Nine Lives


Summary: Byakuya's life was calm and uneventful until he ended up being stuck with a cat. Nine snippets, no pairing, distinct lack of Yoruichi. Happy late Birthday Arwen.

-First Life-

The first time Byakuya saw the cat it was sunning itself on the engawa. At the time he had been too busy to shoo it away and months later when it was still around and had a name he would wonder if he could have prevented it that first time. But then he had thought nothing of it.

He only began to worry after the second time he tripped over the thing and then when he saw Rukia cuddling it.

When he asked her what she was doing she replied "Keeping Nori out of the koi pond." He realized he couldn't get rid of it now only after he wondered why Rukia had named it Paste.

-Second Life-

Two months later Byakuya found Nori in the koi pond for the first time. He had almost shunpoed to the pool before he realized that the cat wasn't fishing but swimming in the pond.

He asked Isane, who he knew fancied cats, about it the next time he met her after the Captains and Vice-Captains had been let out from their respective meetings.

"That," She said, "sounds like a Turkish Vann cat. They're the only kind that I've ever heard that likes water."

When he next had the chance he researched the breed and found that it looked nothing like Nori who was a traditional bob-tailed calico while the Vann cat was long haired and white except for orange marks on their heads and tails.

It was then that Byakuya decided Nori was, to put it kindly, mentally deficient.

-Third Life-

Shortly after Byakuya had pronounced the cat's limited mental capabilities it proved him wrong.

He had returned to his office to find Nori sprawled across his desk over his paperwork which he had left out for the ink to dry. It had smudged the ink into illegibility and had coated the cat's fur in a gray-black patina. The ink well had been knocked over and had soaked into papers he had yet to fill out, ruining them as well.

For a second Byakuya wondered how Nori had gotten in but then he saw the hole punched in the shoji screen's rice paper panel.

He only realized how cunning the cat had to have been after he had taken it back to the Kuchiki manor. It had penetrated Seireitei without raising any sort of alarm.

-Fourth Life-

"I cannot express how sorry I am, Byakuya-Nii-Sama" Rukia said bowing before her brother as well as forcing Nori the cat into the same position as she herself was.

Byakuya stared, resolutely keeping even the slightest flicker of emotion from darting across his face.

Once again he had been put in an awkward situation by that cat. This time it had burst through the shoji screen, again, and had dragged a struggling bird, now escaped through a window, and had presented it to him. Rukia had followed shortly, throwing the sliding screen open so violently that it was knocked off its tracks. She had then seen what she had interrupted, a meeting of the heads of the various branches of the Kuchiki clan, and had bowed, spewing apologies.

"We will speak of this later." He said turning away from his sister.

-Fifth Life-

Byakuya had reached an agreement with Rukia after his meeting. She could keep the cat so long as she kept it under control when dignitaries visited.

He decided that was punishment enough.

-Sixth Life-

Nori had shown up in late winter and had started shedding his thick coat by mid-spring. Around the same time Byakuya began sneezing.

At first it happened rarely enough that he thought it was only his servants and subordinates talking about him. But as time passed, he began to sneeze more and more often, and he started to wonder if he had caught an early summer cold. It was possible. In the Seireitei, disease was extremely rare, but not nonexistent.

Byakuya assumed he had simply caught a cold until it worsened to a degree that he was barely able to function. He was bedridden for nearly three days before he became desperate enough to call in the Fourth Division.

He was stunned when the Third Seat had told him he had moderate cat allergies and should be taking medication if he intended to keep the animal.

-Seventh Life-

He had proven once more that he could not resist Rukia's pleading expression after attempting twice to shoo the cat away. It seemed to have claimed him as its own, as well as his bedroom.

He began to look for ways to keep the cat out of his quarters.

He covered the floor in tin foil, supposedly cats didn't like the feel of it on their feet, and all he managed to do was make his own feet cold. He moved to another room and the cat followed him. He slept with the shoji doors latched shut, but Nori simply clawed through the rice paper panels. Byakuya tried solid wood panel dividers and Nori began climbing up into the rafters to reach him.

Luckily Byakuya's allergies disappeared after Nori stopped shedding his winter coat.

-Eighth Life-

Unfortunately for Byakuya, evidence of Nori's shedding lasted much, much longer than the shed itself. At first he hadn't realized that the cat had left hair all over the back of his Shihakusho. He only found out when Renji asked him when he got the cat.

After that he stopped laying out his next morning's clothes.

-Ninth Life-

Nori was missing. And Byakuya was unexpectedly worried.

He had grown close to the cat. Expecting its nuisance and then finding it absent threw his morning routine in a way he would never tell anyone. He searched for the cat frantically, which for him meant moving at a slightly faster than normal pace.

He moved through all off the rooms at least once, and when he felt as if there was no other place to look he thought of the one place he hadn't yet checked. Underneath the engawa.

He kneeled to his hands and knees, using a weak kido to light the space under the house, and was relived and awed by what he saw. Nori was safe under the engawa, as well as her new kittens.

Byakuya was amazed by the new life, so rare in Soul Society, not even wondering when the cat had become pregnant.

At least until he noticed the Nori had given birth on his scarf.


-engawa- the porch on traditional Japanese houses

-Turkish Vann cats- a REAL breed of cat that is known among cat fanciers for its love of water.

-bringing a near dead bird?- a cat will bring almost dead animals to its kittens in order to teach them to hunt. So Nori either thought of Byakuya as her kitten or that he needed hunting practice

-Fifth Life- This makes me think of Rukia tripping over herself trying to herd the proverbial cats

-Allergies- as the TV commercials tell us, allergies can start at any time, though generally the more serious (food, sunlight, ect...) ones don't just come out of nowhere

-Tin foil- Supposedly this works, but I seriously doubt it

-Cat hair- I speak from experience, Calico cats also are notable for having hair that stands out on clothes regardless of color

Authors Note

This is for Arwen as a terribly belated Birthday present. Tell me if you think it was good, I take anonymous reviews, and if you're really lazy you can copy paste 'Good job.' Into the review. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES! XD