Tag Archive | character: thecat

Z is for Zoology Sparks, a story of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call

To Ellenmillion‘s prompt, with a side of stryck‘s prompt.

Zenobia is an Aunt from the Aunt Family; her stories are here. Prompting her was [personal profile] kelkyag
Zenobia was taking an interest in zoology.

She hadn’t done this solely, or even primarily, to irritate her family, although it served this purpose admirably.

It entertained her to speak to the relatives about other species that might exhibit the spark. “And what about octopuses? They have so many hands, can you imagine them reading a tarot? It would have to be a waterproof tarot, of course…”

That hadn’t been the one that had really irritated them. Zonkey, Zonkey had really gotten to her nieces and nephews. They already thought that she was more than a little zany, and, of course, she was stubborn in her refusal to die or otherwise give up her position, but zonkies? Really? Worse was when she added two to the family stables.

But there was, as there always was, a method to her madness. First, she did wish to know if there were other animals that would show what her family called the spark. There was, of course, The Damn Cat, who was clearly a cat above the rest. Were there others?

For some reason, despite his reluctance to have her look into his own past, the Damn Cat was more than willing to help Zenobia in her studies into zoology. “Stick with mammals,” he advised. “Fish are food. So are birds. And frogs…” He shuddered at the idea of frogs. “And probably stick with the females of the species.”

“Why females?”

“There is a reason your Aunties have the spark. And never mind that your Unclies have it too. Trust me.” The cat sat down on her zoology text. “The zonkies were a good start.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/525440.html. You can comment here or there.

B is for Beryl and her Boys, a story of the Aunt Family for the A-Zed Giraffe Call

To [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt.

Aunt Family has a landing page here

After Sister Help.

My Giraffe Call is open! Leave an alphabetical prompt!

As much as it galled Beryl to admit it, Chalcedony was right.

Getting out – going to the mall, first, with Chalce and Stone and Jake, and then to miniature golf a few days later, and then to the park for a Moose Lodge picnic the next weekend – made her feel better than she’d felt since Aunt Asta had died.

Getting out with her brother and sister was pretty cool; Chalce wasn’t a bad sort, for a big sister, and Stone was pretty awesome, especially for a guy in their family. But getting out with Jake felt better than anything, which was just about like being in Heaven. Getting out with Jake was awesome in ways Beryl had never before felt.

And, just for good measure, hanging out and acting like herself again ticked off her cat and her necklace.

Radar spent most evenings glaring at her. Joseph – well, she felt bad leaving him in the drawer all the time, so she’d started wearing him on Mondays. The first time she’d put him back on, he’d spent a full thirty minutes berating her.

She’d gone into the bathroom and carefully explained to him that if he did not shut up, she was going to flush him down the toilet and let the alligators have him.

After that, he kept his complaining to a sort of dull roar, which, in turn meant that Beryl could listen to Jake and her friends.

And the other boys – now that was a revelation. The more she talked to Jake, the more other boys started to talk to her. Beryl wasn’t sure what to do with that.

Until Radar grumbled to her one evening: “I hope a cute set of eyes, or whatever this latest one has, is worth giving up your legacy.”

Then Beryl knew exactly what to do.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/510365.html. You can comment here or there.

Sister Help, a story of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call.

To [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt.

Aunt Family has a landing page here

After Courting.

“Bear-bear.” Beryl’s older sister stuck her head into Beryl’s room without knocking. “Take off the damn talking necklace, leave the crazy cat here. We. Are going shopping.” She wrinkled her nose. “Ugh, and put on a real shirt.”

Beryl didn’t even know where to start. “Shopping?” That seemed like a good place to start.

“Jake’s agreed to drive us to the mall.”

That didn’t help. “Jake?”

“Look, you’re getting a bit weird lately.” Chalcedony barged the rest of the way in and started digging through Beryl’s clothes. “Here, wear this. This one is good.” She tossed a green shirt at Beryl. “You haven’t worn it since you got that stupid necklace. What does it disagree with him?”

“How did you…?”

“Stone told me. Don’t worry, you’re still the spark in the family. Well, I mean, the girl spark.”

“I’m not worried! I just… didn’t know.”

::Nor should there have been anything for you to know. Your brother. That’s not supposed to hap:: Joseph fell quiet as she pulled off the necklace.

“Okay.” She slipped off the shirt that Joseph liked and pulled on the one her sister had picked. “So shopping. And Stone’s been being Stone-y. But I haven’t been being weird… have I?”

“Just a little. Ever since Aunt Evie. I mean, yay, Jake, but you haven’t even been talking to him much the last few weeks. Is it the cat or the necklace.

“…Both.” She changed her jeans and tried to do something with her hair. “Radar doesn’t like him, and Joseph likes him too much.”

