About Felines and Fiction

An ardent cat lover and amateur creative writer from Scotland.

New Year Kitten

By Rachel H Grant

Sean turned over in bed, his ginger hair like a halo round his head. He could not sleep. It was New Year’s Eve, the last day of the old and the start of a bold new chapter. Only it did not feel like a new beginning. This new year would be the same as the last and the one before. School, bullying, hell. Days that fell like dominoes, an unfinished game that was the remains of his life. If only something good could happen tonight. A sign of better times to come.

**

Sam was being allowed to stay up for New Year. At eight, he felt so grown up. He stroked Charlie absently, his ginger kitten. Then he had an idea. Charlie would go on a mission. He would become a New Year supercat!

He hastily attached the cat angel wings novelty gift they had been given. He placed the kitten on the backdoor step. Charlie ran confidently ran in to the night. “Come back after you have performed some wonders!” shouted Sam.

His mother came down the stairs, anger chiselling her features in to middle-aged madness. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

“Charlies has turned in to a supercat and is on a mission!”

“You fool! We may never see him again! He has never been out yet!” She opened the door and called the kitten. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. He was gone.

**

Sean still could not sleep. Then he heard something. He sat up, alarm an invisible architect, freezing his features. He heard it again. A scratching at his window.

Cautiously, he opened the curtains. A handsome ginger kitten confronted him. Sean laughed, quickly letting the cat in. Angel wings were attached to a collar. Sean removed them, then cuddled back in bed with the kitten by his side. He descended to beautiful dreams, lions and tigers his friends as together they faced the school bullies. Sean chuckled in his sleep.

Image by ifemmwalke0 from Pixabay

The next morning, he woke with the embers of his dream still warm in his head. There had been a kitten in his dreams. Sean turned over, and froze. It had not been a dream. The kitten was next to him, right here and now. It looked in to his eyes and began to purr.

**

Sam sat at the backdoor for the third day in a row, calling Charlie. He did not come. His heart beat with burning regret. Why did stupidity hide a sharp knife inside? His heart was bleeding, he was sure. But still no Charlie.

“It’s time to get over this,” scolded his mother. “Charlie will have found another home, another warm fireplace. He will be fine. Time to get ready for your new school tomorrow!”

Sam scowled. He hated school.

**

Sean felt more confident at the prospect of returning to school than he ever had before. It was supercat power from Clio the kitten, he was sure. Sean had never felt more happy.

Clio was his new best friend. And that day at school, he even made a human friend, Sam, a new boy in town. Could life really be getting better? It was the kitten, he was sure. A magic spell of feline charm had transformed him and his life.

**

Sam ran home from school. “It wasn’t too bad!” he gasped running through the front door. “And I made a friend!” The he paused, perplexed. “Charlie hasn’t come home has he?”

“No,” said his mother softly. “Who is your friend?”

“His name is Sean. He’s cool. I’m invited to his house after school tomorrow!”

**

Sam and Sean walked home from school together. “I have a secret to show you,” confided Sean. When they opened the front door, Clio the kitten ran to them in delight.

Sam stood stock still. “Are you scared of cats?” asked Sean. “He came in the night, and he has been like a lucky charm. My life has never been so good. And I even met you!”

Sam tried to say something, but the words would not come out. Then a mature version of him rose from a deep slumber. “That’s great! He’s a supercat and you are meant to have him!”

Sam forced himself to smile, and to pretend that he had never seen the cat before in his life.

That night, in bed, tears fell on his pillow. But whether they were of joy or sadness, he could hardly tell. In the night, magic would unfold. Because cats have superpowers, and they appear just when needed.

The next morning, his mother knocked at his door. “I have something for you!” There was a box in her hands, and scratching from within. Could it be … ?

“It’s not Charlie, but we have a new kitten!”

A white kitten fell in to his lap. Sam smiled. “I will call her Snowflake!” His eyes dried, but in his heart tears still fell. For a true friend gives up the one cat they love more than any other. No matter how much it hurts.

He took Snowflake in his arms. “You’re my supercat now, and I’m never letting you go.”

Sam’s heart still cried, but his smile was real. He had learned a lesson. At the end of our tears … there is always a rainbow.

Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay

Snow Cat

Jessica laughed as she built the kitten snowcat, her hands cold but her smile as warm as sunshine. School holidays and early snow, it would be a white Christmas! The two grey pebble eyes regarded her with no emotion. She laughed louder. How she wished she could have a cat, a little white kitten. But her mother was allergic to cat hair. “One day,” her mother told her solemnly, “one day when you are grown up you can have as many cats as you want.” And Jessica would, five at least, including an adorable white kitten. She would call him Snowfall.

Image by Katharine Sparrow from Pixabay

That night, she dreamt of Snowfall, his white whiskers brushing her cheek as he rubbed enthusiastically around her. She chuckled quietly as she slumbered, dreams like cat purrs in her head.

When Jessica awoke, her dreams drifted away like bubbles on a breeze, twinkling in the morning light, then gone as though they never were.

When Jessica left the house that morning, she ran her hand over the snowcat. Then she stared in disbelief. Gone were the grey pebble eyes. In their place, a pair of shining green crystals.

Jessica slowly laughed, as she realised that someone – perhaps even a child at her school – had replaced the eyes. It was not so much a practical joke, as a small appreciation of her snow sculpting skills. It was good to know her cat had been noticed.

That night, she awoke from tangled dreams in a sweat. Jessica was sure she had heard a cat cry. She looked out the window, keen to see her snowcat in the light of the streetlamp. The cat was gone.

Jessica stared in stupefaction. Tears slid down her face, little crystals looking for their green cousins, crying inside their watery soul, tears within tears.

When Jessica awoke the next day, she tiptoed in trepidation to the window, her breath in her throat like a trapped bird. The snowcat was there, untouched, sparkling in the frosty early morning light. She sighed with relief, as a happy bird flew away, leaving Jessica with her dreams behind.

That night, she dreamt of Snowfall again, green eyes glinting as he bestowed cat kisses on her hands. Jessica chuckled in her sleep. Outside, in the quiet street, a cat was awake. The snowcat moved, stiffly at first, then more easily. As the snow slid to the ground, a pure white kitten emerged.

At the local hospital, a white kitten appeared in the covid ward, hiding under beds, running quickly to the next one, avoiding detection with a cat’s cunning. Each patient was licked in turn. The sleeping souls laughed softly, divine dreams massaging their minds. In the morning, they were all much improved. The doctors could not believe their eyes. Christmas had come early to the covid ward.

Image by JL G from Pixabay

The kitten slid quietly away, a night’s work that deserved a Christmas nap. When Jessica looked out her window the following morning, her snowcat was there, glinting in the early sun again. She remembered the vivid dream where it had been gone, and shrugged. She was obsessed with this cat. It was only a lump of snow after all.

