Ah, kittens… Sometimes, I can’t help but feel a bit jealous, seeing you curled up so soundly against the warmth of your mother’s fur. It is a luxury I never had when I was your size…
I can hardly remember my mother now. She was a cat of the streets, and it can be hard for a milk-queen to keep her kits fed under such circumstances. But she must have done a fairly good job of it, or I wouldn’t still be around today.
I do remember the day when the milk was suddenly gone, however. Though she would wander off to feed her own belly, she would always return to take care of the nursing… and four yowling kittens were getting quite hungry. There was little choice but to leave our safe-place and wander out, trying to find something — anything — that would ease our hungry bellies.
It felt like I’d wandered forever, sniffing the air, trying to catch a wiff of either something tasty or the scent of my milk-queen. I found neither. The scent I found was feline and male… a marked territory.
He was an older tom and looked like he’d seen better days. One of his eyes had a nasty scratch over it, and looked the color of sour milk. He was obviously a fighter, and I didn’t doubt he’d run me off his territory. But until then, I figured I’d do some snooping… he wouldn’t have claimed that spot if there wasn’t anything tasty nearby.
But the Scar-cat just watched me with that one green eye, as if deep in thought.
He approached me and asked, “Lost, little kit?”
My poor stomach was growling and I told him, “I need my milk-queen. I’m hungry. She hasn’t come back.”
His ears flattened. “I’m so sorry, Kit. Your milk-queen isn’t coming back.”
And then he told me what happened… about the two-leggers and their roaring monsters, and the cat that had a coat just like mine that was defeated by this terrible creature.
There would be no more milk.
How was I going to survive, without my milk-queen? All I could do was mew my sorrows.
“Only the strongest hunters survive on the streets,” Scar-cat said. “Even a small cat can be resourceful if he knows how.”
He showed me the best places where bugs and mice would hide, and how to catch them.
He knew all the yards where food dishes had been left so carelessly outside. Canine food tasted terrible, but to a starving cat, it was still a feast. Scar-cat would stand guard while I ate, not afraid of any mutt. Despite only having one eye, he was fearless. He was my hero.
When it became dark and cold, he knew comfy places that could keep us warm. Beside him, I felt even warmer than when I’d slept beside my litter-mates.
But, apparently, our comfy place belonged to two-leggers, and they didn’t seem to be too pleased about us using it. Scar-cat had warned me that tresspassing in places two-leggers considered “their territory” meant that a cat could be taken away, and he was never very keen on this idea. “They’ll trap you in a tiny space, Kit. You’ll lose all the freedom to be a cat if that ever happens. Never trust the two-leggers. Remember, they control the roaring monsters, too.” I always trusted in the wisdom of Scar-cat.
So when the two-legger that smelled of mutts but was covered in feline fur found us, I hissed at the beast and hoped by asserting my dominance he’d scurry off. Scar-cat, however, had no reservations, and swiped him right across the paw, telling me to run.
I ran as fast as my feet would take me. But when I looked back, Scar-cat was gone.
For weeks I had to fend on the streets for myself, using the knowledge Scar-cat had taught me. But it wasn’t long before I was caught, too.
At first, I thought that Scar-cat must have been wrong. From the slits in the awful little cat-box I could see a room that looked like a happy kitten’s paradise… and within were my litter-mates, I was certain of it! They were warm and had food dishes and had not starved on the streets or been killed by roaring monsters like our milk-queen!
…But that isn’t where I ended up. When I was removed from the cat-box, I found myself caged, in a tiny space, with no way out, just as Scar-cat had warned. But at least I was not alone… Scar-cat was also there!
“No… not you too, Kit.” He was, unfortunately, so sad to see me there. I wasn’t sure why, because I was so happy to see him. We spent some time looking quite morosely at our surroundings in silence.
“You know, they say that the cats who are put in these cages… they only leave when… ah, well…” He never finished what he was going to say. To this day I still don’t know what he was going to say, though now that I’ve grown older, I’ve come to have some idea. It makes my fur stand on end to think about it…
…Especially when I think back on the day that the two-legger that smelled of mutts and was covered in cat hair came and picked Scar-cat up. Scar-cat usually always hissed or yowled or swiped at the two-legger, but that day, it was as if he had accepted some sort of defeat. He looked down at me with that one bright green eye, and said, “Good luck, my kit.”
And then he was gone.
I’d never felt so lonely, like the only cat in the world, stuck in that little cage, with no Scar-cat.
And then she came, the wrinkly two-legger that smelled of sticky-sweetness and dirt. I was still wary… because she was a two-legger. But I was so lonely I was willing to look past that. And somehow, I could tell that she was lonely too.
I think, she has probably turned out to be a better mother than I could have ever hoped for… Territory, shelter, warmth, food…
…And plenty of cuddles!
Thanks for that good luck, Scar-cat. I certainly am one lucky cat!
Day 48 | Day 50
This was written for March for the Monthly Simlits Short Story Challenges thread from the Sims forums, which tasked folks to write a story in 500-1500 words using 1-12 screencaps using the theme “A Tall Tale.” This theme required telling the tale behind a Sim’s scars, emotional or physical. I am entering in the “For Fun” category this month, which is exempt from word count and image count stipulations. It is part of my Cat Chronicles series and features characters from that series, but should hopefully work as a standalone piece.
The theme this month just gave me a beautiful idea to explore Shadow’s backstory before the start of the series, which was only hinted at in a few lines in the first chapter. It was really fun getting to create a previous generation of cats and create this little slice of history for Shadow before Rose came into his life.