Dangerous liaisons.


Deep in the wood at the back of the house, Perdy and Tigger were lying together, Perdy in a lot of pain.  A few hours after the fight with Leo, Perdy had come to Tigger in great pain and distress.  Tigger knew what was happening, Perdy was having their cub.


Tigger, after splitting up with Portia some months back, had become close to Perdy.  One night, they’d talked for a long time.  Finding they liked each other, they’d spent more and more time together, rapidly growing closer and closer.  One night, they mated, and now, ten weeks later, Tigger and Perdy were hiding in the wood, for Perdy was in labour about to give birth to their cub.  Tigger was excited about the cub’s imminent arrival, but was frightened all the same.  He listened as Perdy panted and ground her teeth with pain.

      “It’s, it’s getting worse!”  she mewed.  Tigger rubbed Perdy’s sweat soaked left forepaw reassuringly, hearing her panting and mewing with fear and pain.

      “Is there anything more I can do?”  Tigger asked for the thousandth time.

      “No!”  Perdy panted, “just, just, stay here!  Stay with me!  Oh, Tigger, it’s, the cub’s, the cub’s coming!”  Perdy yelled, breathing hard through clenched teeth, fighting her urge to push against the cub.

       “I must push!”  She yelled, digging her paws into the woodland floor and bracing them firmly.  Tigger heard his mate’s groaning, panting struggle to birth their cub.

        “Must push some more!”  Perdy yelled, scrabbling for Tigger’s paw and crushing it in hers.


Meanwhile, Elsa, Theo, Leo and the cubs looked all over the house for Tigger.

      “Where is he?”  Elsa mewed, “I thought he never left his bathtub!”

       “I don’t know,”  Theo replied, “it seems very strange though, that he should just up and go like that.”

       “Maybe we should look for him in the garden?”  Leona suggested.


Suddenly Tib came racing into the living room.

      “I’ve just found Tigger,”  she purred, “he’s deep in the woods with Perdy, and there’s something else too, Perdy’s in cub, having the cub as we speak!”

      “What?”  Theo asked, “how?”

     Like I did, or very similar to me anyway,”  Elsa mewed.

      “I know that!”  Theo mewed, “but how can she be in cub?  Who’s cub is it?”

      “I think I can guess,”  Tib purred, “I think it’s Tigger’s.  He’s been seeing Perdy for a long time now, and I believe it’s his cub she’s giving birth to right at this moment.  I can get you close so you can watch, but I don’t want to get involved with this.”

     “You won’t Tib,”  Elsa mewed, “take us to Tigger.”


Meanwhile, back in the wood, Perdy was in a lot of pain, pacing and pawing at the ground.  Every now and then, mewing pitifully,  she’d stop, squat and, with eyes closed and teeth clenched, press down hard against her cub, before lying down exhausted on the track.  Then all too soon she’d be roused by another crushing, squeezing pain, which would have her repeating the whole performance again.  Tigger did what he could, but he could only rub the pads of Perdy’s paws when she was lying down, and now all she wanted to do was squat while straining to deliver her cub.  Perdy was in terrible pain, and knew her cub was a large one.  It had been close to being born for some time now, but Perdy couldn’t get things moving, no matter how hard she pushed at the cub, wriggled, panted and stamped her paws, or raised and lowered herself on tiptoe to try and shake the cub free.  Tigger, having felt the large forepaws of their newborn cub as Perdy pushed against it, knew something was dreadfully wrong.  He listened to Perdy’s efforts, but dared not run for help, in case he couldn’t find her in the wood once he’d found help.  Tigger wished he’d confided in someone about the secret mating and the fact they now had a cub on the way.  He talked to Perdy reassuringly, while the female snow leopard squatted, tail outstretched, hind legs  splayed, and bore down hard against her cub, feeling its nose come into the world, then its body  jam tight like before.  When she relaxed, utterly worn out from the effort of pushing the cub’s nose into the world, the cub would slip back, so only its paws showed under Perdy’s tail.  Perdy knew something was seriously wrong.  Perdy stamped her paws, weeping with pain and fear:

      “We’ve tried everything!”  She mewed, “me lying down with you stroking my paws, me sitting, squatting, even rolling on the floor while pushing at my cub, but nothing has worked!  We need to do something Tigger!  If not, then, then my cub will die, and so will I!  I must, must push again!”  Perdy bore down hard against her cub, feeling the same result.  She panted desperately as the contraction spent itself.

