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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11. The House

To find his mother, that meant that Puma would somehow have to escape. With the car moving, at the moment it didn’t seem very likely. But at some point, the humans would have to get out of the car. There was no way they could spend their entire lives in there. At some point they would have to stop the car, open the doors and get out. And that would be his chance. The moment the door opened, he would be out of there, as fast as he could. He got as close to the door as he could, ready to jump out at any time.

    The car ride was fairly long. The boys and the full-grown humans in the front seats paid no attention to him. The girl didn’t try to touch him or anything again, just looked at him. About the entire time, he thought about everything that had happened. All the times he saw Snowball, when he climbed the tree, and fell out. He remembered when he had gone for a walk, when Snowball shoved him into the river, when he nearly drowned, but was pulled out by a total stranger. The most haunting memory, though, was when he realized that the blood he had smelled was of his sister. He thought about how he had planned on eating whatever dead body he found, but he had never imagined it would be of a cat he knew so well.

    Puma couldn’t figure out why Snowball had killed her. What did he have to gain from it? It wasn’t fair. I’ll never kill, he thought to himself. But this thought only lasted a few seconds. He was a cat. He had to kill other animals to feed himself and survive, and that was the only reason he had ever killed before. He still had no idea why Snowball would kill Rain, but his intent obviously wasn’t to eat her. I’ll never kill another animal for any reason other than food, he vowed to himself. This was a promise he meant to keep.

    

    Puma suddenly felt something that jolted him awake. He opened his eyes. It took him a moment to remember what it was, and when he did he realized what had woken him up. The car was slowing down. He quickly got to his paws and stood ready at the door. The automobile soon came to stop, and faster than he was prepared the girl opened the door. After a moment of confused hesitation he leaped out, but too late. The girl grabbed him and lifted him up, holding him tightly as he struggled. She was pretty young, but he was too, and she was able to keep him in her grip fairly easily.

When Puma looked around, the place was much different than the forest where he’d grown up. The road was different, and all around were buildings, which he had never seen before. There were areas of grass, though, and trees alive with fat squirrels. There were some other humans out, many with cars parked in front of their homes that looked a lot like the one he’d just been in. Before he had a chance to take it all in, the girl and her family were heading toward one of the buildings. They all went inside a door.

The girl placed Puma on the floor, which seemed impossibly smooth. He looked around the place. There were many things he’d never seen before in his life. He walked around the room, investigating the wooden chairs, the fireplace, the things hanging on the walls. The only familiar-looking thing was the flowers on the table. He was trying to take it all in when suddenly large hands swept him off the ground from behind and lifted him up high. The fingers of the second oldest boy were locked so tightly around him he could barely breathe. He let out a weak cough. There was some shouting from the woman, and the boy swiftly lowered him and dropped him about a foot from the floor. He landed hard and felt the pain in his paw.

For awhile Puma just sat. His curiosity took over his fear and rather than fleeing and hiding like his instinct told him to do, he looked around and studied not just the house itself anymore but the family. The woman was tall and broad, with blonde hair pulled into a messy bun. The man was about an inch shorter than her, with light brown hair, a mustace, and a pointed chin.

The oldest boy was tall with shaggy dirty blonde hair. The second youngest had hair like his father’s and was muscular. The youngest boy was a bit plump and shorter than the girl, even though she was the youngest. The girl had light brown hair and green eyes, and stood a very noticeable three inches taller than the youngest boy.

“Be nice to the kitten!” The girl hit the boy who had picked him up in the arm, and he punched her to the floor. Getting back up, she pulled her fist back to retaliate, but with a swift move, grabbing her by the waist her mother yanked her back and spanked her. “That is not how young ladies behave,” she snapped.

The girl scowled at her brother, then crouched down and reached towards Puma. He took a fearful step back, but then cautiously and reluctantly sniffed her hand. “That’s a good boy,” she said.

“Why don’t you feed him?” the man suggested. The girl nodded and disappeared into another room, then returned with some meat and placed it on the floor. “There you go,” she said, backing away. Hunger eating away at his stomach, Puma cautiously approached it. Finally, keeping a wary eye on the surrounding humans, he bent down and began to eat.

Something about the fascinated way that they all watched him eat bothered Puma. When the piece was small enough, he dragged it with his teeth towards a wall, where he felt a little less exposed. Once he was finished, all but the girl and the two youngest boys had gone off onto their own activities and were no longer paying attention to him. The remaining children’s eyes were locked on him.

Now unsure of what to do, Puma decided he would explore the house. But I can’t do it with them staring at me like that. Something about him must have been very interesting. So he decided to do the thing he found the least interesting. He lay down on the floor and curled into a ball. Resting his chin on his paw, he closed his eyes, leaving one open just a crack to watch, and having been tired from the long afternoon, it was not long before he fell asleep.

 

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