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    Grumpy Bear
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Worlds Apart - 12. Working Cat

Siku sat in the California Coastal Seafood office across a desk from his new Captain. The man was in his mid-fifties and was the epitome of a grizzled sea dog. He had a few days’ worth of beard stubble on his creased and lined face, and he wore a black navy watch cap and gray wool turtleneck sweater with his fishing bib pants and rubber boots.

Charlie sat on Siku’s shoulder as usual, and the captain scrutinized the animal.

“You have good references from your previous captain, and the owner of the fishing business on Lake Michigan,” the man said, “But it doesn’t say anything about a cat. Is she part of the package deal?”

“She adopted me as her soulmate on my trip here from Wisconsin,” Siku replied. “She hasn’t left my side since.”

“I see,” the captain replied looking down at Siku’s paperwork and thinking to himself.

“If necessary, I can leave her at home while I work,” Siku finally said.

The captain looked back up at him.

“No!” he replied, “This is good fortune for our crew. Cats are a good omen on a boat, and a fisherman sailor with a cat so devoted to him will surely bring us good luck. I am very pleased.”

“She was born in Yellowstone and isn’t very comfortable around the water, though,” Siku replied honestly. “We may want to test her seaworthiness before we decide to make her a part of the crew.”

The captain nodded and rose from the desk, indicating that Siku should follow.

“We are normally out to sea, working on a Monday,” the captain explained, “But today is a scheduled maintenance day for the boat. We work ten-hour shifts from 6 am to 5 pm, with an hour for lunch, Monday through Thursday. We don’t sail or fish on Friday. Fridays are bad luck.”

They exited the rear of the building and out onto the docks, and Siku could sense Charlie tensing up a bit on his shoulder, but she remained in her place.

Before walking across the gangplank onto the boat, the captain spit into the water, and nodded his head for Siku to do the same. Siku understood that this captain had many superstitions when it came to sailing, and that he must be doing something right to have reached his level of success in the industry.

Siku felt Charlie’s claws digging into his shoulder a bit as he walked across the gangplank, and then they were on the deck of the boat and the cat relaxed. She jumped down from his shoulder and began to sniff about the deck. Suddenly, her head and shoulders lowered into a crouch and her rear lifted into the air and wiggled in preparation of a pounce. She leapt a few feet across the deck and into the middle of a large coil of rope. When she emerged, she had a large mouse clamped in her jaws.

The captain nodded his approval.

“The cat is hired,” he said, “And you are welcome to come and work with her as well.”

They continued their tour of the boat, and when they reached the Pilot House, Charlie leapt up onto the sill of the big front windshield and sat herself in the middle, directly in front of the captain’s controls.

“She’s found her post,” the captain replied. “She will spend the working days here, overseeing the boat operations where she will remain safe, when she isn’t below decks catching vermin.”

Siku smiled and called her name, and she leapt from the front window back to his shoulder.

“What are we fishing for?” Siku asked.

“Depends upon the season and the weather,” the captain replied. “It varies between chinook salmon, Pacific cod, rockfish and sole.”

“Meow,” Charlie said, from Siku’s shoulder.

“She wants to know if we catch any tuna,” Siku said.

The captain smiled and scratched her on the top of her head, which caused her to purr.

“Different gear, boat and crew for tuna fishing, I’m afraid,” the captain told her. “But just wait until you try a fresh fillet of sole!”

The captain showed Siku their equipment and nets and where the catches were sorted and stored on ice. Siku absorbed the information and assured the captain that he would be ready to begin the next day.

“You’ll be the greenhorn on the boat,” the captain said, “At least for a while. The crew are going to put you through your paces and offer bits of advice in a manner that will seem like they’re angry with you. Just listen to what they’re saying and try not to get angry about the way that they say it.”

Siku nodded. He understood.

“Be here at 6 am tomorrow, then,” the captain said, “You and Charlie will fit in with the crew very well, I think.”

They shook hands, and Siku walked back across the gangplank with Charlie clutching his shoulder.

“You’ll get used to the water soon enough,” Siku told her. “Be glad that we will get to work together every day.”

****

Siku and Charlie got back into his truck parked on Fisherman’s Wharf and he opened the glove box to retrieve his phone. He didn’t want any interruptions during his interview, so he had intentionally left it behind.

Now, he saw the light blinking, indicating a new voicemail message. He tapped the button and speaker to listen as he backed out of his parking space.

“Hi Siku, it’s Shivay. I’m calling to let you know that my mother caught me coming home early this morning, and she smelled your scent and… semen on me, so she knows what I have done.

