Stories by: Mirri

The Tall Tails of Catwood

Chapter Delve


Tika opens an eye reluctantly to awaken to the world again. The sight that greets him does not really register at first, but eventually he finds out that he is looking at the small tipped over table in the corner. The model he was working on there is gone and all the little cans of paint lie scattered all around, but for some reason, there is no paint on the floor.

“Oh no.. not again...”

A paw strokes over Kesonam’s ears for the third time and he grunts again, only this time the sensation is enough to wake him up. He blinks his eyes a few times and tries to keep them open even if it stings terribly the first few times. Mirri lies beside him, still fully asleep it seems, her arm over his head and her paw twitching and fondling his left ear. The lion smiles and gently licks at her cheek while pushing her side gently, ”Mirri.. wakey, wakey...”

Mirri *mrrrfs* and opens one of her eyes just a bit before closing it again and baring her teeth a bit as her headache seems to wake too. Kesonam keeps shaking her side gently, ”C’mon sleepyhead, time to get up.”

Her response is a very cross growl, telling anyone and everyone to keep back, ”Lea’me ‘lone.” She rolls to her belly and buries her face in the pillow.

”Aww, is that any way to greet your mate in the morning?” He cannot help grinning and keeps pushing and shaking her despite her growls and furious bats at his paws to make him stop.

Eventually Mirri gives in and sits up in bed, her elbows to her knees and holding her head in place. She still has not opened her eyes, ”Gods... my head feels like there’s a hundred little Geweas hammering inside and trying to crack my skull open.”

Kesonam grabs her head and pulls her close to kiss her between the ears, ”Are they gone now?”

She smiles faintly, ”No. Now they’re all screaming to get back at the big lion for shaking them around like that.”

He pulls the blanket covering them aside and gasps, ”By Zagra’s whiskers...” Hidden in the other end of the bed lies a very big and very colorful tiger. Senajit looks like an oversized multicolored carpet, his stripes barely visible between the splashes of white, gray, red, green, blue, purple, turquoise and other indeterminable hues. Worst of all, however, is that all the colors of the clumsy beast are smeared all over the blanket, sheets and the legs and feet of the two mates as well. Kesonam’s eyes widen, ”How are we gonna get all this clean??”

Mirri just groans and holds her head in her paws at spotting the ordeal.

Tika rushes in through the door, following the trail of wet painted paw-prints, and sees the saboteur, “SEN!!!”

The tigress growls and throws a pillow at her brother, “Shut up.”

Her brother growls as well, but for a different reason than a headache, “I bet my new model is stuck to his back too. He prob’ly rolled around in it all night.”

Kesonam just looks a bit lost, “So.. what d’we do? I bet your parents aren’t gonna be too thrilled when they see this.”

Tika ponders for a few moments, ”Well, first of all I think we should clean you all. We can take turns showering and I’ll go with Sen first.” He rips the blanket off the sleepy and protesting tiger, grabs him by the neckscruff and pulls him out of the bed and onto the floor.

*Thump. Rawr!*

“Shut up, Sen. Get up. You’re in so much trouble when I get you cleaned up. Stupid animal.”


“Yeah, you heard me. Stupid animal! C’mere!” At that, the two are already out of the room and on their way into the shower.

”Alright, we’ll wait here and wake up a bit more.” Kesonam’s words fall on the empty doorway mostly. He turns to his mate again, this time in a bit more concerned tone of voice, ”You okay Mirri?”

She shakes her head and grips it tighter in an attempt to stop the swirling feeling, ”No. I need something for my headache. Second closet to the right of the sink in the bathroom. A little purple glass.” Her mate nods and moves into the bathroom right after Tika, to get her the pills. Once Kesonam enters the room, he spots Tika scrubbing away at the fighting tiger’s coat, lathering Senajit all up with soap and various shampoos.

”You trouble-maker, Sen. I ought to... No, why don’t I?!!?” Tika growls at Senajit. Almost immediately, Tika’s paw flashes out and snaps the tiger a few times on the rump, teaching the beast a lesson.

”Easy, Tika. He won’t learn if you just beat him around...” Kesonam says in a harmful tone, mainly directed to Tika. After the light scolding, Kesonam moves further into the bathroom to rummage around for the pills Mirri had asked him. ”Found ‘em.” He says to himself and quickly walks out the door.

Mirri swallows three in one mouthful and lies down on her back again to relax and wait until they take effect. The worried lion beside her strokes her cheek gently with a paw while they both wait for Tika to finish with Senajit. After a few more minutes, and a bit of thumping around in the shower, her brother comes back again, looking a bit fluffy after the quick drying off, ”Okay, who’s next?”

