The Cat Who Fell From the Sky
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!”