Chapter 11: The Hatching and Introduction to the City

At first, due to instinct, Feral sat on the eggs. But after the first week had passed, he began to trust the ingenious heating system Tye had invented that kept the eggs at a precise temperature.

He spent the rest of the month recovering, enjoying his new home, flying for a few hours a day, swimming in the lake and making love with Tye.

By the second month, Feral felt comfortable enough to leave the eggs and return to work. Tye wasn't completely happy with that so as a compromise, Feral promised to not get involved with any dangerous calls and to remain in his office. Tye also returned to work but also stayed away from the more dangerous calls his business got involved with due to his squad refusing to allow him to respond to them.

Tommy Pensler had done some intense researching about his boss and his mate and knew no one could take care or raise the Gryphonskat kittens but the parents themselves. So Tommy briefed the squad and the enforcers about the importance of protecting the mated pair from getting involved with the hazardous side of their jobs.

By the end of the second month, Feral wasn't as over protective and allowed Tye's squad to come and visit on weekends. Feral found the Phoenix Squad an interesting group of kats. He enjoyed endless conversations about law enforcement and their form of ending conflicts. There were many heated debates. These conversations helped Feral understand his mate a bit more and vice versa.

Towards the end of the third month, Feral and Tye once more took time away from work. They needed to stay by the eggs. During their nights in the nest they could hear soft sounds coming from their young. Those sounds built excitement and anxiousness in the waiting parents. Feral became nervous and irritable making his mate tread cautiously around him.

Finally, near dawn on the last week of the month the eggs began to rock waking their parents. The two of them hovered and made soft encouraging noises at the kittens. Uly and Tye lay curled around the eggs and watched, never leaving. After about an hour the first egg, the one that had caused it's mother the most trouble cracked open. Out stumbled a wet kitten, mewling anxiously. Ulysses immediately began licking and cooing at it. Tye watched lovingly then his attention was captured by a different mew nearby. Another egg had a large hole in it as the kitten clawed it's way out, Tye reached out gently and helped by pulling a little on the hole widening it until the new kitten pushed its way out completely and lay exhausted. Tye licked it then moved when his mate reached over for it. Tye nuzzled and licked the first kitten to get it familiar with his scent.

It took another two hours for the last two eggs to hatch by that time the first two were dry and sleeping near their father. The kittens varied in color from all golden fur with black hair to dark brown with golden tips and copper hair. They were beautiful. Tye and Ulysses were ecstatic.

After the hatching was through, Tye left to get fresh meat for Ulysses to eat so that he could nurse the kittens when they woke. It took him about forty-five minutes to catch a doe. He had made a small area behind the kitchen for fresh prey so that clean up would be easier. There was a covered hole for the leavings that lead to the lava river. He left the prey there and washed up before relieving his mate on the nest so that Uly could eat. When Uly returned Tye went to eat his fill then disposed of the carcass. He went to their office and called his squad, Steele, and Ms. Briggs with the news. He relayed the congratulations to his mate who was drowsing as the kittens nursed. He looked down at his family with joy and kissed Ulysses who smiled at him happily.

Gryphonskat kittens grow at a faster pace than kat kittens. By two months they were already getting around their home with ease. It would be five months before they could fly. They were already getting to be a handful. The parents would take the kittens down to the lake to play and burn off energy. The kittens rode on their parents back whenever they left home.

During this early time, both Tye and Ulysses remained at home and did their work by computer and fax. When the kittens were just starting their third month they were weaned and eating regurgitated food. Their parents knew the kittens needed to see other creatures so they would become familiar with what was prey and what wasn't. To that end, Feral took them to work. His office was large so Tye and his squad built a temporary play area at one end of it that kept the kittens safe but out of their mother's way.

Their first day at Enforcer Headquarters was exciting for the kittens. Their mother and father flew them to the flight line. They climbed off their parents backs awkwardly eliciting snickers of laughter from the watching enforcers. The little balls of fluff with small unformed wings were a sight to behold. Feral led the way with Tye at the rear as the little family made its way to the Commander's office ensuring no one got too close by hissing if anyone did. They received many compliments on the beauty of their kittens and how cute they were.

Opening the door to his office, Feral saw Steele with his feet on the desktop reading a file. The whooping noises of the kittens made him drop his feet quickly and jump up from the desk to greet his Commander properly. He stared at the collection of unique looking kittens in wonder.

"You have some very pretty kittens, sir." Steele said unable to take his eyes off them but keeping his distance.

