Hey, everyone! I have here today a story about an inquisitive kitten whose curiosity brought him a LONG way. Enjoy!
Biskit crouched down among the bushes and waited for his sister to come along. Sure enough, Princess bounded out into the open, grabbing the leaves that swirled into the air as she jumped on them. She tumbled over as she jumped to catch a particularly high one, collapsing onto her back and rolling over before standing up and shaking out her pelt.
Biskit shot out from his hiding place and leaped on top of her, pinning her to the ground. “Got you!” he crowed triumphantly.
Princess flicked her tail. “Okay, you got me. Now get off me, you giant lump of fur.”
Biskit rolled off, stood up, and started grooming his cream-colored pelt. Princess shook her fluffy white one again and huffed. “I’ll get you back,” she vowed.
“Well, it won’t be now.” Biskit turned around and started to walk to the house door, the little flappy one that he, Princess, and their mother, Tessa, could go through.
“Oof!” he huffed as Princess jumped on him. “Bad timing to turn around, I guess.”
“I told you I’d get you back,” she whispered in his ear playfully.
Biskit got up, pushing his sister off his back. He shook his head and turned around. “We’re even, then.”
“Yep,” Princess agreed cheerfully. “I so got you!”
Biskit sat down on the dusty ground, sweeping his tail back and forth. “Oh, well.”
He watched as Princess trotted through the small flappy door and disappeared inside the house. He sighed, then got up and followed.
Princess was chowing down on the crunchy food in her bowl. “What’s wrong, Biskit? You look as if you’d just been told you’d be moving to the shelter!” Her face became serious. “You’re not moving, are you?”
Biskit shook his head. “No, I’m not moving.” He settled down in front of his food bowl and picked up a tiny round pellet in his teeth. Crunching it down, he savored the delicious taste of turkey, but it wasn’t as good as the piece of fresh turkey he’d managed to steal from the table at Thanksgiving, or the slow, fat mouse that he had caught in the midsummer’s ‘heat of death’ (as he and Princess liked to call it). Fresh blood tasted so much better than what the humans put in their food bowls.
Princess nudged him. “What’s bugging you?” she asked.
Biskit sighed again. “Nothing really interesting ever happens around here. Nothing exciting, adventurous, mysterious, anything! Even the food doesn’t taste as good as the fresh meat.”
“I agree,” Princess meowed, “but we’ve nowhere to turn! We don’t know how to survive in the wild, we can’t run away, we can’t move, and we certainly can’t leave Tessa here, alone and heartbroken!”
Biskit nodded. “But what else can we do?” he asked.
“Just live with it, I guess.” Princess went back to eating.
Biskit turned away. He couldn’t eat that stuff anymore. Instead, he pushed his way outside to the backyard.
He looked up at the looming green trees. A forest surrounded the house, but the fence prevented him from jumping out. Instead, he turned his focus to the tree that he was always trying to climb.
He leaped up as high as he could, digging his claws into the smooth bark. It was nice and soft, perfect for keeping his claws in. He hauled himself onto a low-hanging branch and reached his front paws up to the next one. One by one, he climbed up until he was on the branch level with the fence.
The humans had taken extra precautions and cut the branch, so it did not reach the fence. Gathering all his strength into his hind legs, he sprang off the branch, taking a flying leap onto the fence.
Biskit lost his balance and toppled off the fence, onto the forest side. He spluttered as he landed in a pile of leaves, scattering them.
He paced back and forth, wondering how he was to get back inside. There were no trees near the fence, only stumps, and nothing to give him a boost to the top. No one would hear him calling, either.
A flash of gray alerted him to something charging out at him from the shadows and shelter of the trees. Turning, Biskit ran into the forest, stopping jut beyond the line of trees. Something was crashing through the undergrowth after him.
Biskit fled deeper into the trees. Finally, when he was sure that whatever it is had stopped chasing him, he stopped in a small clearing, panting. After resting a few moments, he got up and turned to head home.
There was one problem: he was lost.
He started to panic, running further into the forest. As darkness fell, he started tripping. Scared of badly hurting himself, as he already had several cuts, he curled up in a hollow that smelled of mildew and mushrooms, made by the roots of an overturned tree.
Early morning sunlight filtered into the hollow, waking Biskit. He climbed out of the hollow, yawning and wondering why he was there instead of curled in his warm bed, and where Princess and Tessa were.
Then it all came back to him.
He remembered climbing onto the tree, falling onto the wrong side of the fence, running from his pursuer, getting lost, finally falling asleep in a damp hollow.
He wandered around for a while, looking for someone who might be able to help him. After some time, he started to realize how hungry he was, so he abandoned trying to get home and concentrated on finding food.
He cast his gaze around for some prey, then realized they’d hardly come out when he was standing in the middle of the clearing. he dove behind some bushes, training his gaze on some acorns lying around the clearing. Sure enough, a squirrel crept out to grab a nut. It picked it up and started to bite it.
Biskit pounced–right where the squirrel was. It had bolted at the sound of the bushes quivering, and Biskit gave chase.
It scampered up a tall tree and Biskit lost sight of it. Downcast, he padded back to the clearing. He realized, too late, that he had scared off a fat mouse.
“Hey! You scared away my prey!” A gray cat rose from the bushes. Biskit’s eyes widened; it was the same cat that had chased him through the forest. He was about Biskit’s size, and looked the same age too, but without the fluffy pelt.
