Whitie, Blackie and Silver.
After a few hours,
“Dear sweet snowy,” Petra mewed, touching Snowy’s paws with hers. Snowy’s long toes curled round Petra’s, the white tigress’s paws warm, a warmth which made Petra want to snuggle hard up to Snowy and bury her paws and face in her fur. Snowy looked at Petra, feeling the lioness’s need.
“I’ll feed this cub, and then I will comfort a larger cub,” snowy thought. Ellie took her cub from snowy, and Petra took the cub’s place, snowy looking down at the large lioness.
“Come to me dear cub,” snowy mewed, Petra crawling closer, snuggling hard into Snowy’s hug. Snowy groomed Petra from nose to tail, making Petra forget for a minute she was a fully grown lioness. Petra felt the tigress’s paws enveloping her from her nose to her toes, then the tigress’s tongue and teeth working over her coat from whiskers to paw pads, grooming her just like she was a cub.
“Petra,” snowy mewed, “can I bathe you?” Petra hesitated, her mind telling her this would be strange, while her heart cried out for Snowy’s attention.
“Yes please,” Petra mewed. Snowy got to her paws, Petra seemingly dragged to her own paws as if by a magnet. Snowy and Petra padded to the bathroom, where snowy ran a bath, Petra cuddling close to her the whole time, wishing snowy had given in to her urge to protect her when she was a cub. Petra suddenly grabbed Snowy’s left forepaw, her grip urgent and desperate. Snowy turned her head to Petra, the lionesses face telling her she wanted to say so much but had no words. Snowy gently led Petra into the bathtub, the lioness crawling like a cub, flopping into the warm water. Snowy’s eyes filled Petra’s mind, the tigress’s touch filling her senses, taking her away from the bathroom, from the present. Petra wanted to drift away, and drift she did. Snowy found she didn’t have to work hard to soothe Petra, the lioness comatose within a few minutes.
“I love you Petra,” Snowy mewed, massaging the lioness’s left forepaw. Petra’s toes curled round Snowy’s, the white lioness relaxing completely.
“I’ve wanted to do this ever since I set eyes on you Petra sweetheart,” snowy mewed, taking oil in her paws and rubbing it into Petra’s pads and toes. Petra purred deeply, the sound vibrating her body from nose to tail. Snowy washed the rest of Petra’s body, the lioness hardly moving, her mind in a place half way between sleep and wakefulness.
“It would be such a crime to sleep, such a heinous crime,” Petra thought, “but I can’t fight it any more, must, and must sleep! The bath is almost over, but, but I can’t stay awake long enough to get out of the water.” Petra’s mind turned towards sleep, snowy helping the half conscious lioness from the water and towelling her dry. Petra slept throughout her rub down, and because the lioness’s sleep was so deep, and Snowy couldn’t lift her as she would have a small cub, Samson got a stretcher type thing on wheels which they pushed Petra on to, wheeling her away to Snowy’s rug, where she was pushed off the wheeled thing and allowed to sleep in peace. Petra was so far gone that she didn’t react to snowy and Samson’s antics, where they shovelled her onto the stretcher and then pushed her off again, moving her head and paws with gentle care. Indeed, Samson was surprised at how unresponsive Petra was.
“If she wasn’t breathing, I’d almost say she was dead.” Samson mewed to snowy.
“If she was the size of a cub,” Snowy mewed, “I’d have carried her to the rug, as it is, I can’t.”
“But you obviously thought of her as a cub,” Samson mewed.
“Yes,” snowy replied tears welling in her eyes, “for, it was plain to me she’d not had a cubhood Samson. Petra might not have known it, but she was crying out just to be loved.”
“Theo loves her as much as anyone can,” Samson mewed.
“Theo loves Petra, but not in the way a mother can love a cub.” Snowy mewed. Petra shifted slightly, opening her eyes and looking at Snowy.
“Snowy,” Petra asked, hardly believing her own words, “would you hug me again? Please?”
Elsa, watching this, was furious! She hated the way snowy bonded with everyone’s cubs. She’d tried to do it when Petra and Aslan were young, but she’d not managed it, even feeding them didn’t do it. Now snowy was paws on with Petra and Elsa hated her for it! Theo, watching with her, felt her anger.
“Elsa,” he said, “don’t get angry, there’s no point in it. Snowy has been a mother to so many cubs that, that she can’t help what she does. Any more than Petra can help her reaction to Snowy’s touch.” Elsa looked at her mate as he spoke, and saw tears in his eyes.
“You’re like Petra!” She snarled, “You love that tigress like she’s your bloody mother! What the hell’s got into you Theo?”
“My mother wasn’t interested in me Elsa,” Theo mewed, “when I rejected her teachings she all but forgot about me. Then I was taken by the humans and put into a zoo. I know what Petra went through, she knows what Simba Kizungu went through, snowy knows what Petra went through too. Elsa stormed from the room, angry with Theo, Theo glancing at the screen which showed snowy stroking Petra. Trotting downstairs, Theo padded up to Snowy, the tigress smiling at him.
“Ah, another one of my cubs,” she mewed. Snowy drew Theo in with one paw, Petra smiling at her sire.
