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robot lifts up the box, anticipating nothing. robot is Zen.

robot does well not to anticipate: under the upturned box is an old crone. “There is no kitten!” she cackles. robot is shocked at her blasphemy.

The journey is long, but robot is patient. Under one box, robot finds an abandoned used car lot; under another, some coaxial plumbing. There’s one moment of hope, but it turns out robot has just found Leonard Richardson.

At last, one box reveals an adorable feline, coat fluffy, eyes gleaming.

“KITTEN!” shrieks robot, and pulps it.

No! It’s okay! It was only a stuffed kitten!