The animal-holding area located behind the Biology building at Neo Helder University contained live creatures from various worlds, most of which were injured and could not be released into the wild. The most fascinating of them—at least from Ina’s perspective—were the ones from Earth, like “Garf”, the huge Garfield’s bearcat currently taking up residence in one of the bigger enclosures. Garf had been rescued from an interstellar animal smuggler who had beaten and abused him, so he would have to live the rest of his life here at the University. He was something of a local celebrity there, and many of the students considered him a mascot of sorts.
One day, Ina and her best friend Serafu found themselves invited to observe their biology teacher, Esther Horikawa, as she fed the giant feline. Esther seemed to have an almost supernatural touch with animals of all kinds, but seeing her so close to the giant cat still made Serafu and especially Ina nervous.