Welcome to TUESDAY TALES. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘mother’.
This WIP, A Pocket Full of Posies, features twelve diverse women navigating life’s obstacles on their very different journeys.
This segment continues with Rosemary, a single woman struggling to keep a small, independent animal shelter functioning, despite obstacles from county regulations and never having enough funds to meet all the needs. Three orphan kittens have just joined her growing furry community.
Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great story snippets.
“Settle down Lenox, You’re next,” Rosemary called out to the towering Great Dane with its paws perched on the top of the fence and its jowls hanging higher than Rosemary’s head.
Her shoulders drooped with fatigue. She brushed her dust bespeckled bangs off her face as she looked around and assessed how many more pens she had to clean before her day was over. I’m dragging, she thought. This getting up every two hours nonsense is meant for someone much younger.
She patted the little pug, Homer, whose enclosure she’d just cleaned, on top of his head. She slipped him a doggie treat from her pocket. As she left and approached the next gate, Lenox started jumping and woofing; deep, rumbling sounds. Homer, not much larger than Lenox’ head, took up the challenge and rushed at the common fence, barking furiously, knowing he could stand his ground against the lumbering giant. The other shelter inhabitants joined the chorus with accompanying yaps, howls and cries, each wanting attention and wanting it now.
The howling symphony masked the arrival of a car approaching. Rosemary didn’t see it arrive until it came to a stop sending up a plume of dust. A blond dynamo hopped out of the passenger side as her lanky, laid back husband eased out from the driver’s seat.
“Nora!” Rosemary dropped her tools and headed towards the car. “This is a surprise. I thought you two were in Galveston.”
“We were. We had to come back a day early. One of Steve’s construction sites had a problem we have to come handle. We had to swing by on the way home and see the three newest kittens.”
Rosemary headed towards the office and motioned for her guests to follow her. “They’re in here, where I’ve been working most of the day.” She stopped mid stride and slapped her forehead. “Damn! I was supposed to call Clyde back today.” She glanced at her watch. “Too late now. It will have to wait until Monday.”
“Clyde? The building inspector for the County?”
“Yeppers. That’s the one.”
“What’s he want now?” Nora rolled her eyes in disdain.
“He’s trying to schedule an inspection for the fencing. I should have two more weeks. I double-checked my paperwork this morning. Guess it doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t have the money to buy the materials I need, whether it’s next week or the week after. There was something about the signage out front too. It doesn’t meet the code specifications.”
The conversation ended abruptly as Nora found the heated box with three tiny kittens. “Ohhhhhh,” she exclaimed, lifting each one out and snuggling them to her chest. “The poor little things. How sad, to lose their mother like they did. And so young.”
Meow. Meow. MEOW! The tiniest shorthaired kitten began calling for food. Nuzzling and searching for something to eat.
“Have you sexed them yet?” Nora asked.
“I think this little loudmouth is a boy.” Rosemary pointed to the vocal one of the trio. “And I think the two longhaired twins are girls.”
“They’re precious,” Steve said. “You won’t have any trouble finding homes for these three.”
“Well …..” Rosemary fidgeted and looked at the ceiling.
A grin spread across Nora’s face. “You’re not going to part with these three, are you?”
Rosemary stalled and leaned over to stroke the little boys head. “You know how it is. Scooter and I have already bonded. He already thinks I’m his new mama. Dakota and Skittles aren’t quite as happy about it, but they’re so sweet. I can’t break up the siblings, not after being orphaned like this.”
“You’ve already named them?” Steve laughed. “You’re right. They’re already yours.”
Nora sat the squirmy kittens back in the box. “A thought’s been running through my brain. I think I have an idea that may help get donations for the building materials you need. And, maybe a little extra to purchase food and medicines.”
She turned and looked towards her husband.
“Ut oh,” Steve said. “The wheels are turning in that pretty little head. And I think I’m involved somehow.”