Kesonam tosses the blanket aside, flings his feet out of the bed, and gets up to go clean his fur. Tika glances over Mirri for a moment and blinks. ”You okay?”

The tigress looks up to her brother and growls, waving her paw in a dismissal, ”When you leave, yeah.” With a snorty-grunt, Tika leaves Mirri alone and goes downstairs to look for some instructions on the washing machine. It would be best that they fix this mess before certain parental units find out what Senajit has been doing with Tika’s colors.

Almost the minute Tika finds the instructions and returns upstairs – which is about the same time as Kesonam exits the bathroom – Mirri is sitting up in bed and looking better, at least as good as she can look in her current messy state. She takes her shower while the other two bundle the sheets, along with anything else that is sticky, and drag it all downstairs to the washing machine. Tika and Kesonam have a bit of trouble forcing the giant lump of sheets through the door of the machine, but eventually succeed. Tika adds various soaps in different slots of the washing machine, while his friend helps him read the instructions very carefully. Kesonam mulls over the instructions at least five times so they are absolutely certain that everything is done correctly, and that none of the paw-crafted sheets will come out with odd patterns, or splotches on them.

Senajit lies in his place under the stairs with an aching rump, watching Tika and Kesonam fumble their way through the washing instructions. Even though one of the two furs in front of him is the one who yelled and slapped him, the tiger joins the two, sniffing around their legs before looking curiously into the washing machine at the other striped things in there. He *mrowls* at them to check if it is another tiger.

Tika smirks impishly and then opens the door, ”Aww.. you wanna join your friend in there..?”

The tiger looks up at him and tries to figure out if this is some kind of trick, but Kesonam quickly slams the door shut again, ”Don’t you dare Tika.”

The leopard smiles, ”C’mon, it’s just a little tumbling around amongst other striped and smelly things. He’d feel right at home.”

Kesonam glares.

*Sigh* ”Alright, alright... spoil sport.” Tika presses the red pad, which begins to glow and the washing machine gives off a roaring noise of approval as it starts the program.

Senajit *mrums* and presses his nose against the glass.

Tika pets his four-legged friend, ”Y’know, he should actually have been neutered.”

The lion frowns, ”Why’s that?”

”There’s already too many tigers on the planet, we’re supposed to keep the population down so by law all pet tigers have to be neutered. But laws aren’t really enforced way out here in the jungle, and we’re so close to nature that we wouldn’t think of doing such a thing. Isn’t that right Sen?”

Senajit purrs and rubs against Tika’s legs thankfully.

The stairs creek and both look up to see Mirri coming down, smiling all over. She grins and walks past them into the kitchen, her tail swinging behind her, ”Now, who’s up for some breakfast?”

After breakfast and having prepared lunch at the same time; so they do not have to worry about that later, they all take the washed, rinsed and dried sheets upstairs again and put them on neatly. Mirri and Kesonam retreat to the confines of the large bedroom once again to talk and just be together, and they leave Tika on his own. He plays around with Senajit a bit, fixes a few things around the house, cleans the mess in the living room after last night and just generally mucks about doing odd chores.

The other two individuals spend most of their time walking around Catwood both inside and outside, training with each other in the exercise room, gawking at their tail rings and quite obviously having fun on their own. This is when Tika decides to go hunting with Senajit on the last day of the weekend.

The theory of ‘Time flies when you are having fun’ is indeed correct. Before they know it, Perihelion and Mika return from their trip to find the house in great shape, everything clean and neat. They find Mirri and Kesonam sitting in her room, studying physics together, and Tika watching TV in his own room with Senajit on his lap. Kesonam only stays for dinner before saying goodbye to everyone and returning home to get ready for school the next day.

Mirri sees a flock of furs stand in a circle outside her classroom, obviously talking to someone. As she realizes who it is, she pushes one of the furs aside and addresses the little, scared fox in the middle, ”Hey Boogwa! You’re late for your class, get going!” She points to the door while the five other furs are distracted and still a bit puzzled about what is going on. Boogwa quickly squeezes in between two of them and escapes into the classroom. Mirri rolls her eyes at the group, ”New kids.. sheesh...”

Boogwa continues to shake a bit while he pulls his books out of the backpack, stacking them neatly at the top of his table, parallel with the edges. He looks up as Mirri sits down at her spot by the table in front of him, ”Um. I thank you for your most-needed assistance outside the classroom a moment ago.”

Mirri shrugs, ”Yeah, whatever.”

”I’m sorry, did I say anything to agitate you?”

”Naw, s’not you. Just don’t feel like starting school again after the most wonderful weekend of my life.”

”Oh. I understand. Is it anything you would feel happier with if it were to be portrayed to someone else, or would it merely curtail the experience to share it?”

