The big l



Leo’s tears dried after a while, and he looked at snowy.

       “I won’t die just yet,”  snowy purred.  Leo buried his face in her shoulder.

      “I love you Leo,”  Snowy said.  Leo looked at her.

     “I would do anything, anything to help you snowy!”  Leo said.  Snowy smiled:

     “Thank you Leo,”  she said.  Leo ruffled Snowy’s ears with his paw, something which made her laugh delightedly.

      “Ruffling my ears are we Leo?”  She asked.  Leo smiled at her, And began Stroking her paws.

     “You can  stroke my paws all you like Leo,”  Snowy said.  Leo picked up her left forepaw and began to stroke her pads.  Snowy pressed her paw into Leo’s.

      “I could get used to this,”  Snowy purred, “very, very used to this!”  Leo embraced her, stroking all four of her large fat paws.

     “I love you from your ears to your paws snowy,”  Leo said.  Snowy smiled:

     “I love you from your ears to your paws Leo,”  she replied.  Leo tickled Snowy’s right forepaw, snowy mewing and whipping her paw away!

     “You big bully!”  she mewed, batting at his paw with hers.  Leo smiled snuggling up to her.

      “I think their love play is disgusting!”  Tarker spat.

     “I think it’s rather sweet,”  Winifred said.  Kalahari smiled at the two big cats.

     “let them do what they want,”  he said.  Snowy and Leo held each other’s paws tightly.

      “Shall we go upstairs to my place?”  snowy purred, “it’s quieter up there, and warmer too.”

      “How about if you lie on my rug snowy?”  Leo replied, “Theo, Ringo and Portia won’t mind.”  Theo smiled, crawling away, and touching Snowy’s paw with his as he passed her.  Snowy grinned back at Theo.  Theo led Portia and Ringo away.  Leo then pulled snowy, with her pushing with her hind paws as best she could, onto the rug, Snowy settling down as comfortably as she could.  Snowy felt the rug warming her paws from heels to toes.  Then Leo, now settled himself, took hold of Snowy’s right forepaw and began to stroke it.

     “I like you stroking my paws Leo, I really do!”  snowy purred.

     “I like stroking your paws, so that’s just as well,”  Leo said smiling.  Snowy worked her paw into Leo’s.

     “can I stroke your paws Leo, please?”  snowy asked.  Leo snuggled up to Snowy.

      “I would love you to,”  he said, but I don’t want you to move too much snowy.  Please, for your own good, why not just stroke my forepaws today?”  Snowy thought for a minute.

     “How about if you roll onto your side Leo, and I use my forepaws to stroke your forepaws, and my hind to massage your hind?”

      “you mean you can do that?”  Leo asked, “your hind paws are that dextrous?”

     “yours are too,”  snowy replied, ”now Leo, I can show you something.”  With that, when Leo was lying on his side, Snowy took hold of Leo’s left hind paw in her right hind, Leo smiling as he felt the toes of Snowy’s paw curl round his, holding the pads of his paw against hers.  Snowy used her hind paw to massage Leo’s in much the same way as she used her forepaws to massage his forepaws.  Leo was amazed at how good the massage felt as Snowy used the pads and toes of her right hind paw to massage and stroke his left hind.

     “this feels wonderful!”  Leo purred, “the best of it is, I know you can do this with little or no exertion, which is wonderful for both of us as you don’t get stressed, and we can relax.  Snowy smiled.

      “you can do the same for me next,”  snowy purred, “it’s easy Leo, really easy.”  Leo, consumed by the sensation coming from his right hind paw this time, as Snowy had changed paws, couldn’t reply.

     “I could just drift away here, it’s so peaceful, I feel so much at peace,”  Leo mewed.  Snowy rubbed his hind paw with hers.

      “Now it’s your turn to massage my paws,”  Snowy purred, “I’ll show you how.”  Leo felt snowy release his paw, and he knew the massage was over.

