Archive for the ‘Ignatius Skye’ Category

IGNATIUS SKYE, Ship’s Cat

PROLOGUE


Ignatius Skye was alone.  With his good eye he peered wearily out at the rocking sea from his perch atop the crosstrees, the only piece of wreckage still afloat after the scuttling of the HMS Oracle.  Turquoise ocean stretched calm in every direction, and blissful tropical weather prevailed, but Ignatius Skye was one worried cat.  Thirst for fresh water prickled on his tongue.  Longing for his soft-woven cushion in the window at Number 4 Tide Street, Boston, crested higher than ever.  This time Ignatius Skye had drifted too far.


PART FIRST

Boston, 1783


CHAPTER 1

LAND AND SEA

In the darkening garret, Isobel Skye lay with her litter of kittens.

“They look like things that have been boiled and spat out,” she thought, looking at her brood.

They were scrawny with pink skin showing through thin, wet fur.  Their eyes were clamped shut into slits that looked sewn shut.  Tiny plugs of ears jutted from the sides of their heads. Isobel knew that before long their raw, newborn looks would change.  Soon she would see their eyes and hear their voices mewling for food.

The abandoned house was cold. Soldiers had made a wreck of it during Boston’s Siege.  With the war finally over, Isobel hoped that the Jeffers family – the Deacon, Sally and their children – would return to the clapboard Yankee house and make Isobel’s world whole again.  Home for the Jeffers was here, at Number 4 Tide Street.  Home is where any family should be.

Isobel turned to the task at hand.  She was a seasoned mother and had sent other offspring into the world with the skills they’d need to survive.  She would begin again with this batch, starting with their names.  Isobel would copy Sally Jeffers and give each one a name that began with same initial letter as hers.

Innika was pure white with a spike of black on her tail.  Ivan was a feisty ginger cat.  Indigo claimed an inky, blue-black coat. Isaac was a classic tabby male. Last, and smallest, was Ignatius, the runt of the litter.  His tiny body and legs were white.  Seven toes on each front paw and six on the back, gave him more toes than his siblings and most other cats.  They made his feet look big and flat, as if he were wearing mittens.  A cape of gray striped his back and covered his ears, forming a mask above his eyes.  His eyes.  Through the narrow opening, Isobel caught the briefest glimpse.  The right eye shone the bluest of ocean blues; the left glimmered  a tawny, earthen gold.  Ignatius Skye bore the colors of land and sea.

Isobel licked each kitten clean and set it to nestle with the others.  Once they were comfortable,  she did the thing that came most naturally.  She rested herself…