”I think I better keep this to myself, Boogwa.”

”Mirri, pay attention.” Mr. Ubishan says curtly. He has already started the lesson it seems. Repulsor physics. The most important subject at the moment.


Boogwa closes his physics book reluctantly. To him, this class is an answer to a scream of opportunity. Even if he does know the entire curriculum by heart. Mirri does not seem to have the same troubles as Boogwa, however. The tigress quickly snaps her book shut with a loud *smack*. ”Done! Geez...”

”Um. Mirri?”

She turns to Boogwa and perks her ears, ”What?”

”I was merely wondering.. are you good at math and physics?” He tilts his head in a curious sort of way and blinks his big eyes.

”Uhh.. good as in.. what? I get top grades in my class and I don’t consider it a problem to me, if that’s what you mean?”

”Well. Um. I merely wanted to question you if it was possible that you would consider studying with me. It is most probable that I could teach you miscellaneous techniques to make the subject even less of a task for you.”

Mirri quirks a brow, ”And in return..?”

Boogwa wipes his paws against each other nervously, ”Well. Um. You appear to be quite proficient at dealing with the thugs constantly wanting to harm me...”

She can already tell where this is leading, ”Sorry Boogwa, I don’t wanna be your bodyguard or anything. I have ‘nuff to worry about both in and outside school. Furs are picking on me too y’know.”

Boogwa just sighs and looks concerned, ”I told my parents this would never amount to a successful arrangement.”

The tigress tries a reassuring smile, ”Aw c’mon, things aren’t that bad. You just have to get used to a new school.”

”It is not the school I am referring to.”

Mirri blinks, ”Then what?”

Boogwa grumbles and starts putting his books away, ”The planet.”

”What’s wrong with the planet?”

”I have not lived here for the entirety of my existence.”

Mirri blinks again, ”You’re from another planet??”

Boogwa nods and shrugs, ”Yes.”

”That is so cool! I’ve only met one other fur beside you from a different planet. Where are you from? What’s it like? Do they have the same time system?”

The black fox cants his head slightly at her, ”If I tell you all about it, will you protect me?”

Mirri glares at him with half-lidded eyes and puts her paws to her hips.

”Okay, I understand. I originally hail from the planet of Dra’weem. It is not that distant from here. It is very serene and agreeable, although there have been massive strikes in the mining associations, which is one of the reason for my family moving here. And they do not have the same time system. That is, I believe they do not. What is it like here?”

Mirri grins, ”Well, all of the public systems and generally the whole planet use the standard galactic hour. There’s 30 hours to one day, eight days to one week, five weeks to one month and 10 months to a year. Pretty simple. But how do you figure out how old you are?”

”We utilize both systems at my domicile. On my birth planet I am as of this day exactly 16 years and 6 weeks. So therefore I must be nine years, six months and three weeks on this planet.”

Mirri sits and stares at the black fox in disbelief for a few long moments, ”PLEASE tell me that you’ve been calculating on this before you left your house this morning?”

Boogwa blinks, ”Why would I do such a thing?”

”You mean you just calculated all that in your head?”

”Evidently. So how old are you?”

Mirri shakes her head a bit to clear her thoughts, ”Uhh.. almost 12.”

”I meant, how many days and such.”

”I dunno.”

Now it is the fox’s turn to stare at her in disbelief, ”You do not know? I would have thought a smart fur as yourself would know such a trivial fact.”

”Yeah? Maybe I think it’s a bit too trivial. I have better things to do than go around all the time remembering how many hours old I am y’know.”

Boogwa smiles, ”I am 115,920 hours old.”

The tigress grins and points at the clock, ”115,921. We just passed the first lesson.”

”As a matter of fact the time would have to be at least 14 minutes into the next lesson before an additional hour is added.”

Mirri gahs, ”Never mind, all this is making my head spin already. See ya around Boogwa.” She pats him on the head with a grin and heads for her next class.

The next couple of lessons are specialized math concerning a project they are supposed to be working on. However, she looked everything up herself and pestered her dad a lot about it, so she is almost done with the project and figures she can allow herself two hours of just sitting around doing nothing and thinking to herself. She waits a few minutes till everyone has settled down and the teacher has launched himself into a long and tedious explanation about a certain math arithmitic, which looks like he will not be distracted from in the near future.

The tigress sighs softly to herself and looks out the window. The purple birds are chirping and bouncing around in the trees outside in the schoolyard, apparently chasing each other among the leaf-dappled branches.

