She wakes him up every morning by placing her paws on his chest. He rises, groaning, pours his tea and eats kippers and toast. He puts half his breakfast in a saucer for her. She worries he’s getting too old for this, but it has been their routine for so many years. She watches, he mops. She prowls, he scrubs. There is not a soul in this castle who fully understands their connection. It began so many years ago; her abilities were so strong and he had none.
She worries that maybe he’s forgotten who she used to be, before the change, before the punishment. Once, she was human, a witch so powerful it almost made up for the fact that he was powerless. But she left him when they were still children, she fell in with the wrong sort.
She worries he doesn’t remember the time she showed up on his doorstep. It was the last time he saw her as a human. She begged him, pleaded that he take care of her. He was the only one left alive that loved her. Her punishment would become bearable if she came with him. He agreed, and that was the last she’d heard him speak of it.
The next time they met she was confined to a cat’s body, punished to live the rest of her days in feline form. Her task was now protecting the school she’d once attended. He took a job as caretaker and now so many years had passed them by.
She worries that he’s bitter, that he truly does hate all the children and the teachers and the entire castle. She worried that one day he’ll leave her.
But still he stays, eternally devoted to a cat with lamp-like eyes.