       “now,”  snowy said, press the pads of your hind paw against mine Leo, that’s it,”  snowy said, feeling Leo pressing the pads of his left hind against her right, “now curl the toes of your left hind paw round mine, so that you are holding my hind paw like you would my fore,”  snowy instructed.  Leo did so, gently enfolding the toes of Snowy’s paw with his.

       “now try gently moving the toes of that paw, like you would those on your forepaw Leo,”  snowy instructed.  Leo did so, feeling his whole paw move as he moved his toes.

    “Now gently rub my pads with yours, and try to alternate between the two methods,”  snowy said.  Leo did as the snow tigress asked, and found that he could massage another cat’s hind paws with both his hind and forepaws, even if massaging with his hind paws took a little practise.

     “this means I could stroke all four of your paws at once,”  Leo said.

     “Not so fast Leo,”  snowy replied, “concentrate on getting one paw doing what it should first.”  Leo smiled.

      “This is wonderful,”  he said, “I never knew my hind paws were so sensitive!”  snowy grinned.

      “You will learn,”  she said, “you will learn to let yourself enjoy it too, for your paw at the moment is tense, relax it, let the smallest movement do it’s thing.”  Leo relaxed all four paws, took three deep breaths, then tried again, taking Snowy’s right hind paw in his left hind and stroking it.

      “One relaxed paw,”  snowy said, hugging Leo.  Leo smiled.

      “I like this,”  he said, “I’ve been wanting to massage your paws like this for ages Snowy.”  Snowy smiled.

       “I love it Leo,”  she replied, licking his ear.  Leo realised he could hold Snowy’s forepaws in his while stroking her hind at the same time.

      “Now we can be in physical contact all the time Leo,”  snowy said.

      “I’m up for that snowy,”  Leo replied.”



Theo and the other animals watched snowy and Leo.

      “they really do love each other dearly,”  Theo said to Tembi, who was finding it hard to hold back tears.

      “it’s wonderful to see those two together,”  the female cub replied.  Theo touched Tembi’s paw, the cub finally losing control and, burying her face in Theo’s thick mane, bursting into tears.  Theo cradled Tembi as she cried, drawing her close to him.  He’d rapidly grown fond of Tembi, and she him.  The two young animals had stayed close together for a long time, but Tembi dared not speak of her feelings towards Theo, nor Theo speak of his feelings for the female cub.  The thing was, even though Tembi was a cub in stature, she was anything but when it came to her mind.  Theo knew Tembi would never grow any larger than she was then, but neither would he, or any of the animals for that matter.  What really infuriated Theo was that the others, despite this fact,  still saw her as a cub, not as the mature, sensitive, rather playful adolescent he knew.  Tembi stroked Theo’s paws, the larger male lion catching Tembi’s tiny forepaw with the toes of his right hind as she stroked it.  Tembi laughed as she felt Theo’s paw grip hers.

     “You rogue!”  she said laughing and nuzzling his ear.  Theo let Tembi finish the paw massage, then hugged her tightly.

     “Is this right?”  Tembi asked.

      “does it feel okay to you?”  Theo enquired.

     “It does,”  Tembi replied, “but the others,,,”

     “nuts to the others,”  Theo replied.

      “Theo!”  Clarence snapped, “Tembi’s only a cub!”

      “Leave them,”  Hop along said, “Clarence, we’re never going to grow any larger, not even you will.  We need to focus on other things than just how an animal looks here if we are ever to get on and lead normal lives.  Tembi might look like a cub, but she’s not a cub any more.  We community animals are born a certain stature, never to grow any larger, though our minds grow and mature.  The humans who made us restricted our physical growth, but not that of our emotions.  Theo and Tembi should be allowed to love each other just like Snowy and Leo are allowed to.”  Clarence hadn’t thought of it like that.

     “I suppose, now you put it like that,”  Clarence said, “we can’t really stop any animal from loving another, even if they look like a cub.”  Tembi licked Theo’s ear.

     “Let’s stroke each other’s paws Theo,”  she said.  Theo smiled and snuggled up to Tembi.

      “Though you might look like a cub, you and I aren’t  cubs any more Tembi,”  he purred.  Tembi grinned.

     “Cubs we aren’t,”  Tembi purred.



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