Image by petronela from Pixabay

As Jessica left her bedroom, she did not see the white whisker on the floor.

It was the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. As usual, Jessica patted her snowcat as she passed. She did not see the real cat whiskers on its face.

The days grew milder and the snowcat began to melt. Jessica would have cried, but there was too much to look forward to, it was Christmas! When it snowed again, she would just build another snowcat.

That night, as she slept, a kitten crawled on to her pillow and licked her face. Jessica chuckled but did not awake. The kitten slid away, silently returning to a distant feline world of healing white cats. One day, he would return. But not now. It was time for a long Christmas sleep.

In the morning, the snowcat was gone, a pile of sludge all that remained. Jessica retrieved the two green crystals, and held them in her hands as they grew warm. She laughed quietly. She would treasure these, she decided as she placed them in her jewellery box. Jessica did not see the white whisker hidden inside. One day, much older, she would find it, and remember her dream. A white kitten. And on that day, the grown up Jessica would decide to find one for real: her own white kitten.

Until then, her kitten would sleep in a magic land, never far away, there in the back of your mind in the dreams you forget the next day. For the right owner, a cat can wait forever.

In the secret world of dreams, green eyes sparkled with Christmas cheer. May your Christmas wishes come true in 2021, may we always have white kittens to watch over us, and may we all one day meet the cat of our dreams.

from Pixabay

Kitten Magic

Cara grinned her delight as she decorated the Christmas tree: silver, sparkling and a winter wish come true. Her eight year old heart swelled with happiness, feline kisses within her like stars exploding. Ginny, their 18 year old tabby cat, watched her efforts with fire in her eyes. She was not too old to enjoy Christmas.

Image by Kveta Strbova from Pixabay

Cara’s auburn hair burned in unison with the glittering baubles. Tenderly, her twitching hands opened the box of kitten decorations. Her grin increased, threatening to fly off her face.

The different coloured kittens hugged her heart tighter, feline whiskers brushing against her soul. She laughed, her feline Christmas dream come true.

She carefully placed each kitten on the tree. Their eyes sparkled in the dim sitting room light. The kittens looked alive, the reflection in their eyes like a real soul looking out.

Cara slipped in to bed that night with a smile in her eyes, and a festive yawn in her mouth. Sleep claimed her over-excited mind. She dreamt of the kitten ornaments. She gently held one in her hands, stroking it like a real cat. Then it happened. The ornament grew warm, and the tiny kitten began to purr. It was alive!

The next morning, she rushed through to the tree. The kitten ornaments were just as she had left them the night before. She fingered the small white one, the kitten of her dream. It was cold and inanimate, if pretty. The dream had been just that, a dream.

That night, she drifted to sleep with the white kitten ornament in her hand, like a secret talisman that would take her far and away. In her dreams, she flew with the kitten, which had turned in to a large cat with wings. Below them, fields spread out like a tapestry of the gods. Cara laughed. This was so much fun.

In the morning she awoke with the embers of joy in her heart. The dream massaged her mind, a beautiful memory like a pink sunrise, a prelude to what could only be a fantastic day.

She looked for the kitten ornament but could not find it. To Cara’s surprise, when she entered the sitting room later it was there, on the tree, just where it had been the day before. Had she sleepwalked and put it back? In exactly the same place? Cara rubbed her head, puzzled. However she soon forgot the incident, as she helped Mum wrap Christmas presents. Her favourite time of the year, fun frolicked in her fiery hair.

That night, she did not take the white kitten ornament to bed. She was too grown up surely for such behaviour. However, in the morning, there it was, in her hands. Curious but not perturbed, she placed the little ornament back on the tree. Had she been sleep walking again?

She sat next to Simon at school that day. “A cat visited my house last night,” he confided. “It was a huge tubby cat with orange eyes. I let him in and he slept with me all night. In the morning he was gone.”

Adele turned round. “A Siamese cat appeared on my windowsill last night. I let her in. She was beautiful. In the morning she was gone.”

The stories began to travel around the class. At least ten children had experienced a feline visitor the night before. Cara frowned. Where was her secret cat sleepmate?

When she arrived home from school, she rushed to the Christmas tree. It brought her such joy. She fingered each of the cat ornaments carefully. One was missing, the Siamese cat. Hastily Cara looked under the tree, but it was not there.

Image by utroja0 from Pixabay

That night, she took a black cat ornament to bed with her. In her dreams, a black cat joined her. “Come with me.” The little cat spoke the words in her head. Together, they entered a globe of white light at the foot of the garden, and ran down a sticky, strangely lighted tunnel. They emerged within a flower bud, where large cats with spots surveyed them coolly. “Welcome to Christmas in the kingdom of cats.”

Cara woke up. It was still night. A purring sound played with her ears. She looked down. There was a shape on her bed. Gently, she touched it. The purring increased in volume.

Cara smiled as sleep claimed her tired brain. There was a cat on her bed! In the morning, the cat was gone. Had it all been a dream?

Then she saw it. A whisker on her bedspread. She laughed. The dream was true.

That day at school, there were more cat tales. Many of her class had enjoyed vivid dreams; a few also recalled running down a strange tunnel with a cat, and the flower bud at the end of the tunnel.

Cara ran home that day after school, excited at the thought that she may be visited by a cat again that night. Her real cat, Ginny, greeted her at the door. “Don’t forget about me,” her eyes seemed to say.

Cara stroked Ginny quickly, then rushed to the Christmas Tree. She knew there was something magical about the kitten ornaments, they were weaving a web of feline silk over the village, purrs their Christmas present. But when she got there, the tree was hissing rather than purring. Hissing in rage. The kitten ornaments were gone.

“Have you hidden them?” accused her mother. “Me? No!” Cara looked around, confused. Where had they gone?

That night, there were no cats in her dreams. When she awoke, however, there was something in her hand. The black kitten ornament. The one she had forgotten to replace.

Holding it tightly, she rushed to the sitting room. The tree was still devoid of kittens. There was only the black one left. That night, she locked it in her jewellery box. She wouldn’t let this one escape.

Many many miles away, a little girl would wake up in the night from a bad dream, and find a cat on the bed beside her. It was gone in the morning, but on her Christmas tree were kitten baubles, having mysteriously arrived overnight. Her mum laughed, “Your Dad is playing games.” But the child, Sarah, knew better.

And many many years later, two old women, Sarah and Cara, became best friends, their bedrooms next door to each other in their nursing home. One Christmas, Cara brought her old child’s jewellery box to the common room. It had been in her bedside unit, untouched for years. Tears slid down her face as she fingered the little girl’s bracelets and necklaces. Then she found the black kitten Christmas tree ornament. Her tears turned to laughter.

