Jungle Paws: Beginnings: The Rise of Skippy                                                                     


By Aaron G.

Copyright 2018, Kittenpress.com, a subsidiary of lickety.org. Violations in copyright are punishable by law.

1st edition

 

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Table of contents

Map of territories        3

Prologue        4

In the beginning        4

Chapter 1        5

beginnings        5

Chapter 2        10

Quest of the lake        10

Chapter 3        18

A clan begins        18

Moonlight        26

Chapter 6        35

New additions        35

Map of territories

Other animals list

The bird- a mischievous  black crow

The dogs- colossal horrifying creatures

Badgers- even worse than a racoon, or a dog!

Coyote- the meanest beast of all time.

Prologue

In the beginning

A silver cat was sitting in her den. She recently had kits, and her eyes shone with pride at every one of them, Especially a silver tabby that looked exactly like her. He seemed so much like her. Brave, and courageous. The little kitten was always skipping around, all over the den. The mother’s eyes were gleaming with pride as she watched her kit. An Older cat sat beside her.

“I am now a great grandfather”, The ancient cat mewed. “What are you gonna name it?”

“Oh, Oscar. How should I know? There only a couple weeks old.”, The silver cat replied to the ancient orange tabby.  

“Anyone can see that he is always skipping around. You could name him Skippy.”, The elderly feline suggested.

“That’s a strange name.”, Silver mewed.

“It’s a special name”, Oscar Meowed at last.

Chapter 1

beginnings

The  sun slowly began creeping up the sky, The Clouds flanked the sun, dancing in the wind. A small kitten named Skippy arose, now wide awake, though his body appeared to be trying to tell him to go back to sleep. He has been on his own for over a month now.

  Skippy slowly got up from his little vine nest and padded just a couple paw length’s away, over to a nearby wild pumpkin patch surrounded by towering jungle trees. There were pumpkins of all sizes. Some were orange, while others were still green and developing. Some were even just sprouting. Skippy walked another few paw lengths over through the dense vines and trees to the largest orange pumpkin in sight. Skippy opened his mouth, revealing his oversized fangs and took a big bite. Oh how wonderful it tasted! He ate and ate until the pumpkin was near gone. Then he noticed The pumpkin’s seeds scattered on the ground. Skippy remembered an old lesson that mother had taught him when he was very young. Even if you are lucky enough to find one Pumpkin, immediately plant the fruit seeds, half a paw’s length in the ground, and more will grow next year. The small kitten softly pawed some seeds into the ground, and ate the rest. Of course, the pumpkin’s seeds were by far the yummiest part of the pumpkin.  Skippy padded back to his nest and took a nap.

 

  When Skippy finally awoke, the weather was pouring rain. He decided to take shelter under a large tree, but even then he was still soaked. Knowing that better opportunities would come next time, he curled up next to a vine and went back to sleep.

 The pumpkin patch

Flickr.com photo

  That evening, a flock of birds settled in the pumpkin patch. Skippy arose to the excitement. One bird in bird in particular seemed to be glaring at him. Skippy decided to get into the action and tried to imitate the bird’s long calls. One bird noticed this, and promptly pecked the poor kitten on the head! Skippy spent the rest of the evening chasing and playing with that bird.

  Later that night, Skippy gazed up at the vast sky of twinkling stars. Stars always fascinated him. The small kitten mewed good night to the bird. Skippy curled up and went to sleep.  Skippy soon awoke to the sound of that bird. Wondering what time it was, Skippy glanced at the sky. It was about midnight, so Skippy went back to sleep.He awoke again to the sound of screeching from the annoying little bird. Skippy turned, hissed at the bird, and went back to sleep.

By the time the new day began, the bird and his flock had already left. Skippy padded over to a small stream, caused by last night’s rain. He took a few massive gulps, reliving his desperate thirst. Skippy ate his pumpkins. Skippy turned as he heard rustling in the bushes. It was a mouse!

  He chased after it, smashing all pumpkins in his way, but even when he had a clear path to the mouses burrow, he could not catch it.

Skippy planted all the seeds that had been smashed open, and ate as much pumpkin as he could, trying not to waste the smashed pumpkins.

Later that day, some wild deer came to the pumpkin patch. he had never seen anything so massive in his life!

  Suddenly, Skippy saw a  jet white paw shoot out of a bush, taking a small fawn by surprise.The young deer began darting away, but the white cat was faster. The deer began kicking at the cat, but the feline dodged it. After a fatal bite, the mysterious young cat was spotted eating large mouthfuls, while constantly purring.

  Skippy stared in disbelief as the larger cat noticed Skippy, and began padding over to him, until they were paw to paw. The massive white cat began pawing up dirt, jestering that he was not afraid to fight. The odds where not in Skippy’s favor.

  Skippy gave the large white cat a long glare.

  “Who are you? You seem week for even a tiny kitten.”, the cat sneered.

  “I am Skippy, and who might you be?”,The large cat growled at him immediately after he (Skippy) asked, his eyes gleaming with pride.

  “I am cloud”, the large cat replied.

  “This is my territory, Cloud!”

  “ Are you threatening me?”, cloud hissed

  “ Yes, I am”

  “We can settle this without a fight, young Skippy”, cloud replied, now more calm. “Let’s see how things go with two felines in this territory, before we fight.”

  “Get off this land!”,Skippy mewed

  The white cat slowly began circling the small cat, in a flurry of hissing and spitting.

  After a long silence, cloud started to become much more friendly, and Skippy's muscles began to relax.

  “So, do you know how to hunt?”, Cloud asked.

  “Not yet”, Skippy meowed.

  “Then how do you survive?”, Cloud eagerly asked, while digging up grass with his paws

  “Oh, I eat pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.”, Skippy exclaimed.

  “Uh… what’s a pumpkin patch?”

  “ I’ll tell you later. Come with me.”, Skippy eagerly said.

  Young Skippy was enjoying his new companion quite a bit. Since they met, he became calm and began liking Cloud.

Cloud soon started teaching Skippy how to hunt. And most importantly, how to defend yourself.

  The thought of having a companion troubled Skippy, as he missed his mother. Skippy’s thoughts were interrupted by the mew of Cloud.

  “Good. you’ve caught your first mouse!”,Cloud began cheerfully. “Now you can hunt!”

“  But the cold season is near.”, Skippy remarked in reply. He could already feel the air getting colder by the day.He could remember how fun it was to play in the snow, and to make den’s in the snow that would last till early spring. He also gloomly thought about how the pumpkins vanished completely except a sad old vine. He remembered the day that mother had died due to lack of food, and how the small kitten’s where left on their own.

  “Hello?”

  “Oh. sorry. I was thinking about the season of cold.”, said Skippy.

  “ that’s what we have to talk about. We need to gather all the food we possibly can before the cold. Now that you can finally hunt, you must join me in the task. You find prey all over the pumpkin patch, and I ‘ll find prey in my territory. Meet here by sundown.”, cloud suggested.

  “I guess that’ll work.” Skippy replied.

  At sunset, Skippy and cloud met up to share their prey.

  “I caught a few squirrels!”, Skippy proudly retorted.

  “Good. you have a natural hunting talent.”, Cloud replied excitedly. “ I, on the other hand, caught  one rabbit,  two mice, and one squirrel today. “

Skippy and Cloud placed their fresh kill in a pile.

  “We have enough prey to last us a while, But now we should make a den.”, Cloud eagry suggested.

  “Can we make an igloo?”, Skippy asked with excitement.

  “And what happens when the igloo melts away? We should make a dried mud den. That will keep us safe for eight moons to come!”

Though disappointed, Skippy agreed.

  “I’ll go get some water in a leaf from the streem to make mud. Then we       can carefully sculpt out our den.

Skippy was fascinated with clouds great knowledge, and grew to respect Clouds decisions as the leader of the small group.

All I want now is to see the lake!, Skippy thought with delight. I really have everything I need.

Chapter 2

 Quest of the lake

pxhere.com

  “Want to go to Blue whisker lake?”, Cloud asked.