“You love snowy as much as I do don’t you Theo,” she mewed. Theo smiled and snowy embraced him in her paws, Theo relaxing like Petra had done.
“Are you going to bathe him too?” Petra asked. Snowy smiled at her.
“If he wants it,” she mewed.
“Bathe me?” Theo asked, “Wouldn’t that be a strange thing to do?” Snowy touched his paw with hers.
“Snowy,” Theo sobbed, clinging to the tigress’s paw, “stroke me, hug me! Please!” Snowy enveloped him in her paws.
“Big soft paws Theo?” Petra asked smiling. Theo mewed softly, closing his eyes and snuggling up to the tigress. Elsa watched in enraged silence.
“Snowy, you disgust me!” She thought, her eyes burning into those of the white tigress.
“If you don’t like the way I do things, then move out of my way,” Snowy’s eyes said, Elsa realising she had no answer to the lovable, huggable juggernaut that was snowy Half Tail. Theo and Petra lay snuggled up to snowy, Elsa feeling isolated for the first time in her life. She’d had a wonderful cubhood, growing up in the African bush. Her life had gone sour when she was captured by rangers and sent to a zoo. After escaping things got better after the births of her cubs Leona and Simba, then Simba had died, leaving Leona as an only cub. Now Leona was grown up, and looking for a mate. She’d got her eye on Clarence last time Elsa knew, but who was to say who she’d choose. There was a black panther lurking in the wood, or so Elsa thought, maybe Leona would mate with him. As for Elsa’s relationship with Theo, she wasn’t sure where that was going. She didn’t know if she wanted cubs with him, or whether she just wanted to leave things as they were. She loved the lion with everything she had, even if they had their rough patches, as was now. Elsa couldn’t understand for the life of her why Theo would let a huge white tigress take him in her paws like he was a cub. What was all this about?
“Bathing you would be a pleasure,” snowy mewed.
“Why bathe a fully grown lion?” Elsa asked.
“Maybe to give him the unconditional love his mother didn’t?” Petra replied sleepily.
“Take me home,” Theo mewed. Snowy embraced Theo in her huge warm paws, the lion curling up beside her, while Petra and Samson watched them. At first Elsa was confused by, and then resigned to her mate’s strange behaviour. She’d thought this community a bit strange in the way they did things, and as long as there was no fighting or general “rumpus,” as she called it, Elsa was happy. Now though, they’d had fighting and snowy was causing one hell of a rumpus among the adult animals, who all wanted to be cubs again, or so she thought. Not able to face the sight of her mate being bathed by a white tigress, Elsa padded to her and Theo’s lie up to think. She was a wild lioness, how could she really know, despite the years of trying to understand, how this community really worked. It seemed to work on touch, paw touching paw, fur on fur, the focus not on what one could see, rather on what one felt through their paws. Elsa had often experienced another animal coming up to her and, without warning, taking her paw in theirs. Elsa resented this, but saw that other animals didn’t seem to mind it. Elsa still felt her paws were private, and not a message board to her inner self, but then she’d been astonished by how much a cub could tell about her mood by just lightly holding her paw in theirs. Elsa was in two minds about the community’s reliance on the paw as a means of communication. She remembered Samson telling how Simba and Petra had communicated with their paws, touching each other’s pads and toes, the bond between them growing stronger with every considered action.
“I found the addiction to paw play hard to take when I first came here,” Elsa thought, “when Theo massaged my paws during Leona and my Simba’s births, I found his natural affinity with my paws strange. He had no hesitation when touching them.” Elsa remembered Theo saying that, before he’d set paw in the bathroom that day, Samson hadn’t regarded his paws as much more than things that got him from one place to another, and annoyed him when thorns got in his pads or sticks wedged between his toes, now though, Fleur had taught the lion what pleasure his paws could give him, and the pleasure his paws could give to others. Elsa wasn’t so into the ways of the paw as the rest of the community, and this frustrated her. The plain truth was that she didn’t much like paw play, even though she often played with Leona’s paws. This was because the cub liked it, not because Elsa herself did. Elsa wouldn’t let Leona return her love by touching her paws; it had to be touching noses or whiskers, no paw contact. Elsa realised this might become an issue with Theo, as he got into the paw play thing with snowy and Petra. Theo had always played with the white lioness, Elsa rarely playing with her. Elsa buried her face in her paws, her whiskers tickling her pads as she considered her opposition to paw play. When Theo had first suggested stroking her paws, she’d been reluctant to let him, but then, when she’d felt it once, she’d wanted more. Now though, she wasn’t so sure what she wanted. Elsa looked down at her paws. They were large for a lioness, with long toes. Curling and stretching her toes, Elsa wondered why she was so concerned about who touched her paws. She’d seen fleur and Samson playing together, and they had such fun, as did Simba and Petra. Elsa knew the method of play might be similar between fleur and Samson and Petra and Simba, but the emotions which went with the play were different in both cases. If Elsa let herself go, could she enjoy having her paws stroked by another creature? Elsa knew Samson had grown to love the paw to paw contact, so why shouldn’t she try and learn? Elsa got to her paws and returned to the living room to find Theo freshly bathed and curled up beside Snowy and Petra, who each held one of his forepaws. Theo’s eyes were closed, and he looked so peaceful.
