It has been brought to my attention by some readers of these diaries that I perhaps occasionally come off as a bit stuffy, effete or even ... dare I say ... tweedy. I like to believe that such mistaken impressions come from those who know me largely through my interactions with the kitten who calls herself Boy. Compared to Boy, I believe anyone would seem a bit staid and, in my defense, I believe that when I am watching out for my erstwhile ward, one of us has to be the cautious one. Maybe one day, Boy will take that role. But for now, it usually falls to me.
To combat this impression, this week I would like to tell a story from before I met Boy. I had just bid the book museum (also known at the main branch of the New York Public Library) where I grew up farewell, said goodbye to the two stone lions outside that I had always thought of as my parents, and headed downtown to find a younger, hipper scene more suited to my own joie de vivre than such stuffy environs.
If you haven't read "A Girl Named Boy" or "A Tomcat and a Gentleman," let me summarize quickly. My name is currently Tom Frost. I'm a Russian blue tomcat with the nearly unique ability to metamorphose into a human being. The only other shape-shifter I've ever met is Boy, a polydactyl Persian kitten who is, in spite of her name, extremely female. This summary does no justice to either of us, but it should be enough to move forward. You should go read the first two entries, though.
At the time of this story, I had just moved into NYU's Bobst library. While I'd realized from a very early age that I understood human speech but most other cats did not, I had only just come upon my ability to actually transform into a human. My first instinctual transformation had been a bit alarming to the only witness and led to a long-standing rumor that there was a naked young man leaping out of the stacks and frightening people.
I had chosen as my human form one suited to a specimen of feline perfection like myself. Tomov (as I called myself) was a Russian NYU student with bright blue hair and sculpted good looks that could have easily graced the cover of any number of bodice rippers. Most striking were his stormy gray eyes. As Hiram Powers correctly said, the eyes are the windows to the soul. I would soon come to learn that Tomov's were additionally the backstage pass to the vagina. Two seconds of smouldering eye contact were enough to get a good girl to start drinking in anticipation of having something to blame for what she was already planning to do.
I made Tomov Russian partially because of my breed, but largely because I knew that, while I had observed human behavior inside and around the library I grew up in, I hadn't given much thought to how I would behave were I to become human. As Tomov, I had the fallback of conveniently not understanding what people were saying.
In those first few tumultuous days of passing among the students of NYU as one of them, I pretended I did not understand whenever someone started talking about sex.
I knew that if I stayed human, I would have to have sex. I was not reluctant precisely. Actually, not to put too fine a point on it, I walked around in a state of near-constant pre-tumescence and could rise to the occasion at the drop of a hat provided that the picking up of said hat gave me a good view of that marvelous negative space humans known as cleavage. I doubt any other species has learned to be aroused by the places where flesh isn't.
So, I was eager to start having sex, but cautious. Tomov acquired a circle of female admirers in record time and I could have easily disappeared into a pile of them never to be heard from again. But, the books I grew up on and a lifetime of overheard conversations told me that sex could lead to a lifetime of unhappiness even when the act itself was transcendent.
It was during this time that I met Ceilidh. One of the many marvels I had discovered as a human being was that sweet-smelling drug, coffee and Ceilidh was my favorite dealer. She was working as a barista in one of the many Starbucks that dotted the Washington Square Park area that I considered my demesne, saving money for her first semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The first time she looked up and saw me, she looked a bit gobsmacked and said, "Coffee, tea, or ... something else?" The last was accompanied by a little shake of her hips.
In my halting Russian accent, I said, "Eh ... the coffee please ... a venti."
When I got my coffee, under my name in the same black marker were written her name, phone number, e-mail address, a street address on Astor Place, and the words "I get off at 8." Such thoroughness was appreciated as I had not yet acquired a phone or a computer myself. I wonder how my life would be different if I'd only ordered a grandi that day and she'd run out of room.
It was the most brazenly I had been approached to date, which is what made me keep the cup long enough to commit the details to memory. The most common complaint I had overheard from humans about their partners was that they "didn't know what they wanted." This young woman seemed clearly unburdened by such equivocation. Still, I decided I wanted to know more about this woman before I approached her and that a reconnaissance mission would be in order.
I walked around the city that day considering my options and avoiding eye contact. Eventually, my feet led me to Astor Place, but it was only late afternoon and Ceilidh's cup had said she would still be working until that evening. As I wandered up and down Saint Mark's Place, I hatched a plan for how to approach her. Promptly at 8 pm, I leapt up onto the fire escape on the building where she lived. I have found that such things, performed with the clear confidence that you belong where you are, occasion little comment in New York City and, once accomplished, few New Yorkers bother to look up at the tall buildings around them lest they be mistaken for tourists.
Stopping outside a dark apartment with no furniture inside, I stripped out of my clothes and assumed my natural form. It was one of the first hot nights of summer and, as I ascended, many of the windows I passed were open to the evening air. When I reached Ceilidh's floor, I found her bedroom window by the clear scent of the perfume she'd been wearing that afternoon and a strong overlay of clove cigarettes.