The next morning, kitten ornaments had appeared on the nursing home Christmas Tree. They shone in the soft lighting, secrets locked deep inside their twinkling eyes. For we never grow too old for magic. Have a Christmas filled with feline fun, a festive season to remember forever, a special day to cry over in years to come, a sweet memory like a cat’s purr beating softly in your heart.

Image by Matthew Leppert from Pixabay

Billy and Teddy and the Magic Maze

 

Billy and Teddy knew the ingredients of a good cat’s life: food on tap, mice to chase, and a summer house to sleep in. But there was another recipe at work in their life: Ambrose, regal Cat Elder Ambrose who turned up unexpectedly and demanded their help on important missions. Billy and Teddy did not agree that every one of their missions had been important, but that is another matter.

On this mild August summer evening, Billy and Teddy were indeed sleeping in their summer house, warm and undisturbed. Until they heard the whir of the time capsule …

“It is me!” announced Ambrose redundantly; who else would it be? “There is no time to waste. There are two frightened children who need a pair of cat heroes!”

“Children? I like children,” commented Teddy.

“Fiona and Fergal, cat lovers and very lost and scared. This will be your first mission to a magical place! Have I never told you, that the magic and mystery adult humans love to add to children’s stories is actually true? There is much magic on Planet Earth after dark. As you are about to find out!”

“Where are we going now?” said Billy in his I’m so not resigned to this telepathic voice.

“No less than a magic maze! In the village of Hazelhead, many hundreds of miles away, but that’s no problem with our space capsule!”

“Are they there now?”

“Yes, no time to be lost! Fiona and Fergal are eight years young, but they will feel much older after tonight. They thought it would be fun to go out after dark to the local park to spot hedgehogs. But they are lost in a magic maze that has engulfed the park! It will not be there in the morning. And if we don’t rescue them, neither will they! They will be whisked to a Neverland type place, never to return. But with your cat psychic direction skills, you will guide them out of the maze. You will be their knights in shining fur and glowing whiskers! Time to go!”

“Ambrose, one day you must explain to us why you can’t do these missions yourself.”

“Spoilers! One day you may learn more about me, but not now. Come along, my knights in glowing whiskers!”

The space capsule took them to the edge of the maze. High hedges towered over them. It was dark, but cats have night vision so this was no problem for Billy and Teddy. “Directional antennae working?” asked Billy. Teddy consciously turned on his psychic direction powers. “Working.”

They entered the maze, moving to where they felt the children were. The hedges kept moving, confusing but not stopping them, not invincible Billy and Teddy! They ran around the shifting sides of the maze, until they finally heard the chatter of children. Seconds later they were there before them, two bewildered children hugging each other in fright.

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Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Billy and Teddy began meowing and rubbing around the two siblings. Their magic was greater than the maze, for no one can resist a fluffy cat, least of all scared little children.

Fiona and Fergal grinned despite their fears. A cat is magical, even more magical than a mysterious moving maze. Billy and Teddy decided to find the way out, looking back to ensure they were being followed. They were.

They ran through the changing lanes, the hedges swooshing as they moved around them. Fiona and Fergal kept up, hope lighting their dark path ahead in addition to the torches they had brought with them.

“Hello and stop!”

A tall figure attired in green leaves stood before them. “I am Elliot, Master of the Maze. I am here to take you to a far-off magical land, a place where all your dreams come true and where fairy stories are real! But you must stay here in the maze. It will take us all there.”

“No way!” screamed Billy and Teddy telepathically. “We are taking these children home!”

“Intelligent cats! But my magic is stronger.”

“But we can travel in time,” boasted Teddy.

“Really? You’re not Billy and Teddy are you? The famous time-travelling duo?”

“We just might be.”

Fiona and Fergal listened to what was, to their ears, a one sided conversation.

“Who are Billy and Teddy?”

“It seems some very special felines have come to your rescue tonight!”

“And we’re taking them home now,” said Billy as he growled.

“Don’t you want to see the special dreams I can make come true? Yes, for all of you including you Billy and Teddy! Wouldn’t you like a more peaceful life, no more adventures all over the world? Time to rest and play in peace, in a paradise where every day is sunny and toy mice come back to life again and again after you catch them!”

“No!” hissed Teddy. “The children are coming with us.”

A doll’s house appeared in Elliot’s arms. “Fiona, I know you wished for a special doll’s house! This one is all yours.”

Fiona laughed and stretched out her arms. The doll’s house was so large it hid her face. But her delighted chuckling could be heard if not seen.

“And Fergal, here are some football boots for you!”

“Fabulous!” breathed Fergal.

“That’s enough!” shrieked Billy. “They can have the toys, but we’re taking them home now.”

“Okay, you can take them home, but only if you return here and come with me! Such wonders I can show you! There are many in my land who would love to meet Billy and Teddy, famous cat conquerors! What do you say?”

Billy and Teddy looked at each other. “What would Ambrose say?” muttered Billy. “He never need know!” rejoined Teddy. “We have a time machine! We can take as much time as we like!”

They stared in to Elliot’s eyes, but picked up no danger. Only laughter and joy.

So they escorted the children home, following them through the dark streets and then rubbing around their legs in goodbye. As the children opened their front door Billy and Teddy slowly retreated. “No! Come with us!” beseeched Fiona.

However the cats could feel their new adventure calling them. They hurried round the corner, the night a cloak around them as they disappeared. Fiona and Fergal stared after them. Fiona picked up her doll’s house, and entered the house. “I think we will see those two again.”

“I know,” said Fergal. “I believe when we see them again, there will be more magic. Bigger than these presents, bigger than anything we have ever known.”

Billy and Teddy found the maze once more. Elliot was waiting for them at its overgrown entrance. “I knew you would come back. Curiosity is after all a cat’s weakness.”

Billy and Teddy looked at each other. Were they doing the right thing?

A wind swirled around them. They shivered as the cold night sky stared down with no feeling, only deep darkness that hid unknown secrets. Perhaps they would find out a few secrets tonight.

“We are ready,” said Billy simply. They stepped in to the maze, as it twisted and danced around them. Magic kissed them with a silken mother cat tongue. Despite themselves, they purred. For cats can never resist magic. They closed their eyes. When they opened them, it was like every dream of theirs had come true at once. They began to purr in earnest. In fact, they might never stop purring …

To be continued …

Nureyev Dreams

By Rachel H Grant

 

Nureyev slept in the early morning sun, dreams caressing his soul. Peace painted his feline body in beautiful shades of grey. The picture was a perfect moment, a photograph of purity.

In the open window, a dreamcatcher fluttered. Magic unknown played with its feathers.

