Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rory and Ceri Vignettes: The Kittens

This actually happened to me when I was about twelve.

Rory woke with an odd feeling on his thighs. He discovered he was lying on his back next to Ceri. He smiled knowing that the only time he slept on his back was when one of the cats had decided to crawl under the cover and sleep between his knnees. He could feel a cat washing itself against his leg. The light indicated that it was just after dawn.

He carefully sat up so he would not put any weight on the cat and noticed an odd smell. He lifted the cover and woke Ceri with a cry of delight. She got up on one elbow to see what the matter was. Rory cast a blissful smile at her. "Och, macushla, I have had kittens!"

There between his thighs about halfway along their length was Guenevar, carefully licking two tiny damp bodies. Rory's inner thighs and the bed itself were covered in blood and afterbirth. Ceri groaned, but Rory was not only not perturbed, he was joyful. "Dinnae worry, I shall clean it up," he reassured.

She laughed and kissed his cheek. "Oh do not worry, Rory, 'tis nothing but laundry." She smiled at him. "Congratulations!"

Having gingerly gotten out of bed and then gone outside to clean himself p, Rory came in to find Ceri fixing up a bed for Guenevar and her kittens in a wooden box usually full of kindling. "Can you go get them? Your hands are nice and big, so I think you can hold all three in your two hands."

Rory was standing naked, but he turned and went up to the loft and carefully lifted Guenevar and her two kittens. He brought them down, carrying them as if he carried a delicate egg in his hands. He brought them over and placed them gently in the box. "They will be nice and warm here by the hearth, "Ceri said. Then she looked at him and chuckled, "Are you not cold?"

He looked down realizing he was entirely undressed. He smiled, then climbed the steps far enough to reach to the chair and get his kilt. He put it on after he had reached the floor again.

The two sat by the box for some time watching the mother clean and then show the kittens how to feed on her nipples. One kitten was quite a bit larger than the other. Rory looked at Ceri with a sparkle in his eye. "I want to keep that wee one. Can I?"

Ceri looked him frankly in the face and laughed. "Rory, you do not have to ask me! You are not a guest here!"

Rory smiled abashed. "I suppose 'tis time I remembered that ye adn I are one, macroidhe." He looked down and the kitten and striked the top of its tiny head with a finger as it nursed. Guenevar looked for all the world lilke she was smiling up at him. "I will call her Brigid, the same as me cat I had as a boy."

"Are you sure 'tis a girl?" Ceri asked. He reached down with his finger and gently lifted the kitten's tail. "Aye, as I thought, she is that."

He smiled so sweetly Ceri thought her heart would burst.

Next: What's in a name and Threads

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .