“From then on, Cinnamon was always the nervous one. Silvermoon, on the other hand, was always the adventurous one. I was in between, but I really wanted to get down from that cramped place. Also, what is that sound? It was loud… Suddenly, I didn’t want to go down.”
Prologue: The Death
Sky burst into the grass with a cry of pain as she fell. Tom, her husband, yelled at all the blood. Then, Honey was born. Tom knew that his mate would not live, so Honey would be the light of his life. He watched as a new kit, Silvermoon, was born. He was perfect. Then, Cinnamon, a new kitten was born. Sky let out a shriek of pain as she breathed in her last breath. Then, she died. Tom wailed. Then, he looked at the kits. He would give them to Ice, and she would help.
Chapter One: What?
I opened my eyes. “What? Where? Who?” I said.
“You’re finally awake,” Silvermoon said.
“Where is Ice? Can we get down?” Cinnamon said.
“What if we fall? What if we fall?”
From then on, Cinnamon was always the nervous one. Silvermoon, on the other hand, was always the adventurous one. I was in between, but I really wanted to get down from that cramped place. Also, what is that sound? It was loud… Suddenly, I didn’t want to go down.
Silvermoon said, “Those are basketballs. Anyway, let’s just get down.”
So, I found a route by jumping from box to box to get to the floor. Silvermoon followed me immediately.
Cinnamon was like, “Hmmm, should I?”
By the time she decided to come down, we were already halfway across the floor, but Cinnamon leapt a box too high. I caught my teeth and dragged her to the floor, or that is what I intended to do. Instead, she flopped on top of me and jumped onto the cement floor. I leapt and caught her, but then really it just hurt.
Silvermoon was like, “Come on, let’s keep going.” So, we did. Then, I heard the basketballs. I mean, really heard them. Then, I nearly got smacked in the face by one of them.
Some big creature with fur on top of its head said, “Oh, cute kitty.”
We ran from that point into a backyard. Then, Silvermoon, Cinnamon, and I just ran back. Then, we didn’t know how to get back up. First, Silvermoon leapt and fell. Then, I leapt and caught something with my nose which hurt, and then I grabbed it with my claws which ripped one of them. Then, everybody joined me. In the end, the worst injury of it was a scraped face which belonged to Cinnamon. No wonder she was always the scaredy-cat. She always had the worst luck. Then, we waited. And waited. Then finally, we saw a white she-cat. We stared at it and asked each other who she was. She was Ice, our adopted mother, according to Cinnamon. Well, apparently she was supposed to take care of us. I stared at her and decided okay, if she can feed me. Then, we went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, a figure was in the doorway.
He said, “Hi. I am Tom, your father.” Tom looked old. Then, he said, “C’mon, let’s explore.”
Then, he lifted me up and set me, Silvermoon, and Cinnamon down. I ran out. No basketballs this time.
Tom led us into the woods. Sniff sniff. Squirrel! And fox! Tom leapt in front of us. I did not know Tom very well. But he was our dad. All four of us ran! From that day forward, Tom came every day. And Ice came at night. But it could not stay that way…
Chapter Two: Ice Gone
I was three months! Tom came as usual.
He said, “Do you want to see something strange?”
We went outside, and there was a cat, Ice, and a dog! The dog leapt at Ice, but she dodged under its legs. The dog ran up and hit her. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. So, I thought, I could dodge in, jump on his back to distract him, and then he would buck me, and then he’d land on her anyway. Or, I could dodge under his feet and get myself killed. Well, while I was deciding, and I will regret this, the dog landed on her. We ran to her. The dog ran away at the sight of all three of us. Ice was dead.
We buried her in the woods. Then, we stood by her grave to wait for that dog. And then they could get revenge. Then, we went back. I crawled back that night, but there was no Ice. And from then till now, I regret that I had not died in her place.
Far away, in his own nest, Tom was trying to think. What would he do next? He thought, but there was nothing. He ran over to the hillside, but then he was in the garage. Honey woke with a start. Then, it was morning. It was a normal morning.
Chapter Three: Tom Gone People Come
Tom said, “Come on already.”
We hunted, but the woods were empty. Then, I saw people! Two grown-ups and a child.
