Still Life With Secretary

Author note: OK, for some reason Ms. Ealand decided to be Millicent this time … Dedicated to Hoodie and Fignutz who decided to argue over my lap.

What Miss Ealand Says smallAfter a long day at work, Millicent Ealand opened the door to her flat to be greeted with a pounce and a fluff

“Good evening,” she greeted the cats in her most dulcet tones. It was late and Georges was irate. The bulk of the big gray tabby sat on the occasional table in the entry way, back to the door, ignoring her. The puffball attacking her toes had no such reticence. “GloryFall, you’re a loon.”

She scooped the scatter brained looking calico into her arms and headed toward the kitchen where she poured dried kibble into two dishes for the cats and set about putting away her groceries. Georges sauntered into the kitchen where GF was busilly scattering both dishes and kibble all over the floor like the mighty huntress she was.

The external door opened and closed. “Mom?”

“In here. I’ve brought Chinese. Want some?” She turned to look as her amazing son walked in. From touseled dark hair to his smiling eyes he was much like his father. His height was something else again, at six foot four, he towered over everyone in the family.

“Ah, Chineeessee,” he repeated. “Tons of it, I hope. I’ve got homework. Tons of it …” he said as he dropped his back pack onto one of the stools at the breakfast bar. “Hey, you’re supposed to keep that in the bowl,” he chided the smaller cat who left off chasing the kibble around the floor and attacked his shoelaces instead. “Whose bright idea was she again?”

Millicent laughed gently. “Yours. You found her.”

“Yeah. Hey, Georges, how’s the grand old man?”

The big tabby sat by his bowl continuing to look dignified as only a mature cat could. He deigned to let the young man rub his head, minimally admitting he appreciated the rub with a slight push against the hand and a fractional warm noise that wasn’t quite a purr. GloryFall, on the other hand, demanded attention with a rusty cry and was rewarded with being picked up. She raced up his arm to perch on his shoulder and rub madly against his head, neck, ears and face in the most indiscriminate manner while kicking her purr into high revs, much like a motorboat.

“She certainly knows who to thank for her rescue,” his mother pointed out. “How’s uni?”

“Busy. Insane. Did I really decide I wanted to be an engineer?” he asked, unearthing a calculus book and a calculator from the depths of the back pack. “Out of my mind. Completely out of my mind.”

“Brian, it’s a good path and if you decide you really want to do something else, you know you’ve got my support.”

He looked up at her and smiled. “Yeah, I know.” He sighed at the books. “If I can get through this, I can get through anything, right? And I really think I’ve got some ideas that will work if I can just get enough groundwork laid to figure them out correctly. Guess I’ll stick with it.” He pried open a container. “Sweet and sour pork! Where’s the rice?”

Dinner proceeded with only a few hitches from GF sticking her nose in his mouth to try to follow the food.

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  1. This is such a delightful snippet about a character who remained very much in the ‘background’ as it were. Miss Ealand was an important mainstay in UFO but we never knew much about her, apart from the fact that she seemed utterly devoted to Ed Straker. I love the idea that she had a son at home, and a normal and busy home life. A very ‘un’-UFO look at her world but delightful all the same. Thankyou!

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