     “I can’t go on!”  she mewed, “I must lie down!”  Perdy lay down, mewing and sobbing with pain and fear for herself and her cub.  Tigger took her paw and began to stroke it.

      “Why doesn’t it work for me the way it works for Theo?”  Tigger asked himself, “Theo helped Elsa birth her cubs, and paw massage worked for them, so why not for me?”  What Tigger had forgotten in his distress at Perdy’s condition was Theo helped Elsa by pulling a cub while she pushed.  That way Leona had been born.  Tigger heard Perdy’s moan of pain as she bore down against her cub once more.

     “I don’t know what to do Perdy!”  Tigger sobbed.  Tigger kicked himself, for he knew all the tricks to help when it was some other animal having cubs, but now it was Perdy cubbing, they deserted him.  He could only remember the paw massage, that was it, nothing else.  Tigger went to Perdy’s tail and felt the cub move as she pushed against it.

      “I’m going for help,”  Tigger sobbed.  Perdy, consumed by pain and fatigue, waved her paw apathetically.


Theo and the others had reached the wood some time before this, and observed with growing alarm the goings on in the small clearing.  It was clear Perdy was in trouble, and every animal in that place down to the smallest cub knew it, even though they’d only been there a few minutes.

      “I must go and help!”  Elsa mewed softly.

       “Can you pull a cub?”  Theo asked, for that’s what’s needed.

      “I know I wanted to experience a cubbing,”  Leo remarked, “but not like this!”

       “Perdy’s in pain mum,”  Leona mewed.

       “yes she is Leona dear,”  Elsa replied, “but Theo’s going to help her.”

       “I’ll go now,”  Theo mewed, leaving the bush they were concealed behind.


“”Please help me!”  Perdy wailed miserably to anyone who would listen.  Perdy’s pained plea brought tears to Leo’s eyes.


“I’m here now,”  Theo purred.  Tigger, stroking Perdy’s left hind paw, started at the sound of the young lion’s voice.

      “Theo!”  he mewed, “we’re in trouble here, big trouble!”

     “I know,”  Theo purred, “stand back Tigger.  Oh, and by the way, what I’m about to do was something you advocated for Aslan when Tembi had problems.  I’m about to pull a cub.”  Tigger’s mind cleared suddenly!  Though he still felt anxious, and now very stupid.

       “right Perdy,”  Theo said gently, “in your own time, push as much as you can, I’ll pull while you push, and stop pulling when you relax.”  Perdy, utterly worn out from over five hours struggling to give birth to her cub, whimpered with misery.

     “I can’t do any more!”  she wailed.

       “just relax then,”  Theo mewed, “now this isn’t going to be very nice, but it will save you and save your cub.”  With that Theo placed his paws over Perdy’s swollen belly, closed his eyes, and thought deeply about Perdy’s cub emerging into the world, breaking down the process into stages.  Perdy suddenly squealed with pain, arched her back and clenched her paws, groaning and panting.

      “I’ve got’a push!”  She yelled suddenly, heaving convulsively.  Theo quickly grabbed the cub’s paws and began pulling while Perdy, her fur and paws soaked with sweat, bore down repeatedly against her cub!  Perdy realised that until then, she’d been doing what she thought she could do, not what she actually could.  With Theo’s help, Perdy and Tigger’s cub emerged into the open.  with one final effort from Perdy, the cub was born.  Theo, exhausted but triumphant, lay down to dry the cub off.


The cub was huge!

     “No wonder poor Perdy had problems having you,”  Theo thought.  Theo dried the cub off, the rest of the group breaking cover to watch.  Theo let Elsa tend to Perdy, while Tigger lay, face buried in paws, knowing he’d been stupid not to tell anyone about the impending birth of his and Perdy’s cub.


What a strange cub this was too!  Theo had hardly lain down when the cub coughed, sneezed, then began to paw frantically at him with all four of its huge paws.  The cub was female, and enormous for a newborn cub.  Theo thought this might be due to the cross breeding of a snow leopard and tiger, though he wasn’t sure.  He looked into the cub’s face.  She looked confused, and well she might.  Theo licked her fur, the cub evidently enjoying his ministrations.  The young lion missed no part of the cub’s body, licking her from nose to tail like a lioness would do.  Theo and the newborn cub were now surrounded by Theo’s four inquisitive cubs and Leo.

