Chance’s Past Fatherhood By David Noble
Hi! The characters and material in this story are from Jessi Hilyard’s stories, from whom I received permission.
At the salvage yard, Chance and Jake were examining an old small cargo plane. It looked like it was still in good condition. Jake shook his head.
“They could have preserved this plane, Chance.”
“Yeah.” Chance sighed. “What a fine waste of cargo! Other places could have used it. So what do you suggest we do with this?” Jake thought awhile and came up with an idea.
“You know, we could touch it up and sent it back!” Chance nodded at the idea. Suddenly, Jake became distracted.
“What’s the matter?” Chance asked.
“It’s about my wife. I don’t think she should be at work, but at the hospital. In three days, her kitten will be due and–”
Chance heaved a sigh. “Haven’t you talked enough about this stupid kitten?” Jake became scared of Chance. He couldn’t believe that his pal would have this kind of attitude.
“You might wanna tell me why you’re so annoyed, Chance. You’ve been acting this way for a long time.” Jake walked up to Chance. “When he grows up, we can give him a room of his own.”
“My room, you’re thinking? You’re thinking about throwing me out?” Chance’s eyes squinted.
“No!” Jake quivered, backing away a little. “I’m considering knocking out the wall in the TV room and building another bedroom. And when we’re gone–”
Chance took a swing at Jake, knocking him.
“What did you do that for?” Jake asked, becoming annoyed and feeling his cheek. “We might need a babysitter, since we’re still living under the same roof.”
“Ask Burke or Murray if you must. They still live around the salvage yard.” Chance’s voice sounded gruff and irritated. Then he pointed his finger at Jake. “Now I don’t want to hear anymore about kittens. I don’t like them! Understand?” He started to go off and Jake followed him.
“But Chance, you’re not acting right.”
Chance turned and snarled.
Jake could feel tears filter in his eyes.
“What’s his problem? What does he have so strongly against kittens that he had to hit me?” he thought and let out a sigh of frustration. Then the two upset tomkats began to work on the cargo plane.
Gabriel was in her office finishing up her speech on Hard Drive’s sentence. She felt her stomach, in which her kitten was kicking her inside.
“I’m sorry, sweetie,” Gabriel sighed, “But mama’s got to get her papers done. I know you’re impatient to get and it will be soon.”
Judge Dugun walked in and noticed how pale her face looked. “You okay, kid? You look like a wreck.”
“I want to get this speech written as fast as I can.” Then Gabriel moaned. The kind tomkat felt her forehead.
“I’ll have to cut your hours. You’ve got a bigger task ahead of you.”
“I’ve got to support my family!” Gabriel became worried.
“I know, but your health and family come first!” Judge Dugun insisted. “Please let me help you. I’ll raise your salary. How does that sound?”
Gabriel complied. “Alright, but I’ll need time off after I deliver.”
“Will do.” Judge Dugun was a long shot from Feral who would have said, “Can you not take care of more important matters first? You can!”
In the courtroom, the assembly was ready for the verdict, which was read by Gabriel. It was around 1:00 p.m. and Gabriel was feeling a little exhausted.
Judge Dugun went over to Gabriel. “I can have another read if you’re not in good shape.”
“It’s okay,” she insisted, “I’ll be fine.” She had other things on her mind, like her kitten and the fights between her husband and Chance. Gabriel began to read.
“As spokeswoman of the Megakat City court, I, Gabriel Clawson, announce that Hard Drive is–”
Suddenly she collapsed. Judge Dugun caught her in his arms and told the officials to call an ambulance. Then he went to a phone.
The phone rang in the TV room and Jake answered it. “Hello! Chance and Jake’s salvage yard car repair. This is Jake.”
“Hello, Jake. This is Judge Dugun. Unfortunately, your wife had a collapse and as the doctors questioned her, we found out the baby’s delivery time is immediate.”
Jake became alarmed. “Where is she at?” Jake asked in haste.
