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I walked though the hallways of school without looking at the other people blurring by. They didn’t matter to me; they didn’t care about me. They didn’t care about who I was, or what I was and that I was different. Though everyone must know what I am by now, it’s obvious I’m not a human.
No, I’m not an alien; I’m not green with antenna, and I don’t have my own spaceship. I was born on this planet, in the same way the humans around me were; but I’m not a human.
The humans don’t have a real name for what I am, and the word for us in our language is unpronounceable to them, Xeithei. The way the “professors” and “scientists” pronounced it, was “Catha”. It works well enough for us. Though if the putrid things would let us help what they call science, technology and education, the world would be better off in the long run.
My name is Adelah, it’s an Arabic name that means honest and fair. I’ve been told it’s an appropriate description. As I said earlier, I’m not a human, I’m a Xeithei. You’re a human too, aren’t you? Ha, I guess that means I’ll have to make this easy for you. I’m a Catha. A Tiger Catha, to be more correct. For those reading that don’t even know what a Catha is, poor souls, it’s a humanoid that is more cat-like then human-like. We have cat ears on top of our heads, tails, fur, fangs, claws, and the eyes of a cat. I’ll make it specific and talk about myself. My fur is not heavy, and a nice rustic orange with black stripes. My eyes are yellow, my claws are roughly an inch long and still plenty sharp considering my soft surroundings, and I grew up in the forests of Saudi Arabia. I’m not uncivilized, or savage, or stupid. I’m the smartest in my class, as the only sixteen-year-old senior at my school. Though I’m not actually sixteen, I’m sixteen and two-ninths; or one hundred and forty-six. And no, I’m not old, I’m still young for us, our lifespan is upwards of seven hundred years. A cat has nine lives after all.
I walked past a small clique of my own kind, lower class; house-cat-cathas. They’re more human then cat, a product of a human and feral-catha couple. The ferals are the ones who fight, and the ones that don’t get jobs because of what they are. Ferals treat House-cats the same way we treat Humans; we simply don’t care. The female House-cats watched me walk by with disdain in their eyes. I ignored them but read their faces plainly, “Why is she even here? No one likes her,” I smirked as I passed and put a little more bounce in my step, happy they didn’t like me. Someone called my name and I glanced over my shoulder, it was my friend, Soquoia, another Feral.
“Hey! Did you do the homework for Smith’s class?” She asked, the slapped her forehead, “Of course you did! What am I saying?” She said, I handed her the paper,
“You’d think you’d remember to bring your book home with you,” I said,
“I forgot, I’m sorry!” Soquoia said, taking the paper and scanning the answers, “Oh, that’s all we needed to do? I know all that, I’ll fill it in before class starts,” She said, handing the paper back.
“Sounds like a good plan unless he catches you.” I said, she thought for a moment, then nodded
“Yeah, I’ll go do that in the lunchroom,” She said and ran off,
“See you later!” I called as I turned around and started walking again, I walked into my classroom and put my book down.
“Hello Adela, how are you this morning?” The teacher asked,
“I’m doing very well, thank you,” I said, smiling. The teacher was a house-cat that taught calculus in the strangest way. I was miles ahead of the class and used techniques that she’d never taught.
“Do you remember the thing you did last class period? Do you think you could show the class how to do it?” The teacher said,
“I’d love to!” I said brightly, but thinking something entirely different: “Why don’t I just teach the class the entire time? You’re sure not doing a good job of it,” I thought bitterly, my smile turning to a scowl as she turned her back. I sat down and opened my text book and pulled out the sheet of paper I had written my math homework.
“See? Here first every day. She’s a teacher’s pet, and thinks she’s better then everyone,” I looked out the corner of my eye to see Jessica walk in, straight bleach blonde hair, skanky shirt and holey jeans. I sighed and looked back to the table, flipping my straight, raven black hair over my shoulder. Then Jacob walked in, my only friend in the class, he's a strange one, Jacob. House-cat on the outside and far from it on the inside.
“Hey chica, what’s up?” He asked, putting his books down. The prime specimen of a lazy cat.
“Nothing much? Did you do your homework?” I said,
“Heck, Jacob. You don’t say Hell,” I said, looking at him, annoyed,
“Right, sorry; I forgot that you’re like that.” He said, “Can I copy the homework?”
“No, Jacob. If you didn’t do it, I’ll help you,”
“You can help me cheat,” He said,
“No, I’ll help you do the homework,” I said, smiling. He sat back,
“Okay, okay. What was the homework?” He said,
“Page 158,” I said, handing him my book with the page open. He took it and looked at the numbers on the page,
“Oh, that’s easy!” He said, and began scrawling untidily on the paper in front of him, “I didn’t think that she’s be nice and give easy homework,” he said,
“You wouldn’t know, you never do it,” I joked, he laughed,
“But you should’ve told me it was so easy, or I wouldn’t be failing this class!”
“If you had done it yourself, you would've already known that!” I teased, I sat back and watched people come in the room. “Human, Human, House-cat, Human, Human. Could this class get any more pathetic?” I thought bitterly.
“Hey, wait, I don't understand this problem,” Jacob said, I leaned forward and pulled his paper toward me,
“Oh, we didn't have to do that one. She hasn't taught it yet,” I said,
“Oh, she hasn't taught us much at all has she?” Jacob asked, pulling the paper back and going back to work, I watched him work silently. “Hey, Adela, are you doing anything over the weekend?” Jacob asked, still working
“Not that I know of,” I said casually.
“So, do you think you'd like to go to a movie?” He said,
“So you're asking me out?” I smirked,
“You could take it that way,” He said,
“Sorry Jacob, but you're a brother, not a boyfriend.” I said,
“Turned away again, how many times has this been?”
“Seven,” I smirked, playing with my pencil on the desk.
“And I'll try again a few weeks from now.” Jacob said, finishing his homework with a satisfied flourish,
“Done!” He exclaimed,
“And are you going to do the homework tonight?” I asked,
“Pssh, heck no!” he said, I chuckled,
“See? This is why you're failing calculus again,” I said,
“So I'm a super-senior, no biggie,” Jacob shrugged,
“Wow, Jacob, just wow,” I said, then the bell finally rang and the teacher stepped up to the front of classroom.
“Okay class! Take your seats please! Adela is going to teach us another way to do what I taught you last class!” She said, I groaned on the inside as I stood up. This would not go well.