Enter the Cat Ch. 09byMygypsy©
"I don't think Mitchell is too keen on you getting too friendly with Rosy while Sam isn't here with them," Dwayne says quietly from where he stands in the far doorway.
I fail to stop the annoyed growl that swells in my throat as I sit on the lounge once again. I watch the movie on tv but it fails to hold my interest; my thoughts keep straying to Rosy. Another growl rises in my throat as I think of her sleeping in her brother's bed even though I know there is nothing carnal involved.
"If you're going to keep growling, I'm off to my room," Dwayne says as he gets to his feet.
"I'm going to patrol before going to bed; Malcolm, Timny, Chris, you come too." I order bluntly as I get to my feet. I don't check to see if the others follow; I'm head warrior and on this my word is law.
Outside the cool night air feels good on my heated skin as I strip to change to my cat form. I hear the screen door squeak behind me but pay it no heed as I step out of my shorts. My frustration fuels my change and soon I am stretching and yawning widely as I watch the toms go through their changes.
Once they have stretched the last tingles of change out of their muscles I greet them and they lower theirs heads slightly in submission. Chris shies away from me but I ignore his reaction as I turn to lead the way to the perimeter of the home boundary. I push all thoughts of Rosy to the back of my mind and concentrate on marking my territory.
* * * * *
"Rosy's gone," Mitchell says tightly.
"What?" I ask startled as I turn to face him.
It is just after lunchtime and I have had an unpleasant morning. The last three hours I spent cutting up a fallen tree on a neighbouring property for a retired couple. The tree fell across the driveway during the night cutting the property off from the main road. The dead tree was home to a colony of small native bees that made cutting up the trunk of the tree unpleasant as they buzzed around protesting the destruction of their home.
"Rosy's gone," Mitchell repeats. "She asked to be taken hunting for lunch but I told her not today. Apparently she asked several others as well but we have all been busy. She was here half an hour, maybe forty minutes ago checking out what snacks are in the pantry, but no one has seen her since we knocked off for lunch."
"Great!" I mutter angrily. I grab the thick sandwich I made for myself and take a large bite before glancing at Mitchell again.
"I think she has gone hunting by herself," Mitchell says with an exasperated sigh. "Dwayne thinks the clothes she was wearing are in the dirty clothes hamper in the bathroom and the fly screen from the window is on the ground outside."
I wash half of the sandwich down with a can of coke before nodding.
"Malcolm, Timny, Justin and Chris are changing to go find her and get her to come home," Mitchell tells me. "I'll be having some strong words with her. Going off like this isn't right!"
"If you want me to back up what you say just give me a nod and I'll make it clear I support your view," I tell him evenly.
"She's lucky she is too old to be put over the knee and get her rear end spanked for disappearing like this!" Mitchell mutters turning away.
"There a problem?" Wade asks as he walks along the hallway.
Knowing there is no way to avoid telling him of Rosy's disappearance I put aside the uneaten portion of sandwich and quickly swallow what's in my mouth.
"Rosy wanted to be taken hunting for lunch. She was told no, and now she has disappeared," Mitchell says forcing a respectful tone into his voice.
"You'll find her over behind the house with Donny, playing in the tree while he watches her from the tree house. They're both in cat form. I was watching them for half an hour," Wade says tightly. "Did you get the tree cleared off the Lancaster's driveway?"
"Yes, and cut into fireplace lengths. First thing tomorrow several of the warriors can go over and stack the wood," I say reaching for the remainder of my sandwich. "Do you want someone to go and bring Rosy back here to the quarters?"
I am guessing Wade is far from happy about having Rosy in cat form near Donny while there are no warriors close by. I know Wade still considers Rosy volatile and a possible danger to Jazzy and Donny.
"Yes, I want several warriors to escort her back here. I don't trust her to the extent I would let Donny come over here by himself with her. If he raced off in front of her ..." Wade leaves his words hanging and I nod my understanding of what he means.
"Dwayne and I will bring her back here immediately," I say tossing the remains of my sandwich in a bin before downing the last few mouthfuls of my drink. I intend to have a few words with Rosy about where she is and isn't allowed to go.
"Donovan is free to come back unless you wish to ban him from here longer," Wade says stiffly.