"Thank you, Steele." Feral murmured deciding not to chew him out for having his feet on the desk.

He and Tye guided their kittens to the play area and lifted them over the wall that would keep them in. The press had been contacted as well as Mayor Manx and Ms. Briggs. Some members of the scientific community would be there too. They were due soon. Feral and Tye felt it was time to present their young to the public to satisfy the growing interest in them. They were pleased their chosen home had welcomed them so warmly and the presentation of their kittens could only increase that acceptance.

While they waited for their guests to arrive, Feral and Tye stepped into the play area and let their kittens climb all over them playing tag and tug of war with tails and wings. Knocking them away when they got too rough. Steele watched in amusement at the kittens antics and was amazed at Feral's patience at getting nipped and clawed.

He was distracted from the play area by the sound of kats arriving. Steele went over and greeted the press and dignitaries walking them over to where Tye and Feral were sitting amongst their kittens. There were many coos of delight from everyone at the sight of the little creatures.

"Hello, everyone. Thank you for coming. Tye and I thought it was time to present our little ones for public viewing. I must warn you however, do not reach over to touch them. Our kittens are just learning the difference between prey and intelligent creatures. This is why we brought them here. They might bite you trying to see what you taste like." Feral said mildly.

"Oh, you mean they aren't still nursing?" Ms. Briggs said in surprise.

"No, they are weaned already. They eat pureed raw meat right now. They will progress to killing their own prey when their wings are grown and they can fly. That will be in about four months." Tye answered.

"They are very beautiful, Commander. Congratulations." Dr. Sinian said warmly studying them avidly.

"Commander, Mr. Sunsinger. What are their names?" Ann Gora asked as her camera kat filmed the kittens watching all these new creatures with interest.

"The biggest is called, Adair" Feral said holding a big golden kitten that looked exactly like his father.

"This one is called Zera." Tye said as he showed off a pretty dark brown kitten with golden tips and copper hair. He put her down and picked up another that had golden fur with brown tips and black hair, "This is Ian."

"And this is Gwynne." Feral said now holding a black furred kitten with coppery gold hair.

"They are adorrable Feraal." Mayor Manx gushed. "You and Sunsinger arre verry fortunate to have such beautiful kittens and an equal number of sexes too."

Just then one of the spectators got a little too close and a kitten lunged, a mouth of very sharp teeth open. Feral, however, had been keeping a close watch on his young and reached out and slapped Adair away, "No, that is not prey!" He scolded firmly. Adair squealed angrily. The other kittens blinked in surprise and drew back from the visitors.

Tye pulled the angry kitten into his embrace and shushed him. "These are kats. They are not food." He repeated to ensure the kittens understood.

"Wow, you weren't kidding," said the kat who had almost gotten bitten. "Are they safe to be around?"

"Right now, no, but then they will not be going out in public just yet. This visit is just so they can get used to the smell of kats and learn. Now that they know you aren't prey would one of you be willing to extend a paw so they might get your scent?" Feral asked calmly.

"I will Commander." Ms. Briggs said smiling warmly and extended a paw carefully toward Zera.

"I'm willing too." Ann Gora agreed and coaxed Ian to come close.

Tye and Feral watched their kits closely to see if they had learned their lesson. Zera went close to Callie and carefully sniffed her paw then licked it. Callie grinned and gently gave Zera a scratch between her ears and was rewarded by a purr from the kitten.

Ann was having similar success with Ian who was also enjoying being scratched. The other kittens were jealous and moved to get some attention too. Steele obliged Gwynne and Dr. Sinian did the same for the chastened Adair. Uly and Tye were relieved. The first major hurtle had been overcome.

They answered many more questions from their guests and then bid them goodbye as the kittens were getting tired and needed a nap. Thanking them for coming, Feral escorted everyone out the door and kissed his mate farewell for now. Tye needed to get some work done and promised to bring Feral something to eat in a few hours. Putting his glamor and clothes back on Feral moved to his desk.

Steele had stayed and was bringing the Commander up to date as the kittens snoozed. All in all it had been a good morning.

Five months later the kittens were testing their fledgling wings. It was amusing to watch them run and flap their wings as they raced across the meadows of their mountain home. As their wings got stronger, Feral and Sunsinger would take each one into the air a few feet and let go. The kittens got used to the feel of the wind beneath their wings and how to capture it to stay aloft.