     “she does look strange,”  Aslan said.

      “She has a dirty greyish brown coat of unusually thick fur with stripes on it like a tiger’s,”  Leo replied, “her face has stripes, but her nose has some leopard spots on it.  Her tail is long, and that has banded stripes on it like a raccoon’s!  She’s got huge paws, with spots on them.  Her Belly’s also spotted!  What have we here?”

       “I don’t know,”  Petra said, “but she’s beautiful!”


“No it’s not!”  Perdy yelled, striding over to the little group.  Theo, grunting with surprise, looked up at her.

      “What do you mean?”  He asked, “your cub’s lovely!”

     “No it’s not!”  Perdy yelled, “who can love a thing like that!  It’s, oh, no!  it’s horrible!”

       “What’s going on?”  Tigger asked, padding across to Perdy.

       “I gave birth to a freak of nature!”  Perdy yelled, “it’s horrible!”

      “Your cub’s female, and it’s she, not it,”  Theo snarled, now deeply worried.

      “that cub! Yuck!”  Perdy yelled, ”It’s disgusting!” 

     “Let me hold her, please Theo?”  Tigger asked.  Theo let go of the struggling cub, whom he’d been protecting from Perdy, and Tigger took her in his paws.  The huge cub immediately snuggled into his fur.  Tigger, on feeling the soft warmth of the cub’s thick fur, hugged her and burst into tears of joy.

      “I love you little one!”  he sobbed, “no matter what, you’re safe here, I promise!”

       “I’m hungry,”  the cub mewed.

      “Well you’ll have to starve won’t you!”  Perdy snapped, “I hate you, and guess what?  I’ve got the milk you huge great freak of nature, and you ain’t having none of it!”  Theo heard Tigger’s cry of pain.

       “You will feed your cub Perdy,”  Theo said calmly, “if you don’t, I’ll make sure you are punished severely!  I will make sure you are milked like Tembi was!  You will not!  Not! Not! Deprive your cub of milk!”

      “I will!”  Perdy yelled, “who could feed a thing like that?”  She asked, waving a mocking paw at the oversized cub, “It’s horrid!  It’s too big!  Too big to be born naturally!  I struggled and strained hard for hours to have my cub, and now this is what I get!  A horrid patchwork!  It’s not a tiger, nor a snow leopard!  It’s, oh yuck!  I don’t know what it is!”

      “She’s your cub, and you should love her,”  Leo said.

      “Love it?”  Perdy asked, laughing scornfully, “no, no Leo, I can’t love that!”

      “I’m hungry,”  the cub mewed, not understanding a word her mother was saying.

     “Go to hell!”  Perdy yelled.

      “Right!”  Leo yelled, “time for gold standard retribution!”  Theo knew what this meant.  Leo leapt upon Perdy, pinning her to the floor!”

     come little one,”  Leo said, “come and drink now.”  The huge cub crawled over to Leo, and he pointed her in the direction of Perdy’s milk.  The cub drank thirstily, while Perdy, totally immobilised by Leo lying across her back and pinning her head and forepaws, spat and snarled while the cub had her fill.  Once Perdy’s cub had drunk all she wanted, Leo made sure the huge cub was back with Elsa before he released Perdy.


Elsa looked at the strange cub.  She had fallen head over paws in love with her the minute she’d seen her.

     “I’m heavily in milk for my two cubs at the moment,”  Elsa thought, “if only I could persuade Tigger to let me help him look after his cub.  I’d love to help her if I can.”


Tigger and Perdy’s cub lay close to Elsa, her head resting on large paws.  Elsa groomed the cub thoroughly from nose to tail.  Theo watched her, knowing what she was Thinking.

      “I think your cub’s found a mother Tigger,”  Theo purred.  Tigger, still crying, twitched an ear in his direction.

     “What’s that?”  He asked miserably.

       “Your cub’s found a mother,”  Theo repeated.

      “How can she have?”  Tigger sobbed, “Perdy doesn’t want her!”

      “No Tigger,”  Elsa purred, going to the Bengal tiger and hugging him, “but I do want her.  I love your cub Tiggie.”  Tigger took Elsa’s paw in his.

       “What did you say?”  he asked.

     “I love your cub Tiggie,”  Elsa repeated.  Tigger relaxed, for he knew she was sincere.

