Sarah sits at her computer, staring at whatever humans see in those things. Rubbing against her ankle, I meow for attention, but she pays no mind.
I gently nudge her knee with my forepaw, and again more insistently, but nothing. Finally I leap up on the desk and lay myself across the keyboard.
"Not now, Tigress," Sarah says and places me back down on the floor.
*Yes now!* I meow, springing back up and onto the keyboard. Suddenly Sarah starts to cry. I don't understand. Why has she been so upset recently?
I want her happy again, like she makes me. Before Sarah, I was a pathetic kitten shivering in a cage, cowering from every human, certain they would hurt me again. But then I heard her voice...
"Aww... Look at her stripes. Like a tiny tiger." Sarah cradled me in her arms and I wasn't afraid anymore.
I was her Tigress.
"What am I supposed to do?" Sarah sobs. "I don't know what to do..." I kiss her cheek, and meow as reassuringly as I can, but her tears keep coming.
There's a banging at the door and Sarah screams. She dashes through our apartment to the living room, and I follow at her heels. "Go away, Keith!" she cries. I can smell him through the door.
"Let me in!" he yells. Keith always yells.
"I'll call the police if you don't leave!" Sarah shouts.
"They can't help you!"
The door nearly comes crashing open, and I jump back in fear. *NO! A tigress is never afraid.* Sarah throws herself at the door and holds it shut as it's struck again and again.
"You asked for it!" Keith yells. A moment later there's a loud pop and something rips a hole in the door next to Sarah's head.
Sarah scrambles behind the loveseat as more things tear through the door. Splinters are flying and the stink of smoke fills the air, but I stand my ground.
*I am Sarah's tigress.*
The door swings open, and Keith steps into our apartment, reeking of alcohol and cruelty. I hiss my disgust, but he ignores me. There's black metal in his hand, held out in front of him.
It smells like fire. "Where are you, Sarah?!" Keith yells.
I jump on the sofa and race along the top, gaining as much speed as I can, then launch myself at Keith's face. He screams as my claws and fangs sink into his flesh.
The tang of his blood is on my tounge. His hands wrap around my throat, squeezing. He has me at arm's length. My neck--
*a loud pop... blood sprays... keith's falling... i'm falling...*
*i see sarah... the black metal smoking... drops from her hand... she takes me in her arms...* "Oh, Tigress, no..." *crying...* "I love you so much..."
*sarah cradles me and i'm not afraid anymore...*
*i am her tigress...*
*i will... always be...*