Time Cat: An American Feline in Edo

Tobias is just an average black cat. Well, almost black - he has a white sock on his left rear foot and a white patch under his nose. One day while exploring the yard of his Human, he comes across a curious glowing orb. He begins to investigate it and inadvertently activates it, creating a rip in the very fabric of reality. Much to his dismay, he is sucked into the rip and carried through time and space to an era much earlier than his own. Now he must track this orb across time and space in order to activate it and bring him back home. Don't forget my author page: tinyurl.com/anrisarynfb


2. Discovery

     Tobias stretched his feline legs as was his practice every morning when his human called him for breakfast. But today was Saturday. His human hadn't awakened yet, even though the sun was already peeking through the curtains. If he was human himself, Tobias might have sighed, but being a cat meant he was not incapable of feeding himself.
     The cat door made a flip-flap sound as he stepped through. The morning was a little cold, but it was to be warmer later. It was early summer after all. Immediatly he picked up the scent of a vole and shot off toward the bushes. The vole was nibbling on something when he caught sight of it. He dropped as low as he could to the ground, the damp soil rubbing his belly. Just as he was close enough to attack, a car zoomed by, causing the vole to look up. With a squeak, it disappeared into a hole somewhere.
     Tobias swished his tail angrily. Those big metal beasts sure lost him more than a mean or two.
     The call of his human sent a feeling of superiority through him. He turned up his nose at the vole's house as if saying "I can get food for free! I don't need you!" He sprinted the last few feet to the door and was greeted warming by his human.
     Though his human did have a name, Tobias was not sure what it was. Though he was glad for her presence. When his hunting didn't go so well, there was always a tasty plop of seafood pate for him. Eventually, he had come to know her as Food Plop Lady. While it wasn't the most endearing name for anyone, Tobias had come to love her food plops, so the name was that of appreciation for him.
     She said some more things that sounded like a human baby but he didn't understand the words.
     "You are so cute! Yes you are! Eat up! I have to go to work now, I'll be back later! Bye!"
     He did understand "later" and "bye," but that just meant Food Plop Lady was going away for a while and would come back when the sun was setting. He didn't know where she went, but if she kept providing delicious food plops, who was he to complain?
     The door closed with a click and this meant only one thing for Tobias. He was free to do whatever he wanted as long as he didn't make a mess or get lost. Last time he made a mess, Food Plop Lady was really angry and didn't give him a food plop for dinner. Coincidentally, that night it was also pouring rain, so poor Tobias couldn't even go outside to find something to eat. He never made that mistake again.
     With a dash, he was out the flip-flip door, his bell jingling excitedly.
     Tobias' favorite place to explore was the vacant lot two houses down. There was always new things to explore because it was somewhat of a dumping ground for peoples' things. It was the city that owned it and it hadn't been developed for years since trying to get ahold of a permit for it was more trouble that it was worth.
     But this was of no concern to Tobias, for he was a cat and cats can do as they please.
     Today there was a big cylindrical drum with lots of rust running around it like spider webs. Tobias sniffed it and marked it with the scent glands on the side of his jaw. WHoever came by here would know this was his drum now. Swishing his tail with anticipation, he explored the lot, finding an old tire that provided a nice shelter from the rain, should some break out. There were also strange things like a smelly chair that sent up clouds of dust when he leaped onto the cushion, and some kind of flexible tubes that Tobias had never seen before.
     The sun was almost at its zenith when he came across a small hole in the tall wooden fence. Tobias knew the other side was just bushes and trees, but the hole just meant another place to explore. Squeezing through, he picked up an electronic scent which he had often smelled in the room where the computer was as his house. It was faint, but he followed it, curious. Within seconds, another very strong scent made him stop dead.
     Though he knew he should probably turn back, his curiosity and arrogance drove him forward. He was downwind, so it gave him an advantage. A clearing in the bushes revealed a small orb, pulsing blue. The scent of dog was stronger, but the orb was here. If he could just grab it....
     Taking a deep breath, Tobias dashed into the clearing, preparing the grab it and race the safety. A low growl filled the air; the dog was closer than he expected! Where though? Where?
     His answer came in the form of a loud bark. Jerking his head, Tobias came face to face with the canine as is charged toward him. He yowled a warning, but the dog didn't stop!
     Quickly plucking the orb for the floor, he raced at full speed back towards the hole in the fence. But he was just a second too late. The dog pounced and pinned him to the ground. All his claws extended, Tobias raked at the dogs underbelly, causing a yelp of pain from what appeared to be a chubby bulldog. It shook itself off Tobias, spraying drool everywhere, but after it recovered, Tobias was nowhere to be found.
     If cats could grin, Tobias would have been doing that right now. But instead, something strange happened. The orb suddenly changed to a red color and began to blink faster. He dropped the orb in surprise and watched as it blinked ever faster until it was almost not even blinking at all. A loud WOOSH! shook the trees and a large crack appeared out of nowhere, seemingly splitting the very reality Tobias was standing in.
     Of course, the dog had heard it and came racing, barking at the top of its lungs. So now there was a red, blinking, woosh-machine and a large dog racing after him. His ears fell flat in anger and fear and his fur puffed up, making him nearly twice and big. But before he could turn to face his canine adversary, the rip opened and a blue swirling space appeared behind it. A strong force sucked the orb in, which caused Tobias to blink in confusion. Then, without warning, the sucking force pulled in a yowling Tobias as he tried grasping at the air with his claws.
     The dog continued to bark until he reached where he thought a tasty cat was, but upon reaching the very spot, nothing but a broken fence post leading to a vacant lot full of trash.
     Tobias, on the other hand, was having the delightful experience of having his body sucked through some trans-dimensional portal. The orb had disappeared, of course, so now he was floating through a swirling sea of purple which to him was more like deep blue mixed with a few grays and darker grays. This didn't really matter to him, though. He was more concerned with his inability to feel solid ground.
     His wonderfully exciting journey came to an abrupt end with a thump.
     Still coming to his senses, he shook his head. He was in the middle of a street in some kind of marketplace. There were people, all dressed in strange robes with symbols on them that didn't look familiar. Though he didn't know how to read, he did know that these symbols were letters, but not ones the Food Plop Lady used. They were lines and curves and boxes.
     These were in fact Japanese Hiragana symbols - one of three Japanese alphabets. He was in Japan.
     A group of male humans trotted by carrying a woman on a chair, their kimonos all billowing in the wind. The woman appeared bored as she twirled the parasol, but she was getting where she needed to go. Other men were shouting and holding up fish and vegetables. Tobias didn't understand any of the words, but this was normal. He sniffed the air and picked up the scent of the various wares - fruits that he never smelled before, strange seafood....
     He began exploring the stalls, but was shooed out by the owners with kicks. Many of them said things that sounded angry, so he supposed he should explore elsewhere. He wasn't bothered too much by the reactions, but he was getting a little hungry now. The sun was setting now and his stomach told him Food Plop Lady had a tasty food plop for him. He paced around the market, trying to find a familiar scent that could lead him home.
     Nothing but market scents reached him. He began to worry, racing through corner after corner. After about fifteen minutes of pacing, ignoring all the hands outstretched for him (which is he wasn't so distressed, he would have stopped and rubbed against), he finally realized he was nowhere near his big nest.
     He was lost, and he had no idea how to get home.

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