Category Archives: Fiction

This is where I post stories and bits of stories I am writing

Magrat (Part II)

DSCN4027The days are growing shorter. The sunlight is weaker. It’s much too cool to be outside without a jacket. But there’s a wonderfully clean scent in the air, and I breathe it in eagerly. The atmosphere is free of irritants, and my allergies are given a much-needed reprieve.

I reach down and collect firewood for another chilly evening, and look around at Autumn’s bounty. Leaves–in varying hues of reds, browns, and golds–are everywhere. I see them clinging to branches, I hear them crunching under my feet, and I smell them burning in the neighbor’s yard.

November heralds that winter is but a few leagues away, which gives me a greater appreciation for this season.

I look down at the snoozing Magrat, her winter coat complementing the Fall palette. Smiling, I think back to the adventure we three shared.

“Life Finds a Way”

That Saturday morning greeted us with a warm and sun-splashed day. When we went outside, we saw that our little visitor had returned. She was lying contentedly in the grass, next to our raised bed, where we were trying to raise veggies & herbs.

We walked over to her and I was amazed (for this was the first time I saw her with my own eyes) that she did not run away, as I’d seen so many cats do. He was right; she was a scrawny little thing, barely out of kittenhood herself.

He leaned down and petted her.

“She no longer looks pregnant,” he declared.

“Oh, she must’ve had her litter last night.”

He shook his head, “I doubt it. She didn’t seem that far along. I think she lost the litter.”

“Oh no!”

Our visitor stood up, stretched, and yawned in a way I would later come to love. I sighed as Himself and I went about backyard maintenance. As we went from one part of the yard to another our new friend followed us around. When Himself began to head back towards the house, she accompanied him instead of staying with me. As he walked she would go a little bit ahead of him then wait for him to catch up, but her path diverged slightly from his.

After a few moments he said in wonder, “I think she wants me to follow her somewhere.” His curiosity overcame him and he followed her until they both disappeared behind the shed.

“…Dear!”

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Magrat, a Fantastical Tale (Part I)

Photo copyright Lynn Bass
Photo copyright Lynn Bass

All of what follows is true, except for the bits that aren’t.

Magrat was not always called “Magrat”. The reason, which must be pointed out, is that many cats begin and end their lives in this universe without a name. Only cats who have owners bear names, and it is typically the owners’ responsibility to dub their feline companions with some sort of moniker.

Now Magrat, as is the wont of most cats, is very cute. But what sets her apart, as far as we are concerned, is her sweet disposition. She never hisses, never lets out a low guttural yowl, and never claws a human (unless during play, which is always an accident). This display of good behavior, having had some experience with Magrat’s feral counterparts, led us to conclude that Magrat had been under someone else’s care for a time. And that someone else had probably given Magrat a name. By what means Magrat’s previous owner and she came to be separated is unknown to us and left to speculation.

It was on a Friday afternoon during the Summer, a couple of years ago, that an adorable, scrawny, yet PREGNANT grey tabby came up to our back porch.

It was quite fortuitous then, that himself arrived home early that day, for I’m not sure what would have occurred had he come home at his usual time. He keenly observed (as was his wont, for he expresses wisdom with frequency), that despite the tabby’s scrawniness, this visitor looked ready to give birth soon.

The tabby, like most cats who want something from strangers, started dialogue.

“Hello,” she began. (For she is an intelligent creature, and intelligent creatures should always begin conversations with some sort of greeting.) “Have you need of a cat?”

“Well, I don’t know. You see, my wife has a problem with allerg…”

“Splendid! As you can see, I’m due to have my litter soon. I can use your backyard here. I won’t leave a mess, and you won’t even know I’m here!”

“Well, I…”

“Thank you so much!” She turned to leave, “This is much more convenient than the alternative! I’ll come back later when,” she winked, “you know.”

“Wait! What’s the alternative?!”

But the tabby had already sauntered off.

Some hours later, when I arrived home, with a sourpuss expression (as was my wont whilst employed with a particularly disagreeable company), himself relayed his afternoon to me.

“Pregnant, you say?!”

“With kittens!”

“Are you sure?!”

“I could tell she had a belly. But she was all skin and bones! I would not be shocked if she miscarried.”

“Oh, the poor thing.”

The rest of the evening passed uneventfully.

To be continued…