It was midsummer, and as such it was hot. Very hot. Bone-meltingly hot. A female of the human persuasion was collapsed in a lawn chair, arms and legs sprawled every which way in an attempt to remain cool. Sadly enough, it proved futile. "I'm going to die," she declared to the empty yard. "Then go to the park with the lake and die there," came the reply from an open window. Sometimes she swears her neighbors were a bit too familiar with her.

But they did occasionally give good advice, and this was how she found herself walking along the shore. "Still too hot to live," she mumbled, fully aware that she was getting odd looks. Now, after a few more minutes of slowly melting to death the young female of the human persuasion decided to screw the rules and jump into the lake. Kicking off her shoes as she ran to the water, she was just about to jump in when something caught her eye.

Floating in the water just off the shore was what appeared to be a sack. It was medium sized, an indeterminable shade of brown, and shaking something violent. Eyes gleaming with curiosity, and a bit of dawning horror, she changed course and started running for the sack. Trying to go as fast as the water would let her, our mysterious heroine finally caught up to the rapidly sinking bag and hoisted it out of the lake.

It was heavier than it looked and it took two hands for her to drag the sack onto the grass. Ignoring her clinging shirt for the moment, she promptly set to work trying to undo the knot holding the bag closed. Whoever tied the damned thing was stronger than her, however, and she eventually had to settle on pulling the stupid knot apart with her teeth.

Rubbing her friction burned hands together to ease the pain, she flung the top of the sack open with a flourish. Then promptly covered her face with an arm as a seriously upset ball of fur flew at her. "Whoa! Shit!" Lowering her arm, she just managed to catch a glimpse of a bunch of kittens running off into the playground. Blinking a few times to be sure she saw what she did, she got up off the ground and gathered up the sack before grabbing her shoes and heading home. Wouldn't want any little kids getting any potentially deadly ideas.

"Back already, Mar?" The neighbor from earlier asked, leaning his head out the window. "Thought I got rid of you for the day at least." His wide grin made it clear he didn't really mean anything by it. "Yeah, I was planning on drowning myself, but then I nearly got mauled by kittens and changed my mind." Our mysterious heroine, now known as Mar, shrugged a shoulder before climbing the stairs to her apartment.

Twisting the key in the lock, Mar shoved open the door and waltzed into the entryway. Kicking the door closed behind her, Mar then proceeded to dump her shoes in the corner before tossing the sack into the trash. Hitting the power button on her iHome she danced to her room to change. "It's all in Japanese and I don't know the wooords." She sang along to the beat.

Tossing her soaked shirt onto the floor she grabbed her brown Gaara shirt and yanked it over her head with one hand, while starting to unbutton her pants with the other. Shoving the first hand through a sleeve she switched hands to finish with the shirt, then she focused on changing her pants. Finally in nice dry clothes, she picked up a strand of hair between her thumb and pointer fingers and sighed at the water dripping from the end.

After she'd dumped the soaked clothing in the hamper Mar twirled her way back into the living room. The music coming from the iHome had changed to something a bit more in English. Belting out the lyrics at the top of her lungs, and wincing when her voice cracked on some of the higher notes, Mar barely heard the low scratching sounds coming from the front door. She stared at it for a bit, wondering what in the world was going on.

Giving her head a good shake, Mar bounced over to the door and swung it open. Several furry blurs shot past her into the living room, one or two taking a swipe at her as they passed. Whirling on her toes Mar stared at the kittens who had assembled themselves on her furniture. "Hey!" She yelled pointing at the white one balancing on the back of the couch. "You're the one who tried to take out my eyes!" All the kittens flinched at the sudden sound, but none of them even made a move to run.

'I can't just toss them onto the streets. Not after all the effort to save them in the first place. But how the hell did they even find me here?' Mar continued to stare at her guests. Sighing in defeat, she waved a hand in a lazy 'come-hither' motion. Not bothering to see if they were following her, she wandered into the kitchen where she snagged a bowl out of the cabinet and filled it with water. Setting the very full bowl on the floor very carefully, Mar checked to see if any kittens had followed along. She was pleasantly surprised to see three balls of fluff sitting around her feet.

Reaching down to the one sitting closest to her she rubbed the top of his head lightly. No use freaking the poor little baby out after all. His ear twitched in what she assumed was annoyance, and she found herself apologizing to a cat. "Sorry sweetie," Mar grinned down at them. "I just couldn't resist." Humming along to the music still blaring in the other room, she swung the fridge open and peered into its depths. With an 'ah-hah!' Mar darted an arm inside and pulled out some sandwich meat.

Staring at her choices she frowned as she tried to figure out which she would be the least upset at losing. Deciding that the turkey was an acceptable sacrifice, Mar opened up the package and started shredding it on a plate. When she was sure she had enough for a bunch of starving animals, she carefully placed the plate next to the bowl and backed off. No use losing a limb. The three that had followed her into the kitchen all approached the offering and sniffed it suspiciously. "It's edible, I swear." Mar snickered. "It's the good stuff even. I had to wait in line for that shit."

Leaving the cats to their meal she went back into the other room to see what the other menaces were up to. Two of the kittens, the white and one she would almost call blonde, were tag teaming the smallest kitten. Swooping in from the side, Mar scooped up the white terror mid pounce and held him firmly against her chest. "Now now, children, no fighting." Using the arm that wasn't bracing her hostage in place she promptly began rubbing behind one of his ears. He seemed to melt at her touch and was soon purring like mad. "You, sir, are simply gorgeous. I think I shall call you that."

