Passing on to the Next Generation
Old Deuteronomy sat with his hand son his ancient knees and gazed down at the young group of kittens that sat before him, alert and watching him with their complete attention.
He smiled a smile that began to slowly spread across his face. It was full of wisdom, affection and wonder as the next generation of Jellicle cats were sitting in front of him.
The knowledge and history of being a Jellicle cat would be passed on to these young ones and then they would grow, have kittens of their own and then the cycle would begin all over again.
Just like him.
Spreading out his hands and arms widely, his ancient face looked at every individual kitten and committed their faces to his long, long memory.
If he wanted, he could recall every single Jellicle cat that had ever sat before him as a kitten before growing up and walking the Earth.
There were thousands.
Even if nobody could remember them now, he did.
They would never be forgotten in his memory.
Now he would pass them on into these young minds.
"Young ones, you're life is just beginning. You are all Jellicle cats, each blessed with your own gifts and special place in this wide and wonderful world."
At this revelation the kittens all started to mewl in excitement but the moment that Old Deuteronomy slowly lowered his hands towards the ground, they instantly went quiet. He understood their excitement, it glowed on their faces and it seemed to radiate from their bodies.
This was the reaction that would appear with every new generation of cats.
Now he would have to explain what it meant to be a Jellicle cat.
"Young ones, you may be Jellicles but being a Jellicle cat means you have responsibilities that you must uphold to be a true proud Jellicle cat."
The term 'responsibilities' would always confuse the kittens for it was a big word to them. The immortal patience of Old Deuteronomy would shine through the countless years he had lived. He beckoned with his hands for the kittens to come and sit directly next to him.
Slowly, nervous and a little scared, the kittens would shuffle themselves across the ground so they were a teeny-tiny bit closer to the ancient cat.
Old Deuteronomy had never thought himself to be 'that' scary. A little imposing, yes, but never scary.
The kittens had barely moved themselves thirty centimeters closer to him, but Old Deuteronomy just simply smiled down warmly at them, making all of their fear of him melt away.
"There is no need to be afraid of me little ones. I am old and you are young. I am simply here to teach and help you become fine cats."
His soothing words wrapped themselves around the kittens' curiosity to learn more and the entire group of youngsters completely moved themselves so they were sitting not only at his feet, but around him, even leaning against his soft ancient coat of fur.
By now the kittens were taking in every word that Old Deuteronomy had said. They could sense the immense amount of wisdom and knowledge that the old cat had, but from just sitting next to him, they felt a calming peacefulness that settled all of their worries and fears inside the,.
They knew Old Deuteronomy was very old.
Yet he was still alive and still the Jellicle leader.
They knew he was magic.
Whatever he would say to them that day they would remember and remain with them for the rest of their Jellicle life.
So the kittens knew that they would have to listen carefully to Old Deuteronomy's next 'How-to-be-a-Jellicle-Cat' lesson.
As the old cat felt the kittens press against him and each other so tightly that there was no separation between anyone, he knew he could continue.
"To be a Jellicle cat you must…"
And he told them.
He told them everything there was to know about how to be a Jellicle cat. All secrets were told and the listening kittens were awestruck.
By the time Old Deuteronomy had finished talking in his deep powerful voice, the learning kittens were sitting in stock-still silence.
They knew just how special it was to be a Jellicle cat.
Now they would relish life for now they knew what wonders they could see when they were older and they each wondered to themselves what they were going to be like once the had grownup.
There was one thing that they knew they would look forward to when they were older.
The Jellicle Ball.
Old Deuteronomy sensed the kittens' deep thinking and he smiled warmly down at them.
"To be a Jellicle cat is an honour. From what I have you today, may you live by it and be proud of who you are. You will always be a Jellicle in your heart and may you never forget it."
He slowly reached over and touched each kittens' head softly, still smiling while each kitten he touched nuzzled his paw.
"Now young ones, my lesson with you is over." He said, slightly sad as all of the kittens suddenly looked back up at him with tears in their bright eyes.
"Why?" squeaked a small black and white striped kitten sitting at the back of the group.
Old Deuteronomy raised his head and smiled at this kitten.
"Because Munkustrap, now it is time to go back to your parents. The air from across the land is calling to me now I must go."
"Will we see you again?" squeaked another kitten that was entirely white. It seemed to the ancient cat that these kittens didn't want him out of their sights for fear he would disappear forever.
Old Deuteronomy turned his gaze over to that kitten and then shifted it again to look at the entire group of kittens before nodding slowly.
"You all shall see me again."
The kittens did see him again…
Once a year before the dawn, Old Deuteronomy would appear before the dawn and they would always rejoice by singing and dancing for him.
As each year passed, Old Deuteronomy watched these kittens grow and become adult cats.
He would always remember the day that he had talked to them about being a Jellicle cat.
No doubt, so would they.
Old Deuteronomy began to look forward to teaching the next generation of cats.
The next generation of Jellicle cats that would ensure the future of Jellicle cats everywhere in the world.