Studied by the Cat-Girls

Originally posted on Patreon in November 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
Studied by the Cat-Girls
not actually written to a prompt, but I know DaHob’s tastes tolerably well. ;-)I


The ads were obviously too good to be true.

Want to be a lab rat for the Chatten?

Live in comfort while aiding alien research!

Half of Ted’s friends were still convinced that the Chatten were a hoax. Ted himself wasn’t entirely sure one way or the other.

They looked hoax-like: humanoid aliens visiting the Earth with peaceful intentions — okay, he could sort of accept peaceful intentions, given some of what the Chatten ambassador was said to have asked on the UN floor. But humanoid? Bilateral symmetry, quasi-mammalian secondary sex characteristics, a slight covering of fur that looked more aesthetic than warming, and cat ears?

Also tails. Continue reading

Torte Law and Myrrh Gifts

Originally posted on Patreon in October 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
Torte Law and Myrrh Gifts
Winter had not meant to have pets.

He was not – any of his-coworkers, his family, his contacts, or his very few friends would agree – generally what one would consider a pet person.  Pets were inherently messy, disorderly, and noisy.  A woman at a previous job had once suggested he might have a very pure-bred sort of cat, like a Siamese, or perhaps a greyhound (“Long and sleek, like you,”) but he had never seriously considered it.

The cat had come first. Torte (“Tortuga”) had been stuck in a newspaper box on the side of the road on Winter’s commute.  The cat – then barely more than a kitten – had been clearly miserable, terrified, and starving.  Winter had paid for a paper, used a little bit of Strand-smoothing to get the box to actually open, and taken the kitten and the rather soiled paper out.

The kitten had come with him to work; the paper had gone in the nearest recyling bin.  When none of his co-workers expressed interest in a kitten, Winter had to admit he was a little relieved (if only to himself, and possibly to Autumn, when she called).  He’d already grown fond of the little thing, feeding it on little containers of half-and-half and packets of tuna.

The ferret had been even more of an accident.  A neighbor downstairs had moved out but somehow lost their ferret in the move.  When Winter found the ferret several days later – Torte found the ferret; Winter just convinced the cat that it wasn’t just a strange mouse – Winter had fed it, bathed it, put it in a ferret-safe (Strand Working had its uses) box, and tried to reach the former owner.

Who, inexplicably, did not want their ferret back. No, they’d moved on, they had a new place, they didn’t need a stinky fur-snake anymore, thanks.  Winter was welcome to the thing.

He renamed the stinky fur-snake Myrrh  (it didn’t seem to mind) and took the time to make sure Myrrh and Torte could get along.  He also called his sister Summer and suggested a few things she might do with her ability to curse people and places she might aim those curses.

He called their mother about some Strand-spells for the smell (which wasn’t all that bad, as long as Myrrh was taken care of) and for the fur (which was always going to be an issue, called a vet he’d done a favor for about what he should be feeding them, and learned how to keep his suits immaculate and his animals healthy and happy.

When the parrot showed up on his doorstep (more or less literally), however, he found someone else who was looking for a pet.

Two was enough, he told himself.

Until another little kitten appeared in his path, shivering in the snow.

Three was enough, he told himself, wrapping the creature up in a handkerchief and tucking it in his jacket pocket.  Three, and no more.

Want more?

Graduation… or Not

Originally posted on Patreon in October 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
This is set some time after most of the Summer stories and told me a couple things about Summer than I hadn’t known before!


“Miss RoundTree.”

“Please, call me Summer.”

Summer had a new adviser.  By her count, this was the third – fifth if you counted that one who hadn’t lasted long enough to see her or that one who had kicked her out of his office, out of his classroom, and tried to kick her out of his department but failed.


Mattie MacEachern seemed like a pretty nice sort.  New to the college but not new to teaching, looking to settle down someplace small and safe to raise three kids with also-a-professor spouse, and a pretty enthusiastic teacher most of the time.

At the moment, Dr. MacEachern was frowning at Summer.

“You’ve been here for six years.”

