2011 07 05: Kitty Craze

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Mission Name: Kitty Craze
Date of Mission: July 5 2011
Locale: Elliot's Used Books

During a book sale, customers get a surprise.

Anya Geoff Hannah Lance Nadia Thomas

The hot New York weather has calmed down some since the afternoon and night has given way to a bonanza at the used bookstore. There are people from all age groups scattered about the store, looking at various sections and comparing, some louder than others. There are two nervous looking clerks behind the desk who seem to be anticipating pandemonium at any moment.

With no bombs to set, and no good races to be found, Anya's made her way back to the bookstore, now that she doesn't have a friend along to distract her. She walks in, a knapsack slung cross-body, a tiny smile curving her lips. A quick glance around, then she's moving lazily through the store, in no real rush to find anything.

Reading is a good way to work on her English, and without much money to spare, Nadia simply couldn't pass up a sale at the used bookstore. She slips in through the door not far behind the last patron, and then stops just inside the shop, in order to look around - both to take in the scenery and to figure out where to start. Somewhat inadvertently, she's half-blocking the door; it's not impossible to get past the tiny young woman, but it's hard to deny her being a little in the way.

Thomas is browsing through one of the fiction aisles, leafing through a few pages and then moving on to the next one. There's a whole row of John Grisham paperbacks— is he bringing his work home with him, so to speak? No, his back is turned toward it, his attention devoted to the science fiction section instead. A couple of Lensman and CoDominium titles are set off to one side.

With a sale on books going on, Lance makes his appearance to pick up some cheap books. He browses the isles, running his finger across the spines of the books, reading the titles. He pulls out a book and looks it's cover over for a moment before he reviews the back, reading the book's summary before putting it back and returns to looking at the books. As other patrons enter, he glances up towards them for a moment before turning his attention back to the books.

Geoff is walking along with Hannah as they approach the shop, just finishing up a cigarette, which he flicks into the street as they make it to the door. They are both laden with Saks bags. "So you do a lot of reading, huh?" he asks, apparently slightly suspicious of this idea of recreational reading.

Hannah is leading Geoff as they come through the door; she's in casual attire tonight, long hair pulled back in a loose, messy ponytail, and judging from the paper shopping bag she has in one hand (as well as the one Geoff is so thoughtfully carrying), it's shopping day! "Reading is good for the soul." Hannah replies to Geoff, then promptly blinks when she sees the crowd. "Oookay. This place is usually a bit less popular than this."

Anya glances around at people as she wanders through the store, but since most of them are strangers, they just get a quick look before she moves past. She pauses, briefly, when she spots Thomas, but if he looks at her she offers a nod. Otherwise, she moves on, giving Lance a slightly longer look, with a faint smile, on her way towards the non-fiction section. Or at least that's the plan until she spots Geoff and Hannah, and stops, cracking up, the sound no doubt loud, even with the bookstore as busy as it is.

"I am sorry, yes. Excuse me," Nadia murmurs in her thick Russian accent, as a few patrons edge past her into the store. It's enough to get her to move clear of the doorway at least, although she still seems at a bit of a loss as to where to even start looking. So now she stands up front near the counter, trying to stay out of the ways of the crowd, as she carefully reads the names over each section. Anya's laughter distracts her from that, however, and she gives the woman a vaguely amused but confused look.

Okay, no, Thomas will not be picking up any books about vampires (sparkly or otherwise) - the books in the pile will do, along with a best-of series of short stories. Picking up his things and joining the line - nodding briefly to Anya along the way - before Nadia catches his attention. He hasn't met her before, but the accent is a familiar sort. Interesting.

Lance glances up as the door opens again and a smirk forms on his lips as he spots Hanna and Geoff. He offers them both a subtle nod to them both. His attention turn to Anya as she starts laughing, an eyebrow raised slightly before he turns back to Geoff and Hanna, offering a wave to Geoff. "Hey, Goeff." He says to him as Lance exits the isle that he was in to browse a different one.