      “Thank you Elsa,”  Tigger sobbed.  Elsa gathered Tigger to her, hugging the weeping tiger.

      “Come,”  she said, “let’s give that cub a real loving home.”  Tigger wiped his eyes with one paw.

       “If Perdy won’t feed her,”  he said, “then how can you Elsa?”

      “My cubs are still drinking milk,”  Elsa replied, “our cub can have some of that, there’s plenty to go round.”  Tigger buried his head in Elsa’s shoulder.

       “Oh Elsa, Elsa thank you!”  he cried.


Simba and Leona were closely examining the newborn cub with their paws when their mother returned.

     “She’s beautiful mum,”  Simba purred.  Elsa knew this cub wasn’t much to look at, she didn’t look very aesthetically pleasing at all, with her dirty coloured fur and strange markings, but she was beautiful in her own way.”

      “I love her,”  Elsa purred, “she’s lovely from her head, to the end of her long tail and the soles of her paws.”  ?Elsa picked up the cub’s huge left forepaw and examined the sole.  It had black pads, but the fur between her pads, instead of being a uniform colour, was spotted, just like that on the visible surfaces of her paws when she was lying on her chest.

      “Isn’t that lovely!”  Elsa mewed, “The soles of her paws are spotted too!”  Perdy spat that the cub wasn’t lovely, that the miserable scrap was horrible and should be drowned.  Simba gently touched the cub with his paw.

      “We will look after you little one,”  he mewed.  The fat cross bred cub took hold of Simba’s paw in both of hers and held it tightly.

      “I’m cold!”  she mewed.  Simba hugged the cub to him, doing his best to keep her warm.


Meanwhile, Theo was dealing with Perdy, who flatly refused to feed or even look at her cub.

      “I won’t look after that!”  She yelled.

      “Right!”  Theo roared, “you will be thrown into the concrete shed, and then we will milk you like a common cow!”  Perdy knew she had no choice, that Theo, even with Elsa’s generous offer of milk, would make her suffer the indignity of being milked as punishment for not looking after her cub.


Tigger and Elsa took the large fat cub to the cubbing den, which was a large place.  The cub shivered with pleasure as she entered the warmth of the house.

      “My paws are freezing!”  she mewed.  She felt someone take hold of one of her forepaws, the paw was soft and warm, and then the cub heard purring.  Snowy had seen the cub and crawled over to investigate.  The cub snuggled up to Snowy, the snow tigress giving the cub the benefit of her body heat.  The cub snuggled down beside Snowy, working her huge paws into the tigress’s thick warm fur.

      “You have gorgeous thick warm fur little one,”  snowy purred.  The cub curled up and fell asleep.


“What happened?”  snowy asked.  Tigger told all.

     “Poor Perdy,”  snowy mewed, “I know what she went through, for one of my cubs was a big one, and I had similar trouble.”

     “Yeah,”  Tigger mewed, “but there’s one crucial difference snowy.  You looked after your cubs once they were born, Perdy hasn’t.  snowy touched the cub’s head with one huge paw, the cub purring as she slept.

       “I recognise that look in Snowy’s eyes,”  Theo said smiling, “I think she wants to adopt a cub.”  Elsa padded up to Snowy and lay down beside the snow tigress.  Purring, Elsa took Snowy’s paw in hers and began to stroke it.

     “We can look after the cub together,”  Elsa mewed.  Snowy smiled:

      “I’d like that,”  she said.  The cub suddenly woke, and crawling towards Elsa, tried to throw her paws round the lioness’s neck.  Elsa lowered her head to enable the cub to hug her.  Then, when the cub’s paws were hugging her, Elsa took the cub in her paws and touched noses with her.  The cub laughed delightedly.

      “Hug me more!”  she pleaded.  Elsa held her tightly, mischievously tickling the pads of one spotted paw, the cub shrieking with laughter.

      “tickle my paw again, do it again!”  she begged.  Elsa did it again, and the female cub was soon rolling on the carpet, trying to have all four paws tickled simultaneously.  Snowy laughed helplessly at Elsa’s and the cub’s antics.

      “I’ve never seen anything so funny!”  she whooped.  Tigger crawled up to the cub and joined in on her side, tickling Elsa’s paws until the lioness was weak from laughing.