“She has thrown me out of the family home for one week. During that time, I am to decide for myself if I wish to rejoin the family and marry the bride she has chosen for me, or if I am to remain on my own and live my life as a homosexual.

“I wanted to ask if I could stay with you this week while I decide? She implied that you would quickly grow tired of me and throw me out as well before the week was over, but I don’t think you are that kind of man, or bear.

“I’m at work now, but I packed my bag for the week before I left my mother’s home this morning. Let me know if you will permit me to stay with you, and I will come back to your home when I am finished with work for the day.

“Thank you Siku… I’ll wait for your call.”

Siku had pulled the truck over to the side of the road as soon as he heard the beginning of Shivay’s message. He sat crying lightly behind the wheel, and Charlie moved from her place on the armrest into his lap, looking at his face with concern, and patting the tears rolling down his cheeks with her paw.

“Oh, poor Shivay,” Siku said, stroking Charlie’s back, “I should have left him alone instead of interfering with his life. Now I’ve just made a mess of everything.”

He quickly tapped his phone to call Shivay back.

“Siku?” Shivay’s voice said from the phone.

“Oh, Shivay,” Siku replied, still crying. “I’m so sorry that I’ve ruined everything for you!”

“Siku,” Shivay said, “You haven’t ruined anything. If there’s one thing that I took away from our day and night together, it’s that I must accept myself for who and what I am if I am ever to find peace and happiness. I am a man, made by Shiva himself, and my feelings are natural, not shameful. If I am to be tossed aside by my own family for being my true self, then so be it.”

“Wise words my friend,” Siku said, drying his tears. “I’m pleased that I was able to touch your heart so profoundly.”

“Yes, but…” Shivay said, “I could still use a place to live, at least for the next week…”

“Oh!” Siku exclaimed, “Of course you can stay with me! I’d be thrilled to have you! Charlie would too!”

“I am relieved,” Shivay said, “At least one of my mother’s predictions has not yet come true. She said that you would quickly tire of my company.”

“Never!” Siku said, “I’m only afraid that the rose-colored glasses you wear when you look at me will fall away once you have to live with a big old stinky bear for a week.”

“Never,” Shivay said, “You are a man, and I would not expect you to be anything less.”

“Charlie and I are just leaving Fisherman’s Wharf,” Siku said, “We start work at 6 am tomorrow, but we’ll stop at the grocery store on the way home and stock up on food. Anything in particular you’d like for dinner?”

“I will leave the shopping up to you,” Shivay replied, “But for tonight, I want to take you out to dinner, just the two of us, on a real date. Would that be okay?”

“That would be wonderful,” Siku said, “I’ll have to break the news to Charlie, but I’ll give her an extra portion of tuna to make up for it.”

Charlie purred in his lap at the mention of extra tuna.

“Okay then,” Shivay said, “I get off work around five, so I’ll see you sometime between six and six-thirty tonight. At home.”

“See you at home,” Siku confirmed, smiling, and ended the call.

“Meow?” Charlie asked, jumping back up to her armrest as Siku put the truck back in gear.

“That’s right,” Siku said, “Our favorite tiger is going to be moving in. At least for a week. He’s going to see what life is like living away from his mother’s control, and I guess I…”

Siku paused.

“Mrowr?” Charlie asked.

“Yeah, I guess I’m going to see what it’s like living with a Mate for a week. Even if it is only temporary.”

“Meow,” Charlie said, wanting to have the final word on the subject.

“Yeah, well… we’ll see.” Siku said. “For now, let’s stock up the house with groceries so that Shivay will feel at home. Remind me when we’re in the store, no beef, no pork, okay?”

“Meow,” Charlie added.

“Yes, I know.” Siku said, “Bacon and sausage both count as pork. This is going to be tougher than I thought.”

He parked at the grocery store near their home and got out, Charlie leaping to her usual spot on his shoulder.

He entered the store and grabbed one of the big, wheeled carts this time. He stopped in the bakery, selecting a few different varieties of freshly baked bread, along with some sweet pastries that he thought Shivay might like. In the meat department, he took two of every type of lamb cut he could find, selecting boneless legs, loin chops, racks, shanks, sirloins and several pounds of ground lamb. He stopped in the poultry section and got several whole roasting chickens, as well as a few pounds of turkey sausage and bacon. In the seafood department, he got more salmon, snapper, cod, and trout, as well as several pounds of shrimp, oysters, mussels, and scallops.

