Happy Birthday, jaxomsride!
Avon and Anna the Kitten: Training: Part 2
“Avon, can your cat tell the time?” Vila asked as he directed a hand torch inside the open teleport console. He eyed little Anna sitting on the panel just above them. She was staring intently at the numbers of the chronometer display, her ears flicking with excitement as each minute number changed.
Avon lay back on the ground, his hands and his head stuck inside the interior of the console. His voice was muffled. “Of course not. What a ridiculous notion.”
Keeping one eye on the glowing red numbers, the little kitten meticulously licked her paw. The minutes changed. 58. She gave a wide yawn. 59. The other paw needed a little attention, but not too long.
16:00:00. Anna gave a satisfied little meow, got up and arched her back. When she was ready, she leapt off the bench with an energetic push of her hind legs, landing silently on padded feet.
Vila watched her with fascination. Of course, he was extremely bored and anything was a welcome distraction. Little Anna poked her head around the corner, her ears pointed and alert, her eyes bright with anticipation. She padded silently over to Avon and jumped up on his lap.
Avon jerked in surprise, followed by a bumping sound and a grunt of pain. “Anna.” He shuffled on his elbows, extricating himself from the panel and stared at her with displeasure as he rubbed his forehead. “You should not interrupt me when I’m working.”
Little Anna looked up at him with apologetic eyes.
Avon sighed; even he wasn’t immune to the potent power of those soft eyes when she looked at him with such trust and love. She butted his hand with her head and looked up expectantly.
“You’re impatient today.” He glanced at his black-banded wrist chronometer. “Ah. I lost track of time.” Anna gave a little meow of agreement.
“Next time a simple meow will suffice.”
Anna meowed louder and rubbed her head against his hand. "I still have work to do, but as it was my error, we will make an exception." The Kitten purred in appreciation as he began stroking her soft velvety fur.
“Vila, your services are not required for the next half hour.”
There was a plaintive little meow and the big soft eyes looked up at him. "Make that one hour."
Vila switched off the hand torch. “Time for a break, is it? It’s about time.”
Rumbling purrs emanated from the contented kitten and her eyes were half-lidded in pleasure. Avon found it a soothing sound, calming nerves stretched too tight and giving him a sense of peace. This happened with Cally too. Avon wondered…
“What are you doing?” asked Vila.
Avon blinked and stared at him. "Isn't it obvious?" he asked with a tone of challenge. Of course Vila's curiosity, not to mention a chance to rib the coldly rational Alpha, overrode any warnings or common sense.
“Well, I know what you’re doing. But I never thought you'd do something so…sentimental." He was trying not to smirk but it only made the corner of his lips quiver. "I mean, petting a kitten isn’t ‘functionally relevant’, is it?”
Both Avon and the Kitten glared at him. The tip of Anna's tail flicked at Vila in a feline version of a displeased, if not an impolite, gesture. Apparently, she didn't like the idea that petting her wasn't considered, ‘functionally relevant.’ At least, that was what it seemed to say to Vila, though he could have been imagining it.
“Cats require regular physical contact with their owners. It aids in the bonding process,” Avon said factually.
"Do you know what I think?"
"Sometimes I wonder why you bother asking."
Vila grinned. "Well, I think Anna can tell the time."
“You’re delusional. It is simply a matter of training. Animals have a well-developed internal clock. If you establish a regular routine, they will follow it."
Anna meowed in complaint and butted her head against Avon's still hand. He looked down and began stroking her again. "I was preoccupied." She gave a long meow as if to say that he was forgiven as long as he didn't stop again.
Vila slipped out as man and beast bonded. He looked back at the contented pair and wondered if Avon had trained Anna or - he smirked - if it was the other way around. He was about to leave when he turned back to look at them again. Avon was talking to the Kitten, telling her about the improvements he was making to the teleport as he scratched under her chin. Anna purred with pleasure and encouragement, and she regarded him with fascination, giving the occasional meow as if she understood what he was saying and was very interested. Which of course, Vila couldn't see how she could be...
He smiled and left.