“Ouch, awkward. Well, lucky for you, then, you have me and Stone, too.”

“Yeah? What do you think?”

“I think you should do something else with your hair. Look. Forget the family bullshit. Aunt Evie is really young, and you’re really, really young.”

“Thanks, I think.”

“Look, the point is – even if you’re gonna be an Aunt later, you’re not, now. you’re a kid. So why not be a kid?” Chalcedony tugged Beryl’s hair into a braid. “There. You’re almost pretty and stuff. Let’s go.”

“One second.” She dropped the necklace into her sweater drawer and made sure it was firmly closed. “Let’s go.”

next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/510365.html

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Auntie Kitty, a story for the August Giraffe Call

For kelkyag‘s prompt

After Kitten Troubles.

Aunt Family have a landing page here.

The mother cat wouldn’t stop meowing, but neither would she get close enough to Radar to take her kitten back. The kitten, having spoken once, was going back to upset mewling. And Radar looked immensely lost.

“You’ve never fathered a speaking cat before?”


“In all of your unspoken years?”

“Not once. Not until her.”



Beryl picked up the momma cat, mindful that, as with all cats, she could consist entirely of sharp ends should she wish. “Can you talk to her?”

“She won’t listen to me. She might listen to you.”

“You’re the cat.”

“You’re the Aunt.” He coughed, somehow. “Err. -in-training.”

“Yeah.” She counted that as worry-about-later and looked down at the distressed momma cat now squirming in her lap. “Okay. Radar, put the kitten down on the bed. Kitten, stay on the bed. Talk to your momma. Momma cat, your baby is fine. Weird, but fine.”

She set the cat down carefully, and stroked her behind the ears, thinking soothing thoughts. “Weird but fine. I’m afraid if you’re going to be a mother in this family, you’re going to have to learn to get used to that. Does she have other daughters, at least, Radar?”

“She has other kittens.” Radar set the kitten down carefully, and backed off a few paces. The mother cat went from cautious purring to growling until he backed off more, almost to the edge of the bed. “My daughter is not a Auntie, girl. She is…” He made a very cat noise, a very uncertain noise. “Impossible. But not an Auntie.”

She looked between the momma cat, the kitten, and her magic cat, all three pictures of feline distress, and wondered what she was supposed to do with this.

::You have to wonder,:: the necklace mused, ::why the idea of her being an Aunt bothered him so much.::

Next – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/529730.html

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/390455.html. You can comment here or there.

Kitten Troubles, a story of the Aunt Family for the August Giraffe Call

For dahob‘s prompt

After Charming, Kitten Switch, and Boy Trouble

Aunt Family have a landing page here.

Beryl didn’t worry when Radar wandered off. He was a cat, for one, a tom cat (who would dare get a magical cat neutered? Besides, he knew better than to mark in the house), and he was a magical being on top of that.

When he’d been gone for a week, she started to get a bit concerned, and, although her necklace berated her for it, she started to miss him, too.

::He’ll be back when he’s ready,:: necklace-Joseph reassured her. ::He’ll come slinking back and slide into your life like he’d never left, like that boy.::

“Enough about the boy.” She wanted to glare at the necklace, but what good would that do. “Radar…”

“I have a problem.” Never was her cat’s ability to talk without moving his mouth more clear; he walked in with a kitten scruffed in his mouth, a siamese-looking kitten who was mewling unhappily. Behind him, a black cat Beryl recognized from Crazy Aunt Beatrix’s collection followed, yowling angrily at him.

“You stole a kitten?”

::I told you he was no good.::

“I did not steal her. I fathered her. And she has been getting in no end of trouble.”

“You’re a tom cat, isn’t that what you do?” She ignored Joseph’s inveigling, letting it fade to the buzzing of bees in her mind. The mother cat was harder to ignore. “Can you let her have her kitten back?”

“It’s too late for that.” This was a new voice, a lavender-and-tea voice, young, female, and very prissy. The kitten in Radar’s mouth was staring at her. “I’m here now.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/389887.html. You can comment here or there.

Icon Flash: Courting, a story of the Aunt Family [donor perk]

Continuing flash series! I’m going to write one flash for every Icon I have, over 4 LJ accounts, 1 DW, and a whole bunch of not-currently-in-use, until I get bored or run out of icons.

Today’s icon:

Beryl and That Damn Cat/Radar

Icon & Art by Djinni

The Aunt Family has a landing page here See Boy Trouble for an earlier piece about the cat and the necklace.

Beryl’s cat didn’t approve of her new boyfriend, but her necklace did.

This was not a problem she’d imagined herself in, a few short months ago. Then again, she hadn’t really imagined herself en-boyfriended at all, much less also en-catted and en-jewelled with a talking specimen of all three.

