DELENN, THE BLACKMAIL KITTEN

by Lisa



We had had C'Mell about two months when Joe looked up to see a coworker thoughtfully regarding Joe's small collection of cat figurines.

"Do you like cats?" the coworker asked.

"Yes." Joe answered.

"Would you like a kitten?" asked the coworker.

"No, we've got three." Joe said quickly. At the refusal, the coworker turned to nasty threats. He explained that he had gotten the kitten for his daughter, but she had had an allergic reaction to the kitten. If Joe did not take the kitten, the kitten would go on what would probably be a one-way trip to the Humane Society. Joe said he would call me and see what I said. My first reaction was No way, José. Joe then repeated the ultimatum given him by the coworker. I was silent several seconds before I agreed reluctantly. What could I have said, tell him to take the kitten to the river and drown it? I couldn't condemn a six-week-old kitten to death.

The coworker called his wife and told her to bring the kitten to his office, that he had found (suckers) a home for the kitten. She dropped the kitten off and Joe carried her to her new home, her tiny gray paws waving frantically to be let out. He played with her some during his lunch hour and put her in the bathroom. I came home and carefully played with the other cats before I went to see the new addition to our household. I opened the bathroom door and looked down at a tiny bundle of dark gray fuzz.

"Well, at least you match the decor." I said critically, for she was only a shade lighter than Elfling. Her ears had a little curl to them and she regarded me from wide kitten eyes. It took her perhaps a second to decide she wanted attention from me. She put her front paws on my legs and looked up at me pitifully. Aren't you going to pick me up and love on me? her look said. With a sigh and a small chuckle, I obliged. She sat on my hand for five seconds and then she climbed to my shoulder where she nestled herself under my hair. I sat down, kitten on shoulder, and looked over the lists of possible names I had made on my breaks. Eventually I settled on Delenn, after a major character in Babylon 5.

Reactions were varied from the other cats. Sulla looked grimly at her, made the customary hissings and then totally ignored her. Elfling hated her but mostly contented himself with angry spittings. C'Mell hissed and spit a little bit and then decided Delenn was the best toy she had ever had. She plays quite happily with Delenn and even tolerates the kitten's futile attempts to suckle her. Delenn is now eight weeks old and beginning to look like a proper kitten. She seems quite happy in her new home.

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