One exceptionally bright one, with a black stripe, catches her eye. She follows it among the various trees as it hophops around merrily, completely oblivious to the spring of knowledge being poured out everywhere inside the huge building beside it. Mirri sets her paw to her cheek, supporting herself with her elbow against the table, and smiles at the peculiar bird as it turns around in circles on a branch, as if it suddenly forgot where it was. She rolls her eyes at it and tries just for fun, to send an image of a juice apple at the top of the tree to it. Mirri has only managed to send a very simple image of a pencil to someone else in magic class so far, and that was while concentrating enormously and touching the other fur.

The bird lifts off the branch and flies straight to the top of the tree where it starts hopping around again.

Mirri blinks and lifts her head out of her paw. “No.. it couldn’t be...” She thinks to herself and sends a suspicious gaze at the bird. “Must have been a coincidence.”

She chuckles to herself at a sudden idea, and decides to prove herself wrong. Mirri barely concentrates, and tries to send an image of the schoolyard to her winged purple friend outside, only flipping it upside down.

The tigress nearly falls off her chair in surprise as the bird flaps its wings suddenly and falls straight to the ground on its back. Mirri loses sight of it, and just sits staring out the window at nothing in particular, “Oh my..” Is her best response to this.

The teacher abruptly slams his pointing rod at Mirri’s table, making the black metal sing. This does not at all help Mirri’s concentration on what has happened outside. He continues in the same sort of monotone voice where you can never quite tell when each sentence ends or begins. “..otherwise we won’t be able to calculate this kind of problem Mirri is this course of advanced Equilateral Hygerpitation boring you?”

“Uhh.. no. Not as such.”

“I see, then maybe you would like to explain to everyone how to solve the equation on the blackboard without the use of a computer?”

Mirri moves her a bit to the side so she can see what the teacher has written in white on the blackboard. It is a bit unclear from her point of view, but she can see three of the numbers clearly, “Um. The 7.65?”

The teachers sighs and *thwaps* at her desk again, making her jump. “No, no, no, no, NO! Pay attention Mirri!” He makes one of those conceding sort of sighs that makes everyone else in the classroom glad they are not Mirri right now. “447.6971251/3 is not possible to calculate in your head, unless of course you’re a Perturian living in at the roof of a skyscraper.”

A spreading chuckle resonates throughout the classroom.

“First we have to look at each part of the- yes what is it Beruvi?”

A brownish dog with round black spots places his paw back along the table after being called upon. His spot is in the exact middle of the room. He clears his throat and fumbles with his calculator, “The answer to the problem is actually 7.65.”

The teacher waves his pointing rod proudly, “Nonsense, it’s not possible to see the answer out of this number, first we have to utilize the method of Equilateral Hygerpitation on the problem and *then* we can start putting the answer together.”

“But she was right.”

“Alright, give me that.” The teacher advances to the dog’s table, grabs his pocket computer and starts pounding in numbers. “First of all I told you to put this thing away you’re supposed to learn this without the use of a computer what if you were stranded on a deserted island and a mythical Sphinx came by and offered to bring you home if you could tell it what 10,866.832384811/4 is within ten minutes.” He spins around, “Mirri!”

“Um.. 10.21?”

The classroom holds its breath while the teacher pounces in numbers.

“That’s... right...”

Everyone stares at Mirri, not least of all the teacher, “And might I inquire exactly *how* you figure that out?”

Mirri just smiles nervously, “I’m.. not really sure. It just seemed right..” But the tigress is no fool, she knows how to cover her tracks and has managed to fumble her own calculator out of her bag without anyone noticing, “ my calculator, that is!”

The class seems to breathe a sigh of relief, and the teacher just snorts offended, “So that was how, hm?” All the attention Mirri received previously slowly begins to fade away before she realizes it ever existed. The lesson is back on track, but she has problems explaining it to herself. All she did was look at the blackboard and the three numbers looked different from the others. And when the teacher spoke, he seemed to raise his voice just a little when he said those other four numbers.

Mirri shrugs the eerie feeling off by a characteristic feline shake and settles back in her previous position of gazing thoughtlessly out the window. Her thoughts fall on Kesonam right away, she smiles at the picture of him in her mind. She barely manages to suppress one of those love-stricken sighs, but her tail begins swishing back and forth behind the chair. Mirri looks around the room and almost feels sorry for all the other furs in there who are just staring mindlessly at the blackboard and not experiencing that fuzzy feeling swirling around deep inside her.

The two lessons pass quickly after this. The teacher does not address her again at all, and she soon finds herself pawing through her locker in the hallway. The warmth inside her slowly fading as she has other things to think about now. A strange buzzing sort of sound that has been there all day becomes louder as Mirri notices it again. She figured it was just a sort of headache, but now that she thinks about it, it actually sounds more like a pulsing echo deep inside her head.

