Clare Chase takes up where AnneMarie Brear left off yesterday for the penultimate part of our Mother’s Day Robin Romance. Let’s see how the ‘little mother’ is getting on- and Rob and Lily of course!
Make sure you read right until the end to see the next question for our competition.
Lily was fascinated to see the mother cat cleaning the new black kitten, doing all the things a well-trained midwife might, completely by instinct.
She caught Rob looking up at her, his face lit by a smile.
‘It took my breath away too,’ he said, ‘the first time I saw a cat produce a litter.’
Lily crouched down next to him as the mother prepared to deliver a second. ‘I just never expected it would come so naturally.’
Rob nodded. ‘That’s why I told you not to worry. They seldom have any trouble.’
She glanced at him. ‘I’m sorry I interrupted your evening.’
‘It is my job, after all.’ He turned towards her. ‘Didn’t happen to be great timing, but I’m glad to see this now I’m here. I shouldn’t get blasé about the chance to watch something so special.’ And then he turned to look back at the scene, and his arm brushed hers.
Their eyes met again. ‘Sorry,’ he said.
But he didn’t look that sorry. She felt herself blushing. Gazing at a gorgeous man was one thing, but the unexpected physical contact sent a shiver down her spine.
At that moment, the second kitten arrived, and she used the distraction to get up and go back to the kitchen. He’d said he wanted plenty of coffee, and now might be the time to get it.
Jo took one look at her expression and rolled her eyes. ‘Blimey. I can see the sight of a cat’s afterbirth hasn’t cooled your ardour. You are so cut out to date a vet.’
Lily huffed as she went to fill the kettle. ‘It’s no use talking like that. He loves animals, so he’s glad he’s here, but he’d rather be back at home with the mystery woman. My call clearly came at an awkward moment. He mustn’t find out what I’m thinking, or he might take fright and leave before it’s all over!’
Back in the living room, the mother cat was at work again, tending to a third kitten that had arrived. Lily watched as its siblings snuggled up to try to suckle, whilst being nudged and bumped, due to the other activity in the box.
She re-filled Rob’s mug with coffee.
In no time, it looked as though the mother was ready to deliver yet another kitten.
‘This might well be the last,’ Rob said.
It was only a minute before Lily sensed there was something wrong. The mother cat was trying, but the next kitten didn’t appear. She watched as a frown traced its way across Rob’s face. He put his coffee down.
‘Might have to check her over,’ he said, reaching inside the box. ‘Have you got something extra to keep the kittens warm whilst I hold her? Be good if it’s clean. If it smells too much of you it might stop them bonding with mum.’
Lily dashed upstairs and grabbed a soft fleecy throw from a cupboard, ignoring Jo’s look of horror from the kitchen doorway as she wrapped it round the damp looking new-borns.
Rob was manipulating the mother cat’s abdomen.
‘What is it?’
‘There’s just one kitten left, but the position of its head’s wrong. If I was in the surgery I’d have the option of a C-section, but we’re just going to have to hope manipulation works. It often does. Or so I’m told.’ He looked at her. ‘I haven’t actually done this before.’
Lily bit her lip as he worked. Half-watching, she tried to make sure the fleece stayed snuggly round the other kittens.
And then suddenly Rob’s expression cleared. ‘I think we might be in business.’ He put the mother cat back in the box, leaving some space between her and the new-borns, and within a minute, a fourth kitten appeared, tiny, but very much alive.
Lily realised there were tears in her eyes, and when Rob looked up, she could see he was battling emotion too.
He shook his head, and turned to her. ‘Not the kind of thing you ever get used to. Thanks for finding that fleece so quickly.’
And then he put his hand on her arm. Maybe it was the fresh emotion, or the fact that it was deliberate this time, but full-scale rockets went off. Hell. She was sure he’d noticed.
And then his mobile went again.
Aww, can’t get much better than that – newborn kittens and a spark of romance. But who keeps phoning Rob? We’ll reveal all in the final part of our Round Robin by Kathryn Freeman tomorrow!
If you’d like the chance to win a mystery prize in celebration of Mother’s Day, make sure you come back every day until Sunday so you can answer all five questions. You will need to read right until the end of each part to answer. We will give contact details of where to send your answers to on the final day of the Round Robin. Please wait until the end of the story to send in your answers.
The fourth question is: What does Lily fetch from the cupboard to help keep the newborn kittens warm?
If you enjoyed Clare’s writing, make sure you check out her NEW ‘Death by Choc Lit’ novel, A Stranger’s House, available as a Kindle eBook HERE.