I curled up to wait. With the setting sun's warmth on my pelt, I dozed. In deference to human custom, I had been sleeping only ten hours a day and it simply caught up with me.
Waking to the sound of Ceilidh's name, I realized I'd been hearing it for some time. The sight that greeted me took a few seconds to process. My extremely friendly barista, now bereft of her green and white uniform, was tangled up face-down between a pair long, tan legs. They are in sharp contrast to her own naturally preternatural complexion. The owner of those legs was crying out her name, arching her back and resting most of her weight on her shoulders and heels.
Once I realized what was happening, I mourned at having slept through the preliminaries. That turned out to be like missing the first part of a fireworks display and only waking to see the twenty-minute crescendo where it seems like every bottle rocket, Roman candle, and cherry bomb in the world is going off at once. I couldn't see what Ceilidh was doing, but the other woman's response was both symphonic and operatic.
When they were both lying flat on their backs, trying to catch their breath, the blond woman finally said. "God, Ceilidh. I'm ... glad I didn't know it was going to be that good."
Ceilidh raised her head and smirked. "Why's that?"
"I don't think I would have waited until you moved out." The blonde reached up and stroked Ceilidh's black hair. "I almost didn't a couple of times."
Ceilidh kissed her. "Why did you, Summer? Wanted to wait until you were leaving the country for a year?"
Summer shook her head. "This is the first time neither of us lived with Mom and Dad. I know they take things in stride pretty well, but this..."
Ceilidh laughed. "This might be a fatal blow to their 'Free to be You and Me' Weltanschauung if they found out."
"So ... they shouldn't find out. Right?" Summer sounded almost apologetic.
Ceilidh raised an eyebrow. "Do you tell them everything about your love life now?"
"God no!" Summer kissed the crook of her neck.
"Me neither." Ceilidh sighed, her hips rising. "This will just be one of those things they don't need to know about."
"So, you're not mad that I want to keep this a secret." Summer's hand traced down Ceilidh's body, one fingertip tracing a line from breast to hip.
Ceilidh shook her head. "No. You're not going to get all weird about this. Are you?"
Summer's hand glided between Ceilidh's thighs, which opened to greet her. "Of course not. I wouldn't want sex with my stepsister to get weird or anything."
"Good." Ceilidh raised her hips to meet Summer's fingers. "Just ... don't be too much of a girl about it. All right?"
This is what I mean when I say humans needlessly complicate sex in a way that makes it infinitely more interesting. As a cat, your litter is also your first dating pool. And by "dating pool," we mean the group of queens that, when they go into heat, we'll fuck them if we can get to them first (or second or any time before they run off. It's a special magic of kittens that you look at them and see only a fluffy ball of cuteness, not a stone-cold alpha predator conceived in an incestuous gangbang.)
The idea of any action, sexual or not, being forbidden is unique to dogs and humans. The difference between them is that some humans will do things they know to be forbidden and enjoy them all the more for it. Ceilidh seems to live in perfect balance on the subject. She has a keen appreciation of the forbidden matched only by her blatant disregard thereof.
All of this occurred to me while I watched Summer go down on Ceilidh - not the par specifically about Ceilidh, who I didn't know yet, but the rest. I also started to think that Ceilidh and Summer's situation would make a good story for other humans to read. Spending time as Tomov, I'd started to learn about money and the difference between stealing and buying, something most cats are hazy on at best. I needed to find something people would give me money for. On that same night when so much changed, author Tom Frost was conceived.
I never did write Ceilidh and Summer's story before now. As I've said before, I feel a certain protectiveness towards my friends. I wasn't sure I could fictionalize such an account to the point where, even with the names changed and the serial numbers filed off, Ceilidh wouldn't be instantly recognizable to anyone who knew her.
Events have since overtaken the story. Mr. and Mrs. Foster know about both their daughters' proclivities and Summer's crush. They may not know it was consummated, but if they're readers of mine, I like to think they're sufficiently open-minded that their Weltanschauung will survive.
If my mind drifted momentarily from the glorious tableau in front of me, it was drawn back quickly by Ceilidh calling out her sister's name. There were notes of surprise and respect in her voice, replaced in each iteration with pure pleasure as the sharp, acrid scent of her climax filled the room.
Eventually, Ceilidh's cries took on a tinge of panic. "God, Summer. Stop. You're going to kill me!" When Summer complied, curling up against her, she asked, "Where in the hell did you learn that?"
Summer grinned. "What do you mean?"
Ceilidh laughed. "That was not the first time you did that. You must have learned it somewhere."
Summer shrugged, but irritation flickered across her features. "I learned. Does it matter where? This was awkward enough without having to figure out where everything was at the same time."
Ceilidh didn't answer, rolling on her side to look out onto the fire escape. "We have a visitor."