“I don’t understand all this,” Elsa mewed, “I would like to, but haven’t taken the time. Could one of you show me what it is to have my paws stroked?”
“It’s what you make it,” Petra mewed, “you can have bad paw massages, or good ones. If you and the masseur are of one mind, ready to enjoy yourselves, the massage usually works. If you are in pain, and the creature stroking your paws wants to make you pain free, then that will work too. Massage needs commitment. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve got two left paws when it comes to stroking another’s paws, if the commitment to do good is there, you’ll do fine. The same goes for the creature receiving the massage. If they don’t want it, they’ll resist, and the massage won’t work.” Elsa smiled at Petra.
“I might give it a try,” she mewed, “how about if you stroke my paws Petra?”
Meanwhile, in Ellie’s lie up, Ellie and Nick examined their largest cub. The cub, a female, had silver grey fur from nose to tail. She was definitely a lynx, but for the silver fur. This gave rise to the name she was given by her parents. The silver cub was of independent spirit from the start. Ellie found this out when she woke later that day to find little Leo guiding her silver cub back to their lie up.
“Where did you find her?” Ellie asked Leo.
“She followed me to the boss’s place,” Leo mewed. Ellie looked at the silver furred lynx cub.
“You mustn’t run off!” She snapped. Silver looked so unhappy at being told off that Ellie relented.
“Look,” she said, “I don’t want you running off silver! You could have got lost, or hurt or anything! I don’t want that!”
“I was with Leo all the time!” The silver cub mewed.
“You don’t know Leo that well,” Ellie mewed, “you’ve only been able to crawl about for a couple of hours now.”
“I will look after silver,” Leo mewed.
“You can’t look after a cub when you’re one yourself Leo,” Ellie mewed.
“I won’t let her get into trouble,” Leo replied, “I promise you that Ellie.” Ellie looked up, and saw a white paw waving at Leo, encouraging him to carry on talking silver’s mother into letting her go with him.
“Simba you’re a little sod!” Ellie said laughing, for she now knew Silver would be all right.
“I wasn’t so inconspicuous after all,” Simba mewed, padding into the room, silver and Leo turning their heads and ears to him, their eyes not yet functioning fully.
“So it’s you who will be looking after both Leo and silver?” Ellie asked.
“Yes, me and the whole community Ellie,” Simba replied, “Nothing will harm silver.” Ellie looked at her silver coated cub. The way the light caught her fur made it shimmer and sparkle when she moved.
“All right,” Ellie said, “but if anything happens to Silver, I’ll break your paws!” Simba smiled, confident nothing would happen to the silver furred cub.
Simba stood in front of the two cubs.
“Right,” he said, “we have to have some ground rules. Here they are, and we can’t discuss them, they are final. If I smack the ground with my paw, like this,” he smacked the carpet with his paw, “you two crawl as quickly as you can for cover, okay? The paths we will be on will have plenty of cover either side.” Leo and silver agreed, and after a few practise runs, they ventured into the wood, Leo keeping in contact with silver at all times.
They got to the track and crawled along that, Simba keeping an eye out for trouble. He caught a glimpse of a black cat stalking something, and froze, smacking the ground with his paw as he’d arranged, the two younger cubs sensing drama and diving for cover, just as Simba had instructed them to. It was then that the black cat made his move, leaping at silver! Simba launched himself at the cat, deflecting his pounce, both cats landing in a snarling heap on the track. Samson burst onto the scene, standing guard by the bush under which Leo and Silver had taken refuge.
“You denied me my lawful prey!” The black cat, actually a panther snarled at Simba.
“Your prey?” Simba asked, his claws dug into the larger cat’s nose, “that was a lynx cub, not your prey.” The panther struggled to his paws, staring down at Simba.
“A white lion cub!” He exclaimed, “How unusual!”
“Paws off!” Samson snarled.
“All right big guy, no need to get agitated,” the panther mewed at Samson.
“Keep your paws off the white cub, the silver cub, and the hairy cub, okay,” Samson snarled.
“Okay,” the panther mewed, “I will, especially if I have to fight you, your paws are huge!”
“Good policy black one, now go!” Samson spat. The panther left in a hurry.
“You won’t tell mum about this will you?” Silver pleaded.
“I think your mum already knows,” Samson replied, “I was sent here by Allie to watch over you.”
“I knew Ellie didn’t trust me,” Simba sulked.
“Though the record shows you were faster on the draw than me,” Samson replied, “Simba, it was you who put that panther off! I got here two seconds too late for that. So maybe you’re not in trouble after all.”
“I saw the panther, that’s why I froze,” Simba mewed, “silver and Leo did what I asked them to do, making for cover.” Ellie bounded into view:
“Silver!” She snapped, “Get here now!” Silver crawled miserably to her mum’s side. Ellie turned her anger on Simba.
“You didn’t manage to keep my cub safe!” She yelled, “Now you’re for it!”
“No Ellie stop!” Samson yelled, “I have proof Simba saved your cub, it’s all on disc, I can show you!” Ellie, her anger on hold for the time being, picked up her cub and padded away with her.
