I heard Eden’s father arrive at about two AM. He came to check in on us then left. He got into bed and was soon sound asleep like Eden.
I uncurled and slipped to the bedroom floor. Stretching, I went to the window and looked out. It was raining and the cold wind was drifting through the half open window. It was dark outside now, all the lights from the house had gone out and nothing lit the back street.
Closing the window, I decided not to go out. Normally, I enjoyed walking through the empty night streets but the autumn rain put me off. Jumping off the window sill, I got back into bed with Eden and snuggled into the child’s warm. Sleep came back to me fast enough and I only woke again when Eden’s alarm went off.
Uncurling, I padded over to the smiley face clock and turned the alarm off. No school today because it was half term. It was mid-week and only a few days till Halloween. I nosed, Eden how was dozing back to sleep and woke her up.
‘Macavity,’ she mumbled and tried to wave me away.
‘Time to get up!’ I called, ‘we have things to do today.’
‘Like?’ my Little Mistress asked.
‘Decorating for Halloween,’ I stated.
‘Of course!’ Eden cried and threw the duvet back.
She hurried to the bathroom, I followed her and waited whilst she brushed her teeth and washed. Then back to the bedroom to dress in jeans and long sleeved t-shirt. She pulled a hoodie on top and long socks onto her feet. We ran downstairs into the kitchen for breakfast.
‘What time did dad come home, Macavity?’ Eden asked, around a mouthful of cereal.
‘Two AM,’ I replied.
Eden nodded and hurriedly finished eating.
‘Is there nothing else to eat?’ I asked batting my bowl of dried cat food away.
Eden frowned, opened the fridge and looked in. I jumped on the counter and tried to see around her.
‘Ham?’ she said and passed it to me, ‘dad needs to go shopping.’
I wolfed down the ham and it was far better than that fake cubed chicken in my bowl.
‘You had the last tin of tuna,’ Eden added as she moved to the cupboards.
‘Let’s write your dad a shopping list,’ I suggested.
My Little Mistress nodded and we spent some time at the small table writing a list of food and drink. We left that for dad to see and went into the attic to find the Halloween decorations.
The attic was small and the walls were thin boards which hardly blocked access to the neighbouring attics. The chimney breast took up a lot of space too. Eden quickly found the two plastic boxes we needed and I used my magic to help get them down.
Sitting in the hallway, Eden popped off the lids and began to get things out. There were typical plastic pumpkins, furry spiders, white skeletons, glow in the dark bugs and fake cobwebs as well as other things.
‘It’s still raining,’ I pointed out.
Eden nodded and begin untangling some purple lights.
There really were not many decorations to put up and it took only some of the morning for Little Mistress and I to put things out and up. With the large plastic pumpkin set in the front window and the purple lights framing the front door, Eden added the last few skeletons and bugs.
‘Looks better all ready,’ I announced, taking a seat next to the pumpkin.
It was dark outside, the rain had coated the windows and the wind was blowing through the front bushes. The street was quiet, only a dog walker was going past.
Eden sank onto the sofa and turned the TV on. She watched children’s programs and I left her to it after a few minutes. I went upstairs and elevated the boxes back into the attic. I raised the ladder and closed the trap door.
Dad’s door was shut, I went over and opened it. The room was dark. His form was a lump on one side of the bed which was moving with his steady breathing. It would be a few hours yet till he got up.
It would be easier if he had a day time job but he had to take work where he could get it and with no one else to look after Eden, we were alone for most of the the time. I signed and closed the door behind me. My stomach let out a growl as I trotted downstairs, so I went back into the kitchen.
Up on the counter, I walked to a drawer at the far end and opened it. There was an envelope containing money there. I picked it up with my mouth and carried it to my Little Mistress.
I dropped it into her lap and said, ‘let’s go to the corner shop.’
Eden frowned and picked up the envelope. I knew what she would say. The money was for emergencies only.
‘Your dad won’t mind,’ I pressed and rubbed against her arm.
‘He’ll go shopping when he gets up,’ Eden said firmly, ‘You only want tuna and cream anyway.’
I turned away sheepishly.
Eden got up and took the money back into the kitchen drawer.
‘Here,’ she said and give me a handful of fish biscuits.
I ate them gladly then curled up in her lap. I dozed for awhile then my Little Mistress picked me up, placed me down where she had been sitting and went upstairs. I heard her in the kitchen next and guessed she was making her dad a cup of tea and toast to take upstairs to him.
When she passed I called out, ‘did you use the anti-stress potion?’
‘In the tea,’ she answered and went on her way.
I followed her upstairs. Her dad was all ready awake and grateful to see us both. We sat at the end of the bed whilst he eat and drink. Eden didn’t tell him about the potion.
‘I made a shopping list,’ she said instead.
‘That time all ready?’ he muttered, ‘I’ll go then.’
‘Can we come with?’ Eden asked.
Dad eyed me.
‘I’ll stay,’ I announced and jumped off the bed, ‘cat things to do.’
They left soon after. I watched from Eden’s bedroom window. It was still too wet to go out. I went downstairs and turned on the TV and looked for a weather report. I needed to go out soon and search out the familiars and witches that were arriving for the All Hallow’s Eve gathering.
Eden was still young to go but I went for a few hours every year. It was the job of a familiar to attend all coven gatherings with or without their mistress and masters. It was important to know what was going on in all circles. I was also hoping to see some old friends…
The man talking about the weather said it would clear up later and the next few days, including Halloween on the Saturday would be fine enough. I pawed at the sofa and decided what to do next. More food would be good. I turned off the TV and braved the weather to go across the street to the old lady who feed all cats.
Some people would have called her a crazy cat lady but really she was just alone and loved cats. She had a few of her own, fostered more and went out often to trap feral and stray cats. However, in the small village of Pendle in the middle of the countryside there weren’t a lot of non-owned cats that hung around for long.
Entering through the cat flip, I found the old lady in the living room, three of her cats with her. She was in her seventies, lived here all her life and though she’d had a couple of husbands, no children or any relatives left. She had short white hair, a heavy wrinkled but kind face and thick glasses. She was marked with having small pox as a child, she was a fount of local knowledge and often told us stories of the past.
I wrapped myself around her legs, meowing loudly to announce myself.
‘Who have we got here, then?’ she spoke.
I stopped and looked up at her. I put my front paws on her knees and let her get a good look at me.
‘Oh, it’s Macavity! Hello, pet. Have you come for lunch?’
I meowed in reply.
‘It’s salmon today.’
I licked my lips. She always had good food in.
Once I had stuffed myself, I curled in front of the gas fire and slept deeply. It was close to six o’clock when I finally realised the time. The mantle clock chimed the hour and I hurried home through the rain and dark.
To Be Continued…