I've been compiling many of my old short stories, ones I wrote over a decade ago before I began working on my first book Into the Mirror Black, when I was creating a universe of my own. While I never intended for anyone other than myself to ever read these stories, I wrote them as a means of fleshing out this world I was creating--so I had an entire canvas from which to draw inspiration, if you will.
And then I realized: I enjoy reading collections of older stories from my favorite authors, so why shouldn't I put together one of my own?
That's how I came up with the idea of the Evangelium Scarabae, although instead of one volume I wanted to slice it into three slender volumes, the first of which is entitled By Gaslight. These are the edits I'm working on as we speak and my hope it to have the book ready in time for my birthday in early June.
But that's all I will say about it for now.
Let's talk about the little black kitty.
Just over a month ago, this tiny black kitty showed up at my house, barely big enough to be away from mama and completely feral--not aggressive but skittish to the point I knew he hadn't wandered away from home but was indeed born outside. Of course, I put out food and water and the kitty stayed close by, making a bed in the leaves beneath a tomato cage on its side. The weather was still warm enough but it was getting damp, so I put a towel down so the kitten didn't have to sleep in the leaves.
I attempted for two weeks to catch the kitten--it would sometimes let me touch it with the tip of my finger, but would be gone in a flash if I attempted more than that--because the weather was getting colder and colder and I knew the forecast was calling for temperatures well below freezing. No matter how I cajoled or what treat I tried to use as temptation, the kitten wouldn't come to me. Neither would it go into the trap--I dislike that word--I borrowed. The kitten was a good little baby and was always in its tomato cage bed curled up on the towel. As the temperature continued to drop, I worried I would find the little baby frozen.
My thought was if I couldn't catch it and bring it into the house, I could make a feral cat house for it so it wouldn't freeze in the extreme cold.
So I built one.
It wouldn't even go in it.
I thought maybe I would hedge my bets, and so I built a second feral cat house.
The only thing I could think of was to take an old, heavy hunting coat out and drape it over the wire tomato cage to help provide some shelter for this little black cat. Still, that didn't help my worrying. Numbers on the thermometer kept getting lower and lower, and I just knew this kitten was not equipped--it was too tiny, for one thing.
After a couple weeks, I was standing outside late, late one night and the kitten dared to come up on the porch and start eating. I thought, "This is my one and only chance." Tentatively, I crouched down and reached out a finger to touch it on the head. Deep purrs erupted from it and it miraculously rolled over on its back--cat speak for "rub my belly." So I did.
Surreptitiously, I slipped in my other hand to rub its belly. Then I betrayed its trust, but for good reasons. I knew I was not going to get another shot. I grabbed it tightly and rushed into the house and upstairs to my bedroom, all the while this kitten struggling in my grasp and yowling.
But at least it was now inside and out of the terrible cold.
It hid under my bed, coming out only after I went to bed or to work, in order to eat and drink. It used the litter box right from the very beginning without any issues.
On the third week, it would venture out from under the bed--where it made its own bed in the box spring, like a hammock--and sat close to me, keeping a wary eye on me at all times. Once in awhile, it would let me rub its head, and even rolled over to let me rub its belly a time or two in the following weeks. I don't know yet if he's a he or she's a she, because I couldn't tell when it rolled over. My guess is it's too young to have been neutered--unless it's not old enough to see the boy bits yet--so it is probably a girl.
The kitty has more than doubled in size since it has been in the house the past three-four weeks. My goal is to get it comfy and situated, and then I will take it into the vet for a check up. The name will be either Morgan or Morgana de Montserrat-Montague, depending on what the vet tell me.
Last night, for the first time, the kitty got up on the bed and sat with me while I worked on some of the edits for By Gaslight. Progress bit by bit. He or she is a love bug, and loves pets and belly rubs, and purrs like a big rig engine. Talkative, too. Meows in response to everything I say.
I will keep you updated and post a picture as soon as he or she is more comfortable.
As for the chocolate chip cookies: I need to quit eating so many or I'll be so big I won't be able to fit in or out of the front door. I found a vegan brand I like and I think nothing of eating an entire box while reading a book or watching television. I'm trying to limit myself to one row--a box contains three rows of approximately six or seven cookies per row--but I'm not always successful. I readily admit I lack discipline.
Okay, before this becomes a novel, I shall say goodnight.