“Yes.”  There was no point in arguing with the obvious. “It’s a really great college, Dr. MacEachern.”

“I don’t see any problems with the bursar’s office….”

Dr. MacEachern flipped through pages on the website, trying to access the correct file.  Summer could have gotten right to the correct page – but that made teachers a little uncomfortable, at least their first year or two.

“The settlement for my father’s death left a generous stipend.”  Summer didn’t inflect that at all. There were so many ways people could take it, and none of them ever ended up all that good.  “My first three years here were also heavily supported by scholarships, and I did a lot of Work-study work.”

“Past tense? Not anymore?”

“Other kids need the scholarships, Dr. MacEachern.”

Summer had held one more major in her time here than the number of semesters she’d been matriculated, but in all that time, she had never stopped taking theatre classes and working in the theatre department, taking part in theatre club, and generally being a theatre kid.  If she couldn’t give just the impression she wanted with any set of words, she really didn’t deserve to be here.

The thing was, at the moment, she didn’t want to give any impression.  She wanted to see what Dr. MacEachern did when given nothing but facts to work with.

“So your family is paying for your education out of pocket, then–”

“No.  The people responsible for my father’s death are paying for my education out of pocket.  And they will continue to do so.”  She lifted her chin and stared her new adviser down.  “I mean, I keep getting money either way,” she added with a small quirk of her lips, because Dr. MacEachern really wasn’t all that bad, at least not so far.  “But once I get my bachelor’s degree, the amount goes down considerably.”

Dr. MacEachern looked down at the notes sitting carefully in a light-blue folder; the professor looked at the computer screen.  After a pause so long it couldn’t be called pregnant or expectant anymore, the professor looked back at Summer’s face.  “You have-”  The folder was shuffled.  “You have had how many majors in your time here?”

“One per semester.  Plus one time where, uh, things really, really didn’t work out.”

“You have an outstanding GPA.  For a small school like this, you are doing wonders for its overall academic average – although not so much for its graduation rate.”

“I know.”  She didn’t bother to be modest.  She was book-smart.  So was Winter.

“And you have – you have friends here?”

“Bishop’s doing grad work across the street at Zimmer U.  Melinda’s working on her masters in education here, for the most part.”

“And you are continuing to pursue, it appears, a complete survey of every class provided by this college.”

“Well.”  Summer leaned forward, smiling finally. “Only if you can help me.  There’s a class – it’s actually a higher-level math class focusing on business statistics – that’s only offered once every four years normally, but I didn’t have the prereq last time it came around, and that was, ah, that was last year.”

Dr. MacEeachern pinched a generous nose.  “I have to ask, Miss Roundtree.  Are you asking for my help in getting the class offering scheduled moved? I do happen to know who would be teaching it, yes.  Or are you asking for my help in finding other things to fill the remaining two and a half years until it’s available again?”

Summer chuckled.  “Dr. MacEachern.”  She half-bowed from a sitting position. “I think that you and I are going to understand each other just fine.  Oh, I have my hopes for classes this semester.  And since I haven’t tried your major yet… it seems like it’s time for me to change majors again.”

“I-” Dr. MacEachern studied the paper Summer passed her. “I think, Miss RoundTree, that I might enjoy having you in my classes.  But- please bring aspirin next time.”

Want more?

Tiny City, Tiny Solutions

Originally posted on Patreon in October 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
This is written in reference to Tiny People, Big Problems and regarding the city in Planning Board Woes, i.e., beginning to tie continuity together.  


“Tinies don’t innovate! We don’t need to! The big folks innovate and we survive!”

Cafir had been arguing for three years, moving about the human city visiting one group and then another of Tinies, learning every reason not to do what he wanted to do.

This one was looking relatively positive — not the person Cafir’s age yelling at him, but the greybeard and the greybraids looking between each other and him.

“You’re discussing planning,” the greybraids spoke slowly.

“You’re discussing a very large gathering of Tinies,” the greybeard added.  “You understand the problems there?” Continue reading