Sebastian honestly doesn’t understand what the big deal about kindergarten is. His mother had been warning him for months now, gently, that it was alright if he didn’t like it. That he’d miss home and he might not make friends right away, or that there would be new rules to follow. He’d started to get worried that maybe it would be awful, despite the fact that she was only trying to help him prepare himself.
He can see now he was worried for nothing.
He’d immediately been drawn from his mother’s side at the sight of the small toy piano in the corner. It wasn’t as nice as the baby grand his mother played at home (and let him play sometimes, sitting on her lap), but it was small enough that he could sit at it and touch the ground. He’d been absorbed in it immediately, only peeling himself away to kiss his mother goodbye until he’d picked out one of the songs she often played as best he could. It rather impressed a few of his classmates, and he wasted no time telling them his mother used to play the piano for her job. He didn’t feel shy at all talking to them, because he knew he had great stories to tell. It was just like going to one of his father’s parties and meeting all the people in suits and dresses, except less annoying because his classmates didn’t laugh at him for being ‘such an adorable little gentleman.’
However, he soon got bored and declined to play house with the children he’d been talking to, preferring instead to see what else this place had to offer. He soon discovered a wooden playhouse just outside and didn’t hesitate to push open the door to investigate. He was given so much freedom at home, it didn’t occur to him to ask permission to go outside.
Inspecting the door to find it had a turning handle, to his delight, he immediately ducked inside. It had a table and chairs and a little plastic sink to wash the plastic dishes in. It was alright, but the one he had at home had an actual floor. This one you could see the blacktop. Sebastian was quickly distracted, though, by quiet sounds coming from behind the playhouse. He pressed his face to the window facing the back and tried to see down (these windows didn’t even open).
It was another little boy, holding—was that a cat?
Sebastian immediately burst out of the playhouse and rounded the corner. “Where’d you get a cat?” he asked without introduction. “Did they let you bring it to school? What’s its name?”
“We should find you something to eat, Clarence,” He says quietly to the kitten, his voice a lot more gentle than it usually is. He hums softly for a moment, trying to think of what he had in his backpack that he could feed the kitten, and then when he realised he personally didn’t have any cat safe food he thought to what they had in the snacks room.
He knows what’s cat safe because he’ll never forget how angry his mom got when he told him he had fed the Misty cookies. Lesson learned.
“Milk,” he muses out loud, grinning when the kitten licks his chin. “Milk it is. I will just lea-”
Hunter’s sentence is cut off when the figure of another kid appears from seemingly out of nowhere. He tucks the kitten under his jacket quickly, furrowing his eyebrows at the boy. “I don’t have a cat,” he lies, holding his jacket tighter as he feels the small kitten start to wiggle. “Go away!” He says flatly, looking away from the new kid and hoping that if he ignored him for long enough he’d get bored and leave.
No such luck. The boy’s still there and Hunter’s struggling to keep the kitten hidden for much longer, and before he can stop it the white ball of fur has found it’s way out of the neck hole on his jacket and was climbing up onto Hunter’s shoulder. He chuckles, and then sighs defeatedly. “Can you keep a secret?” he murmurs, gesturing for him to come closer so that no one else would see them. “I found her… Her name is Clarence.” He holds the cat so it’s back on his lap, patting down her back. “Who are you anyway?” He asks as a side thought, not even looking up from the animal.
Hunter likes kindergarten. He does. There’s no doubt that there’s enough activities around the place to keep him occupied. It’s the socialising with the other kids he doesn’t like.
They’re mentally unstable, he’s sure of it. They’re either too happy, or they’re crying because someone took the orange crayon. It was ridiculous. Orange isn’t even a nice color!
Hunter had spent most of his morning building a tower out of blocks. One of the girls — Alison, oh how he disliked Alison — had told him that he wasn’t going to be able to make a tower bigger than hers, and as he sits back and smiles proudly at his tower he knows he’s certainly proved her wrong. Good.
And then out of the corner of his eye he sees it. It was barely in his sight of vision for a minute, but Hunter knows what he saw. It was a cat. God knows he’s gone through the ABC book enough to know what a cat looks like. It crosses his mind to tell Mrs. Patterson, but she looks busy and Hunter didn’t want anyone else to find the cat before him anyhow. Making sure the blocks are still towering over Alison’s, he quickly darts from the room, a grin on his face.
"Pus, pus, pus, pus," he whispers in a high pitched tone. He doesn’t know if this will work, but it’s what his next door neighbor Mr. Rogers does every time his cat goes missing. Hunter knows this because that’s when he let’s the neighbor’s cat go — He’s called her Misty.
He’s tiptoeing around the playhouse (which is thankfully empty at the moment), when he spots the same white cat again. He knew he wasn’t crazy. He makes sure he’s out of sight of his teachers before kneeling down and holding his hands out for the cat, “Hi kitty. My name’s Hunter… Are you lost?” He whispers, his smile only widening when the cat makes it’s way towards him and purrs around his fingers. He plops to the ground, leaning his back against the wooden playhouse and letting the fluffy and tiny white kitten crawl into his lap. “You are lost, aren’t you? It’s okay, you can stay here with me. I’ll make sure you don’t have to deal with Alison,” He laughs softly as the cat climbs up his shirt to brush itself against his cheek. “I’m going to call you Clarence.”