Next up on our 12 Days of Blogmas is another submission with the prompt: Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down…
This submission was written by Krissy Pedersen, a frequent participant in NaNoWriMo and fellow cat lover. Here is a little about Krissy and her untitled submission.
About Krissy: A book lover and eclectic reader, Krissy Pedersen has been writing since her school days. A wannabe runner, knitter, and author, she spends most of her time working and catering to her 4 year old cat Penny.
Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down, hoping to find something under the light covering of white. The dive was impressive and Kit saw him come up with a small black beetle. He wasn’t sure if the sudden winter storm had caught it unawares or if the blackbird had been lucky enough to find one in hibernation who hadn’t quite made it under good cover.
Whatever the reason, the blackbird’s dive had been too swift for him to attack. The cat’s long fluffy tail twitched in irritation. The light flakes floated through the sky making dozens of different patterns every minute, but while the feline appreciated the complexity he truly didn’t have time to study it in depth. After a few moments of study, Kit stretched and resumed his journey through the dark night.
It was strange to be out of doors this time of year. Normally his human kept him locked up inside, safe from the elements and the dangers of the outdoors. He never would have admitted it to another, but the openness of land around his home was rather intimidating. The shadows of the branches and the cover of the undergrowth of the forest were reassuring. Kit knew that he would need all of his inherited skill at stalking to remain covert in this strange land. The trees were so much larger than any he had come into contact with before.
Not even his human’s Christmas tree was as large as the behemoths he was traveling below. The wind was another thing he was unused to dealing with. It was true that he had often watched as the wind carried leaves around outside his windows, but the light breeze that came through the open windows hadn’t truly prepared him for the bite of cold that traveled through even his thick fur. The shades of gray and black would blend in with the moon cast shadows as he weaved his way through the thick growth of evergreen shrubs and dying forest plant life, an unexpected boon.
Never before had he thought about how well the splotched patterns of his coat would help disguise him as he traveled. He gave a great twitch to dislodge the snow that had accumulated on his coat and shivered a little. How he wished his clan head had chosen one of the other cats in the building for this mission! He would much rather be curled up in his human’s lap purring while she read a book or watched something on the human television. Of course, in the large tabby’s mind, any sane cat would prefer that situation over skulking through the woods to search for a pair of outdoor cats who had failed to check in.
There was more snow on the ground and it was falling much faster than it had been when he had snuck out. The large feline grumbled to himself as he rapidly covered the ground between the building and the girls’ preferred hunting grounds. Kit wasn’t close with Sherry and Misty, but all the indoor cats knew where their preferred hunting grounds were. It was a safety measure that Clarence insisted upon.
The head of the Birch Building’s cat clan really didn’t like having members of his clan living out of doors, but the two female cats preferred it, even insisted upon it. Clarence had insisted that the girls check in daily and that they let it be known where they intended to be each day, but the Misty, the older of the two wanderers, had negotiated it down to every three days and merely informing every member of the clan as to what their range was. Kit had managed to get a little more information from Sherry, a marmalade tabby who had a few narrow escapes in her past. He knew where they preferred to hang out and what their normal pattern of movement was. Since he lived on the ground floor he regularly chatted with the two, though Misty was much more standoffish than her smaller friend. Nothing truly bad had happened to the larger gray cat and with the food that their human regularly left out for the two adventurers Misty felt she had nothing to fear from the great outdoors.
In Kit’s opinion, that was a rather foolhardy way of looking things. There were dangers in the great outdoors, dangers Sherry knew quite well. Now there was a cat who embodied caution. She checked in twice as often as Misty did, almost the daily that Clarence would have preferred. She often described their travels around their range in great detail, probably in greater detail than Misty would have desired, though he suspected that Misty was well aware of all the stories that Kit had heard. He had seen the gray feline watching as he and Sherry chatted. Misty had seemed more exasperated than angry, more as if she didn’t quite understand Sherry’s caution than being angered by it. As far as he knew, she had never objected.
Kit paused, sniffing the air and taking a slow look around. He had reached the area Sherry had said that they tended to lair up at night. He carefully looked over the entire area, looking for any disturbances on the ground. Ah, by a rather large oak tree there was a place where the leaves covering the ground had been disturbed. There was no sign of either feline or anyone else so he made his way cautiously over, keeping out of sight as much as possible.
Ah, the scent of both cats was there. There was no scent of fear, but this was obviously the place where the two had made their way into the tree. He scrambled up the tree trying to be as silent as possible, but this was not his among his best skills. He was an indoor cat, for Bastet’s sake! As he climbed he kept a wary eye out for both predators and his clan mates.
Finally, he reached the area that looked to all like a squirrels nest, but was actually where the Misty and Sherry often slept. He approached with great caution, but knew it was pointless. There was no scent of either cat. Being a thorough creature he still checked inside, but there was no evidence that either cat had made it this far. He returned to the trunk of the tree and sat, taking a moment to clean his whiskers as he considered the situation.
Both cats had made it as far as the tree, of that he was quite certain; however there was no evidence either had made it into the tree. That meant something must have happened before they started to climb, but something that didn’t alarm either female. He studied as much of the floor of the forest that he could see from his vantage point in the tree, but it was obvious that this mystery was not going to be as easy to solve as Clarence had made it seem when he sent Kit out to investigate. Kit hoped his human didn’t return from work early, because it was clearly going to be a long night.