An unlikely bond.



Ellie snuggled close to Clarence, her paws being stroked by the huge lion.  Clarence purred contentedly as he massaged her paws.  Ellie’s paws now warmer and more relaxed than she’d ever known, the adult female lynx slept deeply, her mind untroubled by worries about her cub, as he was sleeping peacefully beside the lion who had her paw in his.  Ellie woke slowly, feeling the pleasant affects of Clarence’s massage.  Yawning, Ellie stretched all four paws, curling and stretching the toes of each paw in turn, Clarence watching her.

     “Lovely soft paws you have Ellie,”  Clarence said.  Ellie smiled:

     “Yours aren’t exactly hard,”  she replied, “You know how to massage a paw.  Clarence smiled, hugging Ellie tenderly.

      “Thank you for letting me stroke your paws Ellie,”  Clarence said.  Ellie grinned:

     “Any time you want to hug me or stroke my paws, you only have to ask,”  she said.  Ellie’s cub woke, and, crawling to his mother’s side, lay down beside her.  Foster the raccoon put his forepaws on the edge of the sofa, looking up into Ellie’s face.  Ellie rubbed noses with foster, who drew back hurriedly when he realised just what the big cat had done.

    “it’s okay Rocky,”  Ellie purred.

     “My name’s not Rocky,”  the raccoon protested, “it’s Foster.”

     “I like Rocky better,”  Ellie replied.  Foster grinned, he liked the name too, maybe he’d change his name to Rocky.  Meanwhile, Ellie’s cub played with his mother’s tail.  Ellie flicked her tail, making her cub chase it.  She then made the mistake of slightly twitching the toes of one hind paw, the cub taking the opportunity to tickle her pads.  Ellie laughed helplessly as her cub tickled her paw.  Foster laughed as he watched the antics of the lynx cub and his mother.

      “You two are so funny!”  The raccoon whooped.  Ellie grinned, lying down and offering her cub her other hind paw to tickle.  The cub obliged, tickling Ellie’s hind paws.  Ellie let her cub stroke and tickle her hind paws for a bit longer, before putting an end to it by the simple act of hugging him.  The cub snuggled into his mother’s embrace.

     “You learn fast little one,”  she said, “You’re almost as good as Clarence at paw massages.”  Ellie’s cub smiled and buried his head in her shoulder.  Ellie grinned at Clarence and said:

      “Let’s tickle Clarence’s paws!”  Clarence mewed pitifully with mock fear, tucking his paws into the rug on which he lay.  Ellie’s cub dug furiously at the rug, unearthing Clarence’s left forepaw and tickling the pads.  Clarence tried to keep up the pretence of hating having his paws tickled, but his eyes gave his true feelings away, he was enjoying contact with Ellie’s cub.  As Ellie joined in the quest to stroke Clarence’s paws, Clarence curled up, trying to tuck in his paws, while the two lynx went for his hind paws like things possessed.  Clarence gave up the struggle, letting the lynx have all four paws, whimpering and snarling as he gave up the fight.  Clarence rolled onto his back and waved his paws in the air.  Ellie laughed at his antics, grabbing his right forepaw in both of hers and stroking it.

      “We both love you dearly Clarence,”  Ellie said.  Clarence looked at her.

     “You were scared of me yesterday,”  he said.

      “Noone can be scared of a big softy like you Clarence,”  Ellie’s cub said.  Clarence rubbed his eyes with his free forepaw.  Ellie had seen this once before, and recognised the lion was hiding tears.

      “Clarence’s crying,”  Ellie announced.  Clarence shook his right forepaw free from Ellie’s grip and rolled onto his chest, getting his hind paws tangled in the rug as he did so.  Feeling the rug tighten round his paws, Clarence struggled weakly to free himself.  Giving up the struggle to free his hind paws, Clarence lay with his face buried in his forepaws, trying not to show how Ellie’s, and then her cub’s words had affected him.

     “I think Clarence likes us mum,”  the lynx cub said.  Clarence looked at the two lynx.

     “I love you both very much,”  the lion choked.  Clarence curled the toes of both his hind paws into the rug in which they were entangled in an attempt to focus his mind on something to stop himself from breaking down and weeping uncontrollably.  Clarence had been deeply upset by Ellie’s dismissal of him and had wanted to show her the truth.  Now he had, and she’d not only changed her view, but wanted to be with him, he found it hard not to cry with relief.  Digging the toes of both forepaws into the rug, and taking a fresh grip of the part of the rug in which his hind paws were cocooned,  Clarence tried to keep control.

     “That lion’s an emotional wreck,”  Ellie said to Elsa, who grinned:

       “Touch his paw and he’ll give up the fight,”  she said.  Ellie touched Clarence’s clenched right forepaw, the lion finally letting himself go totally.  Hugging Ellie tightly, Clarence cried into her fur, his tears soaking into her thick warm coat.  Ellie stroked Clarence’s ears, letting the huge lion cry.  When his tears dried, Clarence licked Ellie’s ear, the lynx purring softly.