Biskit ran away as fast as he could, but he knew that the cat was after him. He took as many twists and turns as possible, trying to confuse the other cat.
He stopped in a darker clearing, where the trees were thick and brown pine needles covered the ground, muffling his pawsteps. He slowed down, hoping he had outrun the other cat.
He was wrong.
He whirled around as the gray cat crashed though the bushes, but he was too tired to run any farther. He watched in terror as the cat slowly walked towards him. “Please don’t hurt me,” Biskit squeaked.
The cat blinked. “Hurt you?” he asked, confused. “Why would I do that?”
“M-my mother Tessa told me the wildcats killed other cats and wore their teeth as collars and chewed on their bones!” Biskit stammered.
“We don’t do that,” the cat assured. “We wildcats just hunt small things like mice or squirrels, maybe the occasional rabbit if we’re lucky. For food, see.”
Biskit nodded. “So you won’t eat me?”
“No,” the cat meowed. “That would be…I don’t even think I could, actually, even if I wanted to.”
Biskit sighed with relief. “Okay. Good.”
“I’m Jeniah, by the way,” he meowed. “What’s your name?”
“Biskit,” he told Jeniah. “I live with humans in a house, with my sister Princess and my mother Tessa. Last night you scared me, though, and then I got lost and can’t find my way back.”
“I’m sorry about that,” Jeniah apologized. “I thought that if I scared you then you’d go back over the fence.”
“I couldn’t,”Biskit replied. “I can’t jump high enough.”
“Then how did you get over it in the first place?” Jeniah asked.
“There’s a tree in the backyard. One branch is level with the fence, I jumped off of that but lost my balance.”
Jeniah nodded. “I know where that house is,” he meowed. “I can boost you up and over the fence.”
“You can?” Biskit’s eyes brightened.
“Yeh,” Jeniah meowed. “Follow me.” With that, he shot off in the trees, leaving Biskit to try to catch up.
They soon reached the edge of the trees, where the house stood in the clearing. “Thank you for everything, Jeniah,” Biskit meowed. “I don’t know if I could ever find my way home without you.”
“It’s no problem,” Jeniah replied. “It’s a pleasure helping.”
“I made a friend too!” Biskit yowled proudly.
“And who would that be?” Jeniah purred.
“Why, you, silly.” Biskit nudged Jeniah. “You’re my new friend.”
Hope sparkled in Jeniah’s eyes. “Really? I’ve never had a friend before.”
“Well, you do now,” Biskit purred. “Do you want to meet here tomorrow?”
“Sure!” Jeniah replied eagerly. “Now, I’d better help you up.”
They padded up to the fence. “It’s too high,” Biskit murmured worriedly.
“It is,” Jeniah agreed, “but we can dig under it.”
They set to work digging a tunnel under the fence. Dirt flew everywhere, and their claws were filled with it when they were finished.
Biskit waved his tail at Jeniah. “Bye,” he called before ducking into the hole.
He wriggled out on the other side and shook his pelt, dislodging most of the dirt. Trotting inside, he curled up in his bed and started washing his pelt.
“Biskit!” Princess came into the room. “Where have you been?!”
Biskit looked up as Tessa joined his sister. “It’s a long story.”
Tessa rushed over. “Well, the important thing is that you’re safe.”
Princess purred. “Try not to run off again.”
“I won’t get lost,” Biskit meowed sleepily. “I made a cat friend who knows how to get around the whole forest.”
“WOW!” Princess’s eyes grew wide. “A real wildcat? Like the ones who would eat you and wear your teeth and chew your bones?”
Tessa nudged her. “Let your brother sleep. He must be exhausted. He can tell you about his adventure later.”
Princess pushed Biskit’s food bowl over to him. “You haven’t eaten since yesterday morning, either,” she reminded him.
Without a second thought, Biskit stood up, stretched, and buried his face into his food bowl. He finished all of it and settled down again, yawning. “Thanks,” he murmured.
“Anything for my brother.” Princess settled down beside him and started grooming his pelt. Biskit fell asleep as Princess’s warm tongue rasped over his fur.
The next morning, Biskit woke up early. His movement alerted Princess, who had curled up with him in their shared bed. “What’s wrong?” she asked drowsily.
“Nothing,” Biskit replied. “I’m just going to meet Jeniah.”
“Can I come?” Princess scrambled onto her paws, wide-awake.
“Sure.” Biskit had told her and Tessa about his forest adventure, and about Jeniah. Tessa was okay with it as long as Jeniah was with him in the forest at all times, and that they didn’t go too far in.
The two kittens raced each other to the hole. Biskit went through first, then Princess. They popped out on the other side.
“Oof!” Biskit huffed as something gray hurled out of the bushes and onto him.
“Gotcha!” Jeniah yowled.
He let Biskit up, then looked at Princess. “Who is this?”
“This is Princess, my sister,” Biskit explained.
Jeniah nodded. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Jeniah, as I’m sure Biskit must have told you.”
“What’s it like being a wildcat?” Princess asked excitedly.
“Hard,” Jeniah replied. “I’ll tell you on the way–there’s something I want to show you.” He waved his tail as a signal for the two to follow. “The river really looks spectacular at this time of day.”
Princess and Biskit exchanged glances with each other before following.
Biskit had gotten his wish.