I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it.

I wanted to tell myself it was all just a dream. But it wasn't a dream. It was real. This was really happening.

I was in a tiny cage, shoved up against the wall in a truck.

My back paw inadvertently slipped through the bars and brushed up against Rowan's tail, which was stiff and straight, the way it is when he's sleeping.

He opened his eyes and gazed up at me. His tail went limp.

"Sorry," I mumbled. He smiled and reached a paw up into my cage and held my paw, and I was filled with warmth. Suddenly, everything was better. I smiled back.

I focused on myself breathing.

In and out.

Breathing in and out.

Everything would be just fine, but only if I focused on breathing.

In and out.

I was dry. And thirsty. I tried to lick some of the water out of my fur, but I couldn't reach.

I decided not to wait to be let out. I didn't wait for things to happen – I made things happen. I had everything I needed. I had teeth.