Mirri closes her locker quickly and starts tracking the sound with her senses. The minute she closes the metallic door on her locker, the echo and vibration passes through her fingertips, reaching into her mind. Her head wheels to the left, finding a person brushing her arm on the way past. A harmless gesture, but to Mirri, the smell and texture of the person’s fur is caught within her nose and fingertips. She can hear an echoing pulse, ringing in her skull. This pulse is soon found out that it increases with each fur that walks past her. “Uh oh..” She jumps up at the nearest fur, “Excuse me!”

The fox blinks at the tigress, “Yeh?”

She puts a paw to his chest, hoping the fox does not mind what she is doing. It is just as she thought. The pulsing echo is synchronous to his heartbeat. Mirri can feel the heartbeat of almost everyone nearby, but to the fox, all that happened was that a gorgeous tigress just went up and touched his chest. Mirri barely notices the yearning stare from him. The more pressing question is at paw, and she races down the hallway, only one thought on her mind: Get out of this crazy place in a hurry!

Mirri rushes towards the Teacher’s Lounge, in hopes to find the one person who can answer her question. The secretary at the teacher’s lounge thinks it is a bit odd how a panicky student rushes up to her, demands to know which class her magic teacher is in right now and then bolts away again like she had a hungry Ywura hot on her tail. But before the secretary can ask the question, Mirri rushes out the door, to the destination given to her.

“Okay, now what is this?”

“Uhm.. a landscape.. blue grass.. two moons in the sky.. nighttime.. a forest at the right horizon and a flock of Ikigian cattle in the middle.” The panthress smiles cheerfully as her teacher nods enthusiastically at her very accurate description of the cloaked picture.

“That’s very good!”

The door sounds as if it is kicked open and a panting tigress falls into the room, “Mrs. Prymila! I need help!”

The panthress keeps seated and stares in surprise at the other two.

“Mirri? What’s wrong?” Mrs. Prymila asks.

“Something’s going on, I.. I can solve impossible math problems without trying, I can make birds fall off trees, I can hear the heartbeats of everyone in the whole school!”

“Oh my. Come in and sit down.”

The classroom is completely empty except for the teacher and the panthress; it must be a special private lesson of some sort.

“Okay, relax Mirri. Tell me what happened step by step. Don’t leave anything out.”

“Well, it all started when I didn’t pay attention in class I was looking out the window and there was a purple bird and it was hopping around the trees and there was one with a big stripe. I tried to turn him upside down but he fell down and then the teacher smacked my table with a stick and asked me if I was bored and I told him the answer was 7.65 and he said I couldn’t do that but it was right and then I had to say I had cheated and when I was in the hallway I could feel everyone’s heart and I touched a fox’ chest to see if I could and it worked and I got so scared and--”

“Mirri.. please calm down, I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” The teacher looks to her other student for help, who merely shrugs and focuses on the next upside-down picture in the pile.

“Don’t look at me, she lost me after ‘Well’.”

Mirri is panting and squeezing her teacher’s paw. Her brain is racing with questions, trying to figure the answers out herself. Oddly enough, when touching the teacher’s paw, she is unable to feel, nor hear her heartbeat.

“I’m sorry, Mirri this is Tiro, my special student.”

The panthress smiles comforting to the jumpy tigress and extends a paw, her spherical ears perking up, “Nice to meet you, despite the circumstances.”

Mirri shakes her paw and smiles back half-heartedly.

The teacher smiles as well, “Well, what do you think of all this Tiro?”

A smile curls across the black fur’s muzzle, “I’d say she’s my victim for today.”

The other two stares wide-eyed at the panthress, who merely leans back in her chair with a smirk, “Yeah, you heard me. I decided to fool around with someone’s senses today, and here’s the result.”

Mirri is not sure if she should be thankful it is all over and solved, or if she should beat her up. Unfortunately, her genetic heritage is not something that will surrender to rational thought that easy.

“You WHAT!?!”

The distinctive sound of ten, nearly two inch, claws breaking the through the skin of Mirri’s paw adds tension to the atmosphere in there.

“Now, now Mirri. We’ve talked about this before, remember what I said? Don’t use violence as the first option.”

Mirri’s haggles rise as she bares her sharp fangs, ears laid back and snarling deep in her throat.

Tiro merely waves her paw in a semi-circle in front of her with a smile, “Relaaax...”

The tigress’ features turn a bit more friendly, her claws move back in and her face looks somewhat normal again, “Yeah, you’re right.” She murmurs to herself and flops down on a chair. The panthress rises to her feet and walks over to the window, letting the other two talk alone for a bit. Mirri looks up at Tiro through the random strands of orange hair blocking her vision. It’s then she gets to look at her thoroughly for the first time.

