She popped her head up, instantly alert. Something wasnít right, a faint odor,
but, more than that, a danger she sensed, unseen, but present nonetheless. Her
eyes widened, pupils dilated while her head swivelled around looking for the
threat and her nostrils flared seeking the origins of the weak odor. She moved
her ears forward and back in an effort to hear the thingís movement, but nothing
stirred. Her entire body tensed as the invisible presence grew stronger. She
would need to do something and pretty fast.
Her clan mates were not reacting, but that was not unusual. She didnít know how
she came to this clan, but the other members were not like her. The strangest
cats she could imagine. They were very big, and they walked on their hind legs
only, and not on their toes, like her. They hardly had any fur, especially the
alpha male. His mate had some fur on her head, but not much anywhere else. And
the poor things had no tails at all. She had no idea how they could balance
themselves, what with walking on their hind legs, no tail and no whiskers
either, it was a wonder they didnít constantly fall or run into things.
She couldnít understand their vocalizations either, they were nothing like hers.
She could give meaning to every sound she made, threats, joy, and contentment,
whatever. But their vocal expressions were unrecognizable to her. The only hint
she had was that when they got loud they were usually angry, but not always. She
sometimes didnít know how to take their vocal signals. Another strange thing,
their ears didnít move. How could they tell where a sound was coming from with
any accuracy? And she knew she could smell things better than they could, they
seemed to be especially weak in that area.
Still, one thing she would have to admit, they were great hunters. She actually
never saw them hunt, but they always provided food for her. They would leave
their den to hunt, she assumed, and not return for hours. But she would always
find food in her dish that, while not looking like any prey she had ever seen,
was still tasty and filling. They had a source for water too, which was
evidently plentiful. She could hunt too, and hunt with the best of them. She
could hunt if she wanted to, but chose not to. One time when she was out of the
den, she did successfully hunt and kill a chipmunk and brought it proudly back
to the den door to share with her clan mates. But the alpha maleís mate was
unappreciative, letting out a high pitched vocalization and loudly chasing her
away from her kill and back into the den. She made little effort to hunt since
There were other strange things about her clan mates, for example she never saw
them clean themselves. She was constantly grooming herself with her tongue and
took pride in the sheen of her coat. Either they did so out of her sight, or
they were careless about their grooming. They did have a strange odor, not like
hers at all, so perhaps they were not as clean as she made herself. She also had
no idea where they relieved themselves. She had found a nice box of dirt to do
so, but she never saw any of the other clan members use it. There were many
rooms in their den, but she wasnít aware of any dirt boxes in any of them.
Strange. A mystery she would never solve.
Another thing she found strange, the alpha male and his mate, and their two
offspring would spend hours looking at a box. She was aware of some noise and
images coming from the box, but couldnít for the life of her understand why they
would use their time that way when they could be enjoying a nice nap, or, like
her, sitting at the window watching real life activities and imagining hunting
techniques among the potential prey parading by the window. She could spend
hours watching the chipmunks and birds and planning how she would sneak up on
them and pounce. Occasionally a squirrel would scoot by, vile creatures that she
might chase, but prefer not to catch. They had pretty sharp teeth, were
unpredictable and were tough customers. But her clan mates didnít seem to notice
the wonders outside the den, and were content to stare at the box.
Despite these eccentricities, she was content to be among them. This was her
clan after all, for better or worse. She curried favor with the alpha male,
seeking to be near him at night to keep him warm considering his lack of fur.
She did all she could to ignore the mate while giving her the respect she
deserved as the matriarch of the clan. With respect to the two offspring, she
would play with them when she was bored, but wouldnít take any guff from them.
She was their equal after all, and would occasionally let them know with a swipe
of her claws or a nip with her sharp teeth. That was another thing about her
clan mates; their claws were pitiful as was their teeth. They had strength, but
not the other weapons she had.
She looked at the alpha male from her position between him and his mate, and
there was still no reaction. They were sound asleep. How could that be, couldnít
they sense the danger? She walked up to the alpha maleís face and, as loud as
she could, gave her best vocal distress signal. Nothing. She screamed it again,
close to his ear and he stirred a bit, but continued to sleep. She needed to
take a chance even though he was the alpha male and she risked incurring his
wrath. She reached out with her paw, claws retracted, and swatted his face hard
while repeating her distress scream.
That worked. He woke up and pushed her away with a vocalization she couldnít
understand. She continued her distress calls as he looked at her and continued
to vocalize gently. Finally she saw him hold his head in his paws as though in
pain. He reached out to his mate and shook her awake. The mate moved slowly and
together they staggered to their feet and out of the room. She followed them
continuing her distress calls as they roused their offspring. She knew now that
they understood there was an unseen threat in the den and they needed to find
it, or escape.
The alpha male was vocalizing into some machine now as she walked among them
continuing her distress vocals. Suddenly the alpha male was rushing them out the
denís door into the cool evening. He picked her up with his front paws and
carried her outside to be with the rest of the clan. Before she knew it, other
strange creatures arrived in noisy machines and covered with things on their
heads and something on their backs entered their den. These creatures frightened
her and if she was in the den she would be seeking a place to hide, but she had
to settle for the comfort of her alpha male for protection.
Whatever these creatures did in their den, it seemed to comfort the rest of the
clan. She was still frightened of them, but her clan mates were not and actually
seemed happy that they invaded their den. When they left, the whole clan
re-entered and she immediately sensed that the threat was gone. No trace of an
odor and she no longer felt the ominous presence of danger. Perhaps those
creatures were super hunters, or magicians of some kind, but whatever they did
made her clan mates feel safe.
The alpha male stroked her fur, scratched behind her ears and otherwise showered
her with attention. She liked that and showed it by purring loudly. He was
emitting some sort of vocalization that she took as pleasant, but didnít know
for sure. Combined with the attention he gave her, she sensed her actions that
night pleased him. When they settled in to sleep she took her position close to
him to keep him warm, and benefit from his body heat. She curled up for a good
nightís sleep getting into her most comfortable position, with her paw over her
eyes. She fell into a light sleep, ever ready to be instantly alert if need be.
Strange as they were, this was her clan, and she was happy to be among them.
Black Cat Looking...
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