The Nine Lives of the White Spotted Cat, Book 1

In 1919, a black kitten with a white spot on his flank was born near a small town. A year after his death, a cat who looked almost exactly the same was born, and a year after his death yet another cat was found. This happened nine times. Was it one cat, living out nine lives? Or nine separate cats? Could it be proof that cats really do have nine lives? It all started in 1919...

Puma had a mostly normal life at first as a kitten. His mother taught him and his sister to hunt and climb trees, just like any other cat. But his life is shaken when a mysterious white cat from his mother's past begins stalking his family, appearing everywhere like a ghost. Puma seems to be the only one to notice. Why won't this cat leave them alone? And what happens when he finally attacks?

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9. Rain Falling

Cautiously, Puma crept closer to the body. It can’t be...but it was. The gray tabby pelt was unmistakable. Blood surrounded a large gash in her neck. “Rain…?” Puma said, as if she would respond and tell him she was alright. But deep down Puma knew she wasn’t. He just wasn’t ready to accept it yet. It can’t be true!

    He poked her leg with his paw. “Rain, come on,” he urged. “Get up.” The small body remained motionless. “Come on! This isn’t funny anymore. Get up!”  He rubbed his head into her side. “Can’t you try to get up? Why don’t you show me how high you can jump? I bet you can jump even higher than last time!” He turned his gaze toward the direction of the river. “Come on! Teach me to catch a fish.” Puma nudged her. “You promised you would.”

    Rain didn’t so much as move. As a kitten, Puma hadn’t entirely grasped the concept of death. He knew that animals like squirrels and fish were killed by cats for food, and though he had some awareness that every living thing died someday, he wasn’t quite ready to believe that a cat so close to him was gone, and so early and suddenly.

    He then noticed the few white hairs on Rain’s body. Snowball. “Snowball did this to you,” he said. “I’ll find him. I’ll make him fix you, and then you can help me catch a fish like you promised.  I’ll make him pay.”

      Puma scrambled off in a random direction. It was a beautiful day, the morning light filtering in through the trees and the pleasant smell of grass and flowers. It seemed to mock the tragedy. He growled. It shouldn't be so pretty out, not on a day like this. He ran faster and harder than he'd ever ran before, taking no notice of the pain in his foot, not thinking about where he was going or where Snowball would be. His tiredness blurred his common sense and his only goal was to run as fast as he could and find the white cat.

     "Snowball! Puma yowled, making a right turn around a tree. He breathed hard and heavy, but he didn't slow down. He had to find this cat. Seeing something shining in the distance, he quickened his pace. Once he was close enough, he realized it was the river and was surprised at how quickly had gotten to it. He stopped in front of it, breathing hard and took a long drink, having to get a gulp of air between each swallow.

    Finally he started up again, away from the river. "Snowball!" He yelled. He kept running for awhile, but his lack of sleep was starting to slow him down. "Snowball!" He said again, softly. He became slower and slower, until he was at a walk, and in just a few steps he was back to his sister.

    Breathing hard, he sat down. Looking at Rain, he suddenly knew. No one could fix her, not him, not Snowball. She would never teach him to fish. Rain was gone. "I'm sorry," he said quietly, and laid down next to her. Within a few seconds he was asleep.

 
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