“Mrowr,” Charlie said, and he tossed in a few packages of fresh albacore tuna steaks as well.

He swung through the produce section, getting everything that looked colorful and good, before ending in the dairy aisle and topping off his cart with a variety of cheese and yogurts, as well as a couple gallons of milk and some heavy cream for his coffee.

He stopped to think and added two cartons of soy milk as well just to be on the safe side.

Running through an imaginary list in his mind, Siku circled back to the coffee aisle, and tossed in several boxes of the strange single-use coffee pods that worked with his coffee maker.

When his cart could hold no more, he pushed it to the checkout aisle, where the same cashier as Saturday was waiting, along with Gordon, the manager.

“Sir,” Gordon said tentatively, as Siku began piling a tremendous amount of meat, seafood and produce on the conveyor belt, “I thought we had an understanding about bringing the cat into the store.”

“Oh!” Siku said, “I’m sorry! We just got off work and found out that we’re going to be having a houseguest for the next week, and so we stopped here on the way home to shop first. I apologize for breaking the law again.”

“You work… with the cat?” Gordon asked.

“Yes,” Siku said as the cashier rang up his purchases, “We work together on a commercial fishing boat down at Fisherman’s Wharf.”

“So, you’re a fisherman, and what exactly does the cat do…?” Gordon asked.

“She is the official Ship’s Cat,” Siku explained. “She brings the crew good luck and can control the weather with her tail.”

Gordon looked from Siku to the cat, and then back to Siku.

“She also catches rodents and vermin on board to prevent damage to the boat or the cargo,” Siku said, with a grin.

“I see,” Gordon said, “I’ll let it slide again this time, since she is a… working cat, but in the future, please take her home first before coming to the store to shop.”

“I promise,” Siku said with a grin.

“Meow,” Charlie confirmed.

Gordon looked at the massive amount of food going through the scanner, especially all of the lamb, whole chickens and fish.

“You say you’re stocking up to have a houseguest for a week?” he asked.

“That’s right,” Siku replied happily.

“It looks like you’re buying enough to feed a tiger!”

Siku just stared back at the manager with grin on his face.

“Never mind,” Gordon said, walking away from the checkout lane. “I don’t want to know. Have a good day, sir!”

****

Siku sat on the couch in the den on the third floor. Charlie lay in his lap, and he had a glass of rum in his hand. He was watching a fascinating show called Deadliest Catch and he was absorbed in the drama between the captains and their crew when he heard a car pull into the driveway and a car door slam.

“Shivay!” Siku said, and Charlie immediately leapt from his lap and ran to the stairs. The big bear followed her down and by the time he reached the foyer, there was a knock at the door.

“Come on in!” he called, pouring another rum into an empty glass. “It’s open!”

Shivay opened the door and tentatively stuck his head through the opening. Charlie immediately pounced and leapt to his shoulder, rubbing her face against his cheek.

“Hello Charlie!” Shivay said, walking the rest of the way into the foyer carrying his bags.

Siku strode up to him carrying a glass of rum and leaned down to give him a kiss.

“Welcome home, honey,” Siku said, taking the bags out of his hands and handing him the drink. “I’ll put these in the bedroom closet. We can hang everything up later.”

Shivay took a sip of rum and smiled.

“This is a better welcome home after work than I’ve ever had,” he said, “But that commute is going to take some time for me to get used to.”

“Charlie and I will have to leave for work before you in the morning,” Siku said, “But we’ll be back first in the evening to welcome you each night.”

“Did you just say that you and Charlie are going to work?” Shivay asked.

“Yes,” Siku confirmed, “After meeting us both, the captain gave her the job of Ship’s Cat, which is a very important position.”

“Ah, yes,” Shivay replied, “It is said that they can control the weather with their tails.”

After relaxing on the couch for a few minutes with their drinks and making out for a few minutes more, the pair decided that they should get ready to go out to dinner before things in the den got too hot and heavy.

Siku put on a clean pair of jeans and his trusty brown harness boots and paired them with a light blue linen collared shirt that matched the color of his eyes perfectly.

Sivay looked through the clothing that he had brought and selected a pair of tight-fitting skinny jeans in a dark wash, paired with a shiny black satin dress shirt that hugged his chest and shoulder muscles in an attractive way.

Siku was waiting in the foyer when Shivay came down the stairs.

“Hot damn!” Siku said. “You are looking fine tonight! What happened to the khaki and polo-shirt clad tiger I saw going into the walk-in closet a few minutes ago?”

