Cupcake Quarrel: Cat 2P England and Reader:
Drowning in cuts and scrapes, worry with a dash of fear, and debt, mountains of debt. You didn't know how this could have happened. How could a simple and small bakery in the middle of a busy area end up being an utter failure?
You flipped through the mountain of bills, panic twisting your grumbling stomach. You were going to be closed down any day now.
Tears burned your eyes and you pounded your fist against the counter. You were the failure, not the shop.
"Why?" you sobbed into the empty darkness that filled the shop.
You crumpled the bills in your hand and went to the back of the shop to file them away. You eyed the mixer. Baking had always made you happy. That's why you had started a bakery in the first place. But now it was bringing you nothing but trouble, sorrow, debt, and even hunger.
It was almost funny, working in a bakery and being hungry. You had to make your dollar stretch so you could keep this place open.
"What's the use?" you cried.
Suddenly you heard the doorbell jingle. "We're not open!" you said, rushing to the front and mentally cursing yourself for forgetting to lock up.
That's when you saw it, a small rain drenched cat with curious and bright blue eyes, waiting patiently in front of the counter.
"W-What?" you stuttered, wondering how a cat had pushed the door open.
It mewed happily and padded over to the display case, using its bright pink nose to point to a plain vanilla cupcake. It returned its attention to you, almost like it was expecting you to serve him.
You went over to the cat, and kneeled. "Hi Honey," you cooed softly, running a hand through its wet fur, it purred. "Are you lost?" You ran a hand over his neck, no collar.
It made a sound, almost like a whine and arched its back, rubbing against your legs and outstretched arm. After it circled around you, it sat down and looked up at you expectantly.
You giggled, "I guess I can get you some food."
It mewed happily and waited while you washed your hands and got the cupcake out. It tore apart the cupcake the minute you set it down; you hoped you had enough time to grab a towel.
When you returned with a towel, the cat was still eating, purring happily as he lapped at the vanilla icing. You waited until he was finished to dry him off, the damp fur slowly drying into bright red fur with freckles of brown across his white muzzle.
After he was dried off he looked back hopefully at the display case.
You sighed and ruffled his ears. "Sorry Cupcake, I can't afford it."
He almost looked sad, which actually made you giggle. You picked up the cat, which you decided to call Cupcake, and brought him to your apartment above the bakery.
You spent most of the night curled up with a pile of taxes and Cupcake curled up on the couch next to you, happily sleeping as you stroked his fur. By the end of the night you had no problem with him sleeping at the foot of your bed, at least he warmed your feet.
A soft meow and a nose nuzzle made you open your eyes the next morning to be greeted by a pair of light blue eyes. "Hey Cupcake," you cooed, scratching him (you had checked) behind the ears.
Cupcake let out a happy purr and nestled closer. You smiled, threw the covers off and picked him up, cradling him in your arms while you walked to the kitchen.
That morning it was cereal for you and (after some quick research) cooked eggs for the cat. Now you just had to decide what to do with him. Leaving him in the shop was right out, and you could see him eyeing your curtains so the apartment was out too.
In the end you decided to risk it and keep him outside, making him a bed out of a basket and an old blanket. You set it by the shop's door, where to Cupcake's delight and comfort, a good amount of sun was shining.
You stood and watched Cupcake for a minute. He was happily resting on the old blanket and soaking in the sun. You almost felt envious of the cat's carefree life style, but couldn't remain mad when just for a moment; he slightly opened his bright blue eyes and purred.
Your heart melted and you went back inside, a strange feeling, maybe hope, dancing within.
It was midafternoon when it happened. The doorbell jingled and Cupcake padded inside. That wasn't the surprising thing though, it was the person who had let him in - a young woman pulling along a child who was entertained by Cupcake's sweeping tail.
The lady smiled the moment she entered the shop, almost as if some sort of calm took over her. That's what you were aiming for with the shop and were happy it was working on the lady. The little boy on the other hand had abandoned his fruitless efforts to grab Cupcake's tail and now pressed against the display case, awing over the larger chocolate and sprinkle cupcakes.
He turned to his mother. "Mommy!" he whined, pointing to the cupcake.
The mother smiled and joined him at the counter. "Can I have a coffee and one of those chocolate cupcakes?"
"Sure!" you said.
Now the mom and son sat at one of the tables and enjoyed their food, especially the young boy who was tearing apart the cupcake while Cupcake cleaned up the crumbs, before you put him back outside.
They followed you. "Thank you for your business! Come again soon!" you called after them.
The little boy turned to smile and wave and you heard him ask his mom if they could come back. It seemed you had gotten a customer. You looked down at Cupcake. "Was this you're doing?" you cooed, scratching him behind to ears.
It was meant as a joke, but the way Cupcake's eyes looked at you, almost snarky, you had a gut twisting feeling he had indeed brought you those costumers. With one last pat on the head you went back inside and washed your hands, not expecting any more customers for the day.