“Now we’re all in the shit,” Leo mewed.
“Where did you hear that word?” Samson asked.
“I watched the film of Pipin threatening Ahanu, and he used the word,” Leo replied.
“It’s a bad word,” Simba mewed, “don’t use it again.” Leo promised he wouldn’t.
“But I still say we’re in trouble,” he mewed, “for it was me who started all this. I wanted to see if I could talk Ellie round to letting Silver come with us, and she blames me as much as you. Now we’re all for it!”
“Not when she sees what the camera saw,” Samson mewed.
Indeed, Ellie was viewing what the camera saw, and rapidly rethinking her take on things. It was clear Simba had drilled her cub in what to do if things got dangerous. Seeing the goings on in the wood via the live feed, Ellie saw Salty and Raja confronting the panther, who shrank away when he saw the snow leopard and tiger.
“I didn’t mean to pounce on a cub!” The panther mewed, “I thought it was a rodent or some other woodland creature. How on earth was I to know it was a lynx cub?” Raja cuffed the panther across his nose, the black cat squealing with pain.
“Get out of my sight!” Salty snarled. The panther ran away, Raja watching him go.
“Silver’s safe now then?” Ellie asked Allie.
“Yes,” Allie replied.
Meanwhile, Elsa and Petra lay together, Petra massaging Elsa’s paws. Elsa smiled with pleasure, trying to focus her mind on drifting. Petra seemed to sense her struggle and patted the paw she was massaging.
“Take a deep breath, get comfortable and let yourself go,” Petra mewed, Elsa snuggling up to her.
“Show me how,” she mewed. Petra rubbed Elsa down from nose to belly, to paws. Elsa worked herself closer to Petra, thoroughly enjoying a paw massage for the first time. Purring, Elsa cuddled into Petra’s embrace, relaxing completely. Elsa felt her paws relaxing, her pads and toes becoming warm.
The Black Panther stalked round the wood, catching his dinner as he went. Still angry with himself for mistaking a lynx cub for prey, he padded round the wood, conscious he was being watched. . The panther, correctly known as a black leopard, padded up to salty, intent on telling him his name.
“You are the cat who stalked and pounced upon a lynx cub aren’t you?” Salty asked.
“I am,” the black leopard replied, “and for that I’m very sorry. Suddenly Whitie ran up to the black leopard and hugged him.
“Blackie!” She mewed, “I thought you’d gone, I thought I’d never find you again!” Salty stared at the black leopard in astonishment!
“Blackie, I know you!” He mewed, “you were, um, Whitie’s sweetheart. What happened to your white spots?”
“I lost them as I got older,” Blackie replied, “my hair fell out and replaced itself with black hair. Now I am a true black leopard.
“But why confuse a cub and prey?” Salty asked, “Surely you know what a cub is and what prey are?”
“No, I’m not that good at hunting,” Blackie replied, “I could never tell that well what was what. I’m sorry to everyone I’ve upset. I thought the silver grey cub was a squirrel or some other rodent. It was only when the white lion cub brought me to the ground that I realised there might be some mistake.” Whitie took Blackie’s paw in hers and steered him firmly towards the door.
“You need to apologise to Ellie and silver,” she said firmly, “Ellie’s not best pleased. Sooner than he’d have liked, Blackie was standing, miserably staring at his paws in Ellie’s presence.
“This is the black cat that stalked and nearly did for your Silver Ellie,” Whitie mewed. Ellie looked at the black leopard.
“Let me get Fleur,” she said, “for I think we know you?”
“Yes, yes you do,” Blackie babbled, “I’m Blackie, Whitie’s mate! I, I lost my white spots, kind of. Well they grew out anyway. Now I’m here, and more apologetic than I can tell you. I would like to meet your cub, to show her how sorry I am for what I nearly did to her.”
“You aren’t getting anywhere near my cub!” Ellie shouted, “You considered her as food! What makes you think I’m going to let you anywhere near her?”
“I didn’t, it wasn’t her I wanted to eat! I wanted food, I didn’t know!” Blackie mewed, almost sobbing.
“She knows what you wanted to do,” Ellie said, “I told her. She’s pretty upset.”
“I didn’t want to eat your cub!” Blackie mewed, “I didn’t know it was a cub I was pouncing on! But, I suppose, if Simba hadn’t stopped me, I’d know it when it was too late.” Ellie spat at Blackie.
“I hate you!” She yelled.
“It wasn’t my intention to eat your cub!” Blackie mewed, “I know I should have realised what it was I was leaping at before I leapt, but I didn’t! Please! Let me make amends, hug your cub, and show her I’m no threat!” Ellie scowled at Blackie.
“You are a menace to cubs!” She yowled.
“I didn’t want to eat your cub!” Blackie mewed, “please Ellie, listen to me! I didn’t know what I was attacking was a cub! If I’d known, I wouldn’t have launched the attack! I’m sorry, so sorry! I want to make amends, want to show you and silver that I mean you no harm!” Ellie snarled at Blackie:
“I will make sure once and for all that you are sincere in your remorse!” She said, “The paws never lie, or so they say here. I will get snowy to judge your intentions! Believe me Blackie; if I find you are not sincere, I will murder you!” Blackie threw himself on the floor, crying pitifully.
“I won’t hurt your cub; I won’t hurt your cub!” He wailed, sounding like a cub himself.
Snowy arrived, and did what Ellie asked of her, tested Blackie’s sincerity. Blackie’s paw, though hot from emotion and damp with sweat, told snowy he wasn’t about to harm Ellie’s cub.
“He’s okay,” Snowy mewed. Ellie spat with contempt for the black leopard.
“Silver might not want to come to him,” she growled, “I won’t force her.” Snowy padded away, looking at Ellie:
“Don’t coach your cub,” snowy mewed, “let her come to Blackie under her own steam.” Ellie padded away, her mind scrambled.
Silver crawled up to Blackie, the black leopard watching her come closer to him. When she touched him with her paw, he gently took her in his paws.
“I’m sorry for launching an attack on you,” Blackie sobbed.
“Just hug me now,” Silver mewed. Blackie hugged the silver coated lynx cub with tenderness and care, wanting to love silver with everything he had. Silver’s purring told him she was relaxing finally. Blackie slipped one of his forepaws beneath Silver’s large hairy one and picked it up. It was soft and warm, and when Silver curled her toes slightly, her claws scratching his pads, Blackie smiled and kissed her on the nose. Silver curled up, burying her face and paws in Blackie’s fur, the black leopard’s paws enfolding the silver cub in as tighter hug as he dared give her. Silver snuggled up to Blackie, the cub forgiving the black leopard for nearly killing her. Blackie took one of her forepaws and began to stroke her pads and toes, Silver purring, and then laughing as he tickled her pads with his toes. She snuggled hard into his fur:
“Hold me,” she mewed. Blackie did, hugging her tightly, increasing his pressure as the cub snuggled into his fur.
“Is that good?” He asked. Silver rested her head on his shoulder, her body held tightly by Blackie’s left forepaw, his right still massaging her paw.
“That feels great,” silver mewed, rapidly falling asleep, much to Ellie’s disgust.
“I thought she’d run a mile after what you nearly did to her!” Ellie yowled.
“Shut up mum,” Silver mewed sleepily, “this leopard didn’t mean to kill me, I can feel he didn’t.” Silver was soon asleep, cradled in Blackie’s paws. Blackie gently released the cub, got to his paws, and picked her up in his mouth by the scruff of her neck. Furious, Ellie watched him.
“Where does silver sleep?” Blackie asked, placing the sleeping cub briefly on the carpet.
“I’ll show you,” Ellie said with ill grace. She padded to her den, Blackie following respectfully behind, carrying silver tenderly, as if she were his own cub. Reaching Ellie’s den, the Black leopard gently placed Silver down on the rug, arranging her legs and paws comfortably so they didn’t get stiff, and then kissing her nose. Ellie cursed Blackie under her breath, hating the black leopard for his easy intimacy with her cub, and silver for her easy acceptance of the black monster. Ellie had remembered what the cubs used to call Blackie, and she vowed to teach silver the insult, in the hope she’d use it to drive Blackie away.
Blackie found Whitie in her lie up, the snow leopard glad to meet up with the black leopard once again.
“Silver’s gorgeous isn’t she,” Blackie mewed. Whitie smiled.
“Ellie’s got a fine cub there,” she mewed, “her other two aren’t bad cubs either, but Silver’s the cuddliest of the three yes,” Whitie mewed. Blackie told Whitie everything about his encounter with silver.
“She fell for you in a big way it seems,” Whitie mewed. Blackie snuggled up to Whitie, burying his paws in her fur.
A scuffing sound made them look round. Silver crawled towards them, feeling her way with one paw. Blackie smiled, released Whitie, and scooped silver into a huge hug. Whitie, hearing silver’s mew of surprise and then delighted purring, smiled at her mate. Silver and Blackie let Whitie touch them while they hugged, the snow leopard gently exploring both her mate and silver with her paws. Silver rubbed her cheek against Blackie’s, then against Whitie’s paw pads as she worked them over her body. Whitie smiled and began to purr just like the cub.
“Can I hug you in a minute?” Whitie asked Silver. Silver smiled at her, though Whitie couldn’t see this.
“You can,” silver yawned, struggling not to fall asleep. Blackie gently passed silver to Whitie, the female snow leopard embracing the lynx cub.
“Sleep well little Silver,” Whitie mewed. Silver worked her paws into Whitie’s thick fur, Whitie mewing to the little cub as she settled down.
“I could grow to love this cub as my own,” Whitie thought, nuzzling silver’s cheek, the cub snuggling close.
Ellie, frustrated by silver’s constant disappearing act, padded round the house looking for her cub. Not finding her with Petra, Elsa or Nick, Ellie began to panic. Even Snowy didn’t know where the silver coated cub was!
Allie watched Whitie and Blackie looking after Silver. They looked so contented, and Allie wasn’t sure if Ellie had too many cubs to deal with. Maybe silver would be better off with Whitie and Blackie. Then she saw Ellie pacing round the house, looking anxiously for her cub. Allie decided she’d see what happened when Ellie found her cub, what would her first emotion be on seeing her cub, would it be anger, or relief. If the former, Allie would be worried. Relief should come first, anger at her cub later.