“I’ve been buying myself clothing in secret that makes me feel sexy for a while now,” Shivay said, blushing a bit. “I’ve kept them hidden from my mother because she wouldn’t understand. This is my first time to finally wear this outfit!”

“Well, you look just as sexy as you must feel,” Siku said, taking the man into his arms and kissing him deeply.

“I like this shirt on you as well,” Shivay said breathlessly after Siku stopped kissing him, “Somehow it makes your eyes appear even more blue!”

“If we’re both ready,” Siku said, “Let’s roll. I just have to break the news to Charlie first. Hang on.”

Siku peeked around the corner of the kitchen where Charlie was on the counter, face-down in a big bowl of raw tuna chunks.

“Charlie,” Siku said, “Shivay and I are going out to dinner. Are you going to be all right here alone?”

“Mrowr,” Charlie said around a mouthful of raw fish, and Siku smiled.

“All good,” he said to Shivay. “Let’s go!”

They climbed into Shivay’s car, a sensible two-door hybrid, and they headed East through the city.

“Have you chosen a restaurant?” Siku asked.

“Of course,” Shivay replied. “I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while now, but all of my previous trips into the city have been too hurried, and I haven’t had time for a nice dinner… or a nice dinner companion to share it with.”

“Let me guess,” Siku said with a chuckle, “Is it an Indian restaurant?”

“Siku!” Shivay said with a gasp, “I’ll have you know that I’m not a one-note cliché. I wouldn’t take you to an Indian restaurant on our first night out together.”

“Okay, okay,” Siku said, still laughing. “What is it then?”

“It’s a Nepalese restaurant. Dancing Yak Restaurant and Bar.”

“Okay,” Siku replied. “Not Indian, but you’re keeping it in the general neighborhood. That’s cool.”

“You’ll love it, my Ice Bear,” Shivay said. “The differences between Indian and Nepalese foods are subtle, but they are there. Nepalese food is less creamy than Indian, and they don’t add sugar to their dishes. While the spices may be Indian, Nepal shares a border with China as well, and you can detect some Chinese influence in their cooking.”

“Shivay,” Siku said, turning a bit serious, “I wanted you to know that going out to eat in a restaurant is a rare occasion for most bears, unless it’s a buffet. We eat… a lot of food. It’s our nature, and at most restaurants we must eat what would be considered enough for five or six people. I… I don’t want to embarrass you, and I don’t want to cause you to spend too much money on one dinner. I’m just happy to be out on a date with you, and I’ll restrain myself from making a scene with my appetite.”

“You’ll do no such thing!” Shivay said, “I want my man to have a nice, big dinner, and I will settle for nothing less than a full and happy bear when we leave the restaurant tonight. You will cause no ‘scene’ more than giving me pride at watching my handsome, muscular man enjoy his dinner, and as for the cost, you must remember that I have a good job in a very lucrative field. I have been allowed to do nothing with my earnings except to save it until now, so getting to buy you dinner is a liberation all its own.”

“Okay,” Siku said humbly. “If my tiger wants to see his bear happy and well fed, then that’s what he’ll get!”

Shivay found a parking space not too far from the restaurant, and the couple held hands as they walked in the door.

“Cozy table for two?” the hostess asked as they entered.

“Well,” Shivay said, “This is my date’s first time eating Nepalese food, so we’re going to be trying many different dishes and will probably need a larger table to fit it all.”

“Very good,” the hostess said with a smile. “Since it’s a Monday, we won’t be very busy. I’ll give you what is usually a table for six.”

After they were seated Siku reached across the table to take Shivay’s hand.

“You handled that like you’ve been dining out with bears all your life,” he joked.

“I just want you to try everything!” Shivay said with excitement.

The server came to their table and handed them menus, asking what they’d like to drink.

“Give my man here a beer, please,” Shivay said. “A Big Daddy IPA, and I’ll have your home made peach iced tea.”

“Would you like to order an appetizer?” the server asked next.

“Oh definitely,” Shivay replied, glancing at the menu. “We definitely want to try the samosas… let’s get two orders of those. The spicy sauteed shrimp, minced lamb kebab, curry clams, and the shapale meat pies to start.”

“Are you just sharing a variety of small plates for dinner then?” the server asked.

“No,” Shivay said, “those will just be our appetizers. We’ll be ordering more for dinner after we have a chance to look at the rest of the menu.”

“Very good, sir,” the server said, with a look of surprise and a bit of fear in her eyes, and she went off to get their drinks.

“I hope you don’t mind that I’ve been ordering for you,” Shivay said.