It was usually Nureyev who played with the dreamcatcher. Its magic was infectious. He stirred in his sleep, as the dreams of other people surrounded him, a silent crowd awaiting a nod, a call to action. Nureyev began to purr. The waiting dreams flew up, through the dreamcatcher and out the window. A mission was in motion.

Nureyev stirred in his sleep, as though he could feel the wind of dreams all around him. Little did he know, but as a kitten a witch placed dream-making energy in him. He was an experiment, a living test subject in handsome grey fur. He ran away from the witch’s house, finding a home he was happier with. The witch never witnessed the transformation of her guinea pig, or knew of the dreams created, cared for and set free.

Nureyev opened his eyes. The dreams of a stranger stared back. He could feel it, he could almost see them, the shadows of dreams unborn. Nureyev knew that nothing is more pitiful than a destroyed or unrealised dream.

Reluctantly, he climbed out of his comfortable bed. Out on the street, he soon saw her. The child pregnant with a dream. Life a mystical midwife, he ran across the road and rubbed around her. “What a lovely cat!” breathed the girl.

She would return home, unaware of the change in her aura, oblivious to the dream energy all around. A week later, it arrived. A gift from her elderly great aunt. Almost exactly the dream dolls house she had imagined! Large, full of tiny furniture and pretty dolls. It was everything she had wished for.

In the neighbouring street, Sonia stared at the pair of ballet shoes. She had brought them with her own pocket money. But her parents had said that the closest ballet class was too far to go each week. She could cry.

Later that day, Sonia encountered a grey cat in her garden. She stroked him happily, she loved cats! Little did she know, the blessings in his heart. But five weeks later, when the local ballet teacher decided to start a ballet class in her village, she had forgotten all about him.

Tom wished for a brother, he was a lonely kid with few friends. One day he found a grey cat sleeping on his bed; it must have come in a downstairs window. The cat behaved as though he were his best friend, jumping up in delight to rub around him.

Nine months later, Tom gained his little brother. He had long since forgotten about the friendly cat in his room.

Nina longed for a best friend. She was bullied at school and deeply unhappy. One day, a cat followed her down the street. She stopped and petted it. Perhaps she should ask for a kitten. But her mother would not approve, she was too house-proud.

Two months later, a new girl moved to the town, and became her trusted best friend. Nina had never been so happy.

So Nureyev continued his dreamcatcher days, receiving no thanks but savouring so much satisfaction. He didn’t know what he did … but he knew he did something.

Then one fateful day, it was time for Nureyev – not for a dream, but for a nightmare to come true.

His parents were moving abroad, and there was no room for him in the suitcase! He ended up in a very strange place, lots of different people by day, nobody by night except the other cats he now shared his life with. Little did he know, he had moved to a cat café.

Everyday, he met new people. And every day, new dreams were born. His potential for pursuing good was now one hundred fold what it had been. However, although he spread such happiness, he knew none himself.

One day, a young woman played with him, joy in her eyes. Her own cat had died days before. Naomi knew straight away that she wanted this cat: a dream devoured her heart, demanding that she fight to make it real. She begged and begged the café owner for Nureyev. Eventually, the owner agreed: her dream sealed with a thank you cheque and an unbelieving smile.

So Nureyev had found his forever home. It was not just any home. There was a dreamcatcher over the door, its familiarity damping his new home fears. The house itself was huge, his new owner apparently very rich. There was a cat playroom just for him! And a large garden to explore and make his own.

Finally, after so many years giving to others, his own dream had been delivered. Soon, he forgot about helping people. Enjoyment became his existence. There was nothing else to wish for, he had it all.

Far away, another cat woke up one day, and thought: “I know how to make dreams come true.” Sometimes he dreamt of Nureyev, a large grey cat with gleaming eyes. Then he forgot about him. A personal adventure to spread happiness had begun. Dreams followed in his wake like a heaven-sent shadow.

Nureyev slept in the early morning sun, a children’s lullaby in his head. Contentment stroked his handsome features. The picture was a dream in motion.

Above the door, a dreamcatcher fluttered. But Nureyev did not wake up. His dream was too good; awake and asleep, all of life was one big dream come true. Memories of deeds gone past floated in his head, and then were gone. Nureyev purred as he dreamed, and the sleeping world purred with him. Then his dream faded, and real slumber claimed his soul. There was no need to dream ever again. Dreams were for the disheartened; he had left them far behind. A new life beckoned. Nureyev smiled inside. There was nowhere to run to anymore. Paradise purred for a better day. That day had come.

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Photo by Kasya Shahovskaya, on Unsplash

Tessa’s Travels in Time

By Rachel H Grant

 

Tessa was born on a still spring night, in a time-tarred barn. Her first memory, at a week old, was of stars through a broken roof, pins of light in the night, a pin cushion of the gods. I want to go there, she thought feebly, away from these ugly siblings. I want to go to one of the lights, I want to be free.

Tessa’s first few weeks were spent sleeping in the hay, or exploring the field next to the barn. She cuddled with her feline family to keep warm at night, but avoided them in the day. She was different, and she knew it.

One day a strange cage appeared in the field, with tasty food inside. However it became the taste of freedom denied. Tessa was locked inside the cage, no way out. Frantic with the desire to escape these grey bars, Tessa gazed at the stars in the sky. Please help me.

The next day a lady abruptly arrived and seized the cage. Tessa hissed in alarm. She was placed in a strange vehicle which began to move. The day descended to the depths of a cat’s despair. Tessa meowed, willing the stars in the sky to reappear. Finally, the vehicle stopped. A huge building confronted her, as Tessa’s cage was seized once more. A fat middle-aged man surveyed them from the door.

“A black and white kitten! Just what the doctor ordered!” Tessa liked the man straight away, knowing that a new life awaited, several purrs ahead.

The man, Derek, adored her. She listened as he composed music, purring in accompaniment. He told her that he had never known inspiration as prolific until she entered his life. Of course, she did not understand his words, but she purred anyway. Somehow, she knew that she was helping him. And somehow, he knew that she was special. But he did not realise how special.

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Tessa would paw at Derek’s feet when he did not pay attention to her for a while. He would chuckle, declaring, “This cat keeps me on my toes!” Tessa purred in reply. She began to feel that she was her owner’s protector, his health in her paws, his well-being in a flick of her whiskers. Sometimes she felt compelled to follow him around the house, just to make sure no harm came to him. It was almost as if … she was waiting for something to happen.

Then one night, she had a dream. In the morning, Tessa was not there, bed empty, food bowl untouched. Derek searched everywhere for her. But she never returned.

In Tessa’s dream, she saw a man – a different man, but somehow she knew it was Derek. He was in a room full of children, pointing at a large black board with white letters on it. But something bad was going to happen. She knew it. That was when she did it for the first time. The Jump.

