The thing is, Kara had Lena clocked from day one.
She’s sure that Lena would like to think of herself as some big mystery that can’t be cracked, an enigma that can’t help but leave everyone wondering, and while that’s certainly true in some respects, there’s one thing about her that, in Kara’s opinion, can be seen from a mile off, no matter how well you may or may not know her:
Lena Luthor is, without a shadow of a doubt, a cat person.
She tries to deny it when Kara brings it up to her, scoffing at the mere idea, but Kara sees right through her.
“I’m an adult, Kara,” Lena says, rolling her eyes. “I barely have time to think about having dinner most days, never mind arbitrary things like whether I’m a cat person or a dog person.”
This is Lena’s response to just about every assumption Kara makes of her, because for some reason she’s convinced herself that as a CEO, she’s somehow not allowed to enjoy or indulge in the silly little frivolities of life. Kara found this tendency extremely upsetting for the first few months of their friendship, and would always go especially out of her way to challenge Lena on it, but after one particularly frustrating discussion in which Lena insisted for a solid fifteen minutes that she was “too mature” for Christmas movies, Kara’s learnt to pick her battles when it comes to fighting her on these things.
After all, it’s not Lena’s fault she was raised by a family of soul-sucking wolverines who wouldn’t know fun if it slapped them in the face, which subsequently destroyed every hope of her having a healthy relationship with fun.
And so, for nearly two years of their friendship, they exist in this limbo, in which Kara knows that Lena is a cat person, and Lena knows that Lena is a cat person, and yet she refuses to acknowledge it, no matter how many times Kara tries to coax it out of her.
That is, of course, until one fateful Sunday afternoon, which may or may not be the best of Kara’s life.
She’s just minding her own business, strolling down the street, mentally considering whether she should get tacos or falafel for lunch, or whether she should just bite the bullet and get both, when she takes an accidental turn down a street she hasn’t explored before, and to her delight, sees what looks to be a cat cafe.
A cat cafe! In National City!
She’s so excited at the prospect that she may or may not exercise her superspeed capabilities in broad daylight just so that she can peer through the window quicker. Alex and J’onn would probably kill her if they knew, but, well. Kitties.
And then, her day -- which has already been completely made just by this discovery alone -- gets quite literally a million times better, because who does she see through the window, holding one cat up by its armpits and cooing over it while another snoozes contentedly on her lap?
That’s right. Lena Luthor.
Kara can’t help but let out an honest to God squeal at the sight, because, hand on heart, this is probably the cutest thing she’s ever seen. Lena looks so relaxed and at home there, something Kara hasn’t seen her look in months, and she’s wearing this huge soft sweater with sleeves that drape way past her wrists, and she just looks so soft and gentle, and.
Kara thinks her head may explode.
She snaps somewhere around a hundred photos of the scene from through the window, before realising that what she’s doing is probably at least somewhat illegal, and Jess could be quite possibly watching her from a sniper located somewhere in Lena’s office, ready to act before anyone can make another attempt on her boss’ life, so she begrudgingly exits off the camera app and rushes right into the cafe.
And, okay, she’ll admit it. Maybe it’s a little bit of an ambush.
But who can blame her?! What, was she meant to just somehow ignore what she saw? Move on with her day as if she hadn’t just witnessed a sight that could most likely solve world hunger, or at the very least end all war?
No, that just wouldn’t be possible.
Admittedly, though, she does feel a little bad when Lena yelps out loud at the sight of her, lingering in the doorway and staring at her with wide eyes, and almost drops the baby she’s inspecting, and jolts the one on her lap in the process.
“Kara!” she exclaims. The cat on her lap lets out a disgruntled little meow and shakes its head, frowning up at Lena before dismounting and slinking off to another table. Lena looks crestfallen at its departure, which only serves to make Kara’s heart grow about ten times in size. “What are you doing here?”
“I was just walking down the street and I saw you from the window, and I… Lena.”
Lena grimaces. “Kara, don’t.”
“Kara, I’m serious, do not say a word, or I will-”
Lena looks like she means business, but Kara can’t help it. She squeals. “ Lena! You’re a cat person! I knew it. I knew it!”
Lena audibly shushes her for some reason, as if their fellow patrons of the literal cat cafe they’re sitting in will either somehow not already know this fact about her, or will for some reason care and find it embarrassing. Lena’s so silly sometimes. Unfortunately for her, Kara physically cannot find it in herself to take her even a little bit seriously right now, not when she’s literally holding a little fluffball that’s almost as cute as she is.