“Not at all,” Siku said. “You know the cuisine, and I trust your judgement.”

The server came back with Siku’s beer and Shivay’s tea and asked if they had time to decide on their entrées.

“Yes,” Shivay said again, “I will have an order of the Chicken Momos, and the Butter Chicken.”

“And for you sir?” the server asked Siku, but he just grinned and gestured back to Shivay.

“My date will also have an order of the Chicken Momos, the Lamb Sekuwa, Dhading Chicken, Goat Curry, and… the Shrimp and Salmon Classic Curry.”

“Very good, sirs,” the server said with wide eyes. “I’ll put that order in for you.”

Siku grinned at the tiger across the table.

“Are you sure you’ve never dated a bear before?” he asked.

“I think I have a general idea of your appetites,” Shivay replied, “Both in and out of the bedroom.”

When the food began to arrive, Siku cautiously picked up the first samosa, and nibbled at it daintily before grinning and shoving the whole thing into his mouth.

“Wonderful!” he said, causing Shivay to smile with happiness.

Siku was careful to share the appetizers with his tiger but didn’t put up much of a fight when Shivay suggested he take the last shrimp, clam and meat pie.

When their entrees arrived Siku dove in with gusto, trying bits of everything first before devouring his plate of momo dumplings.

“Odin’s balls!” Siku said, before shoving the last of the dumplings into his mouth, “I could eat these things until I burst!”

He moved quickly on to the lamb kebab and the seafood curry, devouring the Dhading Chicken until the Goat Curry was the last dish standing.

“Did I choose wrong?” Shivay asked, “Are you not a fan of goat?”

“I’ve never had goat before,” Siku said, “But it looks so good I wanted to save it for last to savor it.”

Shivay bit into one of his momos and watched Siku carefully as the bear tried his first bite of the goat curry.

“Hmm,” Siku said, “This is quite different than any meat I’ve had before. I like it!”

And with those words, his final plate of food disappeared in less than a minute.

“If that’s your idea of savoring something,” Shivay joked, “I’d hate to see how you eat when you’re in a hurry!”

Siku grinned and leaned back from the table, patting his stomach.

“Thank you for the wonderful dinner, my kitty,” he said tenderly. “I’ll make sure to repay you handsomely when we get home.”

“Well,” Shivay said, popping his last dumpling into his mouth. “Let’s be on our way home then!”

As they made their way back to Shivay’s car, walking hand-in-hand again, Siku recognized a familiar face stepping out of a coffee shop.

“Siku!” Colt shouted, walking up boldly and pulling the bear into a hug. “I’m glad I ran into you! The party at your house on Saturday is going to be epic! I already have ten bears confirmed that they’re coming, and there’s another ten I’ve invited but haven’t decided yet.”

“Saturday?” Siku said in confusion for a second. “Oh, yes! We were going to invite the bears from the area to have a get-together at my place.”

Siku looked at Shivay nervously.

“Um, Colt, we may need to cancel that. This is Shivay, and he’s staying with me this week… maybe longer. My home is his now as well, and I don’t want to make him uncomfortable with the kind of party that you have planned.”

Colt turned to Shivay and leaned in, scenting him.

“Hmm, is this… a tiger?” he asked with a flash of excitement.

“Yes,” Shivay replied, “I am weretiger. I lived with my family in San Jose until… recently when my mother discovered that I am gay and threw me out of the house.”

“Awesome!” Colt said, and then backtracked when he saw Shivay’s reaction. “I mean… not awesome that they threw you out, but awesome that you’re living with Siku now. I think you’d enjoy the party. We’re all werebears, but I think they’d jump at the chance to meet a weretiger!”

“It does sound like fun,” Shivay said, looking at Siku, “You don’t have to cancel the party on my account. I have no problem hanging out with a bunch of bears for an evening! If they’re anything like you, I’m sure that I will have a very good time.”

Siku sighed and looked at his tiger with loving eyes.

“Okay Colt,” he said. “The party is still on. But let the guys know that this is Shivay’s first time around a big group of bears, and that I want them to be on their best behavior. Understand me?”

“They’ll be a bunch of angels,” Colt said, grinning. “I’m telling everyone to be at your place at eight pm on Saturday. Cool?”

“Cool,” Siku said. “If anything changes between now and then, give me a call and let me know.”

“You got it Ice Bear,” Colt replied. “See you Saturday!”

As Colt went on his way, Siku took Shivay’s hand again and they continued walking toward the car.

“Shivay,” Siku said, “I need to tell you a bit about bears when we get together in a group like this party. After I explain, there’s still time to call Colt back and cancel it.”

“Siku,” Shivay said, “How bad can a party with bears be?”

“Well,” Siku replied, “First you have to understand the social dynamics between bears. Having sex with other bears is how we build and strengthen friendships. Friendly ‘playtime’ as we call it, establishes bonding between one another and brings our brotherhood closer together.”

“Well, when a group of bears are unmated,” Shivay replied, “I can understand that. It sounds like you enjoy each other’s company very much.”

“It isn’t just for unmated bears, though,” Siku replied. “For us, there is the love that a Papa bear has for his Cub, a human that he has bred and turned, and there is the love between a bear and his Mate, which is much like the love of Papa and Cub, but deeper, because the two have chosen to spend their entire lives together.

“But, even when a bear is in a Papa and Cub relationship or has a Mate, they both enjoy friendly playtime with other bears. Sex with other bears is natural to us and it doesn’t affect the love that Mates share. Mates will often play with another bear or another couple together, and they will also play with other bears separately. They are honest about it with each other, and the shared experience strengthens their mating bond as well.

“When I met Colt in the bar right after I met you my first night here, we went back to my house, and we had sex as a way to get to know each other. That is how I knew that he could be a good friend, but not be an ideal Mate for me. He suggested that he invite the other bears in the city over this weekend and we could establish friendship bonds with each other.”

“So,” Shivay said, “You’re telling me that this party is going to be an orgy?”

“Ugh,” Siku replied, “Sort of, but that’s an ugly word for it. It will be about twenty bears having friendly getting-to-know-you playtime. If that makes you uncomfortable, I will call Colt and tell him that it’s off.”

“No!” Shivay replied. “Siku, I think I’m developing feelings for you that I haven’t felt with anyone else before, but I don’t own you. If I am going to be a part of your world, I will need to understand the werebear culture and customs. I can’t be feeling uncomfortable and jealous if I see you making love with another bear.”

Playtime,” Siku corrected, “We have friendly playtime with a brother bear, and we make love just with the one with whom we share a special bond.”

“So,” Shivay said, “You will be enjoying playtime with the other bears at the party, and you would also want me to enjoy playtime with them as well?”

“Only if you want,” Siku replied, “We don’t force anyone to do anything that they are not comfortable with.”

“And when the party is over, you are mine again?” Shivay asked.

“I will be yours even when the other bears are there,” Siku replied, turning to face the tiger and look into his eyes. “We will simply be enjoying the company of new friends in the werebear way.”

“Then it is fine,” Shivay said, “The party is on, and I will join in the playtime as I see fit.”

“That’s my good kitty,” Siku said, and gave Shivay a long and deep kiss before finishing their walk back to the car.

Copyright © 2021 Grumpy Bear; All Rights Reserved.
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Grumpy Bear's Werebear Tales

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I'm loving Shivay as much as I love Siku. There first proper date was a huge success.

I think the party will open Shivay's eyes to the Werebears culture and how they behave. I think it will be good for Shivay to let loose and enjoy himself.

Edited by chris191070
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Shivay sounds like he is ready to throw open his closet door in a big way.  I just hope he can handle the reality as easily as he seems to accept it intellectually.  And we haven't heard the last of Mama Tiger.  Somehow I have  foreboding about something ugly brewing there.  Hope Siku doesn't have to call in the bear reserves.

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The dinner date was almost perfect. I fear the parthewon't be as friendly to Shivay as Siku thinks. My best guess: the playtime ensues and Mama Tiger finds Shivay's vehicle parked...

I must reread the last several chapters. What was Shivay's job again? He describes it as "lucrative." This is concerning. I don't think Shivay is revealing all the details...

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4 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

What was Shivay's job again? He describes it as "lucrative."

Shivay mentioned in Chapter 8 that he works in Mountain View in Silicon Valley for one of the Big Tech giants.  You can... ahem... Google that to see the name of the biggest tech giant in that town.

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What a great job interview; and love that Charlie is going to be working on the ship as well.  Sailors are more superstitious than most other people, glad they like cats...  Rats can truly be a huge problem on ships, even today, so if Charlie is a mouser, then he really could help them out.

Siku has such a soft heart.  I loved his first date with Shivay; but like some others, I am not sure that Mama Tiger is through having her say at all.

Can't wait for the party, but I do have to wonder if the reality of it will be harder for Shivay to deal with the idea of it...

Great job as usual.

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