One minute she was observing the man while she slept. The next second she was there, really there, in the classroom with the teacher. The schoolkids looked at her like they had never seen a cat before. But there was one boy she had her eye on. The dark energy emanated from him.

Tessa ran and bit his leg. In alarm, the boy dropped something from his hand. A knife.

“He was going to throw that at you Mr Castle!” one of the children shouted.

Mr Castle retrieved the knife, and flushed while a look of trepidation dimmed his eyes.

At the end of the school day, he carried Tessa home. She was very happy living with Mr Castle (Derek in different clothes) until … another dream.

She saw him. Derek with another face, with different clothes. He was lying in a ditch with other men, and somehow she knew that the ditch was called a trench. He was in mortal danger, she understood as her heart thudded hard at the thought. She jumped … and was there. By the man lying in the ditch, the man who was about to die. She howled hideously, her voice her only weapon. “This is no place for a cat!” he picked her up and began to walk. Behind him, artillery fire felled his colleagues. He looked back in shock, his frozen heart breaking through ice as tears formed in his eyes. His friends. He held the cat who had saved is life as if he would never let go.

But Tessa had other ideas. Her next mission was massaging her mind. She jumped from his arms … and back in time to 1597, to a witch being hunted for trial. It was Derek, dressed in women’s clothes and with a female smell, but Derek nonetheless. She was cowering in her tiny cottage as men broke down the door. Tessa knew she did not have much time to help. She didn’t know what witch trials were, but she knew this woman was in mortal danger. Tessa looked in her eyes and screamed with all the cat telepathy she could muster “HIDE!”

The woman disappeared with the grace of a cat. As the angry men entered, they looked around in alarm. “A cat! She’s turned herself in to a cat! She really is a witch!”

Tessa was violently grabbed. She hissed in anger and pain. Then used all her might to … do the special jump.

She found herself in a very strange place, with large windows looking out on stars. Ahead, a man spoke to a wide room full of people. It was Derek, in uniform and of course with a different body. But she would know him anywhere.

The man suddenly stopped speaking. He had noticed her.

“A cat!” he laughed. “We have a stowaway on the ship! I like it! A sign! When I first enrolled in space academy, I encountered a cat at the door of the school, a lucky black cat like a sign of good luck. I saw the cat again the day I graduated. Is this a sign? A validation of my intent to arrive in peace rather than taking a more hostile stance? Somehow I know it is.”

Tessa purred. She could feel it, destiny shifting beneath her paws. Whatever she came here to do, she had achieved it. But this place was strange. Time to jump again.

But she could not do it. The jump energy evaded her. She did not understand the concepts of time travel and reincarnation. But she knew she had a gift, and that the different people she had encountered had all been versions of the first Derek, her Derek. But the real Derek, the owner who had loved her so much, was many years and star systems behind her now. She could not return. The gift was gone, dimmed by the bright stars all around. This was her time now.

I am in the stars, she thought feebly, I am free. Only it no longer felt like freedom. Destiny’s paws had dealt an unkind blow. She was here forever. Time to enjoy herself, time to flirt with freedom, to taste just the one life as others knew it. It was time to be Tessa.

So she stared at the stars, and prayed for a freedom that could not come. Like a mouse in a huge field, you could chase it relentlessly, but it would forever evade capture. Some mice have luck; some cats have nine lives; some cats have dreams that never end.

Billy and Teddy Go to the Moon

By Rachel H Grant

Prequels

Billy and Teddy’s Christmas Adventure

Billy and Teddy Tango with Taylor Swift

Billy and Teddy’s Most Excellent Art Gallery Adventure

Billy and Teddy’s Most Excellent Highland Adventure

Billy and Teddy’s Excellent Adventure

A Labrador’s Most Excellent Adventure

Billy and Teddy chased a butterfly across the garden. The sun stroked their backs like a proud mother cat.

billy_teddy2

Suddenly, a cloud of leaves spun between them like a hello from far-off autumn. A wind tousled the plants as a shape took form. It was the time capsule.

Regal ginger cat Ambrose emerged, eyes twinkling with feline secrets. “Billy and Teddy! I have a very important mission for you. It will be like no other!”

The sun lit stars in Billy’s eyes. “Another famous pop star to save?”

“No, this will be a real star, or to be more exact, the moon!”

“The moon?” repeated Teddy in confusion. “That white light in the sky at night? We can’t go there! It’s a long way away and looks very cold.”

“Yes, you are going there, but back in time! Men landed on the moon in 1969, as the world stood still in collective awe. But there is a plan afoot. Our feline cousins the Mutalians plan to sabotage the event, a vain attempt at establishing first human contact on international TV, watched the world over. They are complete show offs, and we won’t let it happen. Of course, I know feline history. Two earth cats save the day, yet again! Yes, Billy and Teddy, today you will become space travellers for the first time! Did I never tell you that the time capsule is also a spaceship?”

“Who … who are you Ambrose?” stuttered Billy. “Where do you come from, really, that you have all this technology?”

“One day we will have that talk. Not today. Today you need to prepare for the trip of your life! You’re going to the moon! The time capsule is already programmed for you, with two special cat suits for you to wear that will allow you to breathe on the moon, and so much classier than the human astronaut suits of 1969!”

“We met the Mutalians at Christmas,” stated Billy. “They said they would see us again.”

“Of course, they have access to the feline historic archives too. And they can time travel. But they are no friends of mine, I assure you!”

“They are friends of us.” Teddy arched his back in a huff.

“None of that!” admonished Ambrose. “If they are your friends you should enjoy seeing them again in these historic circumstances! Time awaits you, history is hissing at you! There is no time to lose!”

Billy and Teddy argued for a bit longer, but then resigned themselves to the fact that they were going to the moon. The moon! Them! Sometimes, they wondered what life would be like if they had never met Ambrose. The latter briefed them on the mission, eyes shining as though mini moons were inside.

So they travelled through time and space, to the moon in 1969.

It was superbly strange, looking down on Planet Earth beneath them. Then they entered the purple time tunnel, which ended just above the moon. They meowed in anxious anticipation. Space travellers, them! It was really happening. Time sucked in its breath, as in July 1969 Billy and Teddy landed on the moon.

The time capsule had been programmed to go to the far side of the moon, far from history’s favourite landing site.

Billy and Teddy nervously jumped from the capsule, missing its warmth immediately. Their space suits clung to them like a badly fitting collar. The light was dim, like a low wattage light bulb reflecting off the ground beneath them. Above stars accentuated the sky with a promise of other worlds … other life. Then Billy and Teddy saw them, their alien friends walking confidently towards them in similar spacesuits to their own.

They beheld in silence the large part feline, part human beings, upright on two legs with large green eyes that seemed to drink in their very souls.