“Relax, son. She’s okay and so is her kitten. She’s at Megakat hospital.”
“We’ll be right down. Thanks so much!” Jake hung up and saw Chance. He had his arms crossed.
“What do ya mean we?” Chance demanded. “It doesn’t have anything to do with that kitten, does it?”
Jake was starting to loose his cool. His caramel fur started to stand up. “Hey! You’ve been having an attitude my kid, which I’m getting sick of!”
“Well, I don’t want it in my house!” Chance said crossly.
“It’s my house too!” Jake shot back. “I thought we were partners.”
“Partners in SWAT Kat and car mechanic, yes. In supporting a kitten, no.”
“You won’t have to. It’s my kitten and this is my house too, so he’s staying here!” Chance was gnashing his teeth. “Look, if you don’t like it, you leave!”
Chance groaned heavily.
“Fine with me! Let’s go, but I’m waiting in the lobby!” With that, they drove off to the hospital, fuming.
At the hospital, Gabriel had given birth to a tomkat, resembling his father. Jake entered the room and smiled at his son.
“It looks like your son is a chip off the old block. So handsome.” Gabriel commented.
“Congratulations, honey.” Jake said as he caressed his son’s face and wiggled his son’s feet. “Welcome to the SWAT Kat family, little buddy,” Jake said to the kitten. Chance overheard him and growled.
The doctor entered. “Sir, visiting time is over,” he said.
Jake was sad to leave so soon, but he was happy to be a father. As Jake stepped out of the room, Chance seized him by the arm.
“Welcome to the SWAT Kat family? Over my dead body!” Chance yelled.
“My son is staying with us at the salvage yard. Where else can we stay? You’ve got an attitude problem, Chance!” Jake tried to remain calm, but his patience was being scratched thin.
“Why not at Burke and Murray’s?” Chance cried, turning his back.
“Not around a couple of hoodlums! And I don’t want you to ever give my wife or kid any crud!” Jake declared. Jake noticed Gabriel was getting scared and really started to get mad.
“I can’t because you’re all full of it.”
Jake noticed that his wife was starting to get scared of the fight and was really starting to get mad.
“Whatsa matter, Jake?” Chance asked sarcastically. “My attitude too rough for your puny pipsqueak hairball?”
Jake’s eyes widened with surprise and his heart broke. He then gritted his teeth in an uncontrollable rage. Jake ran up and did what Chance had done to him earlier about the kitten; he kicked Chance’s tailbone with all his might.
“Ow!” Chance cried out in pain and charged after Jake. He grabbed Jake by the throat. Jake was choking and he set off his claws and wounded Chance’s arms. Finally Jake kicked his pal in the stomach. Chance put up fist and struck his buddy one in the eye.
The doctors came over to separate the battling tomkats. “Stop it!” They ordered. “Break it up, both of you! This is a hospital!” Chance and Jake stopped their fight.
“You son of a bitch!” Jake screamed at Chance. “I’m sick to death of your cockiness! I’d better not see any of it around my wife or my kid.”
“Want another shiner?” Chance roared.
“That’s enough, both of you!” the doctor ordered. “I don’t want to have to call the Enforcers.”
The two tomkats became alarmed and were lead away. Gabriel wept. “I can’t believe my kitten’s first day can begin like this, exposed to feuds and fights!”
The doctor patted her on the shoulder. “Better not let a bad incident like this spoil your kitten’s whole life.”
“Maybe we will have to move out, since that idiot tomkat hates kittens so much!” The doctor caressed her on the back.
“This is just a sudden change in Chance’s life that he’ll have get used to. I’ll try to talk to him when he’s calmed down a bit.” Gabriel nodded as a nurse took her kitten back to the nursery. “Now, just go to sleep and all will end smoothly.”
“I don’t know, he sounds like a dangerous influence on my child.”
“There now. Why don’t I give you a drink and then you go to sleep?”
Gabriel complied, but thought to herself, “I hope he’s nice to my kitten.”
