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Mewl tries to accept her new role as a family cat while trying to gain the courage to finally face the dangerous yet intriguing outside world. But the house seems just as dangerous as the ever-elusive streets just beyond the window.

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My Birth

When I came into this world, it was dark. My eyes still hadn't opened. Like all kits, this was somewhat alarming to me, but not unnatural. There were hundreds of sounds and nothing to link them to. The only comfort was the warm belly and sweet milk from my mother. Her tongue would rasp me tenderly and she purred so softly I never needed her words to tell me how much she cared for her litter.

As I got bigger, I could get on my paws more, each step getting steadier than the last. Eventually I did get my sight. It was a strange yet exciting and welcomed change. I could see so many things; mice, crawlers, pelts. Even our housefolks, who we had three of. For the first time, I saw my mother and four of my littermates.

There used to be six of us, but my youngest sister was too small and sick to make it and the third of the litter, who was just barely older than I was, had just suddenly disappeared. I never smelled or heard what happened. All I know is a housefolk picked him up and he never came back. When I would sniff and look around for him, I never got anything. I couldn't even tell if he died.

After we got a bit bigger and were starting to get weaned from our mother's milk, my littermates started disappearing again. One day, I was picked up and I got a strange sense the same thing was about to happen to me. I started clawing and biting because I didn't want to leave. I wanted to hear more stories of my father and the cats from outside the large, unmoving rocks surrounding me day and night, protecting me from animals who would eat me and cold winds that might blow me away or have me catch greencough.

The big housefolk took me to the monster despite all my fighting. I could hear it growling as it shook. I didn't know how it was cold because it was so warm outside, but I was too busy scratching an escape for myself to care and find out. The brown of it's pelt shined dimly and it stood barely taller than my housefolk.

Suddenly, we were inside the monster. I didn't know how it was possible. Did it eat us? I dug my claws into the warm, soft inside of the monster beneath my claws in fear. My eyes darted everywhere, expecting something bad to happen. After looking all around, I ran under another one of the soft things in the monster and hid.

I kept doing that until we stopped in front of another housefolk nest. This one looked a lot different from my own. It was a bit smaller, but the grass was spread farther and there was something shiny covering the front. There wasn't anything in the grass but a longbark stump and a few brown droppings. Was this their dirt place? My housefolks never had anything in their grass. But they also didn't have any grey on their nest. Maybe all the housefolks use their nests differently? That seemed really odd to me, but I'm just a kit. What do I know?

After I could get a good look at the nest, another housefolk came out of it. He walked slowly over to the car. Her small, long patch of fur fell beside her head. It would've been creepy if I couldn't still see his face through the door of brown. Her eyes seemed fierce but kind with their blueness. For a moment, her smile was unsettling, but the neat, white look already started to grow on me. Still, I hissed at her. Mama taught me not to trust any new housefolk, no matter how friendly they seem. She told me most only want us kept inside.

The strange housefolk picked me up gently. I was caught off-guard by the familiar smell of milk. If she hadn't smelled so good, I wouldn't've let her pick me up. Her paws were soft and she ran it over my pelt invitingly. I purred, but fought the urge to lick her. She meowed to my housefolk for a little while still rubbing my fur. Then the monster started growling again and I clawed my way under the housefolk's fur.

Once the monster was gone, she picked me up again and took me inside the nest. I looked back in the direction I saw the monster run off. My housefolk left me here. Was this what happened to my littermates?

Coming into the nest, I saw a small housefolk running and making a delighted noise as a taller one chased him. I waved my tail in amusement and watched them play. It reminded me of my housefolk running after their kit every day. Sometimes, I got the sense it wasn't for play. When I would try to join or help, Mama's warning never changed; "Mewl, don't. You're far too small to be playing with housefolk. One day, though, when you grow big and strong like your father. When that day comes, you can do as you wish and no one can stop you, not even me." I think she repeated for me to always remember it exactly how she mewed it.

With that being said, I reminded myself that I wasn't yet big enough to be on the ground playing with the housefolk. Instead, I got into my pouncing crouch and waited for the bigger one to be right where I wanted her before leaping on her shoulder. For a split second she was surprised and still moving only slower, then she stopped completely.

I can't speak housefolk, but I can read their body language well. What I picked up was that the kits were confused by me. I think the mother told them something that made sense to them and then they wanted to play with me. The girl put one of her thick claws on her naked paw in my face and I bit it. I don't like claws near my nose.

The girl hissed in pain, but she didn't put me down. I turned my head a bit and looked at her. She was looking at her paw and she seemed worried. I licked her claw and I think she made a housefolk purr because she was smiling. I mrwed and rubbed my head against her paw, biting her again but softer. I was sure we would start to be good friends and I knew I wasn't going home.

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