Tag Archive | character: thekitten

Lilac in Spring, a character study of Radar and Lam, posted on Patreon

Lilac in Spring

“Hey, stop that, stop that. You’re my mother, yes, I fully acknowledge that, but what are you doing, no, no, not inside the ear…”

The cat often known as Radar was in the habit of ignoring voices that spoke in English. It wouldn’t do for anyone – not even the human that theoretically could call him as familiar – to get used to him being tame. He was a cat, after all, no matter what machinations had folded him into that shape….

read on…

Before Kitten troubles and after Charming, Kitten Switch, and Boy Trouble

Aunt Family have a landing page here.

This story is free for all to read!

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Family Secrets and Cat Secrets, continuation of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call

This is wispfox‘s commissioned continuation of Cats & Grannies. and Cat’s in the Attic.

Radar appeared to approve of the center box of the nine – although, perhaps out of consideration to Aunt Bea, he wasn’t talking. Beryl, armed with the gloves the cat had suggested and a scarf tied over her nose and mouth, moved everything with the care usually taken by museum archivists.

(She wondered, very briefly, what a historian or archaeologist would make of the family archives, such as they were. Had anyone in the family ever studied archeology?)

“Aunt Bea…” Her voice was muffled by the scarf, but Aunt Bea’s hearing was still sharp. “Do we have any historians in the family?”

“Oh, the family doesn’t tend to go that way.”

“Aah.” Beryl noted the tone, and wondered what Aunt or pushy Granny had inculcated that idea into the family. “I think it might be fun to do a study of all this, that’s all.”

“Well, but who could you show it to?”

“Aunt-” She hefted the box out of its spot and set it, carefully, on a clear patch of attic floor “-Evangeline. Or maybe one of the cadet branches – hey, how come they’re the cad… never mind. Thanks for letting me take this, Aunt Bea.” That was Dangerous Territory. People Beryl’s age weren’t supposed to worry about Dangerous Territory.

“Don’t worry too much about the politics, honey. It’ll sort itself out, it always does. And be careful with what’s in those boxes – I mean, tell Eva to be careful.” Was that a wink, or just a trick of the light?

~

Beryl had earned the privilege of a locked door with her fourteenth birthday, and was very grateful for it as she and Radar sat down with the box. Not that she thought her mother would exactly object, but her mother would talk to her sisters, and her cousins, and they’d talk to their mothers, and their aunts, and so on, and soon Beryl would find herself buried in Grannies again.

She turned up the music nobody else in the house liked – just loud enough to be audible if one stopped to listen, not loud enough to get her yelled at by anyone else – triple-checked the lock, and made sure The Necklace was wrapped in silk and locked in a stone box. “All right, Radar.” She popped the lid and stared inside. “What am I looking for?”

“It’s going to be a journal.” Radar jumped into the box, growing smaller as he did in a show of power he almost never exhibited. The kitten-size fit much better among the paperwork. “If I recall, it was bound in leather – brown and green – and wrapped in ribbon.”

“There’s so much stuff here.” She lifted out a folder labelled Family Photographs, 1910. The handwriting was a long, spidery script she’d seen more than a few times before. “And what’s dangerous about photos?”

“In your family? Everything.” The cat pushed aside a yellowed book of sheet music; Beryl had never heard of the composer, but she could smell the magic still coming off of it like dust. “Here it is. Careful, girl, it’s old.”

Old didn’t begin to cover it. Beryl stared at the cover of the book, with its flaking gold-embossed name. “Is that…”

It had to be. The family, for reasons of clarity, did not repeat names. But she had to ask again, anyway. “Is that…”

“The secrets have been lost for a long time indeed, child. Take it.” Radar pushed the book towards her. “You’re going to need it.”

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Cat’s In the… Attic, a continuation of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call (@anke)

This is [personal profile] anke‘s commissioned continuation of Cats & Grannies.

“Oh, hello, dear. And you brought a… a cat. Oh, you brought That Cat.” Aunt Beatrix was attempting to sound friendly. Mostly she sounded that she was terrified and stressed.

Beryl smiled as nicely as she could manage. She’d wanted to bring Chalce or Stone along, or, better yet, Mom, but Chalce had been busy, Radar was getting weird about Stone, and Mom sometimes forgot she wasn’t a Grandmother yet, so she might not endorse Beryl learning verboten information.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Beatrix. But Radar gets up to trouble if I leave him alone, and I heard that you might have some family records in your attic.”

“Aah, Evangaline finally noticed things were missing, did the girl? Come in, I suppose, as long as your cat there doesn’t get up to any trouble.”

“You hear that, Radar?” Beryl stared at the cat for a moment. “No trouble. You be nice to Aunt Beatrix.”

“Oh, no, not you, too, sweetie.” Beatrix tch’d. “Well, come in. The papers are up in the attic, like you said. They’re all boxed up. Carron and Katherine boxed everything up, before… Before.”

Before before? Beryl would have to ask Radar or Mom when she was alone. “Thank you, Aunt Beatrix. How have the cats… been?”