Ellie found silver in Whitie and Blackie’s care. Padding noiselessly up to Whitie, who was asleep, Ellie stood besides her, just looking down at Silver, as cool as a cucumber. Blackie, half asleep, watched Ellie. What he saw next was so dreadful and quick that he could do nothing to stop it. Ellie raised her paw and cuffed the sleeping silver cub with all her might! Silver screeched with pain as she woke, flying through the air! She hit the wall and slid down it, Whitie now awake and wondering what was going on!
“What the hell’s going on Blackie!” Whitie yelled. Blackie was already climbing aboard Ellie, pinning the female lynx to the floor!
“Whitie, find silver!” Blackie yelled. Whitie tracked silver down by scent, finding the cub lying crumpled and unconscious on the floor. Licking Silver brought the cub round, who began to cry with pain and scream with terror.
“It’s okay, silver, its okay, I promise!” Whitie mewed, lying down, taking the cub in her paws and rocking her gently. Silver, crying and rubbing her closed eyes with clenched paws, looked a sorry sight. Whitie licked silver’s nose, gently taking the cub’s forepaws in hers and massaging them tenderly.
“Let’s go,” Whitie mewed to silver, picking the cub up in her mouth and trotting away with her, going to the one place of safety she knew. finding snowy in her lie up in the Boss’s living room, Whitie gave silver into Snowy’s care, the silver cub now having a more dirty grey coat than silver due to tear staining. Snowy cuddled the cub, feeling silver shaking and sweating with fear. Snowy mewed to Silver, soothing her with her voice and paws in a way Whitie could only dream of doing. Whitie settled down beside Snowy, enjoying her foster mum’s presence.
“Is that better Silver?” Snowy asked the silver grey cub now calmer.
“I will be okay,” Silver mewed, “thank you Whitie, and you snowy.”
“Let’s go to my bathroom, there we will wash your fur,” snowy mewed. Silver crawled with Whitie to Snowy’s bathtub, where the white tigress and her adopted daughter cub washed Silver from nose to tail, Silver loving every minute of the attentions of the white big cats. Rinsing soap off of silver’s fur, snowy worked her paws into the lynx cub’s fur, silver loving every second.
Meanwhile Ellie was getting the worst of it from Blackie, the black leopard angrier with her than he’d been with anyone previously. Ellie got pummelled, slapped and generally beaten up, Blackie swearing at her.
“You hit your cub!” Blackie mewed, “you crept up and walloped her so hard she flew across the room Ellie! I hope, hope that you get punished for this! The least you should suffer is the removal of your cub! I don’t know where Whitie’s taken her, but I’m sure she’s safe. Now, now I will deal with you! You are my lawful prey now!” Nick ran in then, screaming and pleading for Ellie’s life!
“She’s got two other cubs! Please Blackie, let, let her go! She won’t, won’t go anywhere near silver ever again! Please, let Ellie go, I promise I’ll keep her out of your way!” Blackie threw Ellie across the room, the disgraced female lynx landing in a heap at Nick’s feet.
“Take her, and go from here!” Blackie yelled. Nick dragged Ellie away. Blackie, crying as he remembered what Ellie had done to silver, screamed with pain. He’d never seen anything so calculating and cold as what Ellie had done to Silver. His vision blurred by tears, Blackie padded from the room, his paws damp and face hot with emotion. Sweating with fear and crying bitterly, Blackie padded to where a telephone was mounted on the wall and picked it up, hitting the button for the control room. Allie picked up the phone, Blackie gulping hard, trying to control his voice.
“Allie, Allie! I need, need your help. Please! I need to find to find my cub; I mean silver, where’s she gone?” Allie could hear the black leopard’s distress, he was close to cracking.
“Blackie, listen to me, are you listening?” Allie asked.
“Yes,” Blackie sniffed, “yes Allie, I’m listening,” Blackie replied. Allie spoke gently to the black leopard, watching him as well as hearing his voice.
“Silver’s safe, are you listening? Silver is Safe Blackie. Now take a few deep breaths and try to relax.” Allie watched Blackie’s struggle to control his emotions. She could tell the leopard loved the silver coated lynx cub.
“I will now put you in touch with Whitie,” Allie said, “two seconds.” The next voice Blackie heard was that of his mate.
“Blackie, listen,” she said, “Silver’s safe. She’s with me and snowy.”
“Safe paws, thank eohippus!” Blackie sobbed.
“I will come down and bring you to where Silver, snowy and I are. Wait there.” Blackie put the phone down and waited a few minutes.
Whitie left the living room and entered a small lift. Pressing the button to go down one level, she travelled to where her mate stood the door opening at Blackie’s back.
“Blackie, come here,” Whitie mewed. Blackie threw himself at Whitie, burying his face in her fur.
“Silver, our cub!” He sobbed, not realising what he was saying, “Where is she Whitie? Please! Tell me she’s safe, tell me she’s safe!”