"I will not encourage him to disobey his Alpha by coming here," I tell Wade as I meet his eyes. I know how heavy Wade's wrath can fall when he is disobeyed.
"See to getting Rosy away from the house and make sure she is not in cat form with Donovan without supervision," Wade says authoritively, turns and leaves abruptly.
"Dwayne," I call demandingly before beginning to strip.
I am on my hands and knees starting my change when Dwayne hurries into the kitchen. I know Mitchell will fill him in on the situation and turn my full attention to my change. Dwayne is part way through his own change when I yawn and stretch as I take a second to enjoy the feel of my feline body. My senses of hearing and smell are sharp and I can hear Mitchell just out in the sunroom talking quietly to those he said would be going to find Rosy.
Near me Dwayne stretches before lifting each hind paw for a slight shake. I watch as he drops his nose towards the floor before stepping forward to greet me. I nose him affectionately before leading the way outside. In cat form my bond with my brothers is much stronger at present.
When we come to where we can see the old Morton bay fig tree that holds the tree house I pause for a moment as I search the branches for Rosy. Finally I spot a dark shadow close to the trunk of the tree on a thick limb that does not belong; a flicker of movement and I make out her tail twitching.
"Rosy, down now," I order firmly aware of the fact Wade is sure to be watching from some place close to see how Rosy responds to my authority.
I am aware of Donny making his way out of the large tree house and down to the ground carefully but there is no movement from Rosy other than more twitches of her tail.
"Rosy is upset," Donny huffs as he approaches me.
I eye him sternly before turning my attention back to Rosy. "Get down here now!"
"Wade's watching," Dwayne says barely above a whisper near my shoulder.
I mentally debate the wisdom of getting Mitchell to come and coax Rosy down for a few seconds but quickly decide against it. Not only does Rosy need to obey me on this, this area is too close to the main house and Jazzy for Wade to tolerate Mitchell's presence unless he was invited by Jazzy.
Deciding there is no other choice I lay my ears back and roar a demand for obedience. I am aware of Donny cowering to the ground and Dwayne giving an uneasy snarl even as I keep my eyes on that dark patch of shadow. Finally it forms into a large dark cat as Rosy stands up and begins to move.
Her coat blends perfectly into the dappled shadows as she moves onto a lower branch. If it weren't for the bright sunshine slanting down through gaps in between branches, she would disappear into the darker areas of leaves.
I watch as she makes her way slowly from branch to branch; a steady angry rumble comes from her and I watch her closely. She slinks forward not only with feline grace but an almost sinister predatory glide. Her ears are laid back and her muzzle wrinkled while her whiskers arch as she curls her top lip in a snarl. She moves along branches in one fluid motion, not merely climbing down but coming down in a smooth flowing movement. For the moment she is transformed from a stealthy hunter into a deadly assassin, not a trace of civilisation remains to be seen in her movements.
I feel the hair along my spine stand on end and my ears press back against my skull almost of their own accord as I growl.
My message is clear, don't mess with me.
She lands on the ground soundlessly despite the thick carpet of fallen leaves. Her head is slightly lowered as she moves towards me silently, and I instinctively step forward so I am between her and Donny. A loud hiss comes from Rosy and her tail begins to lash from side to side angrily.
Rosy makes no attempt to walk up to me or greet me; rather she takes a path that will pass close by as she moves past. Her violet eyes are narrowed as she meets my glare and I sense more than see the hackles along her spine rise. Her steps are slow and measured, her message is clear to me.
I know I have to obey you but I will do it in my own time and on my own terms.
I turn and follow her as she makes her way towards the quarters. Wade is standing in the shadow of the back patio as we pass the corner of the house. The black tail in front of me lashes from side to side and I realise all the hair covering it has stood on end, making the tail fluffed out like a domestic cats. The very end of Rosy's tail catches my attention for a moment and I notice the last inch and a half is flecked through with almost coppery coloured hairs.
Rosy picks up her pace breaking out of her gliding walk and into the heavy but slow lope that precedes a sprint. I spring forward and come even with her shoulders with a growl. It is imperative she obeys me as I order her to the quarters. There is no place in a clan for a cat who does what they want, when they want, with no regard for authority.