I looked back over my shoulder to see who she was talking about. So wrapped up in Ceilidh and Summer's drama, even I had managed to forget I was there watching.
Summer shifted so she could see me. "Wow. He's beautiful. Is he yours?"
Ceilidh shook her head, rising from the bed to come put a hand out to me. "Nope. I think he might be a stray."
In the past, I may have bristled at the word "stray." It implies an unruliness or even being unwelcome. Food service workers wear hair nets to prevent stray hairs ending up in your food and I quite approve. I, however, am not stray. I am itinerant.
At that moment, I didn't even notice the word. I was too busy sniffing Ceilidh's fingers. They smelled like sex and cappuccino - two of my all-time favorite things.
"Wait. What if he's feral?"
Ceilidh picked me up, snuggled me to her chest, and stroked under my chin. "He's not feral. He's a purebred. I've seen him around. Either he escaped from somewhere nearby or he lives in another apartment in the building.
The lie was so facile and I was so distracted by being pressed between Ceilidh's lovely breasts that I didn't even notice it until much later. I still don't know why she lied or how she knew I wasn't going to turn around and bite her.
"What if his owners are looking for him?" Summer asked, but it was clearly a pro-forma protest. As Ceilidh carried me over, she reached out to pet my soft, fuzzy underbelly.
"We'll leave the window open," said Ceilidh, climbing back into bed with me in her arms. "If he wants to leave, he can."
Summer curled up so that I was pressed between her chest and her sister's. "What do you think he was doing out there?"
Ceilidh laughed. "I think he just likes to watch."
And so I joined Ceilidh and Summer's odd little household. From listening to them, I would learn that the apartment building we were in belonged to their parents and that Ceilidh was staying there only until school started. Summer was spending the week in New York before leaving to study in France for a year. Along with the unopened moving boxes littering the apartment, it gave the whole situation an air of impermanence and for the first couple of days, it seemed like we lived without consequences.
We also lived largely without clothes. I took an opportunity to retrieve mine and stash them behind a cardboard box marked "Ceilidh's Stuff," but staying in cat form meant I had no need to put them on. Ceilidh and Summer rarely got past a pair of panties before they were dragging each other back into bed.
As for me, Ceilidh was right. I did like to watch. I also liked to stay close. From the first, I slept between them, their twinned heartbeats in my ears. In my own way, I got as much attention as either girl, being picked up, cuddled, and cosseted every time they stopped to take a breath. At one point, I remember being picked up while I was sleeping and waking up curled in the small of Summer's back.
This lasted for two days and it was bliss. In cat form, the pressure to have sex with these women was dulled. It was a function of my human form. But my mind remained clear and I understood (on an intellectual level at least) the pleasure humans get from dabbling with the forbidden.
On the night of the third day, Summer said, "We should go dancing. I can't spend the whole week in New York and never leave this apartment."
"Cool," said Ceilidh. "Let's go dancing."
I watched them dress, fascinated by the process. If you have never watched two women dress to go out, I heartily recommend it, but get a nap first. It's a lengthy process and in this case, I dozed off while they were still trying on dresses for each other.
"Are you angry?"
I woke in darkness to the sound of the two of them returning from wherever they'd been and Summer sounding worried.
"Why would I be angry?" Ceilidh asked a little too casually to be entirely sincere.
"That thing you said about calling you my stepsister..." Summer ventured. "It sounded angry."
"I was just curious." Ceilidh came into the bedroom shrugging. "It's the first time I heard you introduce me as your stepsister instead of just your sister. I'm used to you insisting there's no difference between stepsisters and real sisters."
"You are my real sister," Summer followed her in and hugged her. "'Stepsister' is just shorthand here for 'my real sister with whom I share no actual DNA so it's not at all weird that we're sleeping together.'"
Ceilidh smirked. "That's an interesting bit of shorthand. But, I'm not sure it was really any of Joao's business that we're sleeping together."
"Really?" Now, it was Summer's turn to smirk. "So, you weren't flirting mercilessly with him?"
Ceilidh laid her head on Summer's chest. "'I might have been a little merciless."
Summer kissed the top of her sister's head. "C'est vrai, ma belle dame sans merci."
For a while, there was no more speaking and I got to watch. Once they were mostly still, I leapt up onto the bed and licked the salty tears from Summer's cheeks.
"What's wrong?" Ceilidh asked.
"I just think about all the time I wasted," said Summer. "It was so stupid of me. Do you really think Mom and Dad would have cared?"
Ceilidh shook her head. "I think they would have worked so hard at being cool with it one or both of them would have had a stroke." She smiled. "Still, two years is a long time to wait. Isn't it?"
Summer rolled to look down at her. "You've known for two years?"
Ceilidh shook her head. "Not exactly. I know that right after I kicked Chet Whitely in the nuts for groping you, you got all weird and goopy around me. I didn't know you actually wanted to lick my pussy."