"What is it, happy hour?" Geoff asks, looking at all the people crowding the store. "See, this is why my soul is all shrunken and neglected." He looks over at Anya, brow knitted and tilted up on one side as if to ask, 'What?' Of course, he's wearing his usual extremely casual stuff: worn-in jeans and a black wifebeater. He lifts his chin a little to acknowledge Lance. "Hey."

Crowd notwithstanding, Hannah stops and glances about at the sound of a thick Russian accent - until she sees the source of it. Nadia gets a curious look, and even a polite smile if the young woman looks in Hannah's direction. Odd, that, even if her attention is drawn away first by Anya's laughter, then by Lance's greeting to her shopping-mate. Yes, her gaze shifts back to Anya, rather curiously, until she turns back to Geoff. "You seem almost as popular as this store." She deadpans. "Are you sure you haven't been here before?"

Anya shrugs a bit at Lance, then tosses a grin at Geoff. "Sorry. Just didn't expect to see Mister Gloomy out with a girl," she explains to him, completely unapologetic about her outburst. Then she's looking at Hannah and asking, "You actually get him to lighten up? He was a total buzz kill last time I saw him."

It's a bird. It's a plane! No, it's actually… cats?? Several stray cats have just run into the shop and are bandying about the store now, skittish with fear of people. There are three in total. One of them is a unique-looking silver tabby, one is a calico with big green eyes, and the other one is black with white paws. None of them look very old.

When the laughter passes into friendly conversation, Nadia returns her attention to her own business, although she can't really help but overhear. The Russian girl does catch Hannah's polite smile and returns it with a friendly one of her own, as she crosses her arms over her chest lightly and goes back to looking at the selection of genres - once again, her efforts are short-lived, as this time she's distracted by the sudden appearance of cats. "Koshka?" she murmurs with some wonderment, dropping into a crouch to hold out a few fingers towards the nearest kitty, trying to lure it out from underfoot.

Thomas is equally quick to react to the surprise feline visitors, even before he sees them. He is not charmed. One hand is clapped over his nose and mouth, the books carefully tucked under his other arm lest an errant sneeze— no, too late, down onto the floor they tumble. The best-of volume actually splits at the seam when it hits (no surprise, it looks older than he does). "Would someone get those outside, please?" he calls out to no one in particular.

Lance starts to ask Geoff a question, but then the entrance of the cats parade comes in. He raises an eyebrow and looks around to the others, not quite sure what to make of it. He doesn't both moving to try to wrangle the felines, but instead leaves that for the employees to do. "Well, that's something you don't see every day." He says to no one in particular.

"One time," Geoff tells Hannah, rolling a shoulder with a tilted smile. "I was on an errand for a friend. He looks down at the cats that suddenly stream out. "Never noticed the cats before, though." They don't seem to particularly concern him. Stores have pets all the time.

Hannah glances with a subdued amusement between Geoff and Anya. "Buzz kill is a little harsh. He can be sweet when he wants to be." She assures Anya, even reaching back with her free hand and pats Geoff on the arm…. assuming he doesn't try to duck out of the way! The arrival of the felines distracts her momentarily, mainly because a variety of people nearby are reacting.

The cats have Anya blinking and temporarily forgetting about Mister Gloomy. Instead her eyes go bright as she spots the silver one. "Oooh, pretty! Where'd you come from? Heeeere kitty, kitty. I hope you don't have an owner because I'm about to steal you and take you home and feed you tuna," she says, stalking the silver tabby, trying to catch it. "Sure thing, Tommy Boy. At least this one," she calls out cheerfully before glancing at Lance, beaming a smile at him. "Help me catch it?"

"Yes, someone get those outside, please!" One of the staff members calls to the patrons as the cats proceed to use the shelves as their own personal jungle gyms. The cat nearest Nadia (black & white) lets out a confused 'mrew'? at her before sniffing at her fingers, taking a few steps forward to do so. The silver tabby errs in Thomas's direction, as if totally engrossed in by the man that does not like cats. It's luckily distracted when Anya steps in and begins to coax it, but that just means that the calico moves over to Thomas and begins to sniff at him. Mrr?