Wow. Just when I wanted to go!, Skippy thought with joy.

  “Whats a LAKE?”, Skippy asked,testing what cloud knew.  

  “You don't know what a lake is? It’s amazing!”, Cloud eagerly replied. “A lake is basically a very fat river, but much larger still. Deer love to swarm it as well!

Plants flourish, prey swarm. It is the best thing ever.

So. want to go?”

  “How far away is it?”, Skippy asked nervously. Cloud hesitantly decided to tell the truth.

  “Well, it is far, plus a group of rival cats live there. But I’ve gone so many times,sometimes the cats are friendly, mostly-” Cloud was cut off.

  “Wait, what? Are you talking about the lake? I as born there!” Skippy’s mind was glowing with excitement.Cloud had been to the lake before. “But I can not return.” , Skippy decided.

“Why?”, Cloud asked in shock.

  “My mother left us there there.”Skippy said gloomly.

  “Don't let the past trouble you. We should go. If we don't then we won't have enough food to survive the winter.”, Cloud snapped quite harshly. “ I will leave by next sunrise. You can wait here.”

Skippy felt tugging on his tail.

“Wha?”

  “I’m leaving sleepy head.”, Cloud softly began. “See you in a couple days.”

Cloud slowly began trotting away.

Skippy finally decided that he better come with.

  “Wait!”

  Soon kitten caught up with cat, and they were off.

  The wind wiped wildly in Skippys face. They had been off for quite some time, and they had come to a small path surrounded by river and bushes, right outside a large barrier of trees.

  Leaves covered the ground, of all colors, shapes, and sizes. It was obvious that winter was closer than ever. Strange bushes carrying small blue berries flourished everywhere around him, and Skippy decided to take a bite.

  “How does it taste?”, Cloud asked.

  “Tastes alright. I better plant these in the pumpkin patch.”, Skippy gave Cloud an encouraging gesture.

  “Come try some!”

the growing kitten pawed some berries over next to Cloud, and they set off once more.

  Shortly later, Skippy and Cloud came to a massive tree, towering through the clouds.

  “Let’s rest here.”,Skippy sugusted.

  “We still have a long way to go. We can’t rest now.”

  “But i’m tired!”, The kit complained. He needed rest- Bad.

  “Wait! Do you smell that?”, Cloud asked. then he froze in shock.”DOG!”, Cloud hissed.

  “What is a DOG?”,Skippy asked. He knew it must be bad.

“No time to talk. Get up that tree!”, The white cat ordered.

Cloud scrambled up the tree, with Skippy Close behind. Skippy could hear distant barking, echoing through the forest, disturbing all in the way.

Finally, The cat's saw a colossal brown patch of fur emerge from out of the blue. At first Skippy thought it was just a very ugly cat, but soon it started barking, and he knew it was a dog.

  The large creature began clawing its body up the tree, it’s ears flapping in the wind. Cloud puffed up to about three times his size, and began hissing and spitting, as he had first done when he met Skippy. Cloud took a massive swipe as the thing’s claws soon slipped, sending it to the ground. Skippy couldn't believe Clouds great bravery.The dog growled with pain, as It gave one last bark of protest before slipping off into a bush.

Too shocked to speak, Cloud and Skippy curled up on a branch and went back to sleep.

  As the night sky began vanishing, now replaced by the sun, Skippy and Cloud took one last check for dogs, and resumed their journey.

  The trail slowly began narrowing out, and medow’s of tall grass where everyware in sight, With large stalks of wheat stretching endlessly into the sky.

After a while, meadows of tall grass narrowed into fields, and finally into a path, carved out by years of travels by past generations of cats.

  “What happens if we get lost?”, Skippy asked.

Cloud glared.

  “I’ve been here and back a million times.Relax.”, Then he more softly added,”It will be alright.”

The cats approached a cornfield, with crows everywhere in sight.

“  I've never seen a corn field!”,Skippy meowed with joy.

  “Who dares enter?”, a screathing voice asked. Skippy recognized that crow! It was that stubborn bird!

  “You know me!”, Skippy said.

  The bird began tilting its head from side to side, searching his memory. Finally, he looked up.

  “Oh you. The small kitten that lives by the pumpkin patch. What are you doing out here?”

  “We are looking for the lake.”,Skippy answered.

  The bird again began tilting it’s bird brained head side to side. Finally, he answered.

  “You should stay the night here. The local dogs don't like this place, so you’ll be safe.”

“Actually, we just met those dumb muts”,Cloud said.

Again Skippy  waited for an answer.

  “I know you did.”,The bird screeched.

  “How?”,Cloud demanded.

  “News travels fast around here, you know.”, The bird replied.

  The bird led them to a small quarters surrounded by corn stalks, and that is where they spent the night.

“What’s that?”,Skippy asked. All he could see was a grayish blue seated on a rock. They had just passed the cornfield, and resumed direction towards the lake.

  They cautiously padded over to it. The grayish blue was unmistakably a cat.

They walked nearer and nearer, until they stood right below the massive Feline.

Cloud nervously spoke up.“Who are you?”

The cat gave him a long stare.

“Why, who are you?”, The cat asked.

Cloud decided to reveal  Himself first, and hope that the cat would not attack him

  “I am cloud. This is Skippy. We come to hunt by the lake.”

“Well, you have quite aways to go.” the cat replied.

Skippy admired The cat’s naturally calm tone.

  “My name is Oscar. I am an old, but happy cat.” he explained.“Do you need help finding the lake?”

  Cloud and Skippy exchanged a glance at each other. The both had heard their mothers mention a very old great grandfather named Oscar. Was this him? The earliest known member of their lineage?

  “Yes, we do.”, Skippy quickly replied so he could get to know this friendly cat.

The next morning, the cats come to a small land bridge between the river and the lake.

  Skippy could barely remember the last time he had been here, with the endless pools of water.

  The cats and kittens where walking about beside a swamp of many reeds.

Toads croaked a morning song, while birds could be seen soaring through the sky.

 Skippy couldn't help but wonder: had Oscar known his mother?

He decided to ask.

 

  “Oscar did you know… did you ever meet Silver?”

  “Say that again?”, Oscar asked, not giving away the fact that he was surprised.

  “Silver. Did you know Silver.”, Skippy asked firmly.

  “It’s been a long time since I’ve heard that name.” Oscar said in a quiet tone. “Tell me. How did you know her?”, Oscar demanded.

Skippy couldn't believe what he was hearing. The real question was how had Oscar known her?  The kitten was not sure what to tell the elderly fellow. Finally, he decided he must tell him. He must find out how Oscar had known Silver.

  “Silver is my…” Skippy had no idea how Oscar would react to this. “Silver is my mother.”

 Oscar stared into the lake.

  “Silver is my granddaughter.”

  “What? That can't be. You would be me and Skippy’s ancestor!”, Cloud said.

  “How am I related to you?!”, Skippy snapped at Cloud.

  “I hid how much I was surprised. I knew that Oscar was my great grandfather. I just thought he died years ago.We are cousins!”, Cloud exclaimed.

  ”But you're so much older than I am!”, Skippy remarked.

  “But we are related.”

  Skippy couldn't bear this. Why had Oscar never came to see him, and yet he must have seen cloud a million times!

  Finally, Skippy knew that he was related to Oscar.

  “There is something I must show you, my children. Come with me.”

Soon, when they were about halfway around the lake,Oscar stopped at a cave made from blue colored rock.

  “Come in!”

  “I have a bad feeling about this.”, Skippy said before disappearing into the cave.

All the walls where glowing light blue. After a dozen paw lengths, They approached the center of the cave. In the center was a small golden colored tree.

  “What is this place?”, Skippy wondered.

  “This is my home.”, Oscar said, gently.

  Morning at last, Skippy thought joyfully. He did not like being coped up in a cave all night, and something about it just creeped him out. As he padded out to the lake to get a morning drink, Cloud was seen sleeping next to Oscar.

  The clouds cast a shadow upon the lake, battling with the rising sun.

  Something white flashed past Skippy.

It leaped out of the water, far above his head, steering effortlessly in the air, landing beside The kittens paws.

  Skippy could not believe how stupid that FISH was.

  After he had eaten his fill, Skippy padded back to the cave.

  “Cloud! Come eat this fish”

“  Hum?”, Cloud yawned,barely awake.” I did not know you can catch fish.”

  “Well, it leaped out of the water, and right onto my paws!”

  Skippy couldn't believe the look on Cloud’s face!

After they hovered up the fish, they noticed Oscar. He was looking quite frail, and it appears that he was having trouble breathing.

  “What do we do?”, asked Skippy.

  “Let him sleep a little bit more. Then we will get him up.”, Cloud replied nervously. “That cat must be over 20 years old. I’d be surprised if he lives another day.”

  “Well, we don't exactly know what life he is on.”,Skippy replied encouragingly.

  “By this time he has got to be on his last.”,Cloud mewed gloomly.

  “Oh cheer up. Oscars is gonna be fine. If he can survive 22 years, he will survive his nap!”

Cloud chuckled with amusement.”let’s get him up.”

  Oscar and the kittens walked along some cattail reeds.

  “We better get going. I have to go back to the pumpkin patch.”,Skippy said softly to Oscar.

  The ancient cat gazed up at the sky.

  “Before you will leave, Difficulties lay ahead, testing your every action. The tribe of blue is coming. I can feel it.”

  All around him, Skippy could hear the howling of cats. Oscar led them to the cave, while he stood to face the cats.

  A lead black cat padded up to Oscar.

  “What are you up to now, bringing another cat here? All do respect, sir, We don’t need anymore members.”,The cat said.

  ‘They are my kin. They are not here to threaten you nor me.”, The cat explained confidently.

  “Good. But keep an eye on them”

  The group of cats disappeared into the trees.

Skippy Climbed out of the cave.

  “We should be leaving, and we will. This is no place for us.”, Cloud meowed.

Skippy agreed. Though Oscar was very friendly, and nice, they must go.

Chapter 3

 A clan begins

 

 “I respect the urge for you to leave, and I will come, with my clan, to your home. From this point on, a new clan has began. Jungle clan.”,Oscar mewed with joy.

“Wait, what?”, Cloud mewed in astonishment. Was this old cat delirious, or was their gonna be a new clan in the pumpkin patch?

“I am their leader, and they will follow me. We will leave by sunrise.”,Oscar mewed.

  Skippy always wanted to form a clan, or tribe.

As sunrise approached, Oscar could be spotted with his clan, feeding them the news, wile Cloud and Skippy where seen napping, unaware what was going on.

There was Stray, a tough warrior. There was blackie, a silent stalker. Birch, a young kitten, that was already a superior fighter .Smokey and misty were excellent queens, and don't forget tobic, gracie, Odis and bella, Who were his younger littermates. Oscar’s mate was patience, an old cat. And of course Oscar, there common ancestor. Together, These cats would begin Jungle Clan

  Finally, a Blue clan cat awoke Them from their dreams.

“We are going to your pumpkin patch”, The black cat said to Skippy. “Lead the way.”

  “Wha? I can’t lead. Ask Cloud.”

  “Very well. Cloud. Lead the way to your home”

  “You are actually doing this? Going to the pumpkin patch?”,Cloud asked.

  “Yes. we are all family, and wherever you go, we go.”, The black tomcat grunted.

  “Agreed”, Moon mewed.

  “ ok. I’ll lead the way. Just let us eat something first.”, Cloud yawned.

  “We have to leave now. It snowed a little bit last night.”, The black warrior pleaded.

  “What authority do you have to be bossing me around?”, Cloud challenged.

  “I am a senior member of our clan.” the cat hissed through clenched teeth.

  “So what? I'm not in your clan!”, Cloud hissed back.

  “You will be” The tuxedo cat backed off and padded over to Oscar.

  “Something about uniting with Oscar’s friends and family bothers me”, Skippy mewed in agreement, as the black cat glared at them.”but it is for our own good. If we stay loners for too long, we're not gonna turn out so well.”

  Cloud and Skippy took one last nap by the lake.

Skippy began to drift off into a deep sleep.

In his dream, Skippy was standing under a large tree. Then Silver, Skippy’s mother, appeared.

“Where am I?”, Skippy asked, his voice echoing through the forest.

“You are in a dream”, Silver replied in a sweet tone.

  “Tell me. Should I stay with all these cats?”

  “That, my friend, is up to yourself. But I plead with you. Stay with them.   Start Jungle clan.”, Silver replied.

Then the cat slowly faded away.

  “Wait! Don’t leave!”, Skippy mewed with terror. Then the ground disappeared, and he awoke.

  “Come on!”

It was the tuxedo.

  “We have to leave, nap brain!”, The tuxedo snapped.

What kind of a word is that?

  “Be nice to the visitors”, Smokey snapped.

  “You WILL let me get some rest, or else no pumpkin patch for you.”, Skippy hissed in defence along with smokey.

  “If you two want to stay alive, show us to your home.”, The cat growled.

  “If you kill us now, you’ll never get there.”, Cloud chimed in.

“Maybe not, But you’ll never see home again, either.”, The vicious thing growled at the two.

Skippy reluctantly pulled himself up to his paws, with Cloud following close behind.

  Skippy passed by the Tom cat, and gave him a glare.

The cats slowly began making their way back to the pumpkin patch. Skippy was becoming a very respected cat.

Cloud actually glared at Skippy once cats began gathering under Skippy’s natural leadership abilities.

  The group revered around the forest where the kittens had encountered the dogs, and past the corn field. The bird cawed something to Skippy, and returned to his job of bossing all the other crows around.

Skippy mewed back, and then resumed his quest.

“Who is that your talking to?”, Misty asked.

“Oh. It’s my friend”

 Now that Skippy knew the route well, This journey don't take very long at all. In fact, It was still morning by the time they were at the cornfield, and now that the dogs were not around, Skippy expected to finish the journey in a day.

Everything seemed to be going purrfect, until cloud showed them to a dark forest, about a trees length past the corn field. Why didn't I see this before?, Skippy wondered.

“Cloud are you sure this is the right way?”,Skippy asked.

“Yes. I'm shure.”, Cloud mewed firmly.

Why is Cloud upset that I’m a respected cat now, and he is not?, Skippy wondered again.

 Into a dense jungle they went.

  Just like the not so dense part of the jungle, The dense part of the jungle had an entrance of a thick line of spaced trees. Skippy could barely walk; There where so many bushes. The dark forest contained quite a lot of vines, choking trees to death.

“It’s very dark in here…”, Skippy quietly mewed.

Cloud shot him a glare to shush.

“This area may not have dogs, but it does have racoons.”, Oscar said, his flanks heaving in desperation to stay alive. The older cat began to press up against a gray cat, while his legs began to go limp.” I think we’d be better off facing dogs than a raccoon or badger.”

  Skippy could see Oscars desperation, and decided to say something about it.

“Let’s rest here for Oscars sake”, Skippy ordered.

“We should keep going, for our sake”, Cloud challenged.”Besides, who do think you are? The leader? I thought I was the leader!”, Cloud spat at Skippy.

The tuxedo cat came over to Cloud, whispered something of a threat into clouds ear, and padded back to join Skippy.

The cats stopped by a pond, surrounded by moss and ferns.

A few cats began collecting moss and bedding for Oscar, while Skippy went off hunting.

The mouse was rusling loudly in the bushes, almost calling to Skippy eat me! Eat me!

  The small cat went to a crouch, and spring at the mouse, and gave one last paw to its neck.

  “Give the mouse to Oscar.”, The tuxedo, now revealed to be known as Stray, mewed sharply.

Skippy padded over to Oscar and dropped the mouse.

After Oscar ate the mouse, Skippy called up a meeting with the cats. Skippy was seated upon a hill, while Cloud kept his distance.

  “Cloud?”, Skippy mewed, “Where will we go now?”

   The large white tom climbed up the hill, his paws tripping over all the vines and bushes.

  “We must head out of this forest. Before too long, The locals will notice us.”, Cloud meowed.

  “And who are the locals?”, Oscar asked.

  “The locals are badgers, and even coyotes.” , Cloud mewed.

“Then why have you led us here? I’d much rather face a dog than a coyote.”, Stray hissed.

  “I don't know.”, Cloud admitted. “But we must not turn back. We have to get to the pumpkin patch now, and it’s not far away.”

  Roars of agreement arose from the cats.

  “Lets go!”, Misty anxiously mewed.

  “Oscar, how are you feeling?”, Tobic asked.

  “Fine. I can’t wait to get to the pumpkin patch.”, Oscar meowed.

  The sun was setting, and despite there hopes of reaching the pumpkin patch by the night, they would risk tripping over a rock. Skippy noticed as they went on, the jungle he knew was close, as he curled up on a vine, and went to sleep.

  Skippy awoke everyone as soon as he could see the sun.

  “Seriously, Skippy, Do we have to get up meow?”, Cloud mewed with annoyance. “And of course I’m the first one you get up?”

  Skippy placed his tail over Clouds mouth, and led him past a familiar looking tree, covered in vines. And behold, Skippy had found his pumpkin patch.

  “ let’s get everyone up!”, Cloud suggested.

  “On it!”, Skippy mewed back. “Oh, I can’t wait for the cat’s to see this!”, Skippy exclaimed in delight. Every pawstep he took, his heart lifted, as he had no Idea how the clan would react.

  “Oscar!” I wonder if he heard me. “Oscar!!!”

  “What?!”

  “We have come to the pumpkin patch. Awake your clan and follow me.”

  “Ok, I will.” Oscar heaved himself up, and began to awake the sleepy cats, napping in the sun, which obviously took some time. The most cheerful cat to wake up and see the pumpkin patch was little Birch, who was constantly jumping around, and tripping over his paws. Skippy remembered when he was that small. matter  a fact, The two where not very far apart in age. Though Birch was excited, his mother, Misty, was not. All she wanted was sleep, despite the fact that she couldn't wait last evening. Misty, though would not get her whish with Birch constantly pouncing on her head, and attacking nearby leaves. Oscar continued to wake up the cats, with Stray assisting him. After the sun was high in the sky, The cat’s followed Skippy through the bushes, past the jungle tree, and through the vines.

 “Wow!”, Birch squeaked. Banana and smokey were not impressed, but everyone else was.

Oh, how Skippy missed his private days in the pumpkin patch. Just him and the bird, playing around. But now, many other cats could enjoy it here for generations to come, but still, he kind of liked it better without these cat’s.

Skippy watched the happy cats begin to make dens, hunting, and preparing for winter. Cloud sat beside Skippy on a hill, and looked down upon her small ‘valley’. But then, Skippy felt a cold gust of wind, and light flakes of snow began to cover the pumpkin patch, while the cat's began scrambling to get everything ready for when it will began to snow hard.

“We should’ve got here earlier. Let's help them repair the dens.”, Cloud sugusted.

“Good idea.”, Skippy mewed back.

The cats stumbled down the hill, getting their paws soaked with mud. Of course they would have a lot more mud on their paws after repairing the dens. Stray immediately padded up to meet them.

  “Glad you are here. The prey is gonna go into a den, and we have a lot to spare. We can be fed for a couple weeks without having to lift a paw.”, Stray mewed.

  “Good.”, Cloud mewed back. The three padded over to a den and began to sculpt. Misty and her kit had already made their den, While the rest where sculpting with speed. By night time, the dens were finished. Skippy  slept in a private den, while most of the cats slept in groups. He lay on his ferns and thought of old times in an igloo. Now he had a small mud den, filled with grass and ferns. His gaze rested upon the stars, as he curled up on a vine. Jungle Clan had began.

  Skippy jerked awake to the sound of a furious hiss. Of course, that was Stray, telling him to get up.

   “Alright, alright! What do you want now?”, Skippy spat.

  “I want you to get up.”, Stray mewed.

Skippy heaved his body up, and padded over to the feeding den. About five cats were gathered there already. Skippy chose a mouse from the pile and began to eat. Oscar padded next to him, and chose a vole.

  “ How’s it going , Oscar?”, Skippy mewed questionly. The old cat looked over to him; his eyes red and dry. Amazingly, the cat muttered something that Skippy could not hear.

He padded away to explore. Walking along a windy path of vines near camp, Skippy spotted a large tree stump, with small holes carved into it. Naturally, Skippy decided to see if the stump was hollow, and it was! The tree was in good shape too, with not a critter in sight. A small path appeared to be carved out, leading to another floor. Skippy hissed in fright as a black paw popped out and his his belly.

  “Who are you?!”, Skippy mewed, and hissed again at the sight of a colorful tail sticking out of a crack.

The first cat was a colossal black tom,even larger than Cloud, with fangs sticking out of his mouth. The next cat was a small colorful cat, who was constantly purring, all the time.

  “My name is Moon, and this is Licks. Call her Lickedy split, or Lickedy if you want. I don't care”, The black tom meowed, loudly. Just behind them, a giant pumpkin, about ten times the size of all three of the cats combined, was growing and was ready for harvest. The pumpkin had literally broken through the ceiling of the stump, and Skippy recalled seeing a large pumpkin sticking out of the top of the stump, and It had started on the first floor of the stump.

  “Is than a pumpkin?”, Skippy asked, stuned. The black cat gave him a long stare.

  “Yes, that is a pumpkin. It’s been here for quite some time”, Licks mewed.

  “Three moons, to be exact”, Moon meowed back. Wow. three whole moons!

  “But it’s time has come”, Licks mewed sadly. Moon stared down at his paws, and gave Lickedy a quick lick on her head.

  “Well the pumpkin looks very profitable - one seed can give you a thousand more!”,Skippy remarked.

Moon turned to face Skippy.

  “I’ve seen you before in the pumpkin patch. You survived for a bout a month, before meeting another cat and bringing a thousand more here.”, Moon hissed.

  “Well… It’s true, but it is for my own good.”, Skippy shareled lightly. Moon turned to him and hissed again.

  “Do you think that cat named Cloud is so strong? I’m twice his size!”

Skippy shivered as the large cat slowly heaved himself up to his paws, towering over Skippy.

  “ I did not come here to harm you, I just wanted to maby live here?”, Skippy peeped.

Moon smiled.

  “Well,I don't see why not”

 Chapter 4

Moonlight

Skippy’s mind teemed with excitement as the thought of living here was amazing. After he informed the clan of the spot, Skippy named it the main den where important cat’s slept, the clan meeting den, and the herb and garden den as well. Skippy slept in his den and gazed up upon the moonlight shadows. What a wonderful sight it was.

 

  Skippy looked around, surrounded by darkness, and the howling of dogs. He ran until he came to a very dark jungle, filled with thorns and the scent of fear. All he could see was dogs chasing cats, and the dripping of the blood stained grass, with a lead dog howling triumphantly.. Skippy ran as fast as he could, horrified, until he came to a cliff and overlooked the battle, wondering about how to get away from this mess. Silver appeared in the dark thunder and clouds,her pelt half transparent in the storm, and glowing blue. She took a deep breath, and finally mewed frantically

  “Dogs shall rise ,and cats shall fall.”

  Skippy jumped awake, and banged his head on the stump, waking Moon.

Licks awoke to and slightly glared at him.

  “Did you choke in your sleep, or do you just eat a badger?!”, He mewed in anger.

Skippy wondered if he should tell him.

  “I had a dream that dogs were chasing cats, and then Silver, my mother, appeared, and Mewed something about how dog will rise, and cats… will fall.”

  “What a bad dream”, Oscar mewed. Skippy whirled around, stunned.

  “What are you doing here at this hour?”, Skippy muttered, annoyed that Oscar, to ,had seen this embarrassing moment. 

  “I, too have had that dream. Your destiny is to save jungle clan. I have done all that I can. Now  I must leave to find another to help. We will meet again.”

Skippy’s mind flooded with grief.

  “Oscar, Why do you have to leave?” The old cat’s gaze turned to face him one last time.

  “I will always walk with you, wherever the path of life may take you.”, Oscar mewed, “ You will guide your clan through many hard times. You have been granted as leader of jungle clan by all of us.I have informed everyone that my time has come to leave. ”

  “Oscar! No!”

And as quickly as he had come, he was gone, off to help another. With a heavy heart, Skippy padded down to the  clan. Skippy then mewed to tobic

“You are now the clan elder.”, Skippy mewed softly. “You should train me, just as Oscar did, how to lead the clan.”  Tobic looked to him, deeply distressed.

  “Skippy, your training has always been complete. As Oscar once said to me shortly after he first met you, you were born ready. He will now help another cat even more ready than yourself.”, Tobic mewed quietly. Skippy looked down at his paws, completely humbled before this ancient cat.

Oscar

Flicker.com

Days later, Skippy made an announcement to the cats.

  “By next sunrise, we will began a mentoring program. An experienced cat will train a young cat seeking to learn battle, hunting, patience, and defence.” Cloud silently lashed his tail in agreement. Once the cats began carrying out tasks and going their separate ways, Skippy sat down by a vine, and it was his little vine nest from a season ago! Oh, how he loved it!

Skippy napped by his nest, and again he dreamt of dogs killing cats, but instead of Silver warning him in a yowl, Oscar calmly spoke of what was to come. Exhausted, Skippy decided to go to the stump and start planting the giant pumpkin seeds. For the next few days, nothing special happened. But on the third day, Skippy was simply licking himself, when he heard thrashing in the bushes. Startled, Skippy’s thoughts began to fly ahead of him. A angry beast? Skippy wondered. The grass made way for a tremendous coyote, which was even worse than what he had expected. Everyone began running away, but Skippy, for some reason, was not afraid to face the beast.  

  “You have no right to be here. This is OUR place,”, Skippy hissed, his fur puffing up to three times his size. The coyote appeared to be spitting out some type of insult, and Skippy struggled to understand. I wonder if he can understand me?. Without thinking, he launched himself at the coyote. Biting into its shoulder, and dodging blows from its giant paw, Skippy knew that he could win this. The coyote snapped his jaws, and jumped onto Skippy’s back, drawing blood.With a hiss of defiance, Skippy hurled himself at the coyote for a second time, getting ahold of its neck. He could make out it’s speech: pack destroy clan With a loud howl, the coyote ripped himself free, running off into the grass. Panting, Skippy collapsed onto the grass. Slowly, his clan circled around him, mewing.

  “I’m alright”, Skippy replied.

  Back in the Stump, Skippy sat next to licks.

  “You fought well for a cat so young”, She mewed. Skippy looked down at his paws embarrassed by the praise.

 “I’m going to go hunting”, Skippy mewed. Running through the grass, Skippy noticed that white flakes began to fall. A mouse quickly scurried up a tree, and all the rabbits hopped away, all but a big white hair, with green eyes. The hair shuffled around carelessly through the grass, pulling up roots and carrots. Skippy went into a slow crouch, carefully making sure not to snap a twig. Snow began covering the ground, and Skippy found it hard to walk without crunching. The hare’s head shot up, scanning the show covered terrain,and continued to search for roots. Skippy was crouching just a paw length away behind it. He leaped at the hair, bit its neck, and began padding through the snowy ground. Skippy pushed through a bush, and returned back to the “downtown” of the clan. Cloud could be seen making his bedding, while an elderly tom called Speckles ate his kill. Skippy padded into the moonlit den and dropped the hare onto a rock, signaling that anyone that wants it can have it. Skippy then padded over to the tree stump, to see Stray returning with a mouthful of herbs.

  “Here. let me take care of them.”, Skippy mewed, politely. Stray gave him a grateful nod, and padded away. It was so weird having made a new clan in a full moon’s time. Oscar finally got to see the pumpkin patch, and even though he had passed, Oscar seemed more alive than ever in his dreams, young and strong. Skippy also realised that the clan was working hard, and a trail of herbs and catnip had been planted along the sides of the path. Or was this a tribe, or a group? Skippy didn't know for sure, but he liked the way the word clan sounded better than tribe or group. Once home, Skippy padded up to the second story, and he was greeted by Moon  [Moonlight] .

  “Let me show you something”, The tom asked. Skippy wondered how many more surprises Moonlight, also called Moon, had in store for him. “ follow me.”, Moon said. The muscular tom pulled his body up the stump, and through a small moss covered hole, and Skippy followed. They sat upon the top of the stump, with the pumpkin sticking out. Skippy, of course, decided to climb it, and behold, a full moon shone in the sky, flanked by sparkling stars, upon the starlit sky.

  “Wow!”, Skippy mewed, taking a good look at the starlight clouds. Moon curled up, and Skippy did to. Skippy slept very well that night.

  Skippy bolted awake. He had been asleep for a long, long time. The Sun was already high in the Sky.

  “Skippy!”, Moon meowed. Skippy got up and slid down the stump, ripping up bark. Ouch. Moon clearly had a sad look on his face.

  “What?”, Skippy asked, unaware of what was happening.

  “Tobic, patience, gracie, and smokey, AND speckles are… DEAD!”

  “WHAT?”, Skippy asked, “ALL OF THEM?”

  “Yes…All of them lost their last life except smoky who has three lives left.” Moon mewed. “All of them.” but how?, Skippy wondered. How can all those old cats die in a night?

  “At least they lived a long time.”, Skippy mewed, and then paused.

  “Wait! Remember your dream? Those dogs must be picking us out one by one, and soon they’ll kill us all!”, Moon scowled.

  “We have no evidence of that.”, Skippy meowed calmly.

  “Then I suppose they all died AT THE SAME TIME!”, Moon retorted.

  “ I repeat, they were old and it is entirely possible that they all did indeed die at the same time. We will send a patrol of cats to search the pertemis.”, Skippy said.

Moon lashed his tail and padded away. Skippy saw cats place the cats bodys in the patch and bury them. Now Skippy had no elder to ask for advice. Accept one… Skippy padded, pawing at grass, down to stray’s muddy den covered with slime in the shape of a dome. Stray was quietly sitting inside, licking his paws.

  “Stray! I need you to be our elder.”, Skippy urged.

  “What, Me? Are you calling me old?”

  “No, of course not. But your the only thing close to an elder. Your wise”, Skippy didn't really mean it, but it was the only thing that would make him do it, but wasn't he grouchy? “And your middle age?...And...”  Stray’s fur puffed up, and went down, but his rigid back was still disturbing.

  “What about Misty? Or Bear? How could you forget Bear? He is twelve years old! I, myself am only nine.”, Stray meowed, trying to control his inner wrath. Skippy’s mind lit up like lightning. Bear… Bear…

  “I’ll try for him at once.”, Skippy mewed firmly. “I completely forgot about old Bear.”

  A small mud den, resting beside a garden of catnip, popped out to him. This must be Bear’s home, Skippy thought, wondering what his place was like. He had not seen bear around barley at all since Oscar left. A massive dusky brown tom with stripes and splotches emerged from the den.

  “Hello. You must be Skippy. What do you seek?”, Bear mewed, his voice very high pitched for such a large tom, but it seemed welcoming in a way… “Come in young friend. “ Skippy padded into a simple den of ferns and roses.

  “Something is at my concern. Speckles, Patience,Tobic, and Gracie, AND Smokey are gone. You should advise me and be an elder to me. I just started with blue clan…”

  “You mean jungle clan? Well I can't do much to help, but I sure can advise. As your great uncle, or whatever I am, I shall train you with advice about how to defeat a dog. The rest, like leadership, are unnecessary. As my good friend tobic once meowed.” Skippy felt a little pressure fly off his shoulder, and remembered how many other things he had left to do.

  “When do these ‘sessions’ start?”, Skippy asked, full of shining curiosity from ears to tail.

  “Two sunrises from meow.. I mean now.”, Bear said, “oh my I’m getting old”, He muttered.

At the top of the stump, Skippy thought about Bear. He was certainly a nice character, no doubt about that.

Oscar, Silver, and Smokey rested upon a rock, their transparent pelts glowing blue.

  “Welcome, my young one”, Smokey mewed pleasantly. “When I died, that was just the beginning. Your new clan is in grave danger, and sinister pearles await your future.” Again he woke up, and day began. He was annoyed that he couldn't get satisfying and restful sleep, but at least he didn't wake up. Time to start my day., Skippy thought, happly. Tomorrow he would begin training. Skippy was shocked to think that he was no longer a kitten. He was a cat.

The clan was facing a dark hour. Only eight cats were left, and somewhere in bad health. Why did leading have to be so hard? Jungle clan went from strong, to weak in just a few days. Oscars death was a serious blow, with others to follow. Skippy felt weak and alone.

A shadow cast over Skippy’s back. Another coyote! The creature barked out something about coming in peace.

  “What do you mean you come in peace?”, Skippy retorted

  “I come warn you. Pack strong… Cat weak…”, The monster growled.

  “I will not allow you to come here to threaten our peaceful clan and kill cats, but if you want a fite, you’ll have it! A cat has reported you killing 5 cats!”, Skippy spat. The beast turned away, and zoomed past the patch, in fear. Skippy ran down back to the camp. Skippy crawled up a vine and called a clan meeting. Cats came running out, and began taking seats around the giant jungle tree, towering through the clouds. Skippy begun.

  “Greetings. Our camp has been invaded by dogs. We MUST began patrolling around the camp. I have been told by Moon that five cats have now been killed by them. Now that they have been around, they will return. I personally will follow a dog once they leave, and find their camp. Once found, We will attack. Before that, though we all must began training and get revenge if the dogs refuse to stop.”  Skippy dismissed the clan and began to clear out thorns surrounding the entrance of the camp. Paws sore, Skippy slowly padded back to the stump, through the grassy path, anxious for the dog to return, and also anxious to continue his training with Bear. Sleeping on the rough top of it and curled up next to Moon and Licks, and thinking of the future. Morning came quickly, and Skippy began making his way to bears den. Bear was resting in his den.

  “Is this a good time?”, Skippy asked.

   “Yes. come in. I saw what you did last night in the meeting. You did well. I don’t think you need to know anything more except this one valuable lesson: try not to lose your lives. Smokey saved his lives, so when all the other cats died, he still had three lives left. Though smoky is old and slightly fussy, you should look up to him in that respect.”

After thinking about it, Skippy agreed.

Skippy decided, though nervous, to ask how many lives bear had left.

  “Bear? How many lives do you have left?”, Skippy mewed questionly. Bare gazed at Skippy, his eyes twinkling.

  “I am not as good at the life game as Smoky is. I have two left, and I am twelve. Not bad, but I probably should have not wasted so many lives in a battle with a pack of dogs a couple years ago, when I lived in the tribe of Blue. That day I used seven lives.”

Skippy stared in shock. How could a cat use seven lives in a day?

  “That is all you need to know, Skippy. I wish you luck in saving the clan.”

 After the training session, a downpour hit the pumpkin patch, the cattail reeds waning without mercy. A large bolt of lightning lit up the sky. Then, as Skippy began frantically running to the stump, a massive blue bolt of lightning hit a jungle tree, and began a fire. Crackling in the wind, the large tree turned black and brown as the fire spread.

  “Skippy! The tree is gonna fall on Birch!”, Cloud wailed as the tree began to wain. Skippy stared in horror at the frozen little body of birch, with wide, scared eyes. Running through the grass, Skippy grabbed little birch by the scuff as the tree began falling over. He could now feel the wind on his fur of the falling tree. Now or never. He jumped out of the way just in time as the tree fell onto a patch of bush and began burning it to dust.The Sky had turned to night from all the clouds, and the only light came from the large bolts of lightning. Thunder filled Skippy’s ears as more trees began to wain. He had noticed that the sky had been unusually cloudy the past few days, but the storm was quite unexpected. Birch ran to his den, and Skippy ran to his home.A Lightning zap just missed him as he charged to the safety of the stump. Moon was curled up beside Licks, and Skippy decided to join them. The rain beats upon the stump’s top like drums, and Skippy wondered if this sudden event had to do with his dreams from his ancestors.

Chapter 6

New additions

Morning revealed the outcome of last night's storm. A few dens fell to the ground, and Misty and Stray apparently both lost a life. Skippy actually didn't feel bad for Stray, and almost said something of praise out loud. Sadly, they were not rely a clan at all anymore, and the one queen they had to multiply the clan was still nursing her small litter of one [Birch], and it would be a while before Misty’ mate, Stray and her would have another kitten. Misty and Stray where siting limply upon a patch of rocks, recovering from a life loss. Bear and Smoky began repairing the broken den and placing the cracked tablets of mud into a pile, while Moon and licks went off hunting; Everything was going fine so far. Skippy decided to help out by collecting herbs;

  “Skippy?”, bear mewed, “Me and smokey are finally done sorting dried clay, and we want something else to do.”

Skippy turned and mewed

 “You could take a rest. You sure need it.”

 “Never!”, Bear hissed.

  “If you want to work so bad, then can you weed the herb crops or help the pumpkins?”, Skippy said. Why do some cats never rest? Skippy thought, I guess i’ll find out one day.

  “That’s more like it”, Bear mewed.

  “Good, and thank you so much, bear.”

Night fell upon the pumpkin patch; A large tabby sat upon a rock, gazing up at the sky.A silver tabby sat beside him, too. This must be a dream, Skippy thought, That must be Oscar and Silver.

“Deep trouble has come to the forest”, Oscar mewed.Silver met his eyes.

“Yes. A pack is near the pumpkin patch, strong and fully capable of producing mass destruction.I fear for the clan much.” Silver mewed thoughtfully.

Weeping cedars lined the forest, and palms and birches lay ahead. Suddenly, Skippy felt a strong wind tug at his fur. Holding onto a root, Skippy watch helplessly bushes around him blew away, and soon trees. Finally once he, too could not hold upon the root, blew into a never ending spiral of darkness…

Jerking awake, Skippy felt the hot breath of Moon and licks flow throughout his body. Thanks for the nightmare, guys, Skippy thought, annoyed. He looked about the stump and saw the sun slowly rising. They had overslept. Rising, Skippy then went back to yesterday’s job of gathering herbs. Once done, after sorting roots and seeds, Skippy saw gleaming eyes peer out of a bush, and knew this was his chance. Coyote! The beast noticed Skippy, but did not back down.

  “Come on cats!”, Skippy mewed, “We have a coyote to deal with.” Cats began a circle around the beast with wide scared eyes. Skippy, Moon and perhaps Bear where the only cats not afraid. Hurling his body at the monster, with Moon by his side, Skippy felt more determined than ever before. Moon bit at the neck, while Skippy tried to hold it down: But Skippy felt his warm blood gush from a wound as the coyote scratched and bit. With a mew of protest, Moon was knocked over and held by the neck. Before Skippy could react, Cloud dove into the body of the coyote, knocking it off it’s paws. With tremendous effort, Cloud took a fatal bite to the scruff of its neck. Taking cloud down, it bit clouds neck, and the white cat went limp, lying upon the ground, motionless. He had lost a life. Turning, the coyote bound away, with Moon, Licks, Skippy and Cloud in presuit. Cloud had recovered quickly, but he was still stumbling and tripping. Cloud may be weak right now, but he is doing great. The camp was WAY closer than any cat thought, just a little way behind the grass and vines. But seeing how many coyotes there where, the cat’s turned and fled right back to camp, the wind roaring in his ears.

  “Their camp is just beyond the grass field”, Skippy mewed. Cats begun to whisper scared thoughts about; Stray came up.

  “ We should abandon camp and return to the lake!”, He mewed. How dare he speak that way! We’ve come a long way, and can't turn back!  Chatering broke out among the ranks of the cats, meowing with agreement.