Jake sat in the living room with a patch on his eye. He felt so hurt and confused. “Why is my best buddy acting like this. It wasn’t nice of him to kick me that while back, but now he’s kicked my family to pieces. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him!”
Then the doctor led Chance in the room. Chance had stitches in his arm and a brace on his tail.
“Your wife requested me to bring your partner over to you. She says you’re both living under the same roof.” The doctor put his paw on Jake’s shoulder. “I’m sure you’re very excited about this birth and I would be too.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever talk to Chance again. After what he said.” Jake turned his back on Chance.
“Okay with me. We can settle some things without talk.” Chance started to walk away.
“And nothing can be settled with battery. It would be to his kitten’s advantage and yours as well if you two guys talked.”
“Of course the doctor knows what’s best,” Chance sneered sarcastically. But reluctantly, he sat down next to Jake.
“Sounds like you can’t stand families.” Jake cast a hateful look at Chance.
“Look, Jake. I don’t hate your kitten,” Chance said with a groan.
“You want to throw us out, I’m sure, but I don’t care. We will be through with our SWAT Kat partnership and you’ll be the only one fighting crime,” Jake said.
Chance became scared and he did not want to be alone when trouble would come. He always knew that he would have Jake by his side. He wanted this relationship to continue
“No, Jake.” Chance’s words faltered as he spoke. “It’s just that I _want_ a kitten of my own. And you don’t seem to be paying much attention to me anymore. I’ve just been jealous and thinking you care more about your wife and kitten and care no more about me.”
“You think so, Chance?” Jake became curious of Chance’s feelings. “Would you like to tell your buddy about it?”
“I don’t want to! I can’t!” Chance really started to feel bad. He hid his face in his hands.
“Sure you can. We’ve known each other for years. I’ll believe you.” Chance felt confident.
“I used to have a tom kitten and a beautiful young she-kat for a family, while I was in the Enforcers. I loved my wife and son so much. But due to the fact that I wasn’t making enough for real luxury, which she cared more of, she began seeing other kats. She was doing this behind my back! She was always asking me if I could buy her a pearl necklace or silk. When I wanted some time with her, she would say, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve got more important things to do’” Chance’s eyes were beginning to water as he tried to hold the tears back. “One morning I found a note saying that I was never going to see her or my son again. And I never did. Now do you see my frustration?” Chance broke down in bitter sobs. Jake clasped Chance in his arms and patted him on the back.
“Easy, old buddy! It sounds like you went through one hell of a depression. The she kat was definitely no lady. Now I know why you want to get my kitten out of your mind.”
“No, it’s just that I *wish* your kitten could be *my* kitten too.”
“He is yours as he is mine. Those bad days are behind you now. We’re always together, Chance.” The two tomkats could feel their friendship molding itself back together again.
“Thanks for your understanding, Jake. I feel a lot better.” Then Chance remembered something. “And when I kicked your tailbone when you mumbled something about me as T-Bone changing diapers, I’m sorry I did that to you. It was not nice.”
“And I’m sorry I haven’t paid much attention to you. It’s both our faults that we screwed this day up.” Jake hung his head and buried his face in his paws.
“Hey, I don’t think this day has to stay screwed up. We’re supposed to be partners, Jake. Always will be.” Chance wrapped his arm around his buddy. “Let’s go home and wait to pick up Gabriel and *our* son.”
Jake wrapped his left around Chance and rested his head on his heart. It was beating wildly. Chance smiled and patted Jake’s head.
The doctor watched them as they walked out of the hospital and smiled. “Well handled, Chance, well handled.”
At a studio, weeks later, the four kats went to have their picture taken. Jake and Gabriel had an arm around Chance. Chance himself was holding the kitten in his lap.
After the shoot, Chance smiled at the kitten and rubbed noses with him, saying, “I love you, little pal.”
Jake’s eyes watered with joy at Chance’s new relationship; being a second-father.
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