Writer here: The child was me!
“Guys, come here,” I said.
And then I ran back inside, but the child saw me. She looked over at me, but gave me a weird look, like she closed one eye and then looked away. She looked super bored. Well, I better go inside.
“Inside,” Tom said. “Those things,” he spat out the word, “are going somewhere. We can follow them and find out where they’re going.” He ran out in front of us.
“I guess we should follow him,” I said. After that, we walked and walked.
Tom said, “Well, it looks like we should stop for the night.”
I said, “Are we going back?”
Tom said, “No, we should just learn how to camp in a place that’s not home.”
It was super hard to sleep that night. I was worried there were foxes…
In the morning, I was tired, but we ran on. We ran behind the car. I don’t know why the car had stopped all night, but we were lucky.
We kept running behind the car. A car was behind us. We ran to the side. We were lucky. The cars passed. And then, we were in a crowded place. I don’t know where. We decided to turn back, but we couldn’t. We kept running and running and running. But soon something was hurting my pads. But soon night was falling. We had to keep going! We had to keep going! The car stopped! Where were we? Who knew. We made camp. We were there for a week, but that’s a story for later. We waited and waited and waited. One day, we saw the car! We could go! We started walking and walking and walking. I smelled country air! We were here!! Then, we rounded the corner. A car!!! I ran, just ran. When I looked, an orange Tom was lying in the street. Tom! His chest was still! I wailed. What would I do now? I felt like a stranger in the world. Where? What? I felt a wave of despair. I wanted to collapse and die. It was the most painful thing that had ever happened to me. But just then, Cinnamon collapsed. I knew how she felt. I felt the same way. But I was the older sister. I had to be strong.
Chapter Four: Older Sister
I felt different, stronger but empty. I was older. But I was like no one, like my soul had been ripped out. But then I looked at Silvermoon and Cinnamon. I had to keep going. Again, I was the older sister, I had to keep repeating that in my mind.
“So,” I told Silvermoon and Cinnamon, “let’s keep going.”
I kind of felt like Tom’s soul was guiding me. So, I kept going too. We walked, and then night started to fall. We reached our home. That would have been a woot woot for me before. I remembered: I was the older sister, the one in charge. But then something weird happened. Three strange cats were standing outside the garage. When I say strange, I mean strange. One was black. I mean all black. I mean midnight black with the darkest blue eyes you’ve ever seen. She was creepy! Then, there was a ginger tom-cat that pained me to look at. He looked so much like Tom. Then, there was a caramel colored one. The black one stepped forward and introduced herself as Night. That made sense. She was as black as night. Then, the ginger tom-cat introduced himself as Maple. Good, it wasn’t Tom!
Right now, Maple is looking over my shoulder grinning at this.
Then, the caramel tom introduced himself as Caramel. Okay, that was obvious. I could tell he wasn’t that smart. He hissed and jumped at nothing. Night had to restrain him from going absolutely bonkers. So, I introduced myself and my two siblings. Then, they said they’d be living here. I was very welcoming, or I tried my best… Night looked a bit younger than me… Oh right, I was the older sister again.
Night came to visit, and now she’s also grinning over my shoulder while I’m writing this, and she said, “I did not look so young!”
Just a second, I have to tell her that she did.
Well, I knew a place where they could stay. I almost turned to Tom, but I stopped. Another wave drowned me in the ocean of despair.
“I’ll show you the way,” I said. I showed them to a nice stream where they could stay. I went back to the garage. I could not sleep that night. I kept seeing Tom lying in the street.
Chapter Five: Honey and Maple Sitting in a Tree
The next day, I saw Maple looking lost. I went over to see if I could help, and I told him the best spot to hunt. He looked completely lost with my directions, so I led him. I hunted with him and shared a mouse. Then, I invited him to the garage. A few minutes later, Cinnamon came in and started singing,
“Maple and Honey sitting in a tree… ” And then I jumped at her and slashed at her. She ran faster than you could say “Honey.” Embarrassment burned on my cheeks.
We went to sleep. When I woke up, Silvermoon was yelling at me. “Why are you snuggling with a stranger?”