At least the boyfriend couldn’t hear the cat or the necklace – yet – and didn’t appear to think it strange that Radar didn’t like him. He had brought treats – a catnip mouse, a small fish, chicken livers – to ply the cat with, along with games and cookies for Beryl’s siblings and flowers for her mother.

“Are you courting me or them?” she teased, as they left the house for their fourth date. She tried to make it sound like a joke, although she wasn’t entirely certain she felt joke-y about it.


That wasn’t helping at all. Only the voice of the necklace-Joseph, the necklace in her pocket and the voice whispering in her ear, reassured her.

::He knows the family. He’s heard of the family, at least. He knows he’s on shaky ground. Be nice to him. Being a man in this family isn’t easy.::

He couldn’t be a man in the family at all, if Beryl was going to be the Aunt. But that was another problem, and one Joseph seemed gleeful about. Right now, her problem was the boy, the flowers he’d brought her mother, and the kiss she wanted from his lips.

“I want your family to like me.” He leaned across his truck slowly, one hand inching up her thigh. “I don’t think flowers will bribe you, though. I think I’ll have to work harder for you.”

::He can stay:: Joseph was pleased; for once, Beryl agreed completely.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/365374.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Legacy Cat, a story of the Aunt Family for the Mini-Call

For Friendly Anon’s continuation prompt, after That Damn Cat (LJ), Bless the Cat (LJ), and Passing the Cat (LJ)

Aunt Family has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

Elenora and The Cat regarded each other on what had been, until yesterday, Zenobia’s kitchen table.

“Well,” she said thoughtfully. “I have a cat.” And a house, and a legacy, and a title, and perhaps a decade or two in which to enjoy it. Zenobia had hung on for a ridiculously long time, out of, as she’d admitted, spite and, Elenora suspected, just a general cussedness of character.

But now Elenora was Aunt. She’d made certain the funeral was everything it should be, even if there were those who wanted to slide Zenobia into the dirt as fast and as deeply as possible; she’d made the arrangements herself, and paid the florist to make it look as if her family was mourning her in proper fashion.

And then she’d come to Zenobia’s house and, among all the things that had made it Zenobia’s and not hers, the detritus of a life, she looked at That Cat.

“Well,” the cat purred back at her. “I have a human. An Aunt. A witch, they say. Do I look like a witch’s familiar?”

“Not like that,” she laughed, risking her fingers by petting it behind the ears. “Like that, you look like a barn cat.”

“I have been, on occasion, a very good barn cat.” He leaned into her hand, his purring getting louder. “Much like you will be a very good Aunt.”

She smirked at him. “Fit the role you’re given, is that it?”

“What else has your family ever done, but slide into the roles that are open?” He nipped her fingers, delicately, not breaking skin. “There are things you should learn about the family.”


“Zenobia told you a fraction of what she knew, which was a fraction of what there is to know. It will get lost, if someone doesn’t know it. I can tell you where to look. I can tell you who to ask.”

“Why would you do that?” She busied her fingers with some of the knicknacks her Aunt had kept sitting on the table, disassembling a puzzle-charm.

The cat rolled onto his back, showing his white underbelly temptingly. “I just told you. Somebody needs to know, or the information is going to get lost. Your other aunts have almost all passed on. The diaries fade with age. If you do not know, to tell the one who comes after, then it will be lost forever – and that could be rather bad.”

“And you know, and won’t tell me yourself?”

“Won’t, can’t, don’t, shan’t,” the cat shrugged, and batted at the puzzle pieces. “There are things you have to learn for yourself. I can only point the way.”

She shook her head, and began reassembling the puzzle. It had two ways, it seems, that it could go together; Zenobia had picked the one that resembled a dragon.

If she twisted the pattern pieces correctly, however, it looked more like a unicorn. “So you’ll point the way…”

“And you’ll do what you want once you get there. Yes.” He dropped his jaw in a toothy grin. “This is what I do.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/292478.html. You can comment here or there.

Passing the Cat, a story of the Aunt Family for the Mini-Giraffe Call

For rix_scaedu‘s commissioned prompt, after That Damn Cat (LJ) and Bless the Cat (LJ).

Aunt Family has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

Zenobia had held on to a hundred and ten, not because she really was enjoying life anymore, not even with every charm she could come up with, but simply to irritate her family.

This also meant that her niece was not young and, possibly, Zenobia considered, rather irritated as well, which hadn’t really been her point. Of the seventeen potentials, Elenora had always been her favorite niece for the position, and she’d made an effort, as much as she did with anyone, at least, to be friendly with the girl.

Girl. She chuckled into her tea. The girl in question was now in her mid-seventies, hale and hearty but prone to be a bit crotchety. And Zenobia was at the end of her ability or desire to hold on any longer, so she was having a long talk with her niece.

