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[Meow!] Out Of The Lion's Den

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Siren no Orakio:
At the edge of the city's horizon, it was sunset, the flames sun boiling away into the crimson sky over the division, casting long shadows through the tiny yards of densely packed homes, including an overcrowded colony of feral cats, stuffed into a tangled mess of white styrofoam coolers full of straw, doors sliced into the sides, opening out behind a tiny detached garage. With the fading of the sun came safety and new energy, enough that the first wave of hungry felines was beginning to depart, slinking their way down from the ledge that the shelters sat upon.

First to leave was Moonchaser, an elderly grimalkin that had long ago sworn that she would catch and eat the light in the night sky. Long and lanky, she coiled herself and leaped the few feet up to the roof of the garage, staring at her hopeful prey for a moment, before gracefully landing on the far side, and stalking off in it's general direction. There were taller buildings in the city proper, she knew. Maybe she could reach from one of them?

Next came Blackpaw, the young tom's single black foot padding in time with the three white ones, stalking off in generally the opposite direction of Moonchaser. He didn't know much about what was out that way, not past the handful of blocks that marked the residences on the edges of the city. But either way, there had to be fewer of the things that hurtled down the road at entirely impossible speeds. Or not as many roads, that he'd appreciate too.

And so, one by one, they scattered to the winds, seven in all leaving, as Dark-Eye watched them go with her one working amber eye. Many were her children, or grandchildren, and  send them forth caused her an unexpected ache in her heart, many times more intense than the one that had come to her when she looked up at the silent house that loomed over the garage and the tiny patch of grass, where one light could be seen through the upper windows, and thought that the gentle one might never feed them again. Her heart heavy, she laid upon the top of the styrofoam coolers, giving off a rumbling purr that she hardly felt herself, looking to the departing cats and to the house from time to time.

Mangle was the last to leave, staying by Dark-Eye's side pleadingly. The pain of her sending him and the others away felt like a personal abandonment to the mangy stray. It took Dark-eye's gentle nudging to force him to set out, and even then, he did so slowly, plodding away from the comfort of the styrofoam boxes with a deep sorrow. Mournfully, Mangle paused and peered back to his former home, his mind heavy with rejection and the memories of *Bzzz!*

BEE! Yellow spiky flier! Mangle will catch it! Wonder if Mangle get it this time! Mirth flowed into the cat as he instantly became distracted and forgot his woes. Mangle batted at the bee buzzing along the alley and chased it with conviction, leaping in the air and flailing as he was led away from Dark-eye and his once home. Catch yellow flier! Watch for the Stinger Mangle!

Old Tom sat majesticly in an alley, at least that's the way he saw it, in reality it seemed more like the slump of a coach potatoe. He blinked slowly, adjusted himself. *frrrrrrrt* His hindquarters felt comfortably warm for a second or two. There had been some time now since he last received any tributes, where was Ratkiller, where was Skitters and Snowflake? Had he lost all followers to that upstart? The thought did not please him.

Then he heard a noise and perked up. Minutes went by, no signs of either cat nor prey. Catching his own food wasn't really something a cat of his girth enjoyed doing, but he felt very hungry now, more so than he had in a long time. It was time to find a new following, form a new flock. Someone to catch his dinner for him.

With that, he rose ponderously, licked his front-paws to warm them up a bit and waddled determinedly into the evening.

Siren no Orakio:
With loops and buzzing, the spiky yellow flier lead the tattered Mangle a merry chase through the alley first, then the back yard. With ease, it alighted on a flower-stem in a clay pot, resting on a table  upon the decking of the house, the perennial long since dormant for the winter, its wings fluttering faintly in the red light of the sun as it hopped about on the plant in the breeze. As Mangle picked his way up the decking steps towards it, he slowed into an instinctive stalk, his eyes catching the glint of broken glass upon the porch, near the door. Sure enough, behind that table beckoned a door opened the hard way, the sliding glass shattered over the deck and the carpet beyond, inside the building.

Meanwhile, as Old Tom waddled down the alley, he saw to his right little more than the wall of a house, and beyond it, a shed and trash can, chicken wire stretched between the shed and the home. On the left, however, the small yard behind the home was fenced, in mere chain link. It would be trivial to slip in past it, for the bottom was gapped - but within was a shorter human woman, of some weight, playing a strange game of chase with a small terrier. She would jog the length of the yard, before calling out to the dog, whose head would whip around before trotting after - It was only on second glance that Old Tom saw the reason for this. The terrier was eyeless!

Tom sat and watched for a while the merry twosome. His gears were grinding away. Humans could mean food, but dogs were a nuisance. Even if this one was blind there was no reason to doubt his nose. He decided to look around for a higher vantage point to get an overview of the house and the yard, perhaps an opportunity would present itself, surely this dog had a bowl somewhere. If nothing else, a good lookout spot could perhaps reveal something else.

He climbed the roof on a nearby shed and surveyed the situation with both eye and nose.


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