Title: The Takeover
Word count: 977
It was late. Josh said as much to his house guest where she lounged in ‘his’, comfy and sometimes place to sleep, tv chair. He picked up the now neatly washed bowl, since she was done licking it, a bowl that was supposed to lure her out of ‘his’ recliner chair to the floor. In the end he’d picked it up and put it next to her, where upon she’d made short work of it. The bowl was still in his hand when the doorbell rang.
“If this is for you, you’re going to have to go outside and socialize with them. It’s bedtime for me,” Josh called over his shoulder as he opened the door.
A laugh came from the person on the other side of the screen door. “Sherry, short for Scheherazade, giving you problems? She does have a mind of her own.”
“I don’t know if you could really call her mine,” was said with amusement. “I think she considers me hers and now you too. Might as well get used to it.”
“Wondered if she belonged to someone. She looks well cared for. Think she might have a bun in the oven though. You come to take her home? Pleeeese.”
Another laugh came from the man outside, “Like that would do any good. If she wants to be here, then she’ll be here. I was just checking on her. She’ll probably come home soon but you’d better expect to come with her.”
Josh’s “Um, excuse me,” was met by a grin.
“Name’s Ezekias, but call me Ezzie and don’t pay any attention to her calling me Easy or Ee-Ass. I’m not. Like some who won’t be named.”
The cat yawned widely from the recliner seat where she lounged.
“You said something about expecting to come home with her?”
“Let me ask you a question, how did you meet her?”
“I took to putting out food on the front step to distract her from me running her over with the car in the morning.” Josh blushed, “I mean if she was eating, then she’d not be under the car’s tires.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“Couple weeks, maybe a bit more,” was said defensively.
“And she induced you to open the door to let her in….?”
“Just this last week.”
“Did you open the door for her today?”
Josh shook his head in confusion, “no… I don’t think I did.”
“Uh huh. But your door was closed.”
“Well not exactly, I was refilling the food outside and next thing I knew she just sort of appeared behind me.”
“And yet I see there’s food and water set up just inside your front hallway.”
“Yeah, well. I can explain.”
“No need,” Ezzie laughed. “I know her. And you fed her people food too.”
Josh looked down at the bowl, that had had cornmeal mush in it until recently and was still in his hand, as if he’d never seen it before. “Um.”
“Familiars are a bit like Harry Potter house brownies but in reverse. At least some of them.” Ezzie frowned at the culprit where she lay in the chair.
“Familiars? Potter house brownies?”
“Yep. Sherry’s a feline familiar who doesn’t change into human form. If anything it makes her more superior acting than one that can change.”
“You’re crazy, aren’t you. I can’t let you take her with you if you’re crazy. There’s no telling what you’d do to her. Goodnight.” Josh closed the door quickly, locking it.
“Well,” he said to his house guest, “that was interesting. I’m going to wash this bowl and then go to bed. I showed you where the litter box is, so use it if you need it. Goodnight to you.”
He lay in bed reviewing the measures he’d taken of cat proofing his house and decided that it would have to do. The bedroom door was closed so there wouldn’t be any stomping of 30 pounds a paw on his body to wake him, tomorrow was a Saturday. There was food out and water and a clean cat box, yes he’d checked. No need to get up early. Sometime in the night there was the click of the door as it opened and then…
“Sherry, you put him back. He’s not like a mouse you can bring home to me,” was quietly hissed.
“I’m pregnant,” was hissed back, “even Josh could tell. I’ll need two people to help me once the kittens are born. You, my wizardy Easy, and I will be working on magic and someone needs to watch over the kits. Besides you need someone to take care of you. No more bringing home strangers to play with, with my kittens in the house. Did you think I wouldn’t notice with all the noises you make when you get up someone’s ass? Josh at least won’t get pregnant, like some of the others.”
“He’s not magical.”
“Yes, he is.. on his father’s side a long way back. He’ll acclimate and he’s got vacation coming up soon. He’s purrfect.”
From the bed came a sleepy voice, “alright, I believe you. Will you both go to sleep and we’ll all” Josh pulled the pillow over his ear his, “talk in the morning,” ended with a yawn. “Harry Potter…. Sheesh.”
“You’d better give him a good morning wakeup so he’ll be nice and mellow,” was hissed at Ezzie.
A hand rose from the bedding, pointed at the door and the words, “Allakhazam,” were plainly mumbled into the blankets. Somehow Sherry was out in the hallway and the door slammed shut.
Ezzie looked at the warm cuddly man in his bed in amazement and shrugged, pulling Josh into his arms to snuggle before himself falling asleep. Morning was going to be interesting. He ignored the muted laughter that moved off down the hallway.