“Blackie, please, calm down!” Whitie mewed, “Silver’s safe, she’s washed, dried and fed. She’s also warm and protected. Now dry your eyes and let me take you to the place where snowy and I have been looking after Silver.
“Take me to our cub!” Blackie begged. Whitie felt the black leopard’s distress and touched his paw.
“Come,” she said. Whitie led Blackie to the Boss’s living room, where they found Silver and snowy curled up together. Blackie, seeing the silver coated cub, ran to her and picked her up in his paws, collapsing onto the carpet and fussing over her, crying with relief.
“Silver, silver!” He sobbed, “I’ve been so worried! Silver kissed Blackie’s nose and paws, snuggling into his hug. Blackie let Silver dry his eyes with her paw, the tender action making snowy want to weep.
“I’m here, I’m home,” silver whispered, “home with you Blackie, and with Whitie too. Snowy has fed me, and with the love of two leopards and one tigress, a lynx cub can rest easy knowing she’s loved, not possessed by her guardians. Ellie wanted to possess me, you three want to love me but let me find out things for myself. I want to be with you three forever.” Blackie and Whitie, along with snowy, enfolded Silver in their collective embrace, wrapping themselves round her.
“I love this!” Silver mewed, feeling huge paws touching her own paws, as well as rubbing her belly, while kisses from three cats were placed on her nose, and pads of both forepaws. Silver purred softly as she felt the love and support of her new family. Silver snuggled into the warmth of a group hug, hoping the big cats could tell how much she loved them, as much as she knew the depth of love they felt for her.
Ellie and Nick faced each other, Nick yelling at his mate.
“You attacked your own cub!” Nick yelled, “Allie told me, I saw it! You attacked silver for no reason!”
“The reason was because I hate her associating with Blackie! The black monster is taking over her mind!”
“Silver loves Blackie dearly,” Nick replied, “that’s why she goes to him. She knows he doesn’t mean her harm. She’s looking for love, and finding it with Blackie and Whitie. Silver wants to be with Blackie and Whitie, not with you. Maybe she’s more their cub than yours?” Ellie thought back to a night in the wood, a night when she’d curled up with a black leopard, a night where she’d lost her way, totally lost her way, and been unfaithful to Nick. A quick fling, a loss of control, and maybe, just maybe silver was the result of this. Was Blackie part of silver? Ellie looked down at her paws.
“I don’t know,” Ellie mewed, “let Silver go with them, she wants to, so let her go.”
“You didn’t want her to go with Blackie until now,” Nick mewed, “why change your mind?”
“Nick,” Ellie sniffed, “Silver, Silver might not be our cub! She might be Blackie’s! I, I curled up with a black leopard in the wood, and I asked him to make love to me! He refused at first, but when I pressed him he did. Blackie cried bitterly afterwards, wringing his paws and telling me he hated himself for what he’d done.”
“You forced him to make love to you?” Nick asked. Ellie collapsed onto the rug.
“Yes,” she mewed, “I pressed him, and pressed him, stroking his paws, and trying to make him lose control. When he finally did, I took advantage. I wanted him so much! When the massage wore off, Blackie realised what he’d done and cried bitterly for ages.”
“You used massage to entice Blackie to make love to you?” Nick asked.
“Yes Nick,” Ellie mewed, “I asked fleur how to do it, and she told me, and I used the knowledge to get what I wanted.”
“You bitch!” Nick yelled, “You made Blackie do something against his will! You manipulative furball! You are so dreadful!” Nick ran from the room, crying hysterically. He ran to Snowy’s lie up, busting in and throwing himself down beside the black Leopard.
“I, I think silver’s your cub!” Blackie stared at Nick.
“How?” He asked, “I didn’t, I’m not, I’m not the father of Ellie’s cubs!”
“Do you remember a time, in the wood, when you curled up with Ellie and chatted with her?” Nick asked. Blackie stared at his paws.
“She began to stroke my paws, and, and I lost control, I didn’t know what I was doing! I couldn’t stop it; I wanted to, I told her no! She stroked my paws, and it took over, and Ellie got her way! I couldn’t help what I did! I couldn’t stop it!” Blackie whimpered. Nick took Blackie’s paw, the black leopard whimpering with fear and misery.
“You and Whitie love Silver, so take her in your paws and love her with everything you have Blackie,” Nick mewed, “she’s your cub, not Ellie’s. Ellie doesn’t deserve her.” Blackie looked at silver nestled between Snowy’s paws, and then back at Nick.
“I was drugged,” he mewed, “I couldn’t help what I did. When I came to my senses, I knew I’d done wrong!” Nick held Blackie’s paws, squeezing them tightly. “It’s okay,” Nick mewed, “it wasn’t your fault.” Blackie wept into Nick’s fur.
“She’s done this before, I know she has!” He wailed, “I know Ellie’s got wandering eyes. Forgive me Nick! Please!” Nick rubbed the paws he held.
“It wasn’t your fault Blackie,” he mewed, “I don’t blame you. All I ask is that you look after silver with all you have.” Blackie sobbed into Nick’s fur.
“I will, I will!” He cried. Nick gently let go of Blackie’s paws, the black leopard’s eyes still screaming at him through his tears.
