Fate By Cat
“Hello, gorgeous.” Jack smiled as he saw the cat, and he crouched down as it walked over to him. “Where did you come from?”
“Who the hell are you talking to?” Conor questioned, walking around the corner to see his brother now fully sat on the ground. “You got a cat?”
“Yes, Conor. I just suddenly got a cat.” Jack replied sarcastically, “No, it was just here.”
“Do your neighbours have a cat then?” Conor crouched down to pet the cat as well, although it seemed more keen on getting attention from the younger Maynard.
“No idea. I’ve only just moved here, haven’t I?”
“She likes you.”
“How do you know it’s a she?” Jack asked, but he smiled down at the cat as it continued to nudge his chest while he scratched it’s back.
“Just feels like it, doesn’t it?”
“Guess you’re right.”
The two stayed outside for a while longer until Conor finally forced his brother to head inside, claiming that he needed to get this song recorded. Jack was reluctant to leave the cat though, and apparently she was reluctant to leave him, as she followed them inside.
“You can’t steal someone’s cat, Jack.”
“I’m not stealing it!” He told his brother, closing the door behind the cat. “It’s getting cold outside.”
“You and cats.” Conor mumbled, setting up his equipment.
When night fell, and Conor finally packed up his stuff and headed out the door, the cat was quick to dash out. Jack wouldn’t admit to anyone, but he was kind of sad to see his new friend leave. It had barely left his side all day, and he had quickly grown attached to it.
And when it didn’t show up at all the next day, he tried to shrug off the sad feeling.
It was just a cat. And not even his.
But the day after, when he finally rolled out of bed because of something hitting the door, Jack had been surprised to see the cat dash inside. For the rest of the day, which was spent basically just at his place, she was always by his side, purring away.
Every second day, like clockwork, the cat would show up at Jack’s.
He had, for some unknown reason, started to call her Bella.
They had tried a few different names, but the cat had given him a look when he listed them off, but with Bella, she was pleased, and so Jack stuck with it.
He found himself picking up treats and toys from the supermarket one day, and had laughed at that. Because he still didn’t know who’s cat it truly was, but Bella hung around until late at night, every second day, at his place, and so he figured he would treat her.
“Good morning, Bella.” Jack greeted as he opened the door, smiling as she mewed in response. “I have to go out today,” He told her, moving about the kitchen as he prepared breakfast. “I have a date.”
She jumped on the counter, blinking lazily over at him, purring when he paused to give her head a quick scratch.
“I know, surprising, isn’t it?” Jack chuckled to himself.
Perhaps it was odd that he talked to a cat, but Bella had been around for nearly two months, and it seemed normal for him to tell her everything.
“His name is Joe. He seems like a nice guy. Conor introduced us.” He leaned against the counter as he thought about his date, smiling over at Bella. “I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a date before.”
She simply mewed at him, walking across the counter towards the bowl of cereal he had left, starting to lap up the milk.
“Don’t be mean, I’m allowed to be excited.”
Bella just looked at him before going back to drinking her milk.
Jack rolled his eyes as he headed for his bedroom, he needed to get ready.
When he got home that night, Jack couldn’t stop smiling.
And he sat on the floor with a bag of treats, telling Bella all about his date.
“He’s funny, and has a nice laugh.” Jack told her, “And when he gets embarrassed, he gets this adorable little look on his face. And his eyes, Bella, I swear I got lost in them.”
She pawed at his hand until he dropped another treat.
“We’re going out again tomorrow. Is that crazy? I’ve never gone out with someone again so soon.” Bella mewed in response. “You’re right. I shouldn’t complain. It’ll be fine. Plus, I think I really like Joe. I think you’d like him too.” Another mew. “Okay, but only two more. It’s late.”
After her last two treats, and another cuddle from Jack, Bella made her way to the door.
“One day, I’ll figure out where you go.” He told her as he let her out, watching her walk down the path and around the corner.
The next month flew by, and Jack continued to see Joe frequently, telling Bella all about his dates.
He admitted to her one night as they curled up on his bed, her purring away, that he was possibly falling for the other man.
“Ridiculous, isn’t it? I’ve known him less than two months!” Jack laughed to his ceiling, while Bella purred contently on his chest. “But I mean it,” He shifted his gaze to Bella, who blinked open her eyes to stare back at him, “I think I’m falling for Joe. There’s just something about him.”
Bella just closed her eyes, shifting in her position. “I know, you don’t care, but who else am I going to tell? Conor will just call me crazy. Maybe I am though. My best friend is a cat who only shows up every other day. Ow!” Jack snapped, narrowing his eyes at Bella who stared back at him, her claws retracting. “Sorry, jeez.”
She lowered her head back down, resuming her purring.
“I think I’m going to invite him to stay the night this weekend.” Jack thought out loud, his fingers scratching along Bella’s back. “And before you go thinking that it’s been a month, how have we not done anything, we have.” He told her, feeling the judging gaze. “We just…haven’t stayed overnight.”
Bella mewed at him, and Jack rolled his eyes. “Shut up, I’m not scared.”
After another mew, he huffed. “So what if I’m scared? Joe’s different. This entire thing is different.”
A moment later she stood, stretching while Jack winced at the claws digging into his chest, before she jumped off the bed, glancing over her shoulder at the door.
“Alright, I’m coming.” Jack mumbled, rolling off of his bed and following her to the door. He gave her a few treats before opening the door. “See you in two days, Bella.”
“And this is my place.” Jack said, stepping into his flat, with Joe close behind him.
“You sound like you’re a realtor,” The smaller man laughed, “And here we have the master bath, very spacious.”
“Piss off.” Jack laughed, closing the door behind them and kicking his shoes off. “I’ve never brought anyone here. Well, except my brother.”
“I’m honoured then.” Joe smiled, tugging Jack closer to kiss him softly. “Thank you for inviting me over.”
“I mean, I only did it for the food.”
“Of course you did.” He rolled his eyes, pushing past Jack. “Kitchen over here?”
“Yup. Make yourself at home.”
“Have you even cooked anything in here?” Joe asked, looking around.
“Not much.” Jack admitted, settling into a stool on one side of the counter. “I just don’t know how to cook.”
“That’ll have to change.” Joe told him, pulling out the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. “Remind me to teach you.”
“Hmm, Chef Sugg. I like the sound of that.”
“I even have my own hat.” Joe winked, smiling as Jack laughed loudly.
The rest of the night was filled with laughter and kisses, talking and teasing.
All the nerves that Jack had in bringing Joe home had disappeared.
It was exactly as he had said to Bella, Joe was different. Jack couldn’t explain it, but it felt right having Joe in his place, cooking him dinner.
And when they stumbled to the bed hours later, hands on each other’s bodies, gasping each others names, it was one of the best nights Jack had ever had with someone.
Joe blinked open his eyes, trying to figure out what had woken him up, when he heard the noise again. It was a thump against a door.
Slipping out from under Jack’s arm, smiling as the younger man grumbled lightly in his sleep, Joe padded barefoot towards the door in the kitchen that lead to the back area of Jack’s place.
When he opened the door, he let out a small noise of surprise as a cat bolted inside.
A very familiar cat that turned and sat there, mewing up at him.
“Tabitha?” Joe questioned. “What in the world are you doing here?”
She simply mewed up at him, eyes darting to the side. Joe looked over and saw the bag of cat treats. He poured a few into his hand before he crouched down to feed them to the cat, scratching her head as she ate.
“Joe?” A tired voice called out, before Jack appeared from the other room, blinking sleepily over at him. “Oh, you met Bella.” He smiled as the cat bounced over to him, wrapping around his ankle as he continued to walk over to Joe, who straightened up.
“Bella?” He asked, meeting Jack halfway as he kissed him good morning.
“Yeah, I’m not sure where she came from. She kind of appeared not long after I moved here.” Jack looked down at the cat winding it’s way between the two boys. “She shows up every second day.”
“Her name is Tabitha.” Joe said, “Not Bella.”
“She’s yours?” Jack asked in surprise, Joe didn’t live very close to him, so why would Bella have traveled so far.
“Well, no,” Joe blushed lightly, “Similar with you, she just..appeared one day. And she also shows up every second day….”
“This exact cat?” Jack asked, staring over at Joe.
The cat mewed as she stared up at them.
“You mean Bella.”
The cat mewed again, purring as her tail swished around.
“This is weird.” Joe muttered, “What are the chances?”
“Did we get set up by a bloody cat?” Jack laughed, wrapping his arms around Joe, who started to laugh as well.
“Of all the places she could go…she alternates between our two places.” Joe shook his head, before resting it on Jack’s shoulder, laughing softly still.
“Fate. Fate by a cat.”
“Makes for an interesting story.”
“Interesting indeed.” Jack chuckled.
From that day on, the cat, who still responded to both names, simply followed the two boys from place to place, appearing at whichever one they ended up at.
And months later, when Jack and Joe moved in together, she followed them there.
Except she never left again.
Because she had found her home, just like Jack had found his, and Joe had found his.