middled on one of Gemmama’s plenty big, black sateen bedtop veils in the backgarden. Soose was about to draw the curtain on our ceremony with a reading. As it goes, during the afternoon’s early, whilst Josiette prepared our pre-ceremony supp: her variation of Shepherd’s Pie (Culinary genius that she be, Miss Josiette spins the original receipt by merely substituting the word “Shepherdess” for the word “Shepherd” in its title. VOILA! A more favorful dish indeed!), andI stoved
(Pumpkin Streusel Pie)
for the desserting, Soose searched out Gemmama's library (in which the book is housed) for Mother’s from~when~she~was~a~little~girl edition of Margaret Embrey’s tender and charming and oh so sentimental Halloween story,
But first, if you asked our Moments Before, which found us on the coverlet under the outside night, this tale they would tell:
Howbeit I had chosen the name “Puddle” for Puddle upon my first looks at him, his formal Dubbing Ritual had not transpired until minutes ago, because it had to make waits until I settled on a Call Name before the rites could be made true. A Call Name is the name used by a cat’s keeper to literally call his or her pet. Typically, a one-syllable, peaky moniker works best. If it be more than one vocable, it most definitely must shrill the air upon meeting it to be effective.
We cast a magick circle in a clockwise manner and summoned the elemental spirits of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. On that occasion, in the circle’s center was lighted the lantern’s candle that had been anointed with a few driblets of Catnip essential oil. With arms like a loving cradle, I held my kitten; Josiette, likewise hers. We put gentle strokes to our animal’s fur, and when each began to purr, we visualized the feline surrounded by a protective aura of the whitest light and then nine times we did impart the following prayer (once for each of the cats' nine lives):
(Josiette spoke “Clarinet Teasweet”)
is the name I give thee.
Puddle Pie (Josiette again spoke "Clarinette Teasweet")
is the one who ye shall be.
And may the sound
of thy new name
Magick and power ninefold claim.
May ye live free and blessed be
By goddess Bastet. So mote it be!
After the recitations, a consecrated wand traced the scared symbol of the pentacle in the air over each kitten. Along with Soose, we did give thanks, sealing a name to each cat with a forehead kiss. Before uncasting our circle, we bade farewell to the elemental spirits and stilled the candle’s glow. Including sleepyheaded kittens, Josiette and I did then gave listens while Soose read to us frommy favorite childhood novel:
[INTRODUCTION] "Not more than four of five Halloweens ago there was a very young witch named Blanche who owned a broom, a back cat named Brockett, and a bright blue nose. She belonged to a very special scurry of witched, Scurry No. 13, known in the best witch circles all over the country for its beautiful flight formation.
The Grand Madame, who had been leader of the club for as long as any of them could remember, flew center front. She used a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom, and when she gunned her motor it sounded as exciting as a fire engine.
On the far right was Minnie Max waving her blood-red finger nails in the dark; they really did shine like rubies. And on the far left was Blanche’s best friend, Josephine, who had long yellow fluorescent teeth that gleamed like stars.
In between and a little behind flew the nine rather ordinary witches who were only expected to follow the Grand Madame’s lead, and cackle with horrid glee at appropriate times.
And last came Blanche, usually far, far behind. If it hadn’t been for her marvelous blue nose that she could turn on and off at will, she wouldn’t have been allowed in Scurry No. 13 at all...”
POSTSCRIPT: If a cat number two be in my stars, I shall name it