Katie was new at the shelter and being shown around by her manager, Jill. They had just finished touring the kitten room and were heading towards the back when they came to a open doorway. Katie paused to look inside.
The room was brightly lit and at the back was a table with a white backdrop. A tall young man stood in front of the table with a camera. Crouched on the table was a black cat that didn’t look all that pleased to be there, especially with the Santa hat on.
“What’s going on?” Katie asked
The man snapped a picture then turned to her, taking her by surprise momentarily with his good looks and bright blue eyes. “I’m taking pictures for the website,” he told her. “We’re trying to get some festive photos of some of our less adoptable animals to help find them homes.”
Katie stepped inside, with Jill right behind her. “Great idea. That cat doesn’t look too happy, though.”
“Yeah. He can be a bit of a grouch, and camera shy. But he’s a black cat, so we really need to get him up on the site. They’re not as adoptable because of silly superstitions, and his color makes it harder to get good photos. He’s the first one I’m doing. He’s been here a long time and I’d love to get a good photo of him and help him find a home. Despite his grouchiness, he is a really great cat and deservers a forever home.”
“Have you tried getting him to play while getting a photo? Something to distract him and show off his personality?”
“You know, that’s a good idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. Maybe you could give me a hand? You could play with him while I take the picture.”
“I’d love to. Just don’t get me in the picture, please. I’m a little camera shy, as well, and don’t like having my picture taken.”
“Really?” he replied with a spark of humor in his eyes. “A pretty girl like you doesn’t like having her picture taken?”
She gave him a small, teasing smile. “Surprisingly, yes.”
“That’s a shame because I think it might be good to have you in the photo with him. Besides showing his playful side, it’d show he’s not afraid of people, too, and that might help draw attention to him.”
Katie hesistated but Jill chimed in with, “I think that’s a great idea, Matt!”
“How about it?” Matt asked. “Will you do it? To help the cat?”
After a moment’s consideration, Katie nodded. “To help the cat.”
Jill grabbed a string toy from her pocket and handed it to Katie.
Katied walked over to the table and positioned herself beside it. Matt readied his digital camera while Katie began whispering to the black cat and dangling a string beside it. She played with the string, making it move enticingly along the tabletop. The cat watched it, then began to play with it, batting at it then chasing after it as Katie moved it around. Katie smiled as the cat played.
As she drew it up in the air, the cat reached up after it, and Katie laughed. Matt snapped a picture of her and the cat.
“That was great!” Matt said. “Want to see?”
Katie gave the cat a treat and pocketed the string, then went over to Matt. He showed her the picture on camera’s view screen. “I think it turned out great,” he said. “Don’t you?”
Katie had to agree, it was a good photo, showing the cat being playful and not afraid at all. And she didn’t look all that bad in photo, either, as she’d been afraid of. “Yes, I think it will look great on the website.”
“Would you like to stay and help me take photos with some of the other animals?”
Katie hesistated. She’d actually had fun with the photo shoot and she’d like to help out more of the animals. She also found herself wanting to spend a little more time with good-looking Matt and get know him a little better. But she hadn’t finished her tour of the shelter yet.
She turned to Jill to ask her if it be okay, but before she could say anything, Jill said, “Go ahead, Katie. Helping the animals is more important than finishing your tour. We can do that later.”
Then Jill gave her a knowing wink and left.
Katie turned to Matt. “Well, then. I guess we have some work to do. I’m Katie, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Katie,” Matt said with a smile. “I’m Matt. Let’s get started, then.”
Katie smiled. “Yes, let’s.”
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “cam”: