Blue Girl is the blue of milk gone sour under moonlight. She pads towards her human and snuffles into the wet lap.
Sarah’s time has come. She strokes her Russian Blue and sucks in her cheeks, holding her breath, hoping to stop the birth pangs. She can’t. A ghost train of pain shrieks along the tracks of her veins, leaving her panting.
Blue Girl has birthed many a mewling bag of fur and bones. She feels the claws of the litter twist her insides. She’ll drop them soon and then she can eat. She nestles further into the stink of her owner’s lap and is rocked to sleep by her human’s birth shudders. Blue Girl is unconcerned; her kits will slide out easily. It’s her fourth litter.
Sarah bites the insides of her cheeks. She should be in hospital. He shouldn’t have left her lying at the bottom of the stairs. There is a sloshing inside her womb. She imagines the baby has disassembled somehow, his body parts floating towards her heart.
The kits are coming. Blue Girl lifts her head and jumps onto the carpet. The human is dripping water and blood. Blue Girl daintily picks her way across the mess and curls herself into a ball away from the human’s moans. She feels the kits find their way. Their slug-wet heads slip through her fur and find her teats. A full, warm feeling settles upon her and her throat rumbles.
Sarah howls. There is no baby, only blood. The alabaster walls of the echoing home she has lived in for years loom above her like tombstones. His house, not hers. They never married. She strokes her stomach and lets her hand flop into the seeping blood. Hopefully, she’ll bleed to death on the floor before he arrives with the doctors. He has told them she is mad, that she threw herself down the stairs.
Blue Girl smells her human’s distress. She nudges her kits away and stands.
Sarah watches the cat slink towards her. Blue Girl bumps her head against Sarah’s face. The cat moves down her body and licks away the blood caked on the inside of Sarah’s legs. The soft rhythm of her tongue calms Sarah and she lets out a soft breath. When the licking stops, she wonders whether the cat has abandoned her, then she feels something small and warm drop onto her stomach. She opens her eyes and Blue Girl is standing over her, green eyes blazing. When she pads away, the small warmth on Sarah’s stomach remains.
When she looks down, she sees a squirming, blue-furred baby about the size of an apple. She reaches down and pulls it onto her chest, feeling the tiny heartbeat patter against her own. The kitten isn’t a purebred Russian Blue – he will drown them if he finds them here when he returns. But for now, it’s all she needs. Holding Blue Girl’s baby with care, she prepares to stand.
Donna L Greenwood writes flash fiction, short stories and poetry. Her work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions and Best Microfiction. Her debut novelette-in-flash The Impossibility of Wings has recently been published by Retreat West. Twitter: @DonnaLouise67