Nadia slowly draws her hand back, hoping to lure the cat close enough that she can pick it up without sending it running. She murmurs something to it in Russian as she waits patiently for it to come closer, passing the time by dividing her attention between the cat and the excitement in the rest of the store. "Who are they belonging to?" she wonders in a louder voice, in case the owner is nearby, looking around for a response.

"Nyahh!" Keeping a baleful look turned on the calico, Thomas continues to back away from it, free hand reaching out to keep from bumping full-on into a wall or a shelf. At least some of the others are running interference, but one is still enough to set him off. Why couldn't it have been a nice Doberman or something?

Lance glances from the cats to Anya as she speaks to him. As she flashes that smile of hers, he chuckles and shrugs his shoulders. "Oh, sure why not?" He moves towards one of the cats, trying to see if it has a collar with a tag on it to see who the owner is. "Here kitty, kitty, kitty. Let's get you outside." He slowly inches towards it in case it's skittish.

Geoff shrugs at Anya, belatedly adding, "I get paid to smile. Have to save it up." He caps the remark with a smirk. He doesn't lift a finger to help with the cats.

Hannah isn't as caught up as the others are with the Feline Brigade, quite content to let the other folks to pick up or shoo the kitties out. Well hell, she's here to read! "I'm going to go check out the fiction section." She notes to Geoff instead. "And I strongly recommend you have a look around the Self-Help books. There're a few books on massage therapies."

A grin is tossed at Geoff at his comment, before Anya gives Lance a grateful smile. "Thanks, cutie. But I don't want it outside, I wanna take it home," she tells him, before looking back to the cat, creeping towards it. "That's it beautiful, come to mama. No running away. I've got tuna. It's in a can, but hey, who cares?" she murmurs softly.

None of the cats have collars on them. They're a little underfed looking, when it comes right down to it. It's impossible that they're from the same litter given the difference in coats. The silver one comes close enough to Anya to sprawl on it's back and stare up at her, paws pointed at it's chest as if it's begging for attention. Nadia's black cat goes closer to her and simply sits patiently at her feet. The calico that Thomas is near meows up at him as if to ask, 'Why don't you like me?'

Once the black and white cat is close enough, Nadia reaches out in a careful but quick movement to scoop it up before it can get curious and wander off again. "You are so little," she tells it as she straightens up with the cat cradled gently in her hand. "Do you not belong to someone?" Again, she looks around the store for some indication that the little guy has an owner, but her expectations are lowering by the moment. "It likes you," she notes to Thomas, as she notices the calico trying to get his attention.

Thomas narrows his eyes as Nadia pipes up. "It would," he mutters, facing the cat directly as he sneezes again. Get the idea, calico? This is not your future owner you're looking at. On the other hand, it doesn't feel like the reaction is getting any worse than it already is; he cuts back around the other side of the shelf, picking up his books again and setting them down near the register.

Lance moves to pick up the cat at Thomas' feet to try and get it away from him. "It doesn't look like there is a tag on this one." He says as he looks it over. "Looks like you get to take 'em home then." He says, looking to Anya for a moment before looking down at the cat again.

Geoff looks for a second he might get offended when Hannah suggests 'self-help,' but her explanation seems good enough for him. Still, he mentions, "I ain't about to be doing massages myself. That's put your friend out of business, wouldn't it?" He eyes one of the mangy cats. "Listen," he says, "I feel a nap attack coming on." He passes the bag he was carrying back to Hannah. "Sorry. I'll see you around, though."

Hannah starts to explain purpose of the Self-Help books, but decides to save it as Geoff excuses himself. "Alright." She takes the shopping bag back from him. "Make sure you have your present with you. I'll catch you around later." The little commotion caused by the cats is peered at, but that's the extent of it.

Anya laughs and shakes her head. "I just want the one," she say, scooping up the cat and scratching lightly behind its ears. Once success has been achieved she grins at Thomas. "Not a fan of cats? They're the perfect pets. Self-sufficient." She nods to Nadia. "She gets it, I think." Then she's giving Lance another smile before giving her attention, at least partially, to the cat.