Walking back into the kitchen, still absently rubbing his head, she saw that most of the turkey had been devoured. Wincing at the loss of her favorite sandwich, she carefully placed Gorgeous on the floor next to the other kitties and set to work shredding more turkey. After eying the overflowing pile of meat, she set the plate back in place and backed off once again. Her new little buddy attacked the food, not showing the same suspicion as his brothers. At least, Mar assumed they were brothers. No way to really tell if they were from the same litter.

After giggling at his expense for a bit, she went back into the living room just in time to see the runt get smacked in the face. "Dude! What'd I say about playing nice?" Mar lifted the little blonde brat by the scruff. Casually tossing him onto the love seat she promptly dropped to her knees and started checking his victim for injuries. "Aw you poor baby. Are you the group scapegoat?" Mar cooed to the small black kitten. Scooping him into her arms she ran her fingers down his back a few times. Instantly a loud purring began to fill the room.

Standing back up, with a very content kitty cradled in her arms, Mar began trying to think of everything she still needed to get to care for her new housemates. 'Litter box, damn. Proper food and water dishes along with the said food. Collars with bells, nothing worse than surprise claw attacks. Uhm, beds! I share with no man! Or kitten!' Nodding her head in response to her own thoughts she carefully set Scapegoat down on the back of the couch and grabbed her shoes. "Okay cute kitties! I shall return, with stuff!" Pausing in the doorway she turned around on a whim and said, "No blowing up my house, m'kay?" She failed to notice all the looks the other kitties were giving the blonde brat.

Standing in the pet aisle at her local grocery store, Mar stared at the small selection of collars. Not only were there not enough for her group of miscreants, but everything was a shade of purple or pink. And everything had either glitter or rhinestones. Somehow she couldn't picture her nearly all male guests wearing anything like that. Glaring at the monstrosities, Mar muttered a few choice words before deciding that a trip to Petco was indeed in order. Flying through the express checkout for the stuff she had managed to find, she tossed her bags into the backseat of her car and then made her way to her next stop.

"Kriistiin! I need some collars for some itty bitty kitties." Mar called out once she was inside Petco. A girl walked out from between two rows of shelves and gave Mar a rather unamused look. "You got a cat? Have you learned nothing?" Mar looked sheepish for a moment. "Well, it's more like I rescued about ten kittens. And no, I will never learn my lesson." Kristin's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "Ten?! Dude you really didn't learn a thing."

"I said about ten... I haven't had the chance to count them yet. And someone tried to drown them in the lake, what was I supposed to do?" Kristin's jaw tightened. She may not have liked cats, but Kristin was firmly of the opinion that people who'd abuse animals deserved to be taken out back and shot. "So... Does my awesome little sis have roughly nine collars for male kitties, and one for a cute little lady?" Mar asked, mouth twitching in amusement when Kristin face palmed.

The two girls walked over to a wall covered in everything collar related. "Bells! I need bells to avoid being attacked in my sleep!" Mar exclaimed, pacing back and forth in front of the display peering eagerly at them all. "Like that one cat we had way back when?" Kristin asked absently, pulling all the blue and tan belled collars off the pegs.

Soon Mar had an armful of the most perfect collars her sister could have possibly found. To add to her joy, she got the employee discount which saved her a decent amount of change. Cackling to herself, Mar said her good byes and made her way home. It had only been roughly an hour, so imagine her surprise when she opened the front door and smoke billowed out.

Dropping the bags she was holding in the doorway, Mar darted in under the cloud and made her way to the kitchen. Somehow one of the cats had managed to turn on the stove, and a towel she'd stupidly left too close had ignited. Eyes darting around the room Mar cursed at the lack of handy fire extinguishers.

The flames started working their way up the wall behind the stove. Coughing as a puff of smoke caught her full in the face, Mar grabbed the hose at the sink and started blasting water. After taking a minute to aim, she starting spraying the flames.

Thankfully, or rather miraculously, the fire was soon out and she was left staring at a long strip of black charred wood. Dropping the hose, Mar started combing the house for felines. Every time she found one Mar would give it a quick examination, making sure they didn't get burned, before moving on to the next one. Eventually the only kitty she had yet to find was Scapegoat, and Mar had an idea which kitty it was who nearly burned down her apartment.

Finally, she found the poor thing huddled in the back of her closet. Mar took a second to wonder how he got the door open, before she was on her knees carefully pulling the little guy over to her. "It's okay, lemme see." Letting her eyes roam over his small frame a few times she soon noticed that he couldn't put any weight on his left front paw. Placing the paw in the palm of her hand she carefully lifted it up so she could get a look. "Looks like you burned yourself a lil bit there buddy." Mar said gently. Lifting the cat into her arms she made her way into the bathroom.

The three cats that had first followed her into the kitchen that afternoon were once again following close behind her. The one in the lead, an orange tiger, was carefully watching her. The blue tabby, also the only female, was on her other side. The last one, and the one farthest from her, was also orange. Walking over to the bathroom counter she set her patient down and bent over to start pulling bandages out from under the sink. "Luckily for you the burn isn't really all that serious. Though it prolly stings like a bitch." Mar murmured, carefully smearing some ointment over the wound before wrapping the bandages over it.

Finishing quickly, since she knew from experience that cats don't appreciate being still for long, Mar soon put Scapegoat back on the floor. He hobbled on his injured leg for a bit until he got the hang of it. Soon he was running back into the living room, where he promptly pounced onto Blonde Brat. Mar shook her head as Scapegoat got knocked off the couch. Noticing her audience she smiled down at the ginger kitty. "See? Your brother is going to be fine." His coat rippled from what could only have been a twitch.