And then, she does something even more ridiculous: she tries to deny it.
“Kara, I’m not even… this is so not what it looks like.”
And just. Lena is so cute, and so funny. Of course she would somehow still try and deny something while literally in the middle of an act that makes it undeniable. Kara can’t help but beam.
“Really?” she asks, voice teasing, unable to keep the grin off her face. “Cause, to me, it looks like you’re spending your one day off a week, snuggling kitties and eating…” When Kara looks down at her plate and sees an array of sugar cookies all shaped like paws, she nearly melts. “ Lena. You’re eating beans. You’re literally sitting here eating a plate full of toe beans. You can’t deny it any longer.”
She approaches Lena slowly, aware of her tendency to flee in situations she’s uncomfortable in but also unable to stop herself from getting any closer -- funnily enough, actually, it’s just the same way that she would approach an easily spooked cat,
Huh. When she thinks about it, Lena herself is pretty catlike.
The thought just makes her smile more.
Lena looks away from her, averting her gaze to the ceiling which she stares at for several long moments, before finally letting out a very put-out little groan, and dropping her head down again.
“Fine,” she finally acquiesces, saying the next words like she’s admitting to murdering a child, or something equally as gruesome. “You were right. I’m a cat person.”
After that, the cafe -- the aptly named Purrfect Fix -- becomes somewhat of their spot. They meet there every Sunday afternoon, no matter what else is going on in their lives, and discuss the goings on of that week over steaming mugs of coffee and whatever cat-themed baked goods are on special.
Before Kara knows it, they’re known regulars by not only the staff but the cats too, and by God do they love Lena.
She’s like a cat magnet, usually attracting every single one in the room over to their table at at least one point while they’re there; it’s not unusual for them to be in the middle of a conversation, and then bam, there’s a cat clambering onto Lena’s lap, or rubbing its head against her legs, begging for attention.
She’s so good with them, too, cooing gently over them, scratching under their chins and ears, petting them and bestowing countless kisses on their little heads. She’s always vaguely embarrassed about it afterwards, as if Kara could ever find her affinity for the feline species anything less than the most endearing thing on planet Earth, even after months and God, years, of their weekly meetings there.
When they have their fight, Kara finds that there’s almost nothing she misses more than their weekly coffee dates. The first few weeks after everything goes to shit, she still turns up, not sure what she’s expecting but hoping desperately with some small, pathetic part of herself that Lena will too, that she wouldn’t skip out on their tradition, that they can get over this.
And then, after they manage to patch everything up, or at least slap a bandaid over it, it’s only when Lena tentatively suggests meeting for a Sunday coffee that Kara knows things might finally be okay between them again.
Lena had confessed to her, once, that she’d never been allowed her own cat growing up with the Luthors. Her real mom, she’d loved them -- Lena thought that was probably where hers had come from -- but the Luthors had been staunchly dog people, and that had never budged. When Lena had asked for a kitten for her sixth birthday, Lex had gotten a German Shepherd for his a month later; when Lena had requested a cat-themed bedroom at age eight, she’d been mocked relentlessly by Lillian, called a baby, immature, every name under the sun.
She’s considered getting one for herself, when she moved out -- her and Jack had talked about it even, started looking into possible breeders and local shelters and how to cat-proof their apartment. But then Lex had gone on an insane mass-murder spree, and she’d been left too busy trying to pick up the shattered pieces of her and her family’s reputation to even consider it, and the idea had been put on the back burner, just like everything else that could have given her even a shred of happiness.
It’s all a little too upsetting to imagine when she really thinks about it, so most of the time, Kara chooses not to, instead focusing on the way that Lena lights up like a little kid on Christmas every time she’s within five feet of a cat.
Which, speaking of, makes it glaringly obvious to Kara what she has to get Lena for their first Christmas as a couple, just over a year after their reconciliation.
Keeping it a secret is hard, but it is so worth it for the look of pure, unadulterated joy on Lena’s face when she leads her into the living room on Christmas morning, hands pressed over her eyes, and pulls them away to reveal a beautiful little calico cat sprawled out across the carpet, dozing away with her head rested on her paws.
She almost immediately bursts into tears, looking at Kara with an expression so full of love and appreciation it almost makes her burst. “Kara,” she says, voice watery. “You’re- this is for real? She’s really… she’s ours?”
“She’s yours, baby,” she says, which just makes Lena cry even harder. “Merry Christmas.”
