Surprisingly, Catherine found herself quite enjoying this new social dynamic of her unconventional life. The Veggie Mamas were a small, but dedicated bunch, and soon it seemed as very few people in Willow Creek even remembered that Catherine was a bit of an outlier in the community.
"See, the trick is to make sure that the vegetables you use don't cook for too long," Catherine said in between mouthfuls of pasta primavera. "Otherwise, they get mushy and you don't get the texture element. Sammy won't touch the stuff unless it has some crunch to it."
"I really wish I could talk my daughter into trying some new dishes," sighed Jesminder jealously. "I feel like all I ever cook is macaroni and cheese, and occasionally some salads."
"Oh, my God, Jesminder, this cake is absolutely delicious!" Catherine exclaimed. "How did you manage to keep it so light?"
"Lemon-lime soda," Jesminder laughed. "Sounds strange and counter-intuitive, but it does lighten up the batter considerably. I mean, who ever heard of a healthy cake?"
"Who ever wanted to eat a healthy cake?" Catherine agreed with a snicker and another mouthful of cake.
But her life wasn't all fun, games and cooking. As Catherine's underground network grew, so did the number of instances of public encounters gone wrong. Mortimer Goth was driving her crazy, in particular. For a man who seemed so eager to accumulate his wealth through any means necessary, he was difficult to train - or indeed, to trust.
"If you can't be trusted to keep your mouth shut, Goth," Catherine hissed viciously one day as she was walking down to pick up Sammy from school, "then I will shut it for you. Don't think that I didn't see the police walking away from your place last night."
"That was about something totally different," Mortimer stammered, taking a step back. "My wife, you see... she disappeared..."
"I don't care," Catherine replied darkly. "Don't let it happen again."
"Mom?" Sammy asked one day on the way home from school. "When is Dad coming back for a visit? I thought he was going to come back once the baby's born."
Catherine sighed with a slight smile. "I'm not sure, Sammy. I haven't heard from him yet. You know Dad's work in Pleasantview keeps him pretty busy."
True to form, Warren made no effort to get in contact with Catherine at all in the subsequent months. Baby Deanne was actually well into her toddler years by the time the fabled knock on the door came and he waltzed in like nothing had ever occurred.
"What... the hell... are those things on your face?" Warren asked through snickers of laughter behind his hand. "Seriously, Cat, since when do you look like something out of a sixties high school movie?"
"What the hell happened to your hair?" Catherine asked sharply.
Warren sobered up at that question, glancing briefly behind her to see if Sammy and Dean were out of earshot before he answered, "Let's just say there were some experiments that went wrong." He sighed and shook his head slowly when Catherine's hand lifted to her mouth this time, but in shock. "Doc says it's a side effects of the chemicals in the stuff we were working with in the labs. You don't really want to know what it's doing to my insides. Boss says I can stay here as long as I want, spend some time with you and the kids before... you know."
It took the better part of a year before Warren finally succumbed to the ravages of his unidentified illness. In the end, Catherine was grateful to their mutual boss, however cold-hearted he might have been in previous years. Sammy and Dean had had a chance to see their father and get to know him a little better before his passing: an opportunity that the smallest Little would never receive.