“Well, with That One out of the way, they’ve been… better. They’re still Family cats, and why I ended up with them this time around, I really don’t know. But they like the park you built them.”

“The park? Ah, the cat run.” That had been quite a bit of work, half of it Beryl and half of it Stone. “I’m glad they like it.”

“It does keep them quiet. Well, come on, you and That Cat. The attic is this way. Although I’ve managed to keep the cats out of there, up ‘till now.”

“Ha.”

The noise was stifled, a little snort of dry amusement, but Beatrix still heard it. She stared at Radar for a moment, then shook her head as if clearing it. “I never should have – well, that’s for another time. Come on, girl. ‘twere well it were done quickly.”

“Coming.” Aunt Bea was… different. Clearer-headed, and yet somehow she sounded even more insane. Well, she was family, after all.

Aunt Bea’s house was almost as old as Aunt Evangaline’s. The family liked to hold on to property. The family liked to hold on to everything, to be fair. The stairs were tight and narrow, old wooden stairs covered with at least three archival layers of carpeting. (Beryl and Chalce had vacuumed and washed those carpets, back before Thanksgiving. The stained floral pattern of the bottom layer still haunted her.) But Aunt Bea hopped up them as quickly as Beryl did. Age – age, in the family, seemed like it had more to do with getting stronger than with getting frail.

“I moved these boxes up here when Asta – when she had her little spell, although I figure you probably don’t remember that. It just seemed like some things ought to stay safe. And then That Cat moved in, and I forgot right about the papers, you know? Everything got a little fuzzy, if you’ll pardon me saying so.”

A little fuzzy would explain a lot. Beryl shot Radar a glare; he endeavored to look completely innocent, going so far as to start grooming himself.

“I, ah, I can understand that. Is that,” Beryl gambled a bit, “the spot in the guest room at Aunt Eva’s That We Don’t Talk About Period?” The spot was black with char, and the rug did not like to stay over it.

Aunt Beatrix snorted out a laugh. “That’s not your Aunt Eva. Is that your mother, then, Hadelai?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You were, I think, just a small baby, although that might have been your sister, one of your sisters. We never did figure out what happened, but we think it has something to do with Asta being a weak vessel.”

Beryl had already learned the trick with the grannies: keep listening & you learn a lot more than if you ask questions. She made a noise that she’d learned sounded like she agreed – she’d picked it up from Aunt Rosaria – while making a mental note to ask Radar about weak vessels when they were alone.

“And well, she decided that the family had, I suppose, too much power, as if such a thing was possible, and she started… trying to eliminate it. But you know as well as I do, child, that power does not like to be threatened.”

The same could be said for the family. “No, it doesn’t.”

“Well, it was quite a mess, and I’m rather surprised the backlash didn’t kill Asta.”

“That… that sounds like quite a mess.” And quite a backlash, if it had left a spot so tainted that no rug would cover it.

“Well, Asta was always a bit daft. I told Rosaria and Margaret, I did, that – well, here are the boxes.” Aunt Beatrix looked a bit guilty as she gave Beryl a little push. “And don’t worry your head about that stuff about Asta. She’s gone now, and can’t do any harm to anyone, not even herself.”

“Thank you, Aunt Beatrix.” Aunt Bea might be a little silly, but she was still a Grannie, and there was no going around her once she’d decided Beryl didn’t need to know something. “Are they safe to move, or should I look over them here and-” at the last minute Beryl remembered that she was supposed to be getting these boxes for Aunt Eva – “take notes for Aunt Evangaline?”

“Oh, they should be inert by now. And if not, I trust that you’re a clever girl. Just be careful of dust. They’ve been sitting here quite a while, and they were sitting there even longer.”

“Thanks, Aunt Bea.” Beryl studied the pile of boxes – three deep, three tall, three wide. The one in the center would probably be the proper one, if family tradition held. “I think I’ll move them a bit at a time, if you don’t mind the intrusion?”

“Oh, I don’t mind at all, dear, don’t mind at all. But I wouldn’t mind some of Hadelai’s lemon bars, either.”

Beryl smiled. “Thanks again.” Looked like she was reading old papers and making lemon bars this weekend. Having a normal dating life had never really been in her cards, she supposed. “I’ll get started right away.”


Next: Family Secrets & Cat Secrets

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Cats and Grandmas, a story(beginning) of Beryl and Radar for the Giraffe Call

To eseme‘s prompt

The Grandmothers, as Aunt Eva tended to call them, had been on Beryl’s case recently about The Cat.

They didn’t all have the Spark, they didn’t all know first-hand what The Damned Cat was, but they all knew, and they all seemed to think that, since Beryl could talk to (or hear) the Cat, then it was her sacred duty to do whatever it was they wanted her to do about the Cat.

She’s stopped listening after a while, and when that had gotten her full-name-scolded (and reminded that she was not currently the Aunt, no matter what the cards seemed to hold, and would thus be respectful, thank-you-very-much), she had tried dodging questions.