  “Stop!”, Skippy yowled above the clan. “We’ve come a long way, and can't turn back! “ Chatering in dismay, cat’s began going their separate ways.

  That night, Skippy dreamt of stars going their separate ways. I have to keep this clan afloat.

Later that day, Skippy ordered guards to circle the camp to keep everyone safe. Skippy often heard growling in his ears. His ears often played tricks on him. Anxiety growing, Skippy padded over to his den and took some prey. He padded over the area to where cats made dirt, and saw coyote dirt, too. They were slowly but surely invading Skippys territory, a mess of unorganised rankings of cats. Skippy also had to transform the clan. They needed solid leadership and rankings if they were going to survive. Skippy did not know what to do. They had only seven cats left. They just had to find more.

***

The cold show melted on my soft shivering paws as small bits of it fell effortlessly from the cloudy sky.It was another winter. It was also already near dark.

Speckles padded over to his  tribe's main area where all the dens where. He could see old blue sitting in the clearing with his pointy ears and large whiskers giving commands to the various cats gathering the last bits of food that they could find.

Speckles timidly walked over the deep ice cold snow to star who was seated on a rock.

“What may I do sir”speckles nervously said to his leader.

“Go get some rest, and tomorrow you will find your mentor. He will train you to hunt so you may become a great member of our tribe”,starr replied in a shaky voice.

Speckles walked past a couple barren trees and ugly bushes, through the cold heaps of snow and finally to his domed rockie den.

‘At last! I can get some good sleep!” speckles happily thought as he curled up in his warm nest of ferns and a variety of flowers and leaves.But something troubled him.Who was to become his master? Would it be mean fang? Or would it be nice spots?

Speckles had been on a journey through the jungle for a long time, and they were soon to abandon camp. Star wanted Speckles to learn to hunt and train. They were heading past a lake that some call “Blue lake” with a million cattail reeds! Oh, Speckles wanted stripes to play with him, but he was tired. Now to think of it, Speckles was tired too! Hmmm… Where could I sleep?

  Waking heated up from the sun, Speckels was on mammas back and they were in a dense forest. He could not wait to get out of there! Star, aged ten, was the oldest cat in the clan, and probably in the world. He must be dumb, Speckles thought. I’m only a month old! How can I train and hunt! I know what would be purrfect! Going to SLEEP. As the light dimed into twilight, an old looking cat appeared. He was the reddest tabby ever, but his bones creaked when he walked.

  “who...Who are you?”, Speckles mewed. The old cat gently patted his head.

  “I am known to many as grandpaw Oscar.”, The old cat said. Speckles did not know who that was, but the calmness in this cat intrigued him. Oscar sat by his side, and a vision of pumpkins was bestowed upon him.

  “Follow the pumpkins, my friend. For your destiny there is to be the most powerful cat of all time. Follow the pumpkins”, Oscar softly meowed. “Follow the pumpkins, I shall speak with star now, little one.Just remember those words all your life.”

Speckles awoke with a peaceful mind set, knowing that

 They would go to the pumpkins. The cats arose, as Star veered Sharply to an orange light… When the cat's emerged from the jungle, they saw another group of cats Speckles did not know if they were friend or foe, but star was seen talking to a silver tabby that must have been their leader. And by nightfall, they had joined Jungle clan.

Speckles could not believe what happened in the course of three days. Suddenly they join this small clan He had no idea at all of what to think of this. So Star was the clan’s secondary leader, now that the clans fused, and Skippy still stayed on top. That’s not fair, Speckles thought, annoyed. Skippy Just turned one, and Star is TEN, and somehow SKIPPY LEADS? He padded over to a pumpkin sprout and pawed at it with Stripes, his brother. Stripes was a fine cat. He was strong enough, but always got sick… Speckles already did not like these cats. Four clans fused together. Blue clan, us, Moon clan, and Skippy's clan fused now to become jungle clan. Well blue clan was the worst. Speckles had woken up one morning and bumped into stray, who immediately hissed at him. Speckles shook away his thoughts and padded over to a green pumpkin, it’s edge shining bright from the sun. This looks gross, Speckles thought. Who are we to eat PUMPKINS? He soon found out that it tasted really GOOD. hmmm.

***

Skippy just finished discussing with Star, a white strong cat. He padded over to his twisted stump, The pumpkins shining bright orange along the path. Moon and licks greeted him. Skippy told them the news, and Moon jumped for joy, his paws flailing in the air, while Licks let out a satisfied mew. Now the clan had been divided into four groups; The stump in the north; Blue clan in the south; Star’s clan in the east; and the main pumpkin patch in the west

Licking himself to sleep, Skippy had no Idea that tomorrow blood would spill…

As the sky darkened, lightning struck and a tree came topeling down again, killing Stray. The air was soon filled with smoke and the most disgusting scent ever - dog. It was obvious that they would strike soon. They had been in standoff far too long. The fire revealed dark silhouettes skipping around the area of the cats. Loud barking and howling with the contrast of the crackling fire Made Skippy’s  ears give out for a bit. Skippy finally stood up to see a great black cloud loom over the pumpkin patch. Rain belted down like crazy, and within a minute you could see puddles forming in the crevices where former pumpkins stood. Roaring of blood filled Skippy’s ears as he prepared for something. He ran out to the lead coyote, brushing past weak vines.  “I am Skippy, a member of Jungle Clan. We do not mean harm upon you. We need not fight, rather, we can co exist. You stick to your side, and we to ours. Any cat of mine caught passing the border will be punished.” Skippy half wondered if they could even understand him, or were they just not interested. The lead beast walked up to Skippy.

  “You leave dawn” he roared.

They wanted them to leave at dawn! Skippy put his paw on the coyotes head and drew a drop of blood.

  “ you will not make us leave. I will die before you do that!” Skippy said.

The thing looked into skippy’s eyes with darkness and evil and greed.

  “Leave, o’ fight” The thing said. “O’ die.”

At dawn, the cat’s woke to coyotes around the camp. This was it. As skippy began charging, so did the others, and only then did he realise how much he was loved. Time slowed into a blur until he eventually became dizzy and could no longer feel the grass under his paws. He fell onto his side, got up and continued charging the five coyotes. He took on the leader. He flew, crashing into his foe, with Cloud fighting with him, matching his battle blow for blow. The coyote bit Skippy’s paw and blood tinkled from the pad. Moon helped the pair and used his massive body mass to knock a Coyote back. Licks began swiftly dogging and fighting alike, as Star flung himself onto a coyote, pinning it down and killing it. Skippy definitely admire the old cat. In contrast, Birch and his pal Speckles were frozen in fear, wild a few of Star’s original clanmates that Skippy haven't met yet begun defending their former leader, who was obviously weak. Skippy lunged again, exposing the beast’s soft underbelly, which he ranked with his sharp Claws. The Battle led Skippy onto a large rock, and he was standing on the edge, which plummeted a few cat’s lengths down. A young swift cat jumped onto the Coyotes back, allowing Skippy to get off the ledge, and resume pawing at the Coyote's eyes. Skippy took his paws, and with all his might shut the coyote's gaping mouth, while the young cat began biting m.e. Coyote's neck. After several minutes, and a lot of Skippy’s strength, The Coyote's movement’s softened, and he became limp. He gathered all his last strength and bit Skippy’s Ear. Now a cat with a little bit of a chipped ear for a souvenir, Skippy stood triumphantly admiring his bleeding souvenir in a puddle from last night’s snow and rain. Skippy turned to the brown-furred cat and shyly  uddered a thankyou. The cat revealed her name to be Starlight - the daughter of Star himself. Skippy could not help to look at her swift body, and light paws. She was two - and Skippy was two. Skippy had fallen in love…

The cat’s ended the long standoff once and for all, and Skippy walked up to a great bluf, staring down at a small river leading to Blue lake. Though his troubles were far from over, he still felt quite relieved, and relaxed. Yet he could only wonder what would happen next, and next, and next, until his name was long forgotten.

***

Speckles shook some dust off his rugged pelt.