Tiro is rather beautiful actually, but not in the way of many other furs on the school with their makeup and coloring and jewelry and other accessories. She has a natural grace and beauty, and quite a bushy tail for a panthress. Fox heritage maybe.

Her body is a bit thin and the only thing protruding in any way are her athletic muscles. There are certainly no excess fat on that skeleton, and most tell her she should try to eat more. Mirri is enticed at the way she moves with an elegance only found commonly in dancers, smoothly making her way to where her whim brings her as if trying not to step too hard on the ground. Her fur is ebony black all the way through, dark as midnight, and only the sharp sunlight through the window reveals a few blurry places in her fur that are slightly darker than everywhere else, forming large rosettes all over her body. It is amazing how something that black can shine so brilliantly.

As she turns around again, her eyes gleam a deep green, like emerald but varying with the ambient light. The spherical ears planted on top of her head are a bit gray-browner on the inside, and have a few very long hairs sticking out at the top, making sort of funny tufts that bounce and sway with each movement of her head.

The only thing not obscure as deep space on her seems to be found around the face, including her eyes, her whiskers and the inside of her ears. The nose is also black and even her furry chin is dark.

Mirri wonders what it will be like to be just one color all over, like her. She has always thought of herself as a very singular colored fur, but compared to Tiro she herself appears very colorful indeed. Mirri is different shades of orange, but she also has her white furry front and all her stripes. Must be boring to be just one color.

Her gaze falls to Tiro’s nether parts, where a skirt keeps her private parts private, not unlike Mirri’s own. The difference, however, is that Mirri’s is indeed paw-crafted by materials found in the jungle while Tiro’s has been produced by machines and only made to resemble ‘the real thing’. Only a native like Mirri could tell the difference, however.

The only other thing she is wearing is a metallic white, short-sleeved shirt with an inscription in marine blue letters: “Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.”

Mirri can do nothing but agree with that statement. It is not hard for her to imagine why it would be nice to wear as little as possible on a spring day like this when you have fur that actively attracts heat. Tiro seems to be noticing how Mirri is staring at her.

“Uhm.. I like your shirt.”

Tiro looks down, “Yah. Pretty neat, no? So, are you done with all your classes now or what?”

“Yeah. I think I’m gonna go home now. I don’t feel so good after all this.”

“Great. Sorry about that prank I pulled.”

”Bah, no big deal, I guess. I probably had it coming to me anyways.” Mirri chides.

”Can I walk Mirri home, Mrs. Prymila?” Tiro asks, turning to the tigress the second after, “You don’t mind, do you?”

The teacher smiles and secretly chuckles inside at the thought of her two most promising students hitting off this well, “I guess it would be okay for you both to leave early today. Just don’t make it a habit. I’m sure you will feel better tomorrow Mirri.” She watches them gather their stuff and head out the door silently.

The two begin to walk down the school hall, passing very few furs. School has yet to be dismissed and the two are leaving quite early. Only one teacher manages to stop them in the hall, asking why they are not in class. Tiro gives her best explanation/excuse to why they are leaving early. The tale, of course, is not entirely true. ”I’m sorry, but my dear friend here needs to be escorted home. I’ve been assigned to do that by Mrs. Prymila.” Tiro says fluidly before leaning over to the teacher, whispering, “But she’s not exactly right in the head to get there on her own.”

Mirri picks up the faint whisper, and tries to act as insulted as she can. An elbow flies out from somewhere and thumps Tiro harshly in the ribs.

”Well, alright. Make sure she gets home safely,” the teacher manages to say.

Tiro grins, ”Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she gets home without stumbling into traffic this time.”

All too soon, the two find their way out of the school, giggling the very moment they are out of hearing distance of the teacher.

Mirri looks Tiro over once more and bites her lip, ”So, I haven’t seen you in any of my Magic Classes. What gives?” Her head turns back around to the school, in the general direction of the classroom they left.

Tiro sighs lightly, ”Well... Mrs. Prymila’s the only qualified teacher to help me in my studies n’ such. There aren’t any other teachers around this area that can help me with my Magic skills.” The panthress lowers her head slightly, looking along the path outside to the gates. ”Mrs. Prymila does studies with me, to see how much skill I have. A year or two ago, Magic came to me like swimming did. And I’m an excellent swimmer,” she beams.

Mirri perks her brows upward, ”That easy, huh? Y’mind doing my homework in magic class?” She grins lightly at this, being sarcastic obviously. ”Well, anyways, does this kind of thing happen very often?”

They pass the school gates. “No, just to a few. About maybe one out of a billion furs. I’ve read about it in the diaries of the High Mages.”

“What’s that?”

“You don’t know the High Mages?”

Mirri shakes her head and watches Tiro attentively.

