Once the crying and grieving period had passed, it had been replaced with determination. It had become a ritual.
Nikki would don her ninja suit, bid her mother goodbye, and head out to find her "Kitty." When she told ponies what she was doing, the mares would go "Awww" and note that she must really love her cat to still be looking for it.
Calla knew better.
Kitty had been a nickname Nikki had given to her little big brother when she was two. Even at age eight, when her words had gotten longer and her speech was punctuated and correct, Nikki refused to call her brother by his given name.
This time, however, Calla had tagged along with her enthusiastic and steadfast filly. Rumors were rumors, they always said. There is no merit to them.
Rumors were all she had to go on in this chase.