And Lena is just so. She rushes forward, throwing herself into Kara’s arms and tucking her face against her neck, probably getting it all wet with her tears, although Kara couldn’t care less, and, God. Kara couldn’t love her any more.
“I love you,” Lena says against her neck, words muffled but so full of conviction the cat probably understands what she means. “I love you I love you I love you.”
Kara laughs, pressing a firm kiss into the tangle of Lena’s hair resting against her mouth. “I love you too, baby. Aren’t you going to go say hello?”
And thus, the love story that is Lena and baby Callie the calico cat begins. They spend what feels like every waking minute at home together -- wherever Lena goes, Callie follows. She sleeps in their bed with them, always gets her own little portion of human food at dinner -- if she didn’t make Lena so clearly ecstatic, Kara may be inclined to consider her somewhat of a cockblock sometimes, what with the way she just loves to meow loudly outside the bedroom door every time it’s shut for more than five minutes.
But, well, she’ll take a few frustrated nights for the way that Lena comes so alive whenever she sees her.
After they welcome Callie into their home, though, it doesn’t take long for Lena to start wanting more. It seems that finally embracing the gift that is cat ownership awakens something inside of her, and all of her previous embarrassment at her love melts away into unabashed, adorable openness about it, or at least within their relationship, anyway.
Before she knows it, their text thread is chock-full of photos of cats, whether it be Callie, or cute photos she finds on the internet, or any she encounters on the street. She tells Kara endless cat facts at the most random of times, the majority of which she learns from the books she’s taken to reading, some informational guides on how to be the best cat parent possible and others more of the 101 Amazing Facts About Cats ilk.
It’s like she’s watching Lena finally get to live and embrace the parts of her childhood which Lillian had worked so hard to repress, and it is… glorious. Kara finds that there’s quite literally nothing on Earth that makes her happier than to be lying in bed snuggling with Lena only to have her mumble, half-asleep, in her ear asking if she knew that over eighty percent of orange cats are male. She just adores her so much, finds so much real, genuine joy out of Lena’s happiness, that getting to witness it becomes her favourite thing in the world.
It takes only seven months after Callie’s adoption for Lena to bring home her first stray.
She’s tiny, a little grey tabby baby not even the size of Lena’s hand, covered in soot and screaming her head off like she thinks if she tries hard enough her meows might be loud enough to fill the room.
And, get this: she has thumbs.
That’s right. Lena brings home a beautiful little baby with thumbs, and has the audacity to look nervous about it, as if Kara’s going to object to her presence.
“It’s just, they found her trapped under the hood of a car, and she’d been there for days, Kara, days, and she’s so small and helpless, and she doesn’t have a mom, and I just-- I couldn’t just sit there, y’know, I had to help her in some way, and I just-” she explains all in a rush, words coming out in a jumbled mess. She’s trembling ever-so-slightly, like she really thinks Kara’s going to say no or give her in trouble or something, and Kara just absolutely can’t have that.
“Baby, baby, shh,” she says as soothingly as possible, smoothing Lena’s hair behind her ears and cupping her face in her hand. “You’re shaking.”
Lena leans into her hand, squeezing her eyes shut, and Kara is once again reminded of the glaring similarities between Lena herself and a cat. “I’m sorry. I just… we can help her, y’know? We don’t have to keep her, we can take her to the shelter when she’s a little bigger, stronger, but...”
Kara laughs a little, so ridiculously endeared at her beautiful, insane girlfriend, and shakes her head gently. “Of course we can keep her, Lena. And you don’t have anything to be sorry about.”
Lena opens her eyes slowly, looking up at Kara with disbelief. “I don’t?”
“Of course you don’t, baby. In fact, the only thing you would have had to apologise for would be if you didn’t take her back with you.”
A smile is spreading across Lena’s face again, slow and so so infectious. “We can keep her?”
Lost for words at the love she feels for Lena in the moment, Kara chooses instead to lean over and place the softest but most reassuring kiss she can on her mouth, trying her hardest to communicate every emotion she hasn’t yet found the words for in English through one simple movement of her mouth.
“I promise,” she murmurs against her mouth when she pulls away, and the smile that she feels form against her own is all she needs to know that the message has been received.
And that’s how they end up with Mabel.
Next is Junebug, a little black void that follows Kara home from work so many days in a row they decide one day to just take her in and keep her; then Tigger, a big fat ginger boy who finds his way into their lives after their elderly neighbour is put into a retirement home and has no family to rehome him with; then there’s Penny, a gorgeous little tortie girl put up for adoption by one of Kara’s old coworkers at Catco, whose adoption ad Lena sees on Facebook and doesn’t stop dropping more and more unsubtle hints about for days until Kara caves.