“We knew you would come,” spoke the largest feline, finally. “We know what you do now. You are going to try to dissuade us from meeting with the first human Moon explorers? But why? What a wonderful experience for Planet Earth, the first Moon landing combined with their first alien contact! What could comprise a better combo?”

“Well, first of all we would be forever in your debt if you leave now!” pronounced Teddy. “Adventurers for hire!”

“But more importantly,” intoned Billy slowly, so glad that he could use telepathy as meowing would be impossible through his tight spacesuit, “now is not the time and place. The peoples of Earth are watching their TVs, these annoying things that keep our humans strangely amused. There will be mass panic if what they term as aliens appear! Mankind is not ready. Fear will be your outcome, not a happy hello. Let Earth enjoy its first man on the moon moment. Don’t ruin it.”

“But we have come so far, and are so keen to establish contact! We are half human, and have so much in common, yes with the humans of Earth but also with its felines! We wish to meet both, to help both. Our mission is benevolent.”

“So we have an alternate plan, or at least our Cat Elder Ambrose does. You time travel, right? You should fast forward to the year 2020, when something called a global pandemic is happening! Ambrose says this is why our humans are home all day! Not that we are complaining. No, that is when mankind needs a helping hand, when contact with a coronavirus cure will be most welcome!”

“A coronavirus cure? Let our top scientists work on that. They can go undercover in 2020 to obtain a viral sample. Then we can work on it in our labs and yes … with our more advanced science, a cure is possible.”

“So we are agreed? You will return to Earth in 2020?”

“You have our feline promise, as proud as the loudest purr.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the moon, Neil Armstrong placed a foot on its surface, stating with historic simplicity, “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” On the planet below, the cheering began.

History was to repeat itself in 2020, during the coronavirus crisis. “I’ve got a plan,” Ambrose had confided to Billy and Teddy when they returned and told him of the mission success, with the punchline: “The Mutalians are going to come for us one day, and take us on a tour of their planet.”

“Well, well, well, fraternising with fellow feline adventurers! They will be pleased with my plan. Downing Street cat Larry is a recruit of mine. I will ask him to telepathically relay an idea to Boris Johnson. One to pass on to his friend in the US!”

And so it came to pass, that President Trump decreed a day of remembrance of the 1969 moon landing, as a means of instilling national pride and resounding hope during the coronavirus crisis. The famous footage was broadcast on every news channel, as a national day of “socially distancing” celebration took place.

President Trump gave a rousing speech at the end of the footage. “One giant leap for mankind is still in our hearts, in our collective memory like a song that never stops. That is because the indomitable will and aspirations of the US peoples will never die; we are a nation of pioneers, inventors, geniuses and entrepreneurs. Greatness defines us, and no living memory sums up the American psyche better than the moon landing 50 years ago. We succeeded then, and we will vanquish new worlds today. Coronavirus will not defeat our great nation! It …”

A hush, edging on hysteria, struck the crowd. But they were not looking at President Trump.

“We have come in peace.” The words were intoned softly behind him. President Trump turned, in alarm. “We have come in peace, and we have chosen to make contact today. Peace … and a cure for coronavirus.” The half human, half feline creature held up a vial of golden fluid. “Your coronavirus crisis is over. We have come to save you.”

The alien held out a hand. President Trump shook it, speechless, as history was streamed live worldwide. “We have come to save you, and to learn from you too. We are half human and half feline, we are the Mutalians from the Planet Tango. We have much knowledge and science to share.” The Mutalian stopped speaking, in relief. No telepathy today, this was hard work, enunciating words designed for another race.

President Trump finally spoke. “On behalf of the United States, and indeed the world, I welcome you. The world is ready for our next adventure. Space travel will be ours, new worlds to explore, new civilisations to found. With our new friends, the next chapter begins. From landing on the moon, to the universe. I welcome you, friends, I welcome you.”

Social media was in meltdown, as the world ditched disbelief for hope. A new day would dawn, a new future, pregnant with exciting possibilities. And it all began in 1969, when the Mutalians first decided to make contact with Earth.

Billy and Teddy watched the annoying TV box with their parents, in elation and stupefaction. The future would be different … but it would be good.

That night, a space capsule landed outside. Billy and Teddy ran through the catflap, as the Mutalians emerged from their ship. “We have come to take you on a journey, to our planet Tango. Will you come?”

The telepathic yes left their minds, as they smiled inside. Another adventure, and this time one that did not involve Ambrose! The future was theirs to play with, like a favourite toy mouse, always there, always fun.

The future was as golden as the coronavirus cure.

TO BE CONTINUED

Billy and Teddy Tango with Taylor Swift

Prequels
https://felinesandfiction.com/2015/02/19/billy-and-teddys-excellent-adventure-2/

https://felinesandfiction.com/2018/04/08/billy-and-teddys-most-excellent-highland-adventure/

https://felinesandfiction.com/2019/10/20/a-labradors-most-excellent-adventure/

https://felinesandfiction.com/2020/03/22/billy-and-teddys-most-excellent-art-gallery-adventure/

Billy and Teddy slept in the sun as time stood still around them. It was all time, it was no time. A cat’s slumber shall not be disturbed.

Until Cat Elder Ambrose arrived. The whirr of the time capsule brushed their whiskers and played with their tails. Reluctantly, Billy and Teddy opened their eyes.

“It is time for your next adventure!” declared Ambrose, emerging from the time capsule with steel eyes. He meant business.

“Have you heard of Taylor Swift?”

“Is that a bird?” asked Billy excitedly. “Is it in the garden?”

“No!” stormed Ambrose. “She is one of the best pop stars this planet has ever known! But she is in danger! She is about to make a terrible mistake! And it will impact on her future legacy!”

“Are we going to meet a pop star?” said Teddy incredulously. “This might just be my kind of adventure!”

“Yes!” confirmed Ambrose. “Taylor is going to meet the man of her nightmares. She needs you two – and yes, Marty the Labrador too – to show her how much of a mistake this man would be!”

Marty climbed out of bed as his name was mentioned. His eyes were on fire. Was he going to meet another Labrador again?

“Your task is very simple. You need to turn up in her apartment and be your usual friendly selves. This man’s reaction to you should show Taylor exactly what he is and why she is better off without him! Of course it’s time travel too. Two years in the future to be exact!”

Billy, Teddy and Marty arrived in Taylor’s beautiful apartment, their time capsule discreetly hidden behind a large settee. A classic place to hide! Marty approved wholeheartedly.

Taylor was in a kitchen area with a large and handsome man. Marty began to bark. He sensed a non-animal lover straight away. It was like red exclamation marks in the air.

Taylor stared at the animals in surprise. “Where have these come from! But how cute!”

