Nine times out of ten, Joshua Plante would have just kept walking, but something in the overgrown, empty lot caught his attention.
He backtracked about four steps to get a better look at the object.
It was a plain cardboard box, about the size of the ones used to ship apples in. Something had been chewing on a corner and Josh could see a tiny sliver of the contents through the resulting hole.
He could tell that the contents were furry, and that there was at least one foot. He held his breath as he used a stick to prop open the lid to get a better view.
He’d barely manage to raise it a crack when the flaps sprung up and a tiny, disheveled kitten leapt out. Josh fell back in surprise as the infant feline landed on its four paws and opened its mouth wide with a vicious roar.
Or, a roar that would have been vicious, if the animal had been capable of the intensity that it was projecting. And if it wasn’t so terribly cute. Instead, the noise was something more like a squeak, and Josh began to laugh.
It was several moments before both parties were able to compose themselves enough to take a second look at each other.
Josh noticed something strange about the cat.
“Are those stripes?” he asked, moving his hand dangerously close to the little animal’s needle-sharp teeth.
His answer, unsurprisingly, was a sharp bite on the tip of his middle finger. He withdrew out of snapping-range and looked up and down the block for anything that would explain the kitten’s current location.
“Who goes and abandons a baby tiger in the middle of the suburbs?” he wondered as he took off his jacket and prepared to snare the curious specimen.