i think maybe she's not calico

In Which They Get a Cat

Kudos to @lenny9987 for inspiring this one! (And apologies for my butchering Jamie’s dialect)

They were a safe, happy little family - Faith, Brianna, and William - living at Lallybroch with Jenny and Ian’s ever-growing brood. Jamie thought they had everything they could ever want. That was, until one morning when he woke to Claire’s thoughtful smile beside him.

“Ha'penny for ye thoughts, Sassenach?”

“I was thinking about pets in my time.”

“Oh?” He turned on his side, facing her, taking her hand in his to lightly trace the lines of her palm. She stifled a giggle - she was so ticklish - but continued.

“When I was growing up with my Uncle, we travelled too much to have a dog or a cat. And I never really wanted one. I was always afraid I would kill it or some other nonsense such young girls think,” she paused, looking away. Her eyes lingered on the small bed in the corner of their room. “But I’ve managed to not kill any of our children yet, so I suppose I can be trusted.”

“Aye, Sassenach. I canna imagine you killing an innocent creature…” Jamie had an idea where this was going. Faith had been asking him almost daily if she could play with the barn cats. Knowing she would end up with more scratches than cuddles, Jamie had always tried to say no. Not that he had much luck denying the daughter he almost lost. Brianna may have been her mother’s girl, but Faith was all Jamie’s.

“I think we should get a cat. Maybe a kitten. Teach the children some responsibility and I’d have a bed warmer when you’re gone.”

And that was how, four months later, after returning from a hunting party, Jamie found his wife lying on the floor, cooing at a calico tabby cat the girls had named “Gingersnap.” “Aren’t you a beautiful girl? So soft, and so well loved! Nothing is ever going to happen to you. You’re mine and I love you so much. I didn’t think I could love you as much as I do.”

Jamie chuckled, watching the scene. Claire jumped up, bumping her head on the bedframe in the process. “Oww.”

“So, I’m now relegated to second place? Behind a cat?” Jamie teased, hands on his hips.

“Well, Gingersnap does make such lovely noises when you pet her.”

A raised eyebrow, “I could say the same about you, Sassenach.”

“And she always keeps me warm when you’re gone.”

“And I do when I’m here.”

“Jamie…”

“No, you ken the rules. It’s the girl’s cat, and only your’s when I’m not here.” He went to rub her head where she had bumped it. “Now, do I need to show you how very much I love ye? So I don’t havva compete with a feline for your affection?”

Claire smiled. “Always.” And before they tumbled to bed, they kicked Gingersnap out of their room. The cat cried with some effort at being shut out and neglected.

“Did you get kicked out again?” Faith asked, scooping up the furball. “It happens to us all. Dontcha worry.” The young girl smiled. “Maybe they’re making William another brother.”