Marty rushed in to her arms and began to lick her.

“How sweet!” sighed Taylor.

“What is this?” roared the man. Billy and Teddy shuddered, but stood their ground. They were intrepid adventurers, after all. “Where did this mongrel come from?”

Teddy approached the man. This was his job, to cajole from this stranger his very real bright colours.

But he still did not see it coming. The man picked him up by the scruff of the neck and flung him across the room. Billy ran after him.

“How could you?” screamed Taylor. “These are just pets! They’re not hurting us!”

“I think we’ve achieved our mission,” Billy whispered to the hissing Teddy. “Marty!” he called telepathically.

As Taylor and Nightmare Man argued, the three amigos beat their escape.

Back at the house, Ambrose was very pleased. “I have looked forward in time, all is well. Taylor splits from the terrible boyfriend that same night, and continues with her record-busting career. Her future was at a crossroads: non-ending fame and fortune or ruin through a terrible partner who destroyed her life. You two have helped her pick her rightful destiny. Of course, this is all two years in the future. She hasn’t actually met you yet! But I thought you might wish to see the future that Taylor inspires. Her music echoes through the centuries, upbeat tempos that lift the spirits of the nation going forward. In the great UK depression of 2140, school children record themselves singing Taylor songs. It becomes a national trend to use her songs to get through a dark period. And then in 2270, where we are going – come on!”

They arrived at a Taylor Swift themed nightclub. Young people were dancing to the song “Trouble.” The lyrics rang out:

“Once upon a time

Billy and Teddy

Found me

And Marty

Found me

Found me me me

Cause they knew you were trouble when you walked in

They saved me

Saved me

Saved me me me”

“But … how can it be us?” asked Billy in disbelief.

“Taylor picked up some cat telepathy when she appeared in the musical Cats. After your visit, she rewrites the Trouble song to include all of you. Of course, she thinks she made up your names, but it really was cat telepathy at work.”

“So,” continued Ambrose, “her music is never forgotten. She will become the ultimate pop idol of all time, a symbol of 21st century music and a beacon of hope and joy for young people everywhere.”

Back at home, Billy and Teddy found that they could not just go back to sleep. They were in a pop song! Fame at last!

That night, as their “parents” listened to the radio, a Taylor Swift song began to play. It was “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Billy and Teddy chased each other round the house, their version of disco dancing. Glee stroked their souls. They changed Taylor Swift’s destiny!

“What is wrong with them tonight?” asked their mum. “Perhaps they don’t like Taylor Swift. Let’s put the radio off.”

As the house became silent, Billy and Teddy finally succumbed to sleep. And they dreamt of distant days and happy music, their tails moving in time to an inner beat. For good music will last forever.

Marty

Billy and Teddy’s Most Excellent Art Gallery Adventure

Prequels
https://felinesandfiction.com/2015/02/19/billy-and-teddys-excellent-adventure-2/

https://felinesandfiction.com/2018/04/08/billy-and-teddys-most-excellent-highland-adventure/

https://felinesandfiction.com/2019/10/20/a-labradors-most-excellent-adventure/

 

The black book stood silent on the high library shelf, secrets unspoken, unnoticed between two brightly coloured tomes. If it could speak, it would instead cry. Its knowledge rusted inside like scrap metal that could have been diamonds. The book wept for a better future.

*

A new future would come. Ambrose – ginger fur on edge – stared with eyes like stone as the two cats slept beneath him. “Wake up!” Their black and grey bodies stirred, eyes opening on a day they did not wish to see. Not another adventure.

“This time, no time travel!” declared Ambrose. “No, tonight your mission is to stop two time travelling thieves! People pretending to be cats, no less. You could not make this stuff up.”

“And they’re coming here! To our house?” queried Billly in disbelief.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” stormed Ambrose. “No, they will steal a precious artefact from Aberdeen Art Gallery!”

“We’re going to an art gallery!” Teddy’s eyes were on fire, this just might be fun.

*

Jamie rubbed his eyes, but the tears would not stop. He could hear their voices in his head, the other school kids who would never be his friends. “Sissy!”

Well, maybe he was. Jamie picked up his paintbrush. There was only one escape from the pain, one way to elude his shame. Art claimed his soul as a tiny smile played with his mouth. Colour crossed the canvas, and the magic of creation lit his heart.

There would be no more tears today.

*

A chill air greeted Billy and Teddy in the darkened gallery. Their time capsule stood proudly on the black and white feature floor. “So where is this Library?” muttered Teddy. “Let’s find it and get this over with as quickly as possible!”

Darkness danced through their paws as they ran. They could feel the Library; like homing pigeons they flew up the stairs and then were there.

“Are we here at the right time?” worried Billy. “What if we have to wait for hours!”

Teddy agreed silently, but said instead, “Well if Ambrose is right about the time capsule upgrade we should be here just in time. Apparently it is programmed to the anticipated event as much as to a time! Far too sci-fi to me. Let’s hope it’s at least a bit accurate!”

But fate was in favour tonight. Less than twenty minutes had elapsed, spent rushing to each corner of the library looking for art gallery mice, probably as thin and poor as church mice. Then the door to the Library was dramatically flung open.

Two young women dressed in cat suits (ridiculous, murmured Billy soundlessly) ran in as if they were ladies of the manor, the art gallery their residence and the Library their own private corner of the world. Cat ears crowned their heads like a caricaturist’s crown.

“Why, there are two cats here!” screamed one of the girls in delirious delight. “We love cats!”

“Why, can it be, can it be Billy and Teddy?” breathed her companion. “Are we really, finally, finally going to meet them?”

“Billy and Teddy!” sang the first girl, inside their heads.

“Why, you can speak cat!” breathed Billy in awe.

“We learnt from our own felines, Heaven and Nirvana, two Egyptian Mau cats who we rescued from a thousand years ago in Egypt!”

“Cool!” said Teddy. “But why have two feline loving ladies turned to a life of time travel crime!”

“And how have two cats become intrepid time travel adventurers! So many stories echoing through the ages like a timeless song, the sound of time ticking itself. How did this happen to you two so ordinary seeming cats?”

“How indeed!” laughed Billy. “We have our own cat guardian who assigns us adventures!”

“From the moon to the deepest oceans, you turn up everywhere!”

“Moon? Oceans? I hate water!” Billy was aghast.

“Spoilers! We are Suzy and Sammy, yes we are criminals from the year 3507 but the good kind. We don’t steal, we just relocate items to a better place. Call it a kind of karma. And we believe in the magic of cats, which is why we dress as felines. We love cats, and we like to think that our own pets would approve of our antics, mischievous as they are. We love fun, and we love to ride the world’s reaction to us, its mock outcry. As if there weren’t real problems in the world. No, we are a removal company, not thieves!”