“You were taken advantage of Blackie,” Nick said, I’m not blaming you for this. Ellie found a way of getting what she wanted. She wanted fun, and when you weren’t willing, she used a trick she’d learned from fleur. Fleur knows how to use massage to do everything from give pleasure, to arouse desire for the opposite sex. Ellie used the arousal massage to put you in a situation you didn’t want to be in.”
“I could have walked away,” Blackie mewed, “I stayed with her, I let her stroke my paws, I let her work on me. So I’m not totally blameless.”
“Did she tell you she was single?” Nick asked. Blackie’s eyes gave him the answer.
“Right!” Nick yelled, “No more bullshit from Ellie for me! She’s a roving whore! She prostituted herself once too often! I can’t stand her!”
“What that means is that Ellie’s cubs are part mine and part yours?” Blackie asked, “for they are quite definitely lynx cubs, all three of them.”
“Only silver’s yours,” Nick spat, getting angry, “she’s larger than the other cubs, and has silver grey fur all over her, from nose to paw pads, but we shouldn’t be having this conversation, not with silver sleeping nearby. It’s too much,” Nick said, padding away. Blackie watched him go, a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. Swallowing hard, he looked at Whitie, who lay by.
“I heard it all,” she mewed, “I’m sorry for you Blackie, for I know how powerful that massage therapy can be. Once you’re hooked, that’s it.” Blackie still felt miserable, upset and used.
“I’m sorry Whitie,” he choked, “I wasn’t in control of my senses, I didn’t know what was happening! When I woke, I realised what had taken place and cried myself to sleep. I’m sorry Whitie! Whitie took Blackie’s paws in hers, they were shaking and damp with sweat. This black cat was close to the edge.
“I can’t hunt, I get screwed by a lynx, I then nearly kill a cub,” Blackie mewed, his voice shaking, “I’m, I’m losing it, going mad! I can’t cope!” He screamed. Whitie held Blackie in her paws, the black leopard going to pieces.
“It’s okay Blackie, its okay,” she mewed.
“I feel strong love for a cub which isn’t mine, so much love that I’d die for her if needed,” Blackie mewed, “that’s confusing me, then, then I find out the cub is mine, well sort of, and it’s all to much, all too crazy! I love silver with all my heart and I did before I knew anything about her parentage. Now, now I am glad I can protect her, but it’s a lot to take in!”
“What matters now is a large silver grey cub,” Whitie mewed, “you need to focus on her, focus on her from her ears to her paws. I don’t know what silver grey is, but we can both love her by touch, teach her to love by touch rather than sight.” Silver crawled up to Blackie and pressed her body against his. Enfolding her in a warm hug, Blackie closed his eyes, exploring Silver with his paws, from ears to paw pads, the cub purring as she felt his touch. Silver wriggled and mewed with pleasure, nuzzling the pads and toes of Blackie’s forepaws as they came within reach. She even kissed the pads of each paw as it came within reach, Blackie grinning at her.
“Love me from ears to paws Blackie,” silver mewed, “cuddle me, stroke my ears and belly, embrace my paws, feel my pads and toes, tell me how you feel with touch.” Blackie felt his way to silver’s paws, the cub working them into his own at every opportunity she had, trying to have all four paws stroked at once, to Blackie’s amusement.
“One paw at a time Silver love,” he mewed, gently taking each of her forepaws in his and stroking it, exploring from long fur to slightly leathery but still soft paw pads. Silver loved every minute of Blackie examining her paws, curling her toes to catch his and hold them. Blackie pressed his own pads against silver’s, the cub rubbing back against his pressure.
“This is wonderful,” silver purred, almost asleep. Blackie gathered the silver grey cub to him, enjoying her warmth and the fact she was alive and safe in the care of three cats whose love for her defied words. Silver knew how the adult cats felt, and she felt much the same towards them. She had security, warmth and food, as well as tender paws ready to hold her and comfort her. Blackie released silver’s right hind paw, which he’d been stroking, silver taking his left forepaw in both of hers and massaging it.
“Got to love these paws,” she mewed. Blackie smiled, kissing silver on her nose.
“I do,” he purred.
“Whitie’s paws are lovely too,” Silver mewed, “then again, she’s soft from her nose to the end of her long tail. Have you felt her tail? It’s so long!” Blackie looked at Whitie, who at that moment was quietly getting into a position where she could bend her tail round and tickle the pads of one of silver’s hind paws with the tip. Whitie managed to guess where silver was, feeling with her tail for the pads of one hind paw, and when she’d found it, via a brief exploration of silver’s hind leg with the tip of her tail, something which made silver laugh helplessly as it tickled her, Whitie set to tickling the cub’s pads and toes with her tail tip, silver laughing fit to bust.
“My long tail can be put to good use,” Whitie mewed. Silver, wriggling and laughing until she was exhausted, couldn’t reply. Silver gathered her strength and curled her toes round Whitie’s tail to stop the tickling.
“Okay, okay!” The cub gasped, “That’s enough!” Whitie touched Silver’s head with one forepaw.
“We all love you dearly,” she mewed. Silver smiled and settled to sleep.
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