Warrior cat the long march – This is a continuation of the Warrior cat story. This is Part 9. The Warrior cats need to move on to escape twolegs who are coming after them to eradicate the feral cat vermin…. go to Part 1 of this story, the Warrior Cat…..
The journey ahead of them was a journey as big as life itself; a journey of life and death.
The Warrior Knight had committed his clans, his family, to crossing the forest, a journey of ten miles for twolegs and 30 leagues in Warrior cat terms; many hazards lay in their path. The forest was not, as some twolegs imagined, miles and miles of trees. There were large areas of open scrubland and rivers and streams to cross. The warrior cats would have to be resilient and all would have to learn to like water as there would be plenty of swimming to do. The Warrior Knight actively liked water coming as he did from a wild cat for whom water was a great source of food. Once again, the clans would live like their ancestors and fish.
They set out. There was no fuss, no delay. There were no possessions to bring after all. Everything a cat has and needs is inside or on him. Everything he enjoys and uses to survive is there for all alike.
It was dusk, the best time to begin the long march to a new but temporary sanctuary. The light was thin, signaling the beginning of the melancholy tenderness of a season that warned them of winter to come and a time when they knew that some warrior cats would die, as die they must in tune with the seasons.
No sooner had they gone barely half a league in distance when a distant sound alerted Warrior Knight. He instantly knew that it was not the sound of a twolegs, it was more subtle, more like the sound he would make.
Within seconds, the glinting, flashing eyes of an alert brother cat confronted the Warrior Knight; he had been comprehensively outmaneuvered. Before him stood the considerable frame of a cat bigger and stronger than him. This exotic and muscular cat startled the other warrior cats. He was big enough and strong enough to startle twolegs.
He was a cat famed throughout the forest and beyond as a fearless warrior cat. The Warrior Knight had thought that he had perished at the hands of sport hunters who had mistaken him for a young panther. But thankfully no.
All great leaders needed lieutenants and Darkstar D’Artagnan was the perfect lieutenant; a partner who would support him through thick and thin, never question him and when the time came, if needs must, die in defense of the family of warrior cats.
Silently, as if nothing had happened in the intervening years since they last saw each other, they brushed against each other and exchanged scent. The deepest of admiration, trust and affection was exchanged in that simple gesture.
The Warrior Knight knew his long-lost friend as “Dart” a nickname he had given him many years ago after the stupendous speed and manoeuvrability of this impressive cat.
Now, the team were complete, ready to tackle the arduous journey. Their first objective was a copse of dense undergrowth some 3 leagues away, a secure place where Warrior Knight had decided that they would spend the night. He called it the Den.
New Forest the Den – photo by Bruce Clarke – Warrior cat the long march
Ahead lay a good 500 yards of open ground, scrubland and paths on a gently rising swath of land. It was very exposed. There were the little ones to care for. In his charge he had ten young warrior kittens just weaned. They had grown up fast but were vulnerable. Dart agreed to bring up the rear and protect the kittens, the future of the clans.
The sky was a cold blue grey, dusk was approaching, a chill wind blew across the open space ahead. Warrior Knight remembered what he had asked, “Will you follow me….” They were following him. He felt the burden of responsibility, the fear of failure, the ignominy of defeat. These emotions drove him on and on. He must do this for all cats. He was a driven cat.
But doubt drifted into his mind on that chill breeze. Can I do this? How many warrior cats will die before we find the place that we can call home, the promised land where all twolegs treat cats as equals?
He quickly brushed the poison of doubt aside. “Come my family, come with me to a safe place…….” A peregrine falcon circled high in the clear sky above.