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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5. The White Spotted Cat

The small black kitten with the white spot on his flank snuggled closer to Rose. He and his sister had just opened their eyes the day before, and they were starting to be able to hear. They lived on the edges of the town, where they often heard the loud sounds of carriages rolling by. They saw humans everyday, but avoided them the best they could. Suddenly, Rose stood up, and pushed her kittens behind a bush. The black kitten’s gray tabby sister squeaked. Through the bushes, they could see a white cat approaching their mother. He said something, but they couldn’t quite make it out. Rose, who was closer, said, “I have been telling you no for weeks. Go away.”

    “Why? Why won’t you?” The white cat asked. Rose hesitated. The gray tabby kitten accidentally squeaked again. “What was that?” The white cat shoved Rose out of the way and found her kittens behind the bushes. “You have kittens?”

    “Yes.” The white cat looked at her. He walked away. Rose returned to her kittens.

    “That was Snowball,” she told them. “If you ever see him, get away as fast as you can and find me.”

    The kittens did not say anything, but the black kitten understood. He wasn’t sure if his sister did, though, but if he ever saw the white cat he would make her stay with him.

    “Now, I suppose you two should probably have names,” Rose said. She looked first at gray tabby. “I’ll call you...Rain.” Rain didn’t even look up at the sound of her mother’s voice. She simply stared blankly at the ground. The black kitten looked up at her expectantly. He didn’t know what a name was, but he wanted to know what his was. Rose looked at him. “You will be...Puma. You’re black, but somehow you look like one. You’re much too small to be a puma, of course, but the name still seems to fit you.” Rose seemed lost in thought for a moment. She was thinking about one time when back in her old home she herself had seen a puma.

 

Rose had been very young, and did not have a name yet, and was something between a kitten and an adult cat. She was wandering through the tall, lush grasses of her old home. There were a few trees in the area, and not far off was a forest. That day Rose was off hunting on her own. Everyday she saw less and less of her mother, who was almost ready to let Rose go off on her own. She scanned the area, and listened for any sound of life; the fluttering of a bird’s wings, the rapid heartbeat of a mouse. She heard a fast scampering, and peering through the tall grass she spotted a quick rabbit for a split second that disappeared as fast as it had come. She crouched into position and crept through the grass, careful not to make a sound. Looking again, she saw the rabbit pause and nibble on some grass. Seeing her chance she sped forward and pounced onto the rabbit, only to collide and come face to face with a very large animal. She stopped in her tracks. The creature was many times bigger than her, and was sand colored. It looked just like a cat, except larger and with smaller, rounded ears and giant, powerful paws. For a moment the two of them just stared at each other. Without looking away from the giant cat, Rose backed away slowly, not letting go of the struggling rabbit beneath her paws. The large cat didn’t seem to know what to do with her. Rose knew that however distant the relationship was, somehow this creature was of her kind, and she knew that the it knew it too. Face to face with the beast, she looked into its big, continually staring eyes. Suddenly it lashed out in her direction with a giant paw, claws glistening, mouth open showing huge fangs. Expecting to be dead within seconds, she closed her eyes and prepared for pain, but felt only a whiff of air. When she opened her eyes again, the creature was walking away with the rabbit in its mouth. She down at herself. No scars. No blood. The creature had simply taken the rabbit she had caught and left. Normally she would have been enraged and chasing after anything that tried to take her prey, but this time she just stared after it. She wondered if it would look back. It didn’t. It walked until it disappeared into the forest and was gone.

 

Rose remembered that day, and remembered her mother’s shock when she found out that she had come face to face with a puma and come back unharmed. She looked down at her black kitten that had been named after it. He showed the same pride, the same fierceness, but without the need to tear a living thing apart just because it was there. Just to be able to do what it needed to do without always caring about everybody else, but not to make battles or hurt anyone where it wasn’t necessary. Puma had never done anything extraordinary in his life, but she was already proud of him.

 

For a couple weeks Rose and her kittens’ lives were mostly uneventful other than how fast they were growing. Puma and Rain were learning more and more about the world, and had begun playfighting the way most kittens do. Puma won most of the time, but he learned that it was more fun to take it easy on Rain and give her a small chance rather than just take her down immediately, even though he was definitely capable of it. However feeble and quiet Rain had seemed at first, she never looked more alive than when she and her brother were playfighting. It was the only time when she didn’t just sit there quietly and stare off into space. Of course, even when he was going easy on her Puma always took her down in the end, but almost every time Rain would get right back up for a rematch. She refused to lose without a fight. This surprised Rose. Rain was usually so quiet and never really did much, almost looking like she was half dead. Rose was scared that Rain would always be afraid of the world, or that she would be too feeble to even survive kittenhood. It always changed her opinion when she watched them.

    One time Puma and Rain were having one of their frequent playfights when something different happened. The fights were never planned, one of them would usually just start it at some random time and the other would join in. On that day Puma had started it. Rain was standing up after just having taken a nap, yawning. Puma pounced on her from behind. She swiveled around and flung him off his back. She pounced on him, and they wrestled on the ground until Puma was on top of her, pinning her down. Puma was looking up in pride at his mother, refusing to let Rain go until Rose saw his victory. Rain struggled under his grasp. Puma mewed to get his mother’s attention. But the second Rose turned her head, rather than seeing her son’s victory she saw her daughter suddenly shove him off her and for once sweet moment of victory, she was on top of her brother. Of course, she couldn’t keep him down and he ended up winning their little fight, but it was the closest she’d ever been. Rain never gave up without a fight.

 
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