(Author's note: So, it was one of my first headcanons for Laurence that he loved cats. And then I was like: "Hey, he has like ten cats or something who can freely roam the church.
Before I knew it, I already thought up names, looks and personalities for the cats. And now I want to write some of the stories of them down. Enjoy!)
It was a miserable tiny little thing.
Fur as black as the night with eyes as yellow as a shining full moon, the kitten sat next to the gravestone of Laurence' parent's grave. Its fur was awfully ruffled, it looked dirty, probably covered in fleas and far too thin, but mostly the kitten was just... cute.
"Hey, little one, what are you doing here?", Laurence kneeled down, blinking slowly to communicate to the kitten that he meant no harm, but the motion was enough for the tiny thing to hiss at him and get into hiding.
Not far though, he still could see its tail sticking out from behind the graveyard.
"I wonder if your mom isn't around anymore too?", Laurence murmured to himself, getting up. He should get back to the church. Though as he left, he turned around to see the two yellow eyes peaking out behind the grave stone, looking at him.
On his way back to Cathedral Ward, Laurence noticed a store that would sell several fish products and before he knew it, his feet already had brought him inside it. The vendor inside gave him a professional smile and said: "Good afternoon, sir, how can I help..." before realization stroke and she bowed down, saying "Bless us with blood."
"Um, you can rise.", Laurence said. He would never got used to the citizens treating him like some holy figure. The woman did as told.
"What invited your presence in our humble little store, your grace?", she asked.
"I need some... dried fish treats. Can I get a few salmon ones?", Laurence asked.
"Of course.", the vendor said but Laurence didn't miss the surprise in her eyes. She probably thought he was going to request the most expensive fish for some church banquet or something there instead of some snack for animals. Soon he had a bag with treats in his hand and the vendor got some coins, which Laurence almost had to force on her, because she refused to take money of their "saviour."
Instead of going back to the church, Laurence went straight back to the graveyard. Unfortunately, the kitten was gone from his parent's grave.
"Hey kitty, are you still around?", Laurence called into the silence of the graveyard. "I have some goodies for you, little one." He walked through the graveyard, looking behind every gravestone he encountered until the ruffled little thing came into view. As it spotted Laurence, its fur and tail puffed up in an attempt to make it look bigger, but it only made it more adorable. Laurence felt like he had literal hearts in his eyes just watching it.
"Hey, little one, don't be mean, I have something for you.", Laurence said in the most soothing voice, dropping a fish treat on the ground and squatting down a few feet away from the kitten to simply watch.
Still puffed up, the kitten slowly came closer to sniff the treat... and then snatched it to run behind a gravestone with it, munching on it, still distrusting.
"You remind me a lot of Micolash.", Laurence murmured. "He looks as ruffled as you when he just came out of bed."
Once the first treat was ingested, the kitten came out from its hiding place. Upon seeing him, it hissed and puffed up again, but didn't back away as Laurence pulled another treat from the bag, tossing it on the ground.
Upon closer look it was apparent that this kitten was a stray without a colony or family. It just was too thin, too unkempt. It was barely old enough to be on its own and here it was, trying to survive. The sight tug on Laurence' heart strings as he kept tossing the treats on the ground, each one of them quickly being carried away and eaten until the kitten had enough of this procedure and just kept waiting on the spot for more treats.
Laurence always had wanted to keep a cat as a pet, but his parents had never allowed it and in Byrgenwerth it had impossible to keep any pets anyway. And then he had founded the Healing Church and had been far too busy to ever think about getting a pet, but here he was, feeding a stray kitten that would probably die in the next few days when nothing would happen.
In him a decision formed and as Laurence tossed the last treat on the ground, the moment the kitten had picked it up, his hands closed around its chest and he lifted it up, hiding it in the inner pockets of his coat, where the thing was screaming and squirming with distaste.
"Quiet, little one...", Laurence said, thinking that maybe he should have kept a few more treats to keep it still instead of having to tightly button up his coat around him, keeping it close to his body so that the kitten wouldn't escape. He could feel how warm it was. Without saying another word, Laurence made his way back to the church.
Thankfully once he had made it back, the kitten had gotten hoarse from screaming, but was still very much squirming. He needed to get to his office soon to give the poor thing some space. Before he could made it there though, he got held up by Florence, his secretary.
