When Is A Kitten Not A Kitten?

“When it has a tail,” he said. “You can’t have a tail and still be a kitten. That’s why I don’t understand what you’re doing here anyway. You know they’ll kill me if they find me with you — my own mother would slit my throat, she’d never let me live it down! It isn’t like we’ve got anything to talk about…I mean, how could we? We were born on different planets…”

“It’s okay,” Annabeth sighed, “it doesn’t matter.” She looked into the back of the tiny shop and noticed nothing there but shelves full of tea sets and ceramic animals in creepy poses: cats with their heads stuck in birdbaths; dogs eating fish from kettles; and rabbits whose nightmares made them look like monsters out of Japanese horror movies. Even though she was old enough to appreciate tradition or quaintness or whatever this place was supposed to represent, Annabeth didn’t feel very comfortable with these things at all right now. She just wanted to get away from Benito Molina as fast as possible so her mom wouldn’t recognize her when she came home tonight — which wasn’t going to happen because that coffee shop closed up at seven every night — then maybe go somewhere else for dinner: something safe and boring where no one knew who her father had been before his death and where people drank skinny lattes instead of chamom