Combeferre walked down the cobbled streets, dusky in the half-light of early evening. He was returning home after a day of classes, humming a quiet song under his breath. He paused and adjusted a sheet of paper that was about to escape from a book, then felt something nudge against his ankle. Looking down, he saw a small grey and white kitten.
"Hello, there, little fellow," he grinned, picking the cat up and frowning as he felt its ribs. The kitten miaowed pitifully, then rubbed against Matthieu's hand as he petted it. "Poor thing, you're hungry..." He put the kitten in his pocket carefully, then continued down the road, still humming.
A small boy soon appeared, running to catch up, balancing his books under one arm and his cane in another. "Ah, Matthieu! I thought that was you, but I was not sure," he said as he approached closer, falling into step beside him. Joly smiled, pleased to have found someone he knew. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn't risk running with the possiblity of devloping a cough again, but spending so much time alone had made him desperate to talk to people. "How are you now, after all of those lectures today?"
"Oh, how lovely!" Joly exclaimed before his smile quickly disappeared to be replaced by a worried frown. "A stray, I suppose?" An eyebrow raised, he gave the kitten a scrutinizing look. "Please do not tell me you just picked that up, you've no idea where it could have been in.. all the time before you picked it up! It is terribly unsafe, the poor thing could have panleucopenia, or worse."
"Actually, I did," Combeferre replied, grinning, and scratched the kitten behind the ears. "Bossuet wants to name him Scraps. And, mon ami, I believe humans can't get panleucopenia. It seems to be an entirely feline disease, so I doubt you have anything to worry about."
"But, you must realize that panleucopenia comes with other things that are not only in felines, and besides," Joly was obviously running high with nervousness by now, "if it does happen to have that, it will more than likely die just as soon as you become so attatched to it that you simply would not be able to bear the loss." As soon as the mention of its death was off his tongue, he instantly regretted it, and hoped that Combeferre wouldn't notice.