They think I'm a kitten. I'm pleased they do, I worked hard on this form. A half-grown orange cat. I even made sure to remember to leave a hole where the mouth goes. The little boy in the shirt with the wide collar found me at the edge of the road—a dirt path really—through the woods, just at the beginning of the clearing. The girl wearing a pinafore, who was slightly bigger, insisted they take me home.
"Please, mum! Pixie needs a friend," she said.
I thought it was funny their cat was already named after one of us fae creatures.
"I don't know," said their dad, "this might be somebody's pet."
"It hasn't got a collar," the girl said.
Their mum reached to pick me up. She wore a bonnet with a few flowers on the side. I concentrated on making sure I was warm to the touch, and that I had some weight.
"It might have fleas, don't pick it up," the dad said.
The mum turned me over and lifted my tail. "You just said you thought she was a pet. And she looks healthy enough."
She?? Crud, I forgot cats have testicles. Oh well, too late now. Technically I suppose "he" would have been equally inaccurate.
They voted, three to one, to take me home. I think even the dad didn't mind much, he stopped complaining after a single "I'm not taking care of this one too," as he folded his hands into the pockets of his greatcoat.
To which their mum replied, "You already don't take care of Pixie."
Their mum carried me until the little boy said, "Please can I hold her?"
That was easier on me, he seemed too small to know how much a cat should weigh, so I didn't have to spend as much energy making myself heavy. Still, keeping track of the shape of the form, and the warmth, and even a fraction of the right weight was exhausting. When we got to their house I immediately crept off into a dark corner and vanished for a few hours.
They looked for me for a bit, but then their dad, voice of wisdom, said "You can't ever find a cat when you're looking for them. Leave her be, she needs to get used to her new home."
The fact that he said "new home" was not lost on me. Everyone likes kittens.
Their cat, Pixie, turned out to be a grey tabby, a bit on the small side herself. When I finally reemerged, the family gathered her up and set the two of us on the floor in the drawing room. She refused to have anything to do with me.
The mum said "They'll get used to each other, look they aren't even hissing at each other. That's a good sign already."
I know the cat is ignoring me because I have no scent. We'll never be friends but that's alright. A púca doesn't need friends, we make our own entertainment. When their left shoes go missing and the top is left off of the salt box, they won't think to blame the orange kitten that they sometimes can't find.