Kitten claws, Anders decided, were the universe’s greatest betrayal. If he had been just a little older, he might have argued it more poetically, maybe even allowed for the rose thorn to jostle it for the top slot. But he was six, and he understood two things perfectly clearly:
First, that kittens were the sweetest thing he’d ever seen. They were better than the candies in Gran’s pocket, and better than the breathless sneak to the fishing hole that his mother told him he was still too young to sit at all on his own. Kittens were the softest thing he had every held, and they were warm in a nice way even on a hot summer day, and they grand in all the right ways. They pounced, and they rolled, and they yawned, and they looked at him in wide-eyed confusion or disbelief or mischief, and all of it was grand. They were perfect.
Second, that claws so sharp they tore skin on accident should come with a better warning than a fluffy tail and bright blue eyes and a mew that sounded like a bell comically learning to sing.