Kari’s Letter Home

Dear Mum

Sorry it’s been so long, but…well…I’m afraid things didn’t turn out quite the way I planned. Yes, yes…I know you warned me that they all only wanted one thing, but the ginger guy was so charming, and I’m a self-confessed sucker for an exotic oriental and the gentle tabby brought me the corpse of a rat with the head still on. How many guys would be that generous, huh? Anyway, long story short, suddenly there was no room at the inn and I found myself shoved in a box and delivered – with no ceremony at all – to what I can only assume was some kind of maternity hospital. Didn’t even have time to pack my blankie or mousie. I miss mousie. After that, we (it was WE by that time) were dispatched like luggage AGAIN, this time to a big, scary cage thing with a big, scary hoomin. I’ll tell you more about the hoomin later.

Anyway…I hope you’re not too mad with me, because you’d just adore the kids. Four of them, all cute as buttons. Mum..my backside isn’t that big, is it? I know you’d tell me if it was. I only ask because, well, every time I went to sit down inside this cage thing, one of the babies had managed to wriggle its way under my butt. I swear I never saw them move but, lo and behold, without fail it was “squeak squeak!” another squished kitten. So embarrassing! It’s a good job nobody was watching.

So – the hoomin. I think it’s a he. It’s hard to tell without getting a good look at…you know. So I’ll say “he” for the sake of argument. He’s ENORMOUS, but he has soft hands and a nice, gentle purr. He gives good rubs and scritches and furfles my ears and I trust him with the babies. They like to climb him, although he’s a bit slippery and they have to grip on tight. He smells like the streets and good food and cats. I wish he came to see us more often, but I feel we are safe here. There’s a smaller one too. He seems to have an obsession with digging up the poop we have just buried and collecting it. They are a strange species.

You’ll be glad to know that I waited until the proper time to perform the ritual. I sat in the window and sang to the full moon and she told me that the kittens’ names were Mordoc, Slayer of Voles; Kayleb, He Who Dances With Shadows; Elinora, Lighter Than The Air and Shara, With Eyes Like The Summer. Much as I like the hoomin, he seems incapable of memorising their names, no matter how many times I correct him. He just grunts strange noises at them. Sometimes, I don’t think he’s very bright. Elinora lived up to her name the other day and jumped all the way up to the window. I was proud of her. She fell off shortly afterwards, but it was a good first try.

Hey, one thing though. The other day, it was getting real warm and we were all feeling snoozy and lazy when this cacophany started up in the corner of the room. It was making a noise like Uncle Feyodah, He Who Poops In Closets used to do when that big tortoiseshell from next-door-but-one came in and stole his kibble. I tried to calm the kittens down by singing to them, but Kayleb is a bit “sensitive”, if you know what I mean, and I just seemed to be making matters worse. So now, when the noise starts up, I just sing to myself instead and remember Uncle Feyodah and all the family. I think I might be accidentally summoning a spirit from beyond The Bridge, though, because whenever I sing, the room gets colder. It’s very odd.

The kids are growing like weeds now. Elinora and Mordoc look a lot like our side of the family. Shara and Kayleb look more like their dads, but it can’t be helped. I love them anyway. It’ll soon be time for them to become independent, which will be sad in a way, but I cannot wait for them to step out into the world and fulfil their destinies. I’ve talked to the girls in the hope that they won’t fall into the same trap as I did, but you know girls (of course you do ha ha) they never listen to their mothers. Mordoc is healthy and floofy just like us and – well, sensitive kittens can make their way in the world too, so I’m not worried about Kayleb. He will be a heartbreaker. My girls, too. They’re bold and beautiful and will rule their kingdoms with wisdom, grace and only minimal use of claws and teeth.

As for me, I don’t know what will become of me. I miss my bed and my mousie and I would love to have a proper home again with a hoomin to worship me and a lap to lay on. It may be that those days are over forever, in which case I must find a new path. I’m beginning to wonder if I might have magical powers, because…and I can’t really explain this…I am absolutely certain that I am being watched. I know they are there. I can feel them. I hope they like what they see.

Will write again soon. Keep safe and warm

Your loving daughter,

Zathira, With Eyes Like the Sun and Moon

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