  “Moma, can I play with birch?”, he asked

  “No my dear. It is late, and our day draws to an end.” Leaf was constantly amused by her misctevious little kit. Speckles was, however, unamused by her mom.

  “Awwwww! Come on! He is the only cat my age for  the entire span of the river and the lake! Plus, we can talk to each other about how many coyotes we almost killed! I can tell him that I touched one!”, Speckles hissed,

  “Don’t worry little one. You may play once the sun rises”

  Speckles woke his mother by curling up on her face and purring. Before he knew it, he and Birch were exploring. They went deep into the jungle, trying to practice hunting by pouncing on spring leaves drifting past their kit pelts.

  “Do you see that, Speckles?”, Birch mewed with excitement,

  “See what?”, Speckles asked,

  “ A clearing just over there! I see a cool little bird with a bunch of twigs. Let’s chase it. When we come home, our mom’s will be so proud of us for getting it!”. Birch put in.

  “Yeah!”

Of course, They did not get the bird, but the little kit’s had something to brag about to their parents.

Skippy sat down next to Star. “tell me something about your clan”, he asked,

well,” , star began, “When I was a young cat, I lived in my clan, with my father, Thunderstorm, and my mother, Starlight. I also lived with about ten others. Well, one day, I was walking down the forest, looking for prey, when I spotted a young, timid cat. I welcomed him into the clan, and he became my best friend. We trained together, day and night, to take on the most evil cat ever - tiger. I beat tiger, eventually, and Ryan, the other cat, beat Blood, his replacement a few months later. Thunderstorm weakened, and I became clan diplomat, and then his number two. Ryan became an excellent hunter - the best in the clan. Well, when evil cats attacked our clan again, we fought and fought. Thunderstorm got a gash in his shoulder and became weak for a few days till starlight found a few herbs to heal him. I was acting as leader for a brief time. My twelve year old father was simply getting weak as the years went on. The evil catts got an actually good leader - Thunder. He was my half brother. Our clan finally absorbed his, and Thunder became a hunter. I, Star, held my position, until later that year, Thunderstorm passed. Ryan became my number two, and held that position for six years, until he unexpectedly passed away a while ago. I guess eventually, we found you, Skippy, and decided it would be best to be absorbed ourselves.”

  “WOW.”, Skippy mewed, “What a legendary cat you are!”

  “ Well”, Star explained, “my grandfather was thunderstar, leading moon clan. He started as the kit of falconstar, grandson of Moonstar. He trained hard for all his life, And became deputy when berrystorm died in battles with a dark forest. He fought and fought, and when falconstar finally passed, he led for many years.”

  Skippy settled In his den, shaking some dirt off his pelt. Starlight padded in, licked his pelt, and sat down by him. Skippy brushed her off, knowing that it was not his time to become her mate. He walked outwards, through the branches, and trees He passed the garden, and crouched in  a hunting position. He then crept up on a mouse. Swiftly, and with great graceful leaps, he caught the  mouse. Then, he quickly ate it, and caught a few more for the rest. When he returned to camp, he made an announcement. Passing through the gardens, he thought about going out and expanding the territory of the cats. The cats slowly crept out of their dens, as if annoyed at skippy for interrupting them. Skippy knew that the disorganized clan Was not satisfied with him, and he had to organize them, or face demotion.

  “Dear members, I would like to announce a reformed clan. We will now have structured ranks. You must obey your higher. Cloud, you will be our co leader. You will be a second, and will lead when I’m not here. Then there will be members. All of you males up to the age of eight are members. Disabled, and/or elderly cats at the age of eight plus will be elders. Mothers, and female cats will be fosters. Our kittens will be called training members, or members in training. You will be a member at eight months to a year of age. I want my elders to be the leaders here. They as a whole will have the power to banish, remove the leader, demote the co. leader, and promote.” Cats who gather exchanged looks, as if Skippy was crazy or something. Cloud proudly sat up at the naming of skippys oldest friend. Cloud was not just an old friend, he was four now, and Skippy turned three sometime ago. If they had been a little younger, they would be members when Skippy’s reorganization movement began. Skippy then announced something new to the clan:

  As the wind silently raised fur, Skippy spoke,

  “ I want to test this out. Cloud is in charge, while I will expand our territory. I want to get more land, and many more food. Instead of going south towards Blue lake, I want to go north a little bit”

The clan grudgingly nodded, and walked away, backs turned to their leader. Bear padded up to Skippy, and pulled him aside towards a small patch of vines.

  “You are not making a good choice, my friend. No one wants a cat telling them what to do. Besides, Cloud is not what I would chose for a co. leader. Members are already discussing taking over with an elder as a replacement.” Skippy had no idea what to think.Why so fast and random? Did Bear want this? Did Bear start all of this? “Look, skippy, I will always support you. I am on your side. I just want you to know what they are plotting, and to stay cautious. Don’t make big decisions like this until it blows over.” Skippy froze. He had fended off the coyotes. He led them here, He just organised them. But because he was young, and because Some opposed organisation, he may have to fork over the top spot. Life was getting too fast. Not long ago things happened slowly.  Suddenly, a old friend went on a new journey, an attack was staged, and now his top spot was being threatened. Skippy had thought very little of oscar after he moved on, But by now he really needed the old cat’s advice. The only recent advice was a random foresight from Oscar. He said that in the future, Skippy’s descendants will be more powerful and wise than any cat before him, and will rule long after his death, until Skippy’s name was long forgotten, and oscar’s name had not be mentioned for generations. But how would that help anything! Why couldn't Oscar just return and help him instead of saying saying some stupid prophecy of his descendants??? Skippy padded around, and before he even knew it, he was at the cornfield, feeling down. He would soon be an outcast. Skippy did not head north that day. He just sulked. At midday, Skippy herd rustling in the bushes. A fat CAT emerged. Skippy jumped back as if he had seen a cucumber. He arched his back in anger.

  “Who in the world are you?” Skippy mumbled. The fat cat wobbled closer.

  “ I was sent by Oscar. He is in very poor health, and lost four lives. He is on his last one. He told me to comfort you. I am the last cat that is not in your clan, besides Oscar in the whole forest. My name PopTart, yours?” He asked, his eyes dilated. Skippy was very confused. He had no Idea Oscar was still alive, because it seemed that he would pass on any day by the time He left. Maybe he directed Star’s clan somehow in a dream. He was mad, and he was not afraid to show it.

  “First, don’t you say hello before you speak, and second why are you called Pop Tarts, and third why did you sneak up on me? I’m not in a good mood right now. I’m in a leadership crisis, and you are not helping!!!”, Skippy hissed through clenched teeth. Half an hour ago, he was organizing the clan, and now just thirty minutes later, he was sitting on a corn husk, and was sulking in a cornfield, feeling lonely, as HIS clan might be taken over any second?

  “Look, Skippy. Something bad is happening in your clan right NOW they will forget about being mad when they go through the forest being destroyed.”, the cat meowed. “You are missing the point; the coyotes came and now you have more dangerous invaders that no can can beat: Man.”

Sippy was confused.

  “What is man?”, he asked.

  “Man is a hairless ape, and the coyotes are their slaves. They call them their pets. The coyotes were meant to kill you so that you cats did not get in the way.  Your clan has been spied on for months. By the humans without you knowing!

Cloud Whisked around as a cat jabed him in the back. He was tired enough already. As he slowly and lazly turned his small head,Some weird hairless apes. Something was walking into the woods. The world went silent. He saw a soft gust of wind flow through the grass and the trees. Something about them did not seem right. He saw his fellow clan shocked and unmoving, just like himself. A flock of gray feathered birds flew off.  The cat’s stood their ground as they had when the coyotes attacked. These strange apes had different color skin: a blue top, a black bottom, a black top and blue legs. Things had been peaceful and suddenly two bad events in a row had happened. This was bad.  Of course these apes may be just fine, but  he had heard stories like this of apes walking into the woods and a while later cut down trees while inside the belly of a monsterous medal beast. But those were just folktales, and there might just be nothing wrong.

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