When that hadn’t worked, she’d decided to take the problem to the source and ask Radar and Lam what she should do.

Lam was, predictably, no help at all. “Bite them.” The tiny Siamese kitten groomed herself between answers. “Then growl and hiss until they go away.”

Radar, more surprisingly, gave the matter some thought. “They want to know what I am, and why Lam exists, yes?”

“What you want, yes, and ‘why you made Lam.'” Beryl petted Radar behind the ear, where he best liked being petted. “They don’t listen when I say that you didn’t make her.”

“They wouldn’t want to. It means someone else is doing something they’ve forgotten how to do.” The orange tabby (today, at least, he was an orange tabby) sighed, an angry huff. “Well, child-kitten, I suppose we’re going to have to go into the attic.”

“Aunt Eva’s attic?” Aunt Eva’s attic was a terrifying place.

“No.” At least this time, he didn’t sound as if she was being stupid. “Aunt Bea’s attic. I’d suggest you bring gloves.”


Next: Cat’s in the… Attic

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(the tip jar is a kitty for reasons)

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Then and Now – a story of that Damned Cat and his kitten for the OrigFic Bingo

This is to [personal profile] anke‘s prompt (on twitter) to my December OrigFic Bingo Card. This fills (for the second time) the “Then and Now” square.

That Damned Cat (Radar) and his Kitten have their own tag here – Kitten Tag. They are part of the Aunt Family setting, which has a landing page here.

Radar had been a kitten once.

It was a distant memory, a fuzzy memory he didn’t often examine.

He had not been, as this kitten was now, a sentient kitten. He had not been a sentient anything back then.

He sat grooming the kit, holding her down with one paw while he cleaned her behind the ear. You know what it was like, Beryl had said. You can help her. Under that assumption, she’d convinced the mother cat to let Radar close to his daughter. Joint custody, she’d joked.

She must have gotten the idea from her friends at school. Her Family did not do divorce, and when they did, the family kept the children, no questions asked.

“Da-a-a-a-aad.” His Kitten mewled in complaint at him. Beryl had taken to calling the kitten Lam, for no reason that she would explain. There had been worse names. He had had worse names. “You’re thinking again.”

“This is a thing that happens with us, child. You will learn that in time.”

She rolled onto her back. “You were thinking about being a kitten.”

There was no use in denying it. “Who made you, kit?”

“I was born like this. I don’t remember any time I wasn’t like this.” She nuzzles against his chest. “Do you?”

“Then…” Radar chirruped and circled his daughter until he found a comfortable spot. “Then I was a cat. A kitten, a little pile of fluff, like your siblings. Now, now I am…”

“A Damned Cat. I’ve read the book.”

“That book was destroyed fifty years ago.”

The damn kitten purred. “That was then, Dad. This is now.”

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F for Feisty Friend Felines of the Family

To Rix_Scaedu‘s prompt and Kelkyag‘s prompt.

After Kitten Troubles and Auntie Kitty

Aunt Family have a landing page here.

“Well?” The Siamese kitten sat primly down on the edge of Beryl’s bed and began grooming a paw.

“Well?” Beryl stared at the kitten. Physically, she looked like any other kitten. But her voice, such as it was…

“Well?” Radar echoed. He seemed as uncomfortable with the whole thing as Beryl was.

::Well?:: Her necklace wanted to get in on this, too, and that was just too much. Beryl took the necklace off and put it – him? – in the silk-lined box she’d found for moments like this.

“Well.” The kitten looked between Beryl and Radar. “What can you do for me?”

Before Beryl could manage to respond to the small thing’s giant arrogance, Radar had arched his back and hissed at the kitten before batting her hard three times with his paw.

“We.”

“Are.”

“Their.”

“Friends.”

The kitten cowered, ears flat. “We’re cats.” There wasn’t much fight left in her voice, and she was mewling unhappily out loud. “We’re cats.” She repeated herself as if the words meant more to her than they did to Beryl.

“We are their friends.” Radar sat back and began washing his paws. “We are more than cats, my feisty daughter.”

“Don’t call me that.” Her ears were raked back again, and now the kitten looked as if she would try hissing at her father.

He was unimpressed. “It’s what you are. A feisty feline.” He seemed to like the sound of that. “And their friend.”

“Why?”

Radar glanced at Beryl. She, other than getting her hands out of the way of two angry cats, had chosen to stay as still as possible. This wasn’t really her business, not yet.

“That’s what we were made for.”

“You might have been made. I was born.”

“Well.” Radar did the cat equivalent of a shrug, and washed another paw. “Someone made you. Someone made you, and you were made from a kitten I sired. I was made to be their friend. And thus… you are their friend, too.”

“Or?”

Radar showed all his teeth to the kitten. “There is no or.”

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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?”

“Never.”

“In all of your unspoken years?”

“Not once. Not until her.”

“Mirrowl.”

“Mirrow-ow-ow-owl.”

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

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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.”

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