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The speckles of dew still balanced on the ends of the fronds of moor grass and heather glittered in the light as I bounded after my brother. The hollow, despite being lined with gorse, had an opening opposite the strange cave, and it had been easy to scramble up and out, despite my hasty actions. I could easily see Tide's strong grey body leap nimbly across a flat rock that over hanged a gentle slope down which he pelted, with me following a few tail-lengths behind him, and Breeze at the rear. I scrambled over the outcrop, and almost barrelled into Tide, who was unexpectedly crouching down below me, looking out onto the scene stretching out in front of us.
'Wow...look at that!' The words came out of me without me even thinking about it as I saw part of a shimmering expanse of water, azure blue and glinting about two small hillocks away. I ran ahead to the next viewpoint, and now the entirety of a massive lake was revealed to me.
'Looks pretty good.' Tide rumbled.
'Wow...' I heard Breeze's voice sigh breathlessly as she finally caught up with us, and she flopped down onto the ground next to me, resting her head on her paws as she stared out into the valley. 'Really something, isn't it?'
'Too right.' I replied, curling my tail up in delight as I contemplated the surroundings. It was perfect; a territory big enough for ten families of cats, with every hunting ground imaginable; moor, swamp, pine, evergreen, river...It felt worlds away from the stormy, prey-less wasteland we had faced last night.
'Think we'll stay here?' My brother's words had caught me off guard, and I blinked out of my thoughts to answer his question.
'I don't know. It all depends on who we're sharing this with.' My words awakened a new emotion inside me; worry. It would be foolish to hope that we were the only residents of this haven, and I scanned the landscape with new eyes, looking for signs of others. Of course, it was futile, and the presence of my siblings reassured me enough to stop looking. The three of us could probably send of any hostile rogues that came our way.
'Well? What are we waiting for?' Breeze's eyes sparkled as she leapt to her paws, apparently recovered from her dash earlier. 'Let's go hunting!'
It wasn't long before we managed to scramble down the hill and make our way to the pebbly shore of the lake. The round stones slipped under my paws as I skulked near the gentle ripples washing the land, ears pricked and eyes scanning the undergrowth for any sign of movement.
After we had arrived, we made the decision to split up, and so the other two had headed in opposite directions; Tide to the darker pine forest, Breeze to the evergreens, while I stayed close to the shore. The population of prey had frustrated my efforts so far, and flicked my ears in annoyance at the lack of fresh-kill my work had yielded. I turned to look over my shoulder, and to my surprise noted the pine trees some distance away. I'd have to turn back if I wanted to be home by nightfall.
But a sudden rustling set my heart pounding, and I silently turned round and focused on a patch of reeds near the edge of a river flowing into the lake. Finally, some prey that I could take home! I crept forward, floating across the ground, before pausing in order to let the prey show itself. As I crouched, a scent drifted into my nostrils. The smell of...
'Wow! Are you a wildcat?' A bubbling voice gushed out behind me, and I angrily whipped round as a mouse skittered out of the reeds and ran into the woods. A plump kittypet was sitting nonchalantly near the edge of a lake, his light blue eyes as round as saucers as he craned his neck at me. He looked young; no more than 7 moons, and his rounded body was covered with sleek tabby fur.
'What if I am?' My voice ripped out into a snarl as I stalked over to him. 'Your stupid bumbling kittypet mews scared away my lunch!'
'Oopes, sorry.' His cheery mew infuriated me, and I bared my teeth as I replied. 'Don't you understand? That might be all I get to eat today!' Inside, I doubted it (with Breeze on the case, we weren't often left hungry), but I wasn't about to let it on.
'Really?' The kittypet sounded a little remorseful this time, and for a moment I thought I had gotten through his thick fur. But he brightened up again as he said cheerfully, 'Don't worry! You can get some food at my house. My housefolk are normally out at this-'
'What makes you think that I would want any of your stinking slop?' I hissed. 'Just keep your flea-pelt away from me.'
With that last remark, I stormed off down the lake shore in a huff, lashing my tail so it flicked the kittypet in the face.
'Look who decided to turn up.' Tide purred his greeting playfully, before stepping back and examining my empty jaws in pretend hurt. 'What? No prey?'
'I would have some, but...' I told the whole tale of my encounter with the tabby kittypet, and when I was done, Breeze growled a little.
'Stupid kittypets. Don't know their head from their tail.'
'Too right.' I said with feeling. 'Need any help with that?' I pointed with my paw to the small heap of furry mammals by my sister's feet. She nodded gratefully, and I picked up a mouse and a vole in my jaws while she carried a pigeon, and Tide carried his squirrel. We set back off to the moors, the warm blood seeping in my mouth as I relaxed in the evening sunlight. Nothing could have been better.