It happened several more nights until… I started expecting my first kitten. Well, I felt like everybody was scuttling around me like bugs, giving me food and water. I could hunt for myself, thank you! And I could walk also.
Maple’s peering over my shoulder yelling at me, “I was not scuttling like a bug!”
Now Golden’s here and is peering at this and says to her dad, “You were scuttling.”
“How do you know? You weren’t even there!” That’ll end up in a long argument.
And I started to try and ignore them. It was hard. My kitten was coming and fast! It was a gray morning when my kitten happened. I doubled over in pain. I saw five kittens!
Chapter Six: Kittens
Maple and I sat down. We were discussing the names for our kittens: Golden, Time, Tulip, Rose, and Tawny. Perfect names, except for Maple wanted to name them Sun, Time, Tulip, Rose, and Rainbow. It ended up my way though. I liked it that way.
So, I went back to our kittens, licked Golden’s head, which she didn’t like. Their eyes and ears weren’t open yet. I slept with them for the first time and for many nights after that.
One day, their ears opened and their eyes! Golden waddled around on the floor. Time didn’t even bother getting up. Tulip and Rose weren’t doing so well. They didn’t look very healthy. They weren’t getting up, and their eyes and ears still weren’t open. We waited for their eyes and ears to open. They never did. That got me worried. What if they never did?
The next day, their eyes and ears did open though! But they still weren’t getting up. Their siblings were playing around in the grass, rolling and yelping and jumping. Every time (I’ve learned they’re called humans) the humans came, we hid in the woods and played there and tried not to be so loud to disturb them. But I’ve been seen by that little girl too many times. So have my kits and many other cats around here. It was settling into an everyday life, nothing scary. I was starting to like it.
Then one day, Cinnamon came up to me. She told me that she found a mate in a town nearby called Rhinebeck. I cried. What would I do without Cinnamon?
But things moved on. And I got used to it without her. One day, Golden was prancing through the grass when snow started to fall.
Tawny said, “What’s hitting my head?”
“It’s snow,” I told her. Soon it started to fall heavy though, and I had to bring them in. Maple was sitting in the garage waiting for me. Golden started complaining that she wanted to go outside, and I told her that she couldn’t. It was too cold. Then, she said that she could go outside. I told her to argue with her dad. And she did. Until finally Maple decided to let her out.
He told her, “You’re going to be the one getting cold.”
But she came inside five minutes later and said, “I think I’ll stay inside.”
Tawny was curled up in a corner snoring loudly. Tulip, Time, and Rose were meowing at the dogs outside. We’d learned the humans had dogs and to be wary of them. The small brown one was named Ella, and the small white one was named Phaedra. They didn’t care that it was snowing. Then, when the dogs went inside and the snow was done falling, my kittens ran outside and started rolling and playing. It was so deep I couldn’t see them! I got worried and plunged in looking for them. I found Golden first. She was digging out a tunnel.
I asked her, “You’re making tunnels?”
She said that it was the easiest way to get around under the snow, and they were digging lots of them, and they made a snow fort, and it was really warm in there. She was talking really fast. So, I ducked into the tunnel. When I got to this so-called fort, it actually was warm. They’d managed to build a fire under the snow. And when we got out, it was much colder outside than it was inside, so we went inside. It was very dark. Actually, it was dawn. We’d stayed in there all night! That wasn’t good. Sometimes I felt like the kit, not the mother. So, I kept my kittens inside all the next day. Maple came running towards me talking about how worried he’d been.
I told him, “Calm down. We were just in a snow fort.”
“Can’t we have some fun sometimes,” Golden said.
Maple got very stern and said, “You can’t talk to your father that way, missy.”
I took Golden to a corner of the garage for her to sit in and think about talking to her father that way. My other four kittens played and laughed, and Tulip almost broke her paw on the hard floor, but that’s another story. The main part of it was that I had to lick it and lick it and lick it all day, which was really irritating because my tongue got so cold, and Tulip hated it because she had to sit still all day. Over time, they started to grow older. Soon they were finding their own nests, not in the garage. And I was expecting new kittens.