But boy you were wrong. Soon customers had started to file in and you didn't have the time to check why, being too busy helping someone or putting together a fresh batch of something. Really you were almost in tears by how much work you had to do, but not in a bad way. You were so happy people were coming into your shop, buying treats and drinks, sitting down for a quick chat; a few people even took business cards.
By the end of the day you were exhausted, but overjoyed. Hopefully business would continue, yet there was one thing that nagged you. You had a strange suspicion that Cupcake's sudden appearance had something to do with the new flow of customers.
It was a crazy idea, Cupcake being responsible for your success. He was a cat for Pete's sake! He couldn't just walk up to a person and advertise! You couldn't even figure out how he might've gotten a person's attention. There was meowing, but most people would have ignored that.
Before you brushed it off as a crazy idea you went outside and picked up Cupcake, checking for any sign...really anything. Yep, he was a boy that was about all you could tell. He continued to give you that almost snarky yet innocent look, saying "I'm responsible for all of these customers! Reward me!"
"I will," you mumbled giving him a quick scratch behind the ear and putting him in the basket.
You went back inside and flung off your apron. Satisfied with your work, you surveyed the shop that was now basking with the day's ending glow. You turned to get Cupcake, deciding it was time to close, but before you could even open the door you caught him starring. Not at you, but at a man who had just passed by.
In a wink he scurried from his basket and wound through the gentleman's' legs, grabbing his attention as he rubbed his red hair all over the green pantsuit. You heard a cuss word coming from the man, and then Cupcake was standing on his tiptoes, kneading his front paws on the man's leg. The man swatted at him with a newspaper and let a few words fly when Cupcake bit down on his pants leg and tugged him towards the shop, before letting go and going back to his basket.
The man stomped over and started to yell at the cat. That was before he noticed you starring, mouth wide open in astonishment. His bushy brows furrowed and he lightly pushed on the door. You took a step back and he came in, Cupcake slinking in behind.
"Excuse me," the man quipped, his English accent as recognizable as the weariness and anger in his voice. "Is that your cat?"
You nodded and couldn't help but giggle. So that's how he had gotten those costumers, using his hidden kitten charms to lure more abiding customers in. He would be getting Grade A cat food and treats for the rest of his life.
He sneered at your giggle and you quickly apologized. "I'm sorry sir, but he just showed up at my doorstep yesterday and today business has been wonderful!" You couldn't help but smile through your own weariness, and notice the man raising his eyebrows.
"Business, I thought this was an apartment building," he said, his bright green eyes scanning the shop.
"What?" you asked, you were sure you had a sign in the window, small yes, but someone should've noticed it!
A sudden flash of pity went across the man's face. "Most people do, I have a...friend who was looking at renting a space here."
You almost began to cry. No wonder people didn't come in! They thought your shop was an apartment building! You felt a sudden brush of fur against your leg. It was Cupcake, purring and rubbing against your leg, slowly mending your bent heart.
"What's even more surprising is that someone hasn't called the health department," he mumbled, covering it up as a cough into his sleeve.
Your gaze went back to him and so did Cupcakes, both of you giving him a look of distaste. "I didn't want him ripping up the curtains in my apartment."
He raised an eyebrow, like it was a petty excuse. You almost rolled your eyes. Did you have to spell out everything?
"I can't afford new ones," you mumbled, covering that up with a kiss to Cupcake's fuzzy forehead.
His face fell and he turned his attention to the display case behind you. Now he did look a bit more pitiful and sorry. "I-I have a meeting to get to," he said. But instead of turning to leave he went over to the display case. He turned to you, "Can I have a dozen of these vanilla cupcakes...after you wash your hands."
You smiled graciously, "Sure."
You quickly ran up to your apartment and trusted Cupcake not to touch your curtains. "Good boy," you said, giving him a quick scratch behind the ears and going back downstairs.
He was still waiting and gave you quick smile when you rushed past to the back and spent an extra two minutes washing and scrubbing your hands. You came back and gave him a quick smile as you unfolded one of the boxes and began filling it with vanilla cupcakes.
"Thank you for your business," you said, trading him the box for a handful of crumpled bills.
He smiled and actually took a card. "There are a lot of dull meetings where I work."
You beamed, "Of course, you can call me anytime." Your cheeks burned red. You had not meant to say that out loud.
The Englishman had also taken that wrong, turning bright red and stuttering for a moment before he smiled. "It seems my company will be having a lot of meetings," he said, before he turned and left.
You yelped, something had suddenly brushed up against you. "Cupcake," you sighed.
"Meow?" he looked at you with the same expectancy from the other day.
You knelt down and gently rubbed his ears, making him purr. "I'll go shopping after I finish cleaning up here," you said.
Cupcake let out a deep purr and rubbed against you.
You smiled and scooped him up in your arms. "You need to stay upstairs while I'm gone."
You carried Cupcake upstairs and came back down to get his basket, but when you returned he was contently sleeping under your bed. You lay down beside him, and slowly reached a hand out, lightly stroking his hair, "Promise you won't leave?" you asked.
He cracked an eye open, he looked at you almost mockingly for a moment before his eyes closed and he purred happily, with something almost like a confirming smile.