A soft touch on his face and a scratchy squall woke him next. Big green eyes stared at him intently and then squinted as the toothy mouth opened up and squalled again. The kit was hungry and complaining about it.
"I tried to get him to take something from me so you could sleep, but he just hissed at me. He's been working on you for the last fifteen minutes or so."
Reed lifted the kit off his chest and sat up. He saw it was . . . it was Esther who spoke. "I fell asleep here? Sorry."
There's nothing to be sorry about. I'm just sorry the couch wasn't long enough for you." She pointed off to a door. "The bathroom is through there. Go wash up. I'll have breakfast ready for you in a few minutes. What have you been feeding junior there?"
"It eats from my plate." He looked up to see her look of disapproval. "I think you'll get a kick out of it, it has better manners than some men I've seen."
At the table, the kit sat on Reed's lap and peeked over the edge of the table with its front paws resting just at the edge. As soon as his plate was in front of him, Reed cut his first bite of sausage and forked it into his mouth. The kit watched the bite closely until it disappeared and then the green eyes swiveled back to the plate. When the second bite disappeared into Reed's mouth, the kit opened its mouth and let out a tiny squeak and then it reached out a paw an touched the edge of the plate.
Reed looked down as if noticing it for the first time. "What do you want?"
The kit looked up at him and then reached out to touch the edge of one of the eggs.
"Watch this; this is cute." He cut the egg into small bites and pushed them towards the edge of the plate.
The kit reached out and speared the bites, one at a time, until what it had been given, was gone.
"Do you want some sausage?" asked Reed.
The kit looked up at him and squeaked again toothily, so Reed cut up some of the sausage into small bites and pushed them to the edge of the plate too.
When that was gone, the kit began to get restless, so Reed quickly finished the rest off what was on the plate and took the kit outside. When it had finished its duty out there, he returned to the table for a cup of coffee with the kit riding happily on his shoulder. He held a cup of water for the kit, and it drank thirstily, then meticulously washed itself while Reed drank his coffee.
"That was the cutest thing I think I have ever seen. How did you teach him that?"
"I didn't teach him anything. He's always been like that. Like I said, very polite. Better than some men."