"Vicar, you wanted to be back sooner. Where have you been?", she said. "I had to reschedule some appointments because of your absence." She stopped as she noticed the squirming under Laurence' coat.
"Do you have mice in there?", she asked, squinting.
"Um...", Laurence started. How should he explain to his secretary, that he, the Vicar of the Healing Church, had been held up by a stray kitten which he couldn't resist to take with him? But now that she already was suspicious, there was no way he could find a suitable lie in time.
"Florence, come into my office with me.", he said, still holding the coat close.
"You don't really have mice hidden in your coat, don't you?", Florence said with a chuckle. "I know you do all kind of research for the holy blood, but that doesn't mean you have to go and get the test subjects yourself."
"Rats would be better for it anyway.", Laurence murmured. "It's not mice..." And as they entered his office and closed the door behind them, Laurence opened his coat to finally free the squirming kitten of its "prison", which jumped out of his coat and sat on the ground making large eyes, ears drooped, probably screaming in protest when it still would have a voice.
"That's a kitten...", Florence said, eyes wide. Her gaze went from the kitten to Laurence and realization dawned in her face when she saw how Laurence looked at the tiny cat.
"Isn't it just adorable?!", he said. "Doesn't it look like Micolash with the ruffled black fur and the big eyes? And it wouldn't shut up on the way here, it only stopped screaming because it got hoarse and I just couldn't let it out alone there..."
"Vicar Laurence, you don't have to convince me when you want to keep it, I am your secretary.", Florence said. "So, shall I get everything a cat needs? This one probably needs a bath first, look how dirty it is."
"Oh, I am taking care of that, you take care of everything else.", Laurence said, feeling a tiny but dumb about practically asking Florence permission to keep it.
"Of course.", Florence said and as she left he heard her already murmur what they would need. Laurence kneeled down to pick the ruffled thing from the floor. He had expected more resistance, but the kitten seemed to be exhausted enough from screaming and squirming earlier so much that it barely moved, instead kind of pressed into his hands.
Both hands around the kitten, keeping it secure and warm, Laurence made his way to the nearest bathroom and walked to the sink, where he turned the handle to let water fill it once he had closed the drain. The kitten hadn't done anything as the sound of water splashing kept echoing through the room, but once it stopped and Laurence lowered it to put into the sink, it hissed and squirmed with all its remaining strength.
"Come on, little one, you need to get cleaned from all this dirt. And when a few fleas die in the process that would be good too.", Laurence said, but the kitten stretched out all its four limbs to avoid being dipped in the water, its tail already looked like a brush.
Laurence knew that most cats didn't like water, but he also knew that the kitten had no other choice. He didn't want to hurt the tiny thing, but he probably had to be a bit more strict about it.
"I will not dunk your head underwater...", he murmured, as he tried to lower the kitten again, its claws clanking against the porcelain of the sink. "This won't hurt, so stop struggling..."
Before he knew it, the kitten already had struggled its way out of Laurence grip and was making a beeline for one of the stalls, probably intending to hiding in there.
"Oh, come on, there is no place to hide here!", Laurence yelled and went after the kitten, finding it huddled behind the toilet in this stall, still hissing. "Come on, let's get you cleaned up.", he said in the softest voice he could imagine, holding his hand out but it only prompted the kitten to lash out at him, a sharp pain flashed through his hand and a few drops of blood soon leaked out. This moment of distraction had been enough for the kitten to search a new hiding place. "Oh, now this is personal!", he hissed as he went on the hunt for the kitten.
A good twenty minutes later Laurence had a few new scratches on his hands and arms and the kitten finally was given a proper bath, now truly too exhausted to do anything about it anymore. Laurence asked himself if the kitten would even get properly clean, because inevitable some of the blood from his wounds had seeped into the water, tinting it a shade of red.
Once the kitten felt properly cleaned up, Laurence wrapped it into a towel. "...Haven't even checked if you are a boy or a girl yet...", he muttered, looking at the kitten. Of course it couldn't be determined from looks alone. Once he had dried the kitten up and it was hanging limp in his arm, he lifted the tail to check.
"...I think I am going to call you Mick.", Laurence said as he brought him back to his office with a smile.