A to Z Challenge, Day 21: U Is For Universe

For today’s A to Z entry, I figured I’d share an excerpt from a forthcoming series set in space.  We figured that folks on a ship in deep space would resort to having pets, just like on modern day ships, but they wouldn’t be all that common – and sometimes, even forbidden.  So what happens when you have a cat and…  Well, see for yourself.

Before Kass could come up with something to say that didn’t sound corny or stupid, a loud yowl interrupted them and the door started rattling.

Gwyn jumped and recoiled from the door. “What the fuck!”

Kass tried to keep the chuckle out of his voice. “Relax. That’s just Auntie. She wants in.”

Kass leaned over Gwyn’s lap and flipped the latch up. Before he could slide the door more than an inch, a grey and white paw appeared and tried to push it faster. Gwyn pulled his legs up off the floor, curling them under him, and watched with wide eyes as Kass got the door open enough for his cat to appear.

Being a cat, she stopped across the threshold, staring at Gwyn with green eyes and an unblinking gaze.

“You have a cat.” Gwyn didn’t ask it as a question; it sounded more like an accusation.

“Yeah. Is that a problem?”

“Cats hate me.”

Kass snorted and leaned over to nudge Auntie’s butt through the door so he could close it. She made a half-yeowl and consented to let him mush her against his leg. He flipped the latch and sat back, trailing his fingers over the side of the seat and playing with her fluffy tail.

“This is Auntie Grey. She adopted me from a litter one of the squads had about six months ago. She’s still a kitten, really.”

Gwyn’s eyes widened. “You mean, she’ll get bigger?”

“She’s hardly going to eat you, you big baby.” Kass leaned down and scooped her into his lap. She started purring immediately, kneading his leg, so he moved a small pillow under her claws to keep his pants from getting pulls in them. “See? She’s harmless.”

Auntie continued to stare at Gwyn, not blinking, and Gwyn stayed wadded up in the corner of his seat. This wasn’t how Kass wanted this little experiment to go. What if they didn’t like each other?

Auntie stirred and stood up, thrusting Kass’s hand out of her way with her hips. She stepped across from Kass’s leg to Gwyn’s and the medic froze, his face pale.

“Jesus. You’re really scared, aren’t you?”

“I told you. Cats hate me.”

Kass reached over and caught Gwyn’s chilled fingers and pulled his hand forward. He rested it on Auntie’s back and Auntie’s purr grew louder. She traveled up Gwyn’s leg and curled into a ball in his lap, right against the buckle of his belt.

“You’ll need this.” Kass handed Gwyn the pillow.

“What for?” The suspicion in Gwyn’s voice made Kass want to laugh.

“Put it under her front paws so she doesn’t knead your leg. She has all her claws.”

At the word “claws,” Gwyn’s blue eyes widened but he did as Kass told him and set the pillow just in front of Auntie’s paws. She sighed and rolled against him, reaching for the pillow with both feet. Gwyn set it down and then hesitated a moment before stroking her fur from head to shoulders.

Auntie sighed and closed her eyes, clearly settling in for the long haul.

Great. Try to have a necking session with a cat in the way. Just what Kass wanted.

10 Replies to “A to Z Challenge, Day 21: U Is For Universe”

  1. Yes, cat lovers recognize the character very well…. cats definitely ‘consent’ to things (or they don’t, right?) – Nice character capture! This is Jeri from storytellingmatters…. visiting you back!

    1. Welcome to our blog home, Debi! I hope you enjoy your time here. We’ll be posting a mixture of announcements, blog festivals, and even short stories – only safe for work stuff; our NSFW stuff is over on Taurus and Taurus.

      Thanks for stopping by, and happy blogging!

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