“But we are here to stop you stealing the book!” blurted out Teddy.

“Ah yes, the book!” sighed Suzy. “It is a special mission. A magic book, some would say. There is a little girl, far in the future, who needs it. As we said, we are not really criminals. Our missions are all for a better purpose, from saving extinct species to finding lost artefacts. This book is achieving nothing on these dusty library shelves. It is time for it be free!”

“You speak of it like it is a lost species of feline!”

“And perhaps it is, for this book contains feline magic. Let us find it and we will show you!”

The two girls pulled out a torch and began frantically searching though the shelves, like art gallery mice looking for that elusive cheese. “Found it!” suddenly shrieked one of the girls, like a mouse in front of an open food cupboard.

The book was black with faint lettering on its cover. It looked very old, and not at all exciting. Billy glared at it with feline contempt. What a waste of time this adventure was!

*

Jamie tried to sleep but could not. He stared at the black all around him, and imagined what lay beyond: the monsters of his mind. Perhaps he should paint them, the intruders of his imagination. He smiled. He had so many ideas for paintings. He wished he could skip school and just paint all day. The prospect of such a paradise claimed his heart, and he finally slept.

*

“Look at this!” Suzy opened the book and proudly displayed its pages like a mother showing off her baby, or like a cat with a caught mouse.

The opening page stated simply: “Every great artist has a cat.” Of course, Billy and Teddy could not read. Sammy repeated the words in cat language, in their heads.

“Perhaps this book is not so bad after all,” murmured Billy. Intrigue itched in his heart.

The book contained a series pf paintings of cats, with eyes that seemed to burst from the page, alive with colour and intelligence.

“The cats’ eyes contain the secrets of art,” explained Sammy. “Each picture contains the key to a different type of art, from painting, to music, to writing. This book is designed to create a great artist in its owner. Tonight, we intend to steal it for a little girl who needs some inspiration!”

“And we are here to stop you!” declared Teddy. “We will have failed our mission if you take the book.”

“Dilemma time!” sighed Suzy. “We are so delighted to meet you, and we don’t want you to fail your mission.”

“Why don’t we do a deal?” suggested Sammy. “We leave the book here, but you agree to join us for an adventure in the future!”

“Yes!” agreed Suzy. “An adventure to find some long lost treasure! You would love that! Can you give us the time and space coordinates of your home – these are in your travel pod. One day we will surprise you!”

They all agree on this plan, with plenty of feline closed eyes and rubbing round legs. Billy and Teddy were secretly delighted. They had new time travel friends.

*

The Art Gallery librarian tidied the shelves, thinking that the gallery elves must have been active the night before. The small black volume fell in to her hands. She surveyed it critically. No one will ever need this book, it is like a children’s story, full of bold pictures of unlikely cats. She looked at the boy sitting in the corner, an art pad open before him as he lazily scribbled. She smiled. Time for the good deed of the day. “Would you like this? It is worthless, but you may like it.”

Jamie grinned gratefully. As he turned the pages and looked deep in to the cat eyes, he was transported to another – a better – world. Slowly he began to draw once more, two cats, grey and black, lying together in the sun. He laughed. This was worth bunking school for.

artgallery_library

*

Billy and Teddy lay in the sun. Ambrose had returned, furious. Apparently the book had not reappeared in the future, it was still lost. They stretched in unison. It may be lost, but its memory was stamped on their hearts, as cat magic curled their sleeping toes.

*

Jamie continued to draw. A smile slid through his heart as art beat the bullies. He was in an art gallery, he was drawing and a peace like no other massaged his mind. This was heaven.

*

In another time, far away, a cat called Heaven rubbed round her owners’ legs. She knew they had been up to mischief, but this time, she sensed, something unexpected had occurred.

Heaven continued to purr. In a long lost decade, a little boy heard the sound of purring. Holding his pencil, he embraced peace like a pet cat. Now he had found it, it would never leave.

*

Billy and Teddy still slept, oblivious to the world. And in their dreams, cat eyes stared in to their own from a magic book. One day, they knew, they would find the book again. Until then, it was free to weave its spells. The sun stroked their fur, and they began to purr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother Emily

By Rachel H Grant

Far away in a star-studded galaxy, there lived a black cat called Emily. She had nursed many kittens over the years, earning her the title of “Super Mum.” Her offspring became intrepid explorers, travelling the universe in search of intelligent life with the help of her planet’s advanced humanoid beings. Emily was happy, she had lived a good life and did not believe it could get any better.

One day she was approached by Arnelia, one of the Planet Guardians.

“I have a special mission for you, if you choose to accept.”

Emily listened carefully, eyes alight with fire.

“There is a planet called Earth, on the other side of our universe. It is populated by humans, a strange race but with potential to be greater than they are one day. Our Oversight Mission, which seeks and learns from new races, has decided that felines should be introduced to Earth. Your unique healing powers will help Earth, and we believe you will form a special bond with humans that will help them in many ways. Will you sign up to be the first Earth cat? The one who begins a whole feline civilisation on a new planet?”

Emily’s eyes glowed deeply. “I would be honoured.”

So Emily – pregnant – travelled to Planet Earth, observing its cavemen with interest and wondering whether these primitive people would really one day be special. Her six kittens were reared to teach their own children to heal, to bond with humans and to help them in their journey.

It was time for Emily to leave her kittens and return home. Invisible tears ran from her eyes as she said goodbye. “This is your home; make it a feline paradise.”

As she boarded the space capsule, Arnelia regarded her with a smile on her face. “Shall we time travel to see what becomes of cats?”

Time travel was used only very occasionally, due to concerns of its effects.

“Are you sure?”

“You deserve to know.”

So they travelled to Earth year 2000. Cats with pink collars stared from house windows; cats were in gardens, hunting mice; cats were in paintings in art galleries. Emily stared in wonder as they drank in this insane future, from their cloak of invisibility. “They are part of human life,” she murmured.

“Yes, and all thanks to you. This is your legacy. But not your only one. There is another planet…”

Emily lived a long life, but she never forgot Planet Earth. As age drew aches through her legs, she decided that she wished to return. “I would like to see Earth, again,” she confided to Arnelia.

So Emily returned to Earth in the year 2010, where a helpful human rescued her as a stray and gave her a blissful retirement home, food on tap and a large garden to play in. Emily was happy; her legacy, her life. Cats really did heal humans, it was all true. And so together they became greater than alone. Emily purred as she slept one last time, and dreamt of all the Earth kittens born that day, and every day. A cat’s heart will live forever, and kittens rule the earth.

This story is dedicated to all mothers on Mothers Day, but especially to my own lovely mother and of course to the real cat Emily (1986 to 1998).