a cat walks past

“Quentin?” Lazing, half-flopped on the bed as he stares off into mostly nothing though that is partly a lie, he stares as the somewhat bigger of the two cats they own, Areli, wanders off, dragging something in its jaws.

“Yeah?” Just as comfortably settled as his lover, Quentin rolls over slowly with a yawn. Today has been nothing but a laze about day.

“Areli is wandering off with your underwear.” There is clear amusement in Yael’s voice as he watches the feline finally sprint out of the room. He laughs and shakes his head.

“My what now? Honestly, I wish Eoghan had never taught them to play fetch!” He hardly sounds annoyed, his voice is closer to tired quietness. He doesn’t even try to stop the cat from taking off with the underwear.

Their lazing about is well deserved, the past almost forty-eight hours have been spent clearing out the back yard after the winter and cleaning out old plants from the second and third floor garden of the home. It has been rough and exhausting work but it was necessary and it made them exercise and work muscles that hadn’t had that kind of workout in several months.

Silence falls over them again. Yael still looking at the door where Areli has run off to, Quentin with his eyes closed, half-settled against his lover, his breathing is steady and calm but he’s not quite asleep, merely exhausted in a physical sort of way.
“Quentin?” Yael snickers this time and he shakes his head as he carefully pushes himself away from the bed with a grunt. His muscles ache from the rough exercise but he knows he needs to see to the garden pruning more often. Letting things grow almost wild isn’t the way to go about things.

“Yeah?” A soft grumble from Quentin as his almost-pillow moves away from him. He flops utterly to the bed and yawns before slowly, carefully stretching.

“Lavi just took off with one of your shirts.”

“What?”

It takes Quentin almost fifteen minutes before he’s on his feet and actually wearing more than just some of his boxer-shorts. He aches in ways he can only recall as having felt when he had been escaping from Siberia and finding his way to France where he more than contentedly lived now.

“I’ve noticed them taking bits of clothing from our room every few minutes or so for the past couple of hours.” Yael, patiently waiting on his lover to be up and about. A few minutes in the steam shower after they find out the reason behind the stealing of the clothes sounds like a wonderful idea. He keeps it to himself for now, knowing Quentin would more than likely opt for the shower first and mystery after.

“That makes no sense, why would they take off with our clothes? It’s new behaviour and we haven’t done anything lately to stress them out in any way.” Following his instinct more than anything else, Quentin wanders off towards the cats’s own room, where their toys, food, letterbox and the rest is. It is where they spend the vast majority of their time when they’re not playing out and about.

Yael follows him quietly, rubbing his shoulder and wondering if he somehow hasn’t pulled a muscle while they were doing the clearing out. His shoulder aches worse than the rest of him.

They step into the play room, look about for a moment and then head towards the corner where the clothes are set up in something of a pile. Quentin stops short when he hears a quiet little meow that is too soft and quiet to be either Areli or Lavi. Yael moves forward until he can kneel by the piled clothes. He gently pulls them apart and blinks at the sight that greets him.

“They’re both male.”

“I know.”

“They’re both castrated.”

“I know.”

“We never let them out and we don’t leave any windows open in any way that cats can get in or out. So tell me how these kittens got inside and what they’ve been eating.”

“I don’t know, Quentin. I can’t answer that question or any you might have on why. What I know is that these little guys are small, they’re still young and I bet they’re starving. Can you call Eoghan and see if he can’t get us some formula or something? We can’t just give them regular milk, I’m pretty sure it’s bad for them. Formula and a couple of bottles to feed them with. He has a car, he’ll get to the pet shop faster than any of us.” Yael looks down at the five tiny little kittens, nearly swaddled in the stolen underwear.

He really cannot explain how they made it into the house. He figures their boys somehow made it outside—he makes a mental note to check everywhere twice to see where they might be slipping out from—and found these kittens more than likely abandoned by their mother. It makes no sense to him. He can’t understand why they would bring kittens about at all but it isn’t something he spends too much time on. At that point he’s only worried about making sure none of the little meowing balls of fur die.

Twenty minutes after the call Quentin placed to Eoghan, there is a knock on their door and Quentin goes to open it, letting Eoghan step inside with the heavy bag. He smiles, a surprised sort of smile and he takes off his jacket and shoes. It’s raining outside, the streets are muddy. He follows Quentin into the kitchen where they prepare several bottles of formula and Quentin leads him towards the cats’s room, despite that Eoghan knows the way.

“Now how did you guys end up with these?” He sounds curious as he settles down and gently takes one of the kitten to offer the bottle to the hungry mouth. They each take another and settle to offer the extra bottles to the two left on the pile of clothes.

“I don’t know. I figure the boys somehow got outside but I don’t recall when they might have or how. I guess it doesn’t matter much, I’m more worried about these little ones.” Yael’s voice quiet and thoughtful though he yawns widely and closes his eyes for a moment. He’s exhausted but he knows he might not get much sleep in the next few days.

“What are you going to do with them?” He cants his head, smiling down softly at the tiny kitten suckling at the bottle. He’s well aware he can’t ask Alexis if they can keep one. Not with Adela in the house, even though he knows she doesn’t get out and it would be impossible for a kitten to get in, so maybe, just maybe.

“I don’t know what Quentin might want but I’m all for keeping them. It’s not like we don’t have the room.” He rubs his eyes with his free hand and Eoghan looks him over slowly. Quentin only shrugs but chuckles faintly, a soft, tired smile.

“You both look exhausted as can be. Maybe you could ask the twins to come on over for a few hours every day to babysit the kittens while you two sleep. I’m pretty sure they’d love to learn something new about this world and it would keep them occupied.”

Yael blinks, shifting the bottles he’s holding slightly. Quentin is the one to nod, a thoughtful look crossing his face.

“That might not be a bad idea. Soon as these guys are fed though, we’ll switch them to real blankets so I can have my clothes back.”

“Some of that stuff is mine too, Quentin.”

“I know, most of it is mine though. Don’t fall asleep feeding them now.”

“I’ll head back, talk to the twins and come back over with them. Once I’m here again, you two can head off to bed, you look ready to fall over.”

“Thanks, Eoghan.”

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