“The High Mages is the term for the pawful of known furs throughout this planet’s history who have reached a mastery of magic more extensive than any scholar would think possible. According to science there’s a definite limit as to how much magic it is possible to learn and remember, based on the complexity and years of needed experience to become proficient at the various circles.”

Mirri nods and perks her ears up high with interest.

“But these High Mages broke all the boundaries and learned almost all kinds of known magic, including the ancient and arcane ones that have no real practical use, and there’s even legends of ones who simply made up new kinds of magic that were completely unheard of.”

“I see.. so.. you’re a High Mage?”

Tiro laughs and puts a paw on Mirri’s shoulder, “Hardly! I just know that this kind of thing happened to some of the High Mages. It also happened to some of the mentally deranged furs who got locked in our asylums, so I wouldn’t be too enthusiastic just yet.”

Mirri gulps.

“Yeah. The line between enlightenment and insanity is thin indeed...”

“Where do you know all this from?”

“I’ve studied, read the ancient texts. I know a lot about the history and legends of this planet. I can read three of the so-called ‘arcane languages’ of our ancient times. They’re all dead languages, tho, and they’re only useful for reading dusty old books that haven’t been translated because everyone seems to think it would be a waste of time.”

Mirri looks straight ahead and notices they are already well on their way into the jungle. “This is your way home too?”

Tiro looks around and has been very engulfed in explaining all this on the way, “Oh. Uh, no I was actually supposed to have been the other way. Where do you live anyway?”

The tigress smiles, feeling a bit better now that there is only one heartbeat nearby, “I live way into the jungle. In a big treehouse with my parents and my brother.”

“Sounds cool. So you’re all primitive like and stuff?” She nods at Mirri’s outfit.

“Oh no, I just enjoy this a lot more than all those itchy clothes from the city. Ick.”

Tiro grins, “Yah, tell me about it. Luckily this skirt ain’t so bad.”

Her ears lay back against her head as Mirri growls back at the city in a sarcastic manner, “Keep your tight clothes to yerself!”

The panthress giggles and lays her ears back as well, “Yeah, and your squeaky shoes too!”

The two smile and look at each other for a few moments before Mirri breaks the silence, “Hey, you’re pretty okay for a citystalker.”

Tiro bows exaggeratedly, “My humblest thanks for your overwhelmingly approval of my dismal heritage.”

“Wanna see my home?”

The panthress looks around where they stand at the edge of the jungle and the city. She shrugs and smiles, “Yah, why not? It’s been too long since I’ve been out in the wilderness anyway.”

Mirri smiles happily and guides her newfound friend towards Catwood.

The elevator chimes gleefully as the two furs step out of it, and Mirri introduces Tiro to her mom briefly before giving her the whole tour of Catwood just as she did with Kesonam, and the panthress is no less amazed.

“This place is a paradise!”

Mirri giggles and shows Tiro back to her own room, “Nah.. but we’re working on it.”

“So when can I move out here?”

Mirri laughs and sits down on her bed beside Tiro, “As soon as civilization ends.”

Tiro puts a paw to her chin in thought and rubs it back and forth, “Hmmmm.. that could be arranged, yes. Just need to find that big red button somewhere.”

“What red button?” Mirri smiles.

“*The* red button. I’ve always held the opinion that civilization just evolves faster and faster and some day it will simply outgrow itself. Y’know, like you kill Femmlurian weed by giving it growth hormones so it will grow so fast all the cells burst? We develop more and more stuff and find out more and more about this place we live in and why we live here. And just when things look like they could actually work out, that is, when there is peace between all living creatures and we all realize how we must be in balance with our surroundings, I bet some moron will press *the* big red button and everything will be destroyed.”

“That’s a bit pessimistic, isn’t it?”

Tiro shrugs, “Against stupidity, even the Gods fight in vain.”

“So you’re actually saying that stupidity will be our downfall?”

“Naw, I’m saying that of all the sentient creatures produced, a way too big percentage are just excess material and the race would be better off without them.”

Mirri looks at her sternly, “You just want to kill every other newborn cub in the world, is that it? Who will judge whether someone is good enough to live? You?”

“Of course not. I’m just as bad a judge as the next fur. It’d have to be a god of some sort, which already represents the first problem with this solution. I’m just thinking that maybe as a temporary solution we could take all the morons of the world, stuff them all onto one planet and just leave them alone. Would be interesting to see how far they could evolve without all the smart people to fix everything for them, no?”

Mirri cannot help giggling at the thought, “They’d probably start evolving backwards.”

“Yeah, or become extinct because they’re either too dumb to hunt, too arrogant to do it themselves or too aggressive to cooperate.”

“That’s the kind of furs you think we should get rid of?”

