The freshman orientation guide was very, Very clear about this point. Absolutely, positively, no pets allowed. (minor exceptions to be made for service animals.) And yet here she was, 3 weeks into her first semester, sitting on the ground, staring at a cat. It was staring back.
Dread had always been fond of animals. She had never been allowed to have any pets, (her father was allergic to most things with fur, and her mother just hated animals) but she had always wanted a cat. Multiple cats, preferably. And now she was sitting on the steps of her dorm, in a college where No Pets Were Allowed, staring at the most precious little ball of fur she had ever set eyes on. She knew far too well about the other rules (she was on her second roommate, now, and the delicate horns curling from the thing-that-was-not-her-first-roommate’s face had left an… impression.) She was very good about remembering iron, salt, and not to say please or thank you. But this was a very cute cat, and she was willing to risk a little bit.
It meowed. She held out a hand, and it walked right up to her, and “oh my goodness you are just the cutest thing!” she squeaked. The cat seemed satisfied.
She was, to say the least, conflicted. The rules were very clear, and the rules were generally right, but this was a very small cat, and she did not have very many friends, and really, she already knew what she would do. “C’mere, you.” She scooped up the cat and it snuggled into her jacket. “I’m going to name you Eldritch.”
It was about three weeks later that things got… actively weird. She had managed to smuggle in, via the Walmart (which had no employees that day, she left the money on the counter and hoped that nothing Else would take it) a litter box and cat food. Eldritch seemed to settle in fine, and she traded her roommate 3 dollars and a cool rock in return for not telling anyone about the very, very illegal pet currently snoozing on her lap. The roommate, whose name was Chalkboard, seemed to like the cat. Chalkboard even gave the cat a cat-toy. When Chalkboard vanished (decided to take the “fake your death to avoid breaking up with your s.o” advice a little too much to heart), Not-Chalkboard did Not like the cat. Dread caught Not-Chalkboard making what looked like a very rude hand gesture at the cat on multiple occasions, although it’s hands were strange and it was hard to be sure. It was when Not-Chalkboard, after having a Very Intense staring contest with the cat for about 6 minutes, saw the error of its ways and vanished, leaving Chalkboard in its place, that Dread began to think something might be up. Eldritch said nothing, as cats are wont to do, but it purred a great deal when Chalkboard let it sit on her lap while she was doing her homework. This was, to say the least, Rather Suspect. Nothing more was said about it.