      “You bullies!”  Elsa mewed theatrically, conscious neither of the animals tickling her paws could see her and needed to know her words weren’t seriously meant.  Tigger and his cub tickled Elsa’s paws some more, the lioness mewing pitifully for help from the others.

     “No way!”  Snowy said smiling, “I’m not getting involved with that cub, she’ll tickle my paws too!”  the cub, snarling in mock fury, crawled quickly over to snowy and set to tickling her paws with singular concentration.  Snowy Half-Tail laughed until she cried.

      “I love you little cub!”  she whooped, while the cub did her best to tickle Snowy’s forepaws and belly.  Snowy wriggled and mewed, pretending she didn’t like having her paws tickled, but the cub knew differently and acted on it.  Snowy was soon exhausted.

      “No more little one,”  she said to the cub, hugging her with tingling paws.  The cub snuggled up to snowy for a wile, then went to drink from Elsa’s milk supply.  Her hunger satisfied, the cub crawled Towards Tigger.

     “Now Tiggie,”  Elsa said gently, “I want to do something for you.  You remember colours don’t you?”  Tigger nodded:

     “I do Elsa, I do,”  he replied.

     “Well,”  Elsa said, “If you’d like it, I will guide your paws over your cub’s body and tell you what she looks like.”  Tigger caught his breath:

     “would you?”  he asked, “oh thank you Elsa!”  Elsa hugged Tigger tenderly.

     “Now settle down little one,”  Elsa said to the cub, “Tigger’s going to put his paws on you and I will tell him what you look like.”  The cub settled down on her side, hoping she’d be given a rub down, or even better a paw massage.  Elsa placed Tigger’s paw on his cub’s head, the cub flicking out her tongue to lick his paw.  Tigger smiled as her rough tongue rasped his pads.

      “Your cub has dirty greyish brown fur, rather like the colour of the water in a muddy river,”  Elsa said, “her head is covered with irregular stripes, her nose has spots on it.”  Elsa took Tigger’s paw and guided it gently as he traced the cub’s body with it.  The cub laughed as Tigger’s paw tickled her.  “Her back has brown stripes like yours, with her belly having spots on it like the spots on her face.”  Tigger touched the relevant parts of his cub’s body as Elsa talked,  “her legs have stripes on them, and her tail’s banded like a raccoon’s,”  Elsa said.  Tigger purred as a picture of his cub began to form in his mind’s eye.

       “Your cub’s paws are large, thickly padded and thickly furred,”  Elsa said.

     “This is the best part,”  the cub mewed, giving Tigger each one of her paws in turn and pressing them into his.”

      “All you really wanted was a paw massage wasn’t it little’n,”  Tigger laughed.  The cub mewed:

      “yeah, love those paw massages.”  Tigger smiled delightedly.

     “Your cubs paws are massive, and are spotted on the upper parts of them, and strangely,”  here Elsa gently got the cub to turn her paw onto its side, “the soles of her paws have spots on the fur between her pads, which are black.”  The cub curled her toes round Tigger’s with surprising strength, holding his paw against hers.

      “of course, her eyes haven’t opened yet,”  Elsa said, “so I can’t tell you about those.”

       “I love her even more now,”  Tigger purred, “thank you Elsa!”  Then, tears filling his eyes, Tigger embraced the cub tightly.

      “I love you little one!”  he cried, “I won’t leave you, I promise I won’t leave you!”  The cub tried to dry Tigger’s eyes with her paw, a loving gesture which made Tigger cry even more.”

      “I love you Tigger,”  the cub mewed.  Tigger buried his face in the large cub’s thick fur and cried for a long time.


Meanwhile, Petra and Aslan had milked Perdy for everything she had.  The snow leopard furious with the two cubs, who seemed to be able to pin her down and get the job done quickly.  Carrying the handles of the buckets in their mouths, the two cubs brought the milk to Perdy’s cub, who instinctively began to lap from the bowl into which Elsa had poured the milk.  When she was replete with milk, the cub curled up beside Tigger, who laid his paw protectively on hers.


“Tigger,”  Theo asked, “why didn’t you let anyone know about Perdy being in cub?”

     “It was such a shock to both of us,”  Tigger said, “that, that I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, hoping that the cubbing would go well.  It didn’t, and it’s only thanks to you that Perdy got the help she needed.  Now she’s abandoned the cub, and we’re looking after Perdy’s cub.