Before she knows it, Kara is one of two mothers to the five most spoiled cats in National City, and she lives in a house that is constantly littered with not only actual litter trays, but also countless cat beds, half-chewed toys and an honestly impressive collection of cat trees which get increasingly ridiculous in both size and price the further you explore the house, and she loves it.
It’s something for which they get relentlessly mocked by their family and friends, and yet, Kara finds that she couldn’t care less, too consumed with her all-encompassing love for Lena and desire to do anything that might make her happy to care about a few jabs here and there.
If it means that she gets to come home every night to her beautiful -- and for the first time in her life happy -- girlfriend, and their adorable little harem of kitties, she figures life must be pretty good.
In the months leading up to Ella’s birth, Lena is terrified, much more than Kara thinks any one pregnant woman should be.
The majority of her fears centre around whether or not she’ll be a good mother, if she even has the abilities in her after her upbringing, if their daughter will one day grow up to hate her just the way she has Lillian.
To Kara, these fears are -- while not quite unfounded or unexpected -- ridiculous. To her, it’s glaringly obvious that Lena will be the best mother in the whole wide world, that it wouldn’t be physically possible for someone to be raised by Lena Luthor and not come out the other side knowing how loved and cared for they are.
But still, she sees where Lena is coming from, understands completely where the fears stem from, and makes sure to put her all into reassuring her every time she asks.
Throughout it all, however, there’s one fear Lena has that Kara secretly shares, although she’ll never admit it, and that’s the issue of the cats.
The thing is, over the years leading up to their pregnancy, their cats have gotten used to a… certain type of lifestyle, shall she say -- a certain amount of daily doting from Lena that they both know just won’t be possible to keep up with the presence of a baby in the house.
It’s not that either of them would ever neglect them in favour of the baby -- no, Kara thinks Lena would sooner die than do that. But it’s just a known fact that when they’re going to be caring for an actual, human baby -- one that won’t be able to feed itself and go to the toilet on its own and exist mostly self-sufficiently of them -- the level of attention they’ll be able to give is going to change.
Lena frets about it for almost the whole pregnancy, ends up dedicating the majority of her maternity leave to doing nothing but showering them all in love in an attempt to assuage her guilt over the fact that she won’t be able to do so as readily in only a few short weeks.
And Kara… like she said, she’d never admit it to Lena, because she doesn’t want to worry or upset her even more than she already is, but she does share in the fear, which means that when they finally bring Ella home from the hospital, all tiny and pink and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, absolutely the love of both of their lives, the overwhelming relief at the kitties’ reaction is shared equally by both of them.
Because, for some reason, the cats love her.
There’s no adjustment period, no attempts at marking their territory on the women they’re now sharing as mommies… they accept her immediately, flocking to her as one of the family just as quickly as they had Kara and Lena themselves.
They make sure to never leave her alone with them, just in case, at least not while she’s so little, but Kara knows there would never really be anything to worry about if they did, because they’re all so gentle with her.
Tigger takes to her the most, laying at the foot of her crib every night for the first year of her life while they attempt to get her to fall asleep, diligently returning to the closed door each morning at the same time, waiting for either Kara or Lena to get her up for the day. There’s several times in which Kara has to pull Penny and Junebug away from her -- not because they’re hurting her in any way, no, instead because they insist on licking her face the way they would their own babies, in an attempt to keep her clean.
Motherhood comes so easily to Lena, just like she’d known it would from the minute she’d set eyes on Callie all those years ago, and getting to watch her adjust to life as a mom quickly becomes the biggest privilege of Kara’s life. Her awe at the fact that this is truly her life never quite goes away, no matter how many years and milestones pass them by -- in fact, she feels her heart expand tenfold every single day with the amount of love she has for their little family and the beautiful life they lead.
Once upon a time, Kara had worried that she would never find the love that seemed to exist only in movies, the kind where it was so overpowering you would wake up every day wondering how there could possibly be any more space in your heart to hold more of it, and yet always finding it.
Watching the look on her wife’s face when their five-year-old daughter first steps foot into that same cat cafe that had started it all for them all those years ago, she knows that she had been stupid to ever doubt it. Knows with more certainty than she’s ever felt in her life that she was sent to this Earth all those years ago for one purpose and one purpose only: to find and to love Lena Luthor.
And now she has it, she’s never, ever letting it go.