Midnight's head rose from where she'd been resting, on the sofa of Ophelia's home. The Egyptian Mau's eyes widened, allowing her to see better in the dim evening light. She gracefully slipped off the couch, padding silently across the hardwood floor, and up the winding staircase, until she reached the photographs. A picture of each Catwoman of ages past, Ophelia among them.
Midnight's nostrils widened, breath misting the pictures briefly before she turned away, hopping onto the windowsill. Her green eyes dilated again, peering across the city towards the vacant apartment she knew the girl Patience lived in.
The night was moonless, a few small stars bravely shining above the skyscrapers and apartments. Midnight's ears flickered, hearing a soft murmur. It is time. You must choose her.
Midnight had chosen many Catwomen over the centuries. But never before had one of them risked their own lives to save her.
The window was open a few inches; many of Ophelia's cats were wanderers, as Midnight was. She lowered her head, wriggling her shoulders until she was on the outer ledge. Stepping lightly, she made her way to the trellis, expertly climbing down.
She waited silently on the front walk, until more shadows joined her. The rest of the cats from Ophelia's, and even local strays had come. With a flick of her tail, she beckoned them. They formed a loose formation as they made their way down the silent streets. It wasn't long before industrial lights came into view, and at Midnight's signal, the group of cats went from a walk to a run.
She recognized the girl's scent from before, followed it towards a deep pool. With a flick of her tail, most of the remaining cats dispersed, towards the soil deposits nearby. Whether by chance or by Bastet's doing, they were arranged in the shape of a cat's paw. The changing would take place there.
A moment later, a dark shape came to the surface of the pool and Midnight's eyes darkened with sadness as she recognized the girl. She softly yowled, calling the remaining cats to her side.
With an effort, they dragged Patience's body from the water, her waterlogged clothes making it a difficult task. With Midnight leading them, they brought the girl to the center of the cat's paw, laying her down carefully before slipping into the reeds nearby.
Midnight took her place at the girl's feet, slowly settling down. She waited until the whispered voice of Bastet urged her forward. Now, Midnight, now. The other cats slipped from the shadows, eyes aglow in the washed-out lights from the industrial facility. Soft mews and yowls punctuated the silence.
The silver Mau stood, stepped forward until she was standing on Patience's chest. This was a more different changing ceremony than any she had taken part in before. Her tail waved briefly before she sat again, gazing into the dead girl's staring eyes. She closed her eyes, felt Bastet surrounding her. Drawing a breath, she leaned forward, letting it out in a silvery cloud of mist into the girl's nostrils.
A moment passed, then the girl's eyes twitched, the pupils widening, then shrinking to slits. The eyes of a feline. Her chest expanded as air was drawn into her lungs and Midnight stepped back, just before a coughing fit convulsed Patience's body. The new Catwoman rolled over, wheezing, before blinking, trying to adjust to her surroundings.
Midnight watched from the shadows, before flicking her tail. Her entourage of cats slipped away, and the Mau waited for a moment, looking up to the now barely-visible stars, thanking Bastet, before following them.