The calico is easily picked up by Lance, and it begins to purr immediately. It likes Lance! No one in the shop seems to be taking credit for the adorable street urchins. Anya's cat is happy enough to be coddled and scritched, as is Nadia's.

Nadia can't help but give the cat a little cuddle. "You are all alone, little one?" she wonders aloud, seeming to finally give up on the idea of finding someone who will actually claim ownership of the critter. To Anya's comment, she smiles, nodding her head. "I like animals. I do not know how the landlord will feel." She frowns faintly, looking down at the cat, but even as she muses on the implications of bringing the pet home, it's clear her mind is pretty much already made up. She can't turn the little furball back onto the streets.

Thomas shakes his head. "Perfect for other people, maybe," he replies to Anya. "Even if I could have them around," and it's obvious by now that that's not the case, "the feeding and cleaning and— well, it wouldn't work out with my schedule. But you go ahead." By this time, he's gotten the books paid for, and is ready to take off. But there's that lingering bit of curiosity, still. "Koshka?" he echoes, looking back toward Nadia. "Little bit obvious, isn't it?"

Lance smirks and looks back to the cat he carries. "Well, guess we should take these outside." He says, starting to move to the exit with the cat. He pets the cat as he heads outside so the employees don't end up kicking him out of the place. He looks towards Anya over his shoulder and smirks. "Oh, come on. You know you want the two. Just look at them."

Hannah is so going to go look for her books, but with Geoff gone, she's suddenly laden with several shopping bags, and it's making herself quite unmanueverable in this crowded store. So after a few clumsy 'pardon me's when bumping into people (or shopping bag corners jabbing people's crotches), Hannah sighs and decides to head back out. And of course, before she can head outside, she needs to get past the Feline Brigade near the entrance…

Anya shrugs at Thomas. "Your loss. Enjoy the cat!" she calls to Nadia, before moving towards the door along with Lance, grinning at him. "Maybe. Wanna carry that one back to my place? I don't think I could wrestle two of them home if they start getting tired of being carried. I'm Anya, by the way."

Nadia offers an amused smile to Thomas's question, although her eyebrows also lift with slight curiosity. "Perhaps not for her forever name, but it was first thing to come to mind," she explains with a quiet laugh, lightly rocking the kitten in her hand as she looks back down at it. "But she does not seem to complain," the girl adds as she looks back up. To Anya, she gives a nod and a grin. "You also with yours," she bids in return.

"I was wondering, yes. Kind of like naming a dog Sobaka. But I guess it's uncommon enough here…" Yay for language studies. With that, Thomas waves a hand to Nadia and slips outside, looking back and deliberately taking a different route from Lance and Anya if it comes to that.

Lance glances back towards the others, offering a quick nod in farewell before he looks back to Anya and then down at the cat in his arms. "Sure. You got a car nearby or anything?" He asks Anya as he heads outside of the shop.

"Yeah, just a block down." Anya gives Lance an apologetic smile. "Busy today, so I couldn't get a closer spot. Still, it's not too far," she says, stepping outside then nodding to the left before stepping in that direction.

Nadia is in the middle of watching Thomas go when she's caught by Hannah's bag. She makes a little sound of surprise as the corner catches her in the leg - it doesn't exactly hurt, but the corner is sharp and she wasn't expecting that. Still, to Hannah's apology, the woman simply smiles and shakes her head. "It is nothing. I am in the way," she replies graciously, trying to move clear of the door before deciding to just go with the flow and filter out of the shop as well.

"I'm being clumsy, sorry." Hannah offers back to Nadia, pausing only briefly to peer at the cat the Russian woman is carrying. "Watch out for fleas." She adds with some friendly advice. "Stray cats in New York are notorious for fleas, among other things. Good luck with it!" Then she smiles boardly, before turning to go as well.

"Thank you, I will be sure to watch," Nadia replies, giving the cat another look, like she might spot fleas leaping from it right in front of her eyes. But despite the warning, she doesn't seem in any hurry to put the kitten down or even move it further away from herself. "You will not be stray any longer," she promises the cat, before giving Hannah a smile - and a wave with her free hand.

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