Life for Mab had been normal, up until a fateful night in the late summer of 1694 when everything irrevocably changed.

As she watched the Tears of Saint Lawrence, a dark shape fell through the night, landing with a whomp of expelled air into the dense privet hedge; a huge and fuzzy cat, dark as the shadows he lay in. 

Mab scooped up the unconscious cat and, staggering under his weight, rushed into the house. She lay the creature on a cushion, astonished when his fur morphed into the exact same colour.

Mab’s own cats approached cautiously, whiskers curled in tension. Frowns puckered their furry brows and their tails fluffed out like flue brushes. “Oh, get on with ye,” she said, shooing them away, “Ye’ve seen a cat afore.” She lay her head against his side, happy to hear his heart thumping a steady rhythm.

Suddenly, his eyes popped open and, with a golden-hued, supercilious glare he turned his look, first at Mab and then around at the rest of the cats, who sat huddled, submissively averting their gazes. 

“Oh good minions,” said the cat to his feline audience, “What, you’ve never heard a cat talk?” The latter was addressed to Mab.

“What are ye?” she asked.

“Well, isn’t it obvious? I’m a witch’s familiar. Or, at least, I was until we were hit by one of the Tears and fell off her broom. I felt our tether snap so she must be dead.”

“Cats can’t speak.” Mab shook her head, befuddled. 

“Little do you know,” he said, “A few of us stoop so low as to talk to humans.”

“How dreadful for ye,” she said. “Well I s’pose ye can stay ‘til morning, then I’ll take ye home.”

“Excuse me,” he said, “Did you not hear the part where I said that my witch is dead? The good news is, if you can understand me, then you must have taken over her mantle. Can’t you feel the tether forming between us? You’re my new witch. Only death can part us now.”

All Mab could think to say was “Oh!”

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

Poor Mab, what has she let herself in for? But oh, I really love that cat! So funny, and even more so when, after reading your comment, I re-read his dialogue in the voice of Kenneth Williams. I’m now going to follow that link you’ve included and learn more about ‘The Tears of St Lawrence’. Great story Carrie.

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
5 months ago

Great story, Carrie. I really did picture this whole story in my head, I thought the dialogue to be brilliantly done. I do feel for poor Mab… I’m not sure I would like to be tethered to such a cat till death though.????

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
5 months ago

I’m loving the word ‘cattitude’, Carrie. Brilliant!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Carrie, I was not familiar with Kenneth Williams and had to Google him! Reading the dialogue with his voice in mind was even funnier than before. This is another great Mab story! When I saw it was one of her stories I already smiled, knowing it would not disappoint. The line, “A few of us stoop so low as to talk to humans.” made me smile. I’m sure that is exactly how cats would reason! Great story.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
5 months ago

I found the link now, thank you for sharing ???? Yes, Mab’s other cats will probably have to put up with a lot of attitude now with the new feline addition to the family! Your comment to Christer about him wanting to be called “Master” made me smile. I would love to read how Mab responded to that!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
5 months ago

I love cats, Carrie, and always talk to them when I get a chance. Your story is a fun and very enjoyable read. I’ll have to watch out for cats falling from the sky in the future. Good luck with the rest of the story.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

Carrie I am sure you had fun writing this charming story. Thank you for encouraging me to scramble for my dictionary. I now know that Tears of Saint Laurence refer to the shooting stars/tears shed by him on his martyrdom.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
5 months ago

Mab is back, fantastic news! As a huge cat lover, I can only adore your story, Carrie! Our cats are our familiar and family too… I am glad your magic chameleon cat has found a good home!

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Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
5 months ago

Delightful story, Carrie, just crying out for a sequel (or sequels). The Tears of St Lawrence have now gone into my memory banks as a pub quiz answer.

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Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
5 months ago

Hi Carrie

It’s going to take me a little while to read all these, and I am sure I have a real treat in store.

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
4 months ago

Wow! Remind me to treat Mab with respect+. You’ve actually inspired me to give birth to another character from the other side of the divide. Look out for Mgekwu if (a) His tales fit into a contest and (b) of course, if he gets short-listed! Plus, thank you for the word ‘chitinous’. It probably describes me in one of my ‘I hate the world’ moods. I’m off to loll around in Spain for a week. Plenty of ‘me’ time to breathe the odd tale to life.
Allan

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Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
4 months ago

Mgekwu is a name I cobbled together from various African languages. I would pronounce it ‘Um-gek-woo.’ As he says ‘They would call me ‘witch-doctor’, but I am neither witch nor doctor’. I’ve already produced an introductory story for him but will have to wait for a suitable category.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

Mab is finally back with a cute cat. I super enjoyed it as I imagining the Tears of Saint Lawrence so beautifully. How I wish to watch the Perseid meteors someday. That could be so relaxing, and enjoying. Well done.

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