The movie was over, and since Varick and I weren't in the throes of passion, Chris and Simy gave us their attention.
"Let's see this fuzzbutt," the heavyset Chris said, getting out of the recliner. Simy fetched the box and started unpacking kitten accouterments.
Kitten protested only briefly as I handed him over, then leaned up to sniff Chris's beard. My animal senses weren't working as strongly as they had in the kitchen, but I could tell Kitten was happy.
Varick stayed out of the way, but I felt him watching me.
"He's cute." Chris ruffled his head and handed him back. "He come with a name?" This directed at the vampire.
"I believe he will pick a name when he is ready." He moved closer, laying a hand in the small of my back as he rubbed Kitten's head. "Something suitable."
"Just so long as it isn't Mittens, that's all I'll say." Chris glanced at where Simy was unpacking.
"Dude, is there anything you didn't get?" Simy asked. Spread out on the coffee table, there certainly seemed to be a lot of stuff.
"I recall cats to be finicky creatures. The breeder said Maine Coons are not high strung, just demanding and discerning."
"Finicky," Chris said, returning to the chair.
Nuzzling Kitten, I wondered if he really would tell me his name. Or would it just come to me, intuitively? "Can't be any worse than dealing with you two." We all laughed.
"Litter and box. Food, wet and dry." Varick rattled off the inventory. "Balls, mice, bells, feathers, stick. Catnip. Treats. Bed, brush, clippers, dishes, mat."
"That is thorough." I took Kitten to the table and set him amongst the booty. "There has to be something in here he likes.
Sniffing briefly at a pack of fur mice, Kitten began to explore. He had none of a cat's grace yet, and stumbled through the items. Tail up and ears pricked, Kitten moved to each item at his own pace. I sat down, content to just watch.
We all were.
Varick rmoved his coat, then joined me on the floor, putting an arm around my shoulders. I turned and smiled at him. "Thank you."
He smiled back, then kissed my forehead. "You already thanked me."
"I'm just so...happy about him. I never even knew I wanted a kitten until now. It's perfect." I kissed him.
"Kitty, no!" Simy shouted. I turned just in time to watch Kitten make a leap for the Christmas tree. Simy made a grab for him, but he was already in the air.
The gap between table and tree was about eighteen inches, and he almost made it. Paws touched the lowest branch, and Kitten flailed as he desperately tried to catch hold.
But he wasn't that skilled yet.
We laughed, and I crawled to him. He sat with all the dignity a baby could muster, ears halfway back. I laughed even harder, poking him on the nose. "Don't worry, you'll get it." He merely blinked at me.
The evening passed with joy and humor, the four of us playing with the kitten and suggesting names. Nothing stuck, so I continued thinking of him as Kitten. He'd figure out his name in time.
Kitten eventually got tired and wound down. Chris went to bed, and Simy got him food and water. I tried to get my little one to settle in the kitty cushion, but he had no interest in it.
Instead, he insisted I let him get into the big box. Shaking my head, but smiling, I put him in. Varick dropped his coat in, and Kitten purred contentedly.
"He was obsessed with my coat at home," the vampire explained.
"Thanks for the loan." Simy returned with two small dishes, one food, one water. "You mind if those go in with him?"
"Anything to please Liebchen and Katzchen." I bit my tongue stud as I fought my reaction to his endearing words.
Simy yawned, petting kitten a final time. "Little guy is tuckered out." The purrs were dying down as he snuggled into leather. "Too tired even for a drink. I'll have one for you, mate." The kiwi gave me a hug, nodded at Varick, then started up the stairs.
I became painfully aware we were alone when Simy's door closed.