Chapter Seven: Storm and Barry
My next litter consisted of three kittens. I barely remember their birth. There was a gray one, who had a lot of attitude like Golden. I named her Storm. And a multicolored one who was very shy and still. I thought she’d been born dead when I first saw her. She reminded me of Tulip. I named her Barry. And a third one so sickly and cold, born dead. Barry and Storm were born in the spring, as my other kittens were, and they played and rolled in the grass, or they would when their eyes were open. Storm’s eyes opened the day after she was born, which was strange. Most kittens take a moon for their eyes to open. I guess Storm was ready. Barry opened hers two months after she was born, very late. I was worried about her. Not Storm though — she was rolling and playing and laughing in the grass before you could say “Storm.” The snow started to fall again. Barry ran straight inside as fast as she could, but not Storm. Storm played and played, but there wasn’t enough snow this year to build the tunnels like I’d done with Golden and like I’d done when I was a kit. So, we just played in the sort of deep snow. Once, Storm sunk so deep that she landed in a hole one of those silly dogs had made. The one named Phaedra had made it. So, I had to go dig and dig and dig and dig all day with snow pouring into the hole, until I got Storm out shivering. I brought her back to the garage to warm her up.
And when she was warm enough to speak, she said “Let’s not go in the backyard again.”
But that never made her stop going outside. Looking at my kittens, I knew I was starting to get old. Then, Storm and Barry grew up too. Storm never lost her adventurous touch. She made a nest in the weirdest place she could find — in a tree!
I said to her, “What are you, a bird?”
She said, “It’s cool. You can fly from up here!” And she tried to jump. Luckily, I caught her, but not like I’d tried to catch Cinnamon. I caught her like I’d wanted to catch Cinnamon back when I was a kitten. And when I caught her, I found her a different nest. Storm wasn’t very happy about it. Barry, on the other hand, decided to adopt the garage as her permanent home. I found her a home by the garage, in the trees. I did not want to have my kitten living with me forever. She needed some independence. I was expecting my third litter, and by now I was really getting old.
Chapter Eight: Our Story Comes to a Close
I had four in my next litter, again in the spring. I knew this would be my last litter, but I still lived on strong. I wasn’t dead yet. So, I thought of names for my next litter. There was a black one that reminded me so much of Storm and so much of Golden before her. Why do I keep getting these adventurous kittens?
Then, there was also Flame and Fire, who were so similar they reminded me of Time, Tulip and Rose. Except they weren’t nervous, just not as adventurous as Raven. And then, finally there was Ripple. She was as adventurous as Raven, but she was not as daring. Raven and Ripple had their eyes open first and at a proper time, well, a few days before the proper time. And Fire and Flame opened them at the exact perfect time. Healthy! Very good. I was so happy. I’d had three litters of kittens, and then I took them all outside. When they were outside, they played and played and played. Raven tried to climb a tree. With my previous experience with Storm, I didn’t let her. Well, Fire and Flame decided to try to figure out what was inside the house, and Ripple just jumped around and jumped around and made as much noise as possible to try to lure something outside. I stopped every single one of them and made them play more quietly. And then, at the end of the day, I took them inside. I wasn’t taking any risks of leaving them outside in the night when they were so young. That night, Maple rushed towards me with a grin on his face. He told me that my brother had just had kittens. I was so happy for Silvermoon and Night that I ran right to their nest. Oh, did I forget to mention that they were mates? Well, they are. They had three beautiful kittens. Sun, Feather, and Tiger. Tiger was a lot like Golden, Storm, and Raven. I guess everybody has to have an adventurous kitten. I love them. Then, I ran back to my own kittens. Soon, snow started to fall again and for the last time in this story. My kittens played and played and played, but there wasn’t very much this year.
The people went out in their car yelling, “We’re going skiing! We’re going skiing!”
And they came back very happy. We were too.
And now I’m sitting in my cozy garage, writing this, my experiences. Raven is next to me, looking at this, though she doesn’t understand it yet, and Night had her second litter, who she gave the names of Red, Squirrel, and Bone. She named the white one Bone because he loved dogs for some reason. I don’t know why he loved dogs. And life has a nice, good rhythm. The humans have been coming and going. They’ve been here for a long time this week, like the whole week, which is unusual. But they’re gone. Somewhere, maybe the place I went with Tom. And that’s the end of our story.