“Everywhere I look, vintage kittehs!” I laugh as I pet the ones who come closest to me.
My aunt blinks a couple times before defending herself, “There are only a dozen.” She leans back on her chaise and dangles her right hand to entice the cats, who saunter over and rub her hand and then jump on her chaise to lounge with her. “I just love tuxies. Don’t you?”
“Yes, they’re beautiful.” I lean toward her and ask, sotto voce, “You know the neighbors call them your familiars?”
Auntie Belle shakes her head. “Jealousy is an ugly trait.” Her laugh morphs into the wicked witch’s and she waggles her fingers at me. Then she directs her attention to the cats. “Sofia, please bring me the almonds from the kitchen table.” Sofia trots inside. “I would like my Kindle, please, Lenore. It’s on my bedside table.” Lenore trots inside. Sofia returns with the almonds. “Thank you, darling.” Sofia blinks and returns to lounge on my aunt’s legs. Lenore returns with the Kindle and settles in next to Sofia.
Big-headed Jalisco pats her with his paw. “Yes, my darling?” He looks at me. “Yes, my lovely big boy, ask Lulu what she would like.”
Jalisco turns to me and meows.
“Ah, yes, some water would be nice, my friend.”
Jalisco trots inside and returns with a mini bottle of water. I pet him in thanks.
“My precious Lulu, would you like to garden today, or would you prefer to laze about and let the lovelies work?” Tension builds as she and all dozen cats stare at me awaiting my answer.
“I’d really like to relax.”
“Done. Susannah, you and Deondre can weed the raised flowerbeds. Totoro, you and Leann, please inspect the leaves for pests. You have an hour until the sprinkler starts. And Juniper, my little treasure, turn on the bubble machine!”
They all get to work. Juniper dashes to the bubbler, pounces on the “on” button and returns to lie across me on her back, begging for bellyrubs.