Meanwhile, Perdy lay in the concrete shed feeling more miserable than she’d been in her whole life.  She still felt sore from her cub’s birth, and wondered if she’d ever be able to have another cub.  Shifting uncomfortably, Perdy cursed the concrete, Theo, Leo and everyone else, including her cub.

     “Dam you you horrid patchwork misfit!”  Perdy yelled into the darkness, banging the ground with her paws.  Perdy felt dreadful.  Aslan and Petra had come to her and milked her for all she could give them, and then left her, taking her milk to her patchwork cub.  Perdy remembered the pain and effort she’d had to endure and put in to have the cub.  The cub was well an truly stuck until Theo came along and weaved his spell over her cub.  Now Perdy’s cub was born, and she was in the prison cell.  Perdy looked down at her paws.  She’d loved Tigger before the birth of their cub, still did in fact, but she couldn’t love that cub.  As it was, Perdy realised with a jolt that Tigger might hate her after what she refused to do for their cub.  Perdy was beginning to hate herself.

     “Why did I throw my cub out like she was an unwanted plaything,”  Perdy thought.  She tried to visualise her cub from all angles, as well as imagine what her fur would feel like, even down to what the pads on the sole of one of her huge paws would look and feel like as she stroked them.  Perdy’s paws ached to be wrapped round a cub who would snuggle up to her, but her own cub wouldn’t be that cub, for she, Perdy, couldn’t stand the sight of her own cub.  Perdy knew she’d never forget the effort she’d had to make to deliver her cub.  Miserably, she listened to the swish thud of paws on the concrete outside the shed.  They were big paws, and there were eight of them, belonging to two four footed animals.  For of them might be Leo’s paws, but to whom would the other four belong.  Then Perdy caught a scent which filled her eyes with tears.


       “Who’s there?”  Perdy mewed almost choking on her tears.  The swish, scuff sound of the large paws on the concrete came closer, and closer.  Then she heard someone scrabbling at the door with one paw and then, the door opened.  Leo stood on the threshold with Perdy’s cub.”

      “What are you doing here little one?”  Perdy asked.

      “I heard you saying bad things about me,”  the cub mewed.  Leo wanted to come out and give you a hiding, and I said I’d come with him to see if I could talk sense into you.”  Perdy remembered ranting about her cub.

      “The question is,”  Leo said, “do you really hate your cub?”

       “Let me look at you, please!”  Perdy begged of her cub.  The cub rolled onto her back and waved her paws in the air, something which had Leo and Perdy laughing helplessly.  Then Perdy looked at her cub, examining her from her nose, to the tip of her tail, from her ears, to the pads and toes of all four massive paws.

      “I’m so sorry!”  she cried, her tears wetting the cub’s fur as she examined her closely with her eyes and gentle paws, “I don’t know what I’ve lost!  I’m a stupid cub myself, not realising a cub was the best thing which ever happened to me.  Another life, another being, worthy of protecting with my life!”  Perdy’s tears wet the cub’s paws as she stroked them.

     “You’re crying mum,”  the cub mewed.  Perdy hugged her cub, mewing and crying with emotional pain.

      “I’m not worthy of looking after this cub,”  Perdy wept, “I did such horrid things to her, such dreadful things, that, that I’m no mother to her.”

      “You can be,”  Leo replied, “take her in your paws Perdy,”  he suggested.  Perdy did so, and didn’t want to let the cub go.

      “I want to feed her, and groom her, stroke her, play with her, tickle her paws, rub her belly, everything!”  Perdy mewed.

      “Do it then,”  Leo purred.


Perdy lay down, and the large cub crawled up to her.  Perdy noticed the strange markings on her cub, from the spots on her face, to the markings on the soles of her hind paws while she was crawling, for they had large black pads and spotted fur on them.  The cub found Perdy with her forepaws, found the milk supply and began to drink, gently kneading Perdy’s belly with her paws to obtain more milk.  Perdy felt wonderful!  Her cub’s warm body beside her was comforting, and she knew she was doing what she was meant to, and wanted to do.

      “Good milk this,”  the cub mewed, making Perdy smile.  The cub finished her drink and lay down on her back with her paws in the air.

     “You do look so funny!”  Perdy mewed, taking one of her cub’s paws in her own and holding it.  The paw was soft and warm, the pads unhardened by tough times.  Perdy examined the paw she held.  It was everything she’d imagined, in fact her cub was everything she’d imagined.  Now she could hug her cub.  Perdy bent her head and kissed her cub on the nose.  The cub smiled and rubbed back against her mother’s whiskers.  Perdy then looked back at the paw she held, and gently kissed her cub’s paw.