     “My hind paws are trapped in the rug!”  Clarence laughed, “I can’t believe it!”


Meanwhile, Ellie’s cub crawled to Clarence’s hind paws and carefully explored them with his forepaws, feeling the rug in which the lion’s hind paws were entangled.  Realising the lion was in no fit state to help in his own rescue, the lynx cub waited for Clarence to calm down before trying to help him.  When he heard Clarence mentioning his trapped paws, the lynx cub touched the mass of tangled rug with one paw, in which he hoped he would find two huge hind paws.  Clarence felt the lynx cub touching the rug.

     “Can you help me free my paws little one?”  Clarence asked.  The cub stroked the rug where he thought the pads of one of Clarence’s hind paws were.  Clarence tried to wiggle the toes of the paw the lynx cub was stroking, but he could hardly move them.

     “My paws are well and truly stuck!”  Clarence whimpered.  The cub stroked the rug once more, and Clarence tried hard to relax.

      “Let me try to free your paws,”  the lynx cub said gently, “now Clarence, lift both hind paws off the sofa.”  Clarence lifted both hind paws as far as he could off the sofa, “that’s it,”  The lynx cub continued, “hold it there.”  Clarence felt the cub unravelling the rug from round his hind paws, and soon his right, and then his left hind paw were freed.  The lynx cub tickled the pads of each of Clarence’s hind paws, the lion laughing delightedly.


Thank you little one,”  he said.  The cub stroked Clarence’s left hind paw to soothe him.

      “You really were in a tangle,”  the cub said.  Clarence purred with pleasure and relief.

     “Thanks to you, I’m now free,”  he replied.  The lynx cub crawled to Clarence’s head and hugged the lion as best he could.  Clarence began to stroke the lynx cub from ears to paws, examining him as he did so.  The lion saw tiny ears with tufts of fur on their tips, a tiny body covered in thick fur, a gentle face, and broad but tiny paws and a tiny tail.  The cub, enjoying every minute of this, rubbed back against Clarence’s paws as the lion worked them over his body.  It was clear to the huge lion what part the cub liked best, for when he began stroking the lynx cub’s paws, the cub pressed each paw hard into Clarence’s, the lion having to tell the cub to relax his paws and let him do the work.  Once the cub relaxed each paw, which involved Clarence telling him how to relax in stages, by first touching the cub’s toes, then the sole of his paw, while telling him to relax each paw in turn, the cub found the paw massage even more pleasurable.

     “I think he likes that,”  Ellie said.  Clarence, concentrating on massaging the lynx cub’s left forepaw, smiled at Ellie.

      “I could do the same for you too,”  he invited, “I know you like my paw massages.”  Ellie grinned, she liked Clarence’s paw massages a great deal.

      “I would like that,”  she replied, “but something has been bothering me, my cub hasn’t got a name yet.  What should we call him?”  Clarence looked at Ellie.

      “We?”  he asked, “Ellie, that’s your choice, not mine.”

     “Well, as you are part of my family Clarence, I thought you might like to help me decide on a name for my cub,”  Ellie replied quickly.  Clarence looked at Ellie, emotion welling up in him once more.

      “Oh Ellie,”  Clarence sobbed, “Little’n here isn’t my cub, I can’t help you name him!”

     “but you’d like to wouldn’t you?”  Ellie asked.  Clarence looked at the lynx cub.

      “I love your cub, you too,”  Clarence blurted, “but I’m not the cub’s sire, I’m a different cat entirely!  We don’t even cross paths in the wild!”

    “Maybe so,”  Ellie replied, “but Clarence, you’ve been more loving to my cub than any male cat has ever been.  You love my cub dearly,, and he loves you, I can see that.  So I’m asking for your help, for you to carry on loving my cub as much as I do.”  Clarence embraced Ellie as tightly as he dared, crying unashamedly into her thick fur.

     “You’re adopting me?”  Clarence asked.  Ellie grinned:

     “yeah, looks like it,”  she replied airily.  Clarence gulped hard.

      “I love both of you,”  he cried, “I can’t help how I feel Ellie.”  Ellie smiled:

     “My cub and I love you dearly Clarence,”  Ellie replied.

     “I’m honoured you would ask me to help you name your cub,”  Clarence sniffed, “I love your cub as if he is my own!  I don’t know why I do!”

      “Stop questioning and get on with the job,”  the lynx cub said.  Clarence smiled and hugged the cub tightly.

      “Let’s call you Pipin,”  Clarence suggested.  The cub smiled, throwing his paws round the neck of the huge lion.  Clarence smiled, enjoying the cub’s hug.

      “We both love you Pipin,”  Ellie said, trying not to cry.  She realised suddenly how quickly her situation had changed, from fearing Clarence a few days ago, she’d fallen in love with the huge lion.


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