“This,” she said, about two hours and four cups of tea in, “is The Cat.” The Damn Cat allowed himself to be picked up in a way he never would have tolerated in her younger days. “You will find that he neither likes to tell you about himself nor to be talked about.”

“Yes, Aunt Zennie.” Elenora had taken on the family’s annoying habit of talking to her as if she was a little gone in the brain. Zenobia whacked the woman over the knuckles with her tarot deck as if she was a wayward child.

“If you’re going to be the next Aunt – and you are – you might as well know what you’re doing,” she scolded. “Pay attention and stop acting as if I’ve gone batty.”

“And what if you have?” she snapped back. “Talking to your cat? What’s next, talking to your tea? Having conversations with the lawn furniture?”

“Your Aunt Fabiana talked to her settee quite frequently in her mid-thirties. It told her all sorts of things her husband was up to behind her back. My point is, young lady, you might be a little more willing to believe things when you’re a member of this family and have been for seventy-three years.”

Elenora glared back at her. “I’m perfectly willing to believe normal things like demons and ghosts, the tarot and charms, but Aunt Zenobia, you’re talking about talking to your cat!”

“Yes I am,” she hissed, “and you would do well to listen.”

“You would,” The Damn Cat finally deigned to say. “I have helped your Aunts more than you can imagine.”

“My… Aunts. Plural.” Elenora studied The Cat thoughtfully. “You are, then, not an ordinary cat.”

“I should say not.” He groomed himself pointedly. “Not in any way. But I am still, miss, a cat. I like cream, and chicken. And the occasional slice of beef.”

“He is a very pampered cat,” Zenobia admitted, “but he has more than earned his keep and, Elenora, I think he will do the same for you.” She looked her niece in the eye. “There are many things I will leave you, because you will be the Aunt. The Cat, I am leaving to you because you are my heir.”

Next: Legacy Cat (LJ)

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/284206.html. You can comment here or there.

Bless the Cat, a continuation of the Aunt Family for the Mini-call

For rix_scaedu‘s commissioned prompt, after That Damn Cat (LJ).

Aunt Family has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

“You should hear what they’re saying today,” the Damn Cat told Zenobia, as she set out his evening chicken.

“Indeed?” The cat, she’d discovered, loved to gossip, was completely incorrigible and occasionally very interesting. “More to do with Maude’s beau-they-don’t-approve of?” Zenobia had had a couple of those herself, back in the day. One of them still wrote her monthly; she wondered, sometimes, what his wife thought about that.

“Well, he’s quite the story, isn’t he? Every time someone talks about him, another salacious detail comes out. Tasty.” The cat licked his chops. “But no, that’s not what you ought to be worried about right now.”

That stopped her in her tracks. “Worried?” She put another piece of meat on the cat’s saucer. “That’s not a word you normally use. Tell me, what should I be worried about?”

“Gottleib and Edith plotting to kill you and put in Ida in your stead.”

“Ida?” The idea was beyond horrifying; it was stupidly offensive. “The pretty little flutterbrain wouldn’t know a charm if it bit her up her skirt, where, I might add, any number of things have already bitten her.”

“That’s the idea.” The cat pointedly groomed itself. “She’s sweet, passive, and biddable, things that they believe – rightly, of course – that you are not.”

“She’s likely to end up pregnant any moment now, too; she’s indiscreet enough.” Zenobia was still steaming over her uncle and cousin’s choice of replacement; she realized, somewhere in the back of her mind, that the rest of the cat’s news would have to sink in soon enough.

“Well, then. It shouldn’t be all that hard to eliminate her as a rival, should it?” The Damn Cat looked downright smug. “I’ve always thought your family’s insistence on spinster Aunts was foolish, but since it is unlikely to change any time soon…”

Zenobia sat down inelegantly, the kitchen stool wobbling under her. “They really mean to do away with me?”

“They seem to.” He filled his mouth with meat and kept talking. “You’re too powerful for their tastes, too intractable.”

“I’m the Aunt,” she snapped. “I’m supposed to be the power of the family and the guidestone. I’m not supposed to be passive and biddable. If the family wanted passive and biddable, they would have given the power to an Uncle!

The cat nodded. “So what are you going to do about it? You don’t strike me as the sort to deal with such things passively.”

“Of course I’m not. But if I confront Gottleib and Edith directly, I reveal that I know what they’re up to. I might need that again.”

“Especially if you’re going to continue to make waves. You might need my surveillance again.”

“Indeed. Good kitty,” she added idly, reaching down to scratch him behind the ears. Over his loud purring, she mused, “getting her pregnant seems the thing to do. I’m going to have to pay a visit to Cousin Lewis.”

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