"Walk to the quarters, now!" I order with a snarl as I jostle against her front shoulder. My shoulder fails to push against her as she melts away from my touch without seeming to alter her course. I lay my ears back and veer towards her to make sure she is headed for the quarters. The slap across the top of my head surprises me and I stop with a startled snarl as I sit back on my haunches. Beside me Rosy is up on her hind legs and she delivers another slap, this time to my shoulders, before racing towards the quarters.
I growl angrily and trot after her. Ahead of me she claws frantically at the edge of the screen door to open it before disappearing inside. I speed up slightly ignoring Donny as he races past me.
"Donovan! You wait for your brothers before you go inside!" Wade yells and I glance back over my shoulder to see him following after us.
Dwayne is not far behind me as I pull the screen door open and head inside to look for Rosy. I find her in her bedroom, in human form and clad only in bra and panties as she looks through her closet for clothes. I halt in the doorway and begin my change back to human form; I can't talk to her while we are in two different forms.
Rosy is fully dressed when I climb to my feet heedless of the fact I am totally naked. I know nudity makes her feel uncomfortable but she will have to deal with it at this moment. She looks away hurriedly and I growl inarticulately as I stalk towards her. I strike fast and Rosy is unable to avoid the hand that catches her by the upper arm; I turn away and she is forced to follow as I head for the lounge room.
"Let go of me!" Rosy snarls as she tries to resist being dragged along behind me.
I whirl around, grab her by both upper arms and use my arms and upper body to cage her against the wall beside one of the bedroom doors in the sunroom. I take most of the impact on my own forearms making a loud thud as I lean my face in close.
"I give the orders, not you," I hiss near her ear as she turns her face to the side. "You do what I say, not the other way around! You hear me?" I end on a yell and I am aware of her flinching away from me.
I notice that her hair is slightly damp but it barely registers in my mind as I concentrate on the angry glow in her eyes as she refuses to look at me.
Rosy remains silent and motionless as I stand over her. Faint noises from others in the room register in the back of my mind even as I focus on her.
"You do not go over near the main house by yourself uninvited, and never in cat form! You are not to be alone with Donny while you're a cat, and when I say do something, Do it," I growl forcefully. "If I say get down out of a tree, you get the hell down immediately! Do not wait for me to repeat myself, you do not defy me, you just do as you're told, when you're told. Understood?"
I am angry with Rosy over her transgression, but I am also angry with the fact I know Wade is standing there watching to see how I handle the situation. I can't simply explain the main house rules that apply to her, rules I am sure she is barely aware of. I can't remember anyone explaining to her that she is not to go near the main house alone. Now I have to punish her for something I am not even sure she was aware was forbidden.
"What did I just tell you?" I demand angrily when she fails to reply.
"Don't disobey you," Rosy snarls back without moving.
"What else?" I demand as I crowd close using my body to pin her against the wall.
"Don't be a cat near the house," Rosy snarls and I hear the defensiveness in her tone.
"What else?" I demand.
"Don't be alone with Donovan," Rosy snarls.
There is more defensiveness and fear in her voice now than anger but I can't allow her to show any more signs of defiance in front of Wade.
"Get out in the lounge room and sit in my chair before I forget you are not a tom and give you a hiding for defying me," I roar at her.
If one of my warriors had behaved like she had when ordered from the tree I would have dealt harsh punishment the moment they had landed on solid ground.
I step back and watch as Rosy heads for the lounge room. Her movements are stiff and jerky as she walks past everyone in the sunroom without glancing at even her own brother. I wait until she reaches the lounge room door before starting to follow her to make sure she does as she is told. When I reach the lounge room Rosy is sitting in my favourite chair in a very proper manner as she stares at the blank tv screen.
"Looks like you have the situation under control," Wade says coolly. "If I catch her near the house as a cat by herself again I will give her the hiding she deserves. Rosy will learn. I'll make sure of that."
I swallow my own snarl of outrage as Wade leaves. The fact that he added his own threat tells me he has little regard for the manner I used to handle the situation. I turn my attention back to the activity in the room as all present take up seats around the room except for Donny who steps out into the hallway. I glance down and realise I am still totally naked, then head for the kitchen with a snarl.
