With his paw touching her flesh, George saw endless stars. Not as they were in the sky but as they were in X’s mind, for although her body was dying, it was still connected to her spirit. This was important as it meant he could bring her back. It would be a difficult task as he had already sensed that among those stars she had begun searching for someone. Closing his eyes, he focused as hard as he could and tried to see. Father? Yes, that was it. She was searching for her father somewhere in the great beyond. For another second, he hesitated. Was it really his place to call her back? Perhaps not, but he was sure he was doing the right thing. Straining with all his might, he tried reaching her. It was exhausting, but as he willed himself into her mind, he felt himself getting closer. Without opening his eyes, he told the animals to reach out and touch her body. The cats by his side were the first to make a move. Being closest to him, they placed their paws on her head and shoulders, and as they did so, they too were among the stars. Next up were the rats. Down by her feet, they reached out their tiny hands and placed them on her toes. Then it was the squirrels. Grabbing onto her hips, they quit wriggling their bushy tails and were followed by the magpies, who, lowering their beaks, placed them upon the flesh of her thighs, and as they did, the circle was complete. Calling out to her, George could sense they were making ground. Telling them to all close their eyes, he asked for them to call out as loud as they could, for she was quite the slippery customer and was doing her best to avoid them, such was her desire to reach her father. George had never known his own father, but he understood the love she held for him and why it was propelling her away from life. It was if she had become a speeding bullet, and he knew all about bullets. A cruel neighbour had once taken a shot at him for going to the toilet in the vegetable patch outside. Luckily for George and X, the neighbour had missed. Taking a deep breath, he focused on her with everything he had, and together they shouted out her real name. They shouted it with as much force as their animal minds could muster.
The name echoed across the universe until it reached her ears, and when it did, she spun around in the cosmic sea, startled at having been called from so far, far away.