       “You are lovely little one,”  She whispered.  The cub began to purr, and this sound made Perdy want to cry.  Perdy tickled the pads of her cub’s paw and smiled as the cub playfully swiped at her with her free forepaw.  The cub curled up and was soon asleep, Perdy’s paw now in that of her cub.  Perdy felt the cub’s large warm paw holding her own, and it felt wonderful!

      “I think we’d better name you little cub,”  Perdy whispered.  Tigger touched Perdy’s shoulder, and looking up, she smiled at him.

      “I believe you’ve rethought your views on our cub,”  Tigger said.

      “I have Tigger,”  Perdy purred, “and I’m more sorry to you and our cub than I can say.”

      “We know that,”  Tigger purred, “that was why Leo and our cub came out into the garden, I could feel you’d changed your mind, and our cub was restless too, asking if she could go out to see you.  Elsa was not very happy with the idea, but I begged her to let me make the choice as to whether our cub went out or not.  Now she’s here, and I can see you two are getting on splendidly.”  Perdy looked down at her cub with genuine affection.

      “I love her Tigger,”  Perdy mewed.  When she said this, the cub snuggled closer, as if she’d heard, or maybe she’d felt how sincere her mother was, just like her sire was able to.

      “We should really name our cub,”  Tigger said.

     “Yes,”  Perdy replied, “we aught to do that soon.”

     “I don’t know what to name our cub,”  Tigger said, “for I’ve looked in books for female tiger names, but can’t find anything!  I know we could give her a name which meant snow leopard or tiger, but she’s neither, in that she’s both a snow leopard and a tiger.”

      “I don’t mind what you call me,”  the cub mewed sleepily, “as long as it’s nothing bad.”

      “Let’s call her Fleur.”  Perdy suggested.

     “Why Fleur Perdy?”  Tigger asked.

      “I don’t know, I like the name,”  she replied.  The huge cub looked up into Tigger’s sightless eyes.

      “I like that name too,”  she mewed, “now let’s get on with more fun things, like playing!  With that she grabbed Tigger’s left forepaw and tickled it.  Tigger rolled onto his back and batted playfully at his cub’s paw with his free one.  Fleur tickled Tigger’s paws, the tiger snarling with mock aggression.

       “Let’s all go indoors and settle down,”  Tigger said, rolling onto his paws and hugging his cub.  Fleur hugged Tigger, and then turned her attention to Perdy, trying to roll her over to tickle her paws.  Perdy lifted a cold paw from the concrete and let her cub hold it.  Perdy breathed in sharply as her paw warmed up and circulation was restored.

      “Let’s go indoors mum,”  fleur said.


The first person they met was Elsa, the lioness running to fleur and hugging her.  Then she walked to Perdy and took her paw.

      “come and help all of us to raise and nurture this cub Perdy,”  she said.  Perdy smiled:

      “Fleur, my cub, loves all who helped me and her to survive Elsa,”  she said.  Elsa hugged Perdy tightly.

      “I will never turn my cub away again Elsa,”  Perdy sobbed.  Elsa stroked the snow leopard’s paw.

      “Come,”  she said, “let’s go up to the cubbing den and settle in there.”  Fleur followed her mother and Elsa to the cubbing den where she met up with Elsa and Theo’s cubs.


The cubs rolled Fleur over and began tickling her belly and paws.  Fleur laughed helplessly, while trying to catch the paws of her assaulters and put an end to the tickling.  Leo put an end to the rather one sided game by clapping his paws together, much as Theo had.  The cubs all stopped their game, and Leo said:

      “Let’s not tickle Fleur’s paws any longer.  Now she’s safe, let’s curl up round her and take time to talk to her, stroke, not tickle her paws, and enjoy her company.”  The others were in agreement with that.

      “To think you weren’t born this morning, but now you’re here fleur,” Petra said, “that’s rather amazing.  Fleur felt Petra’s paws enveloping her in a huge hug and snuggled into her fur.

      “I’ve had so much happen today,”  Fleur mewed, “and it’s only day one of my life.”  Theo, Tigger, Leo, Perdy  and Elsa laughed merrily at the cub’s words.



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Martin Wilsher © 2006




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