Their kittens were bright and learned fast. Tye and Ulysses used teaching programs set up by local kat educators to help them learn all the subjects their kat peers were learning in school. They could not attend public school due to their unsteady grasp on their emerging magical abilities. This was a dangerous time for them. There would be no more visits to the city until the kittens had learned the basics of controlling their magic.

By the time the kits were a year old, they had learned how to fly, hunt, and control their magic enough to be allowed among kat society. To aid them in better integrating with others similar in age (one year old for them was the same as five years old for a kat) they were enrolled in a school near Enforcer Headquarters. The kittens in the school had received warnings and lessons on how to act around the Gryphonskats. It was an interesting experiment one their parents hoped would work. They had purposefully not had the kits use glamor at all. They wanted kat kind to get used to seeing their true appearance. Though they did have the kits wear clothes when in the city.

Except for a few misunderstandings and minor mishaps, the kittens were soon comfortable around their kat playmates and their peers were equally comfortable around them. Sighing in relief, Feral and Sunsinger were able to finally return to a near normal life. The city's tourist industry received a boost from visitors anxious to see the amazing mythology creatures as they flew across the city skies.

The SWAT Kats and enforcers had to learn to share the air with the rambunctious kittens. To ensure their safety, Tye had miniature transponders made into necklaces that the kittens and themselves could wear to let aircraft know their location in the sky. Though that didn't always prevent near misses.

The SWAT Kats were more than a little unsettled when they nearly injured a pair of Gryphonskat kittens on their way back home from patrol one evening.

"You know T-Bone, its kinda quiet now that the major omegas are gone." Razor observed as he scanned the sky and city for trouble.

"Yeah, it sure is. I like it. Allows us to have more time flying and practicing our shooting." T-Bone said happily.

"Uhm, it also leaves us plenty of time to work in the garage too." Razor snorted.

"Spoilsport. I didn't need that reminder to sour my mood." T-Bone groused at his partner.

Suddenly Razor picked up blips on his radar heading their way fast. "Heads up T-Bone, bogies at four o'clock." He warned.

"Huh...I don't see anything...holy kats...!" T-Bone shouted as he pulled the jet up suddenly to avoid the objects that had nearly run into them.

T-Bone halted the Turbokat going VTOL and stared in annoyance at the pair of miscreants. "Aw crud! Airspace has become a little crowded since these little furballs came along." He fumed. Popping the canopy he snapped at the pair of Gryphonskats that were staring at him in shocked surprise.

"What the heck are you two doing out here alone this late at night?" He growled.

"We're not alone! Mommy is back there helping Zera." Adair said haughtily.

T-Bone scanned the skies but saw no one. "Razor do you have any more blips that might be Feral and his other kits?" He asked.

"Nope there's nothing on the scope." Razor said.

"Hey! I hate to tell you this but our radar doesn't show your mother anywhere nearby. I think you better stay here with us until he catches up with us. We'll just stay right here. Don't want a frantic mother getting pissed at us. Come land on the wing here and rest." T-Bone ordered.

Adair looked at his brother Ian who just shrugged and flew to the wing and landed. Sighing Adair followed him and landed too.

"Honest, Momma was right behind us!" Adair whined.

"Well then he should be showing up real soon." T-Bone said firmly.

T-Bone snorted, "Since when did we become kitten sitters buddy?"

Razor just snickered. "Blips on the radar. Must be Feral now, T-Bone!" Razor suddenly said.

Sure enough a large shape came up from behind them followed by two smaller shadows. Feral growled angrily at his little males.

"Why did you take off? Didn't you hear me say stop?" He snapped.

The pair on the wing huddled up anxiously. "Sorry Mommy, we didn't hear you." Ian said softly.

"I'll let your father deal with you when we get home." Feral huffed irritably. "Thank you for holding them here SWAT Kats. I've been frantic trying to find them." Feral said a little annoyed to be thanking the vigilantes for anything.

"You're welcome, Commander. They almost became sushi when they came head on to our jet." T-Bone said.

Looking even more angrily at his kits Feral signaled them to follow as he headed off for home.

Setting the jet back to forward motion and again heading home, T-Bone mused, "Those kits are in for a spanking if I don't miss my guess at Feral's pissed off face. Still seems weird to know Feral's a mom and that this city has a family of Gryphonskats living here."

"Yeah, it does but you know I actually think that's pretty cool." Razor said in amusement.

"You would! Let's get home and order pizza." T-Bone snorted.

"Sounds great to me." Razor said.

The End