My clothes are on the kitchen floor where I left them and I reject the damp, sweaty shirt opting for only my jeans. I pull them on, zip them up, and fasten the stud at the waist before heading back into the lounge room.
"Don't be mad at Rosy, it's not her fault she was near the house," Donny begs as he stands in the doorway wearing a pair of Justin's shorts. "I seen her over at one of the smaller sheds chasing mice or rats and called her over to the tree house. She didn't come at first ... not until I pretended to be too scared to move on one of the thinner branches. Then we started playing tag in the tree."
I frown angrily at Donny. Why the hell hadn't he spoken up?
"Wade yelled at Rosy and turned the hose on her while he had the pump running. He hit her right in the face with the water and I thought for a second she was going to fall. Then she climbed up where she was and the water couldn't reach her," Donny says as he steps closer hesitantly. "If you want to be mad at someone be mad at me; it's not Rosy's fault she was near the house."
"Rosy disobeyed me when I ordered her to get out of the tree," I say evenly as I force my anger at the situation under control. "Rosy has to do as she is told, when she is told. Not doing so could place her or someone else in danger."
It is hard to keep my voice even as I explain it to Donny. He is old enough to understand the necessity for this and shouldn't need telling.
"But Wade told her to stay there and not move, not even a whisker. He said if he came back and she had moved or hurt me he would belt the daylights out of her himself," Donny protests, upset. "I called her over to the house even though I knew not to be alone with her when she's a cat. You should be mad at me, Not at Rosy!"
I take several deep breaths as rage threatens to take control. Wade had not bothered to tell me he had ordered Rosy to stay where she was, nor had he told her to leave the tree. I take in the way she sits where I ordered, staring at the tv not even glancing away to look at anyone. My body feels stiff as I walk over and squat beside the arm of the chair.
"Rosy I'm sorry. I didn't know Wade had ordered you not to move," I say contritely.
I meet her eyes as she turns her head towards me. I can't read any of her thoughts or tell her mood as her eyes are void of any and all emotions.
"I'm sorry I was so hard with you but I hope you have a better understanding of why you need to obey me after what just happened," I say quietly.
"Get the hell out of my face," Rosy says evenly. There is no trace of anger or fear in her voice and no emotion in her eyes as she blinks in slow almost measured movements.
"Rosy I ..." I don't see the punch that knocks me backwards onto my butt.
"Rosy, stop it!" Mitchell yells and I hear plenty of movement.
When I look for Rosy I find her in the kitchen angling for the small side door out to the paved area. Dwayne is near the door in her way and she moves restlessly as she looks around wide-eyed with fear. Every exit has a tom in front of or near it, including all the windows.
"Rosy, stop! Everyone stop!" I order harshly as I get to my feet.
I brush off the seat of my jeans self-consciously. I am embarrassed to have been knocked down by Rosy!
"What is one of the first things young toms are taught when learning to defend themselves?" I ask calmly as I watch Rosy where she rocks on her feet going from toes, to heels and back again.
"Never let yourself be cornered, especially by a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent," Dwayne says quietly from the kitchen.
"I wasn't trying to crowd you or threaten you Rosy. I was trying to apologise," I tell her softly.
"In between two separate times of telling me I have to obey you or I could end up in danger or put someone else in danger. Those two little words got lost between those long sentences. In fact the words 'I'm sorry' were so damned little they disappeared beneath your warnings," Rosy hisses tightly.
I feel like groaning in frustration but refuse to let a sound escape me as I hold her gaze. She glances at Dwayne for an instant before looking back at me.
"I'm going for a walk," Rosy growls and spares Dwayne a glare.
Dwayne clears his throat and I glance his way.
"Forget it!" Rosy explodes angrily. "I'll go to my bloody room instead!"
She marches into the lounge room stomping angrily as she skirts around the front of the lounge instead of walking past me and going behind it.
"You could have walked past me, I don't bite," I snap angrily. I am mad she feels she has to keep well away from me.
"Looks like we got back in time for the fun and games," Mikkarl says as he steps into view from the hallway.
"What did Rosy do this time?" Steven asks pushing past Mikkarl. Behind them Sam stops in the doorway and surveys his sister soberly.
"What did I do? What the hell didn't I do?" Rosy yells throwing her hands in the air as she looks around wildly.