out by one of the vets at the animal shelter and we’ve had him for a few weeks. We recently noticed he hasn’t been eating well, and he’s been sneezing.”
“I see. Well, let me check Smokey out.” She checked his eyes and the inside of his mouth. Then she took a stethoscope and checked his lungs. She took his temperature and then wrote some notes on a writing pad, inside a folder the receptionist had created for Smokey.
“What’s wrong, Doc? Is Smokey going to be okay?” Tom asked nervously. Ben knew his man was usually strong ,but he could hear the concern in his voice. Ben’s hand clasped Tom’s, and they both turned their attention to the doctor.
“I’d say that your kitten has a respiratory infection. I’ll give you some antibiotics to give him that should clear up the infection. You can bring him back next week for a follow-up.” She wrote some more information into the folder. “He’ll be okay.” They stopped at the reception desk to pick up the prescription and make an appointment for next week.
“Whew, I was worried for a little while. I’m so glad you’re going to be okay, Smokey.” Ben leaned over and talked to Smokey who was in the cat carrier. They’d reached their car and Tom had put the carrier on the hood temporarily while he cleaned out some garbage from the backseat he’d forgotten to get rid of earlier.
“Aw, isn’t that a cute picture,” a voice from behind them commented.
“Murphy.” Frank Murphy was the pain in the ass that Tom had the misfortune to work with. The man knew how to do his job, but he was far from being a good people person. And he could never pass up getting in a good dig, usually at Tom’s expense. “What brings you here?”
“Well, my golden retriever, Sam.” He indicated the dog he had just brought out of the backseat of his car. “He needs his rabies shot and heartworm medication.”
“Well, what have you got here?” Frank took a peek into the carrier. “Aw, a kitten. Say, is that the same cat that was found in that abandoned house on Old Mill Lane?”
“Yeah, it was the only one that survived.”
“Well, I never thought of you as a cat person, you and the little woman here.”
“What did you just call me?” Ben couldn’t contain his anger; he was about to confront the guy when Tom stepped in front of him.
“Look, Murphy.” Tom’s voice took on a menacing tone, the kind that would scare the bravest man. “If I were you, I’d take my dog into that vet’s office and consider myself lucky that I don’t give you a fat lip. No one calls my husband ‘the little woman’. He’s not a woman, he’s a man. All man. And if I ever hear you calling him that again, I’ll deck you. Then I’ll be talking to the captain about your homophobic attitude. You got that?” Tom was right in Murphy’s face. The other man’s eyes were about to bulge out and you could see him visibly shaking.
“Y-yeah, I got it. Come on Sam.” Ben had never seen anyone move so fast; he was dragging the poor dog behind him.
The ride home was silent until they drove up into their driveway. “I’m sorry for what that asshole said to you.”
Ben took Smokey into the house and Tom followed him inside. Tom stood there, looking so sad. “I’m sorry,” he repeated. Ben grabbed him by the hair at the back of his head and pulled him down for a kiss. “My hero.”