“Definitely. All the stupid ones who just drag their way through a meaningless life, never seeking answers to anything, never defining things for themselves and always blindly trusting what others think. If you can’t be bothered to control your own existence, then why exist at all? And the arrogant ones need to be rooted out as well. Maybe that will happen automatically when only all the smart ones are left and they’re all equal. And don’t you want to get rid of the aggressive ones too?”

“Well, I don’t exactly--”

“Me too. Just think of how much nicer your life would have been without all the bullies hitting on you, all the furs sneering at you because they think you’re better than them. Which you usually are. And all the furs yelling and screaming and being mean to each other.”

“Have you had a rough cubhood or something, Tiro?”

She shrugs quickly, too excited with her explaining to stop and answer such a trivial question, “Just think, if everyone was more or less equal, you wouldn’t need all the competition with school tests and grades and everything.”

Mirri smirks, “You don’t like competition?”

“No. I always beat everyone when I’m finally *in* the competition, but up to that point I don’t like it one lil’ bit.”

The tigress frowns, “That sounds very odd.”

“Yeah, well, I’m odd.” Her emerald eyes catch sight of Mirri’s alarm clock. “And late! I have to get home in a hurry.”

Mirri looks at the clock as well, “Oh. Okay, lemme walk you out.” They follow each other all the way to bottom of the tree and Mirri smiles, “Are you sure you can find your way out of here?”

Tiro looks over her shoulder and then back at Mirri, “Yeah, just follow the path thingy, no problem. Well, it was nice meetin’ ya.”

Mirri grins and shakes paws with her again, “Likewise. I’m not sure if I like your view points, but it was refreshing to hear something different than the usual hypocritical nonsense from others about how we should cut down on pollution, after which they take the car home.”

“Yeah, hope to see you around school sometime.”

“Count on it. I’ll be looking for you.”

They wave goodbye and Mirri stands watching her friend silently until she is completely out of sight. She shakes her head with a smile and goes back up to her room. She sits and tries to concentrate on homework for a while, but eventually has to abandon it in favor of the pressing questions in her mind.

Senajit lies on his belly in the living room, rolling a little red ball from one forepaw to the other in front of him and looking just plain bored. Mika is watching TV with volume way up and her entire attention is directed towards the big 3D screen.

Mirri slinks down the stairs, tail gently swaying behind her, and proceeds behind her mother’s chair to watch the show for a few moments. “So is the TV working like it should?”

Mika does not move her head one little bit, but keeps watching the screen, “Sure, sweetie.”

The tiger rolls to his back in boredom and paws up at the unreachable ceiling with a sort of kitty-grumbling.

“Mom, I’m gonna go take Sen for a walk, okay?”

“Sure, sweetie.”

Mirri crosses her arms and stares at the ears of her mother, visible over the top of the chair. “We’ll just go outside for a while and then I’ll teach him how to set fire to our tree, okay?”

“Sure, sweetie.”

Mirri holds out her arms and looks skywards with a conceding expression, “Oy..” She grabs a surprised tiger by the neckscruff and drags him towards the elevator, looking back over her shoulder. “Alright, if we’re not back in two years we’ve probably been kidnapped by the natives hiding in the jungle, in which case I want you to torch the planet and burn everything down so you can find us again, okay?”

“Sure, sweetie.”

A stick flies mightily into the air describing an arch between a few trees and finally ending its combined ascent/descent in a bump against the moist grass, bouncing just once before falling silent, drained off the kinetic energy just applied to it by the paws of a tigress. The stick lies lonesome, close to the root of a tree and about 300 yards from the bewildered beast that was supposed to have fetched it.

“Sen! C’mon! Fetch the stick.”

The tiger just stares back at her blankly and seems surprised she would even think she could ever get him to play that stupid game. He lies down, first letting his rear fall to the ground and then the rest as he rolls onto his side and lies flat against the grass.

Mirri sighs, “Lazy furball.” She remembers why she went out here in the first place and sits down with her legs crossed while putting a paw onto the tiger’s head, disguising her touch as just a friendly scratching between his ears.

>A flower. A pretty one.<

>They’re for eating when my tummy hurts from too much meat.<

>A Mrawi?<

>Avoid. Those things aren’t worth wasting my breath on.<

>A deer? No. It’s a rabbit. Its back is turned. Hunting opportunity.<

Sen jumps to his paws and stalks the rabbit, crouching low in the grass, keeping in the shady places and controlling the otherwise rapid random movements of his tail.

The rabbit has still not seen him, it is unknowingly chewing away at the grass. Senajit’s whiskers twitch and his nose flares once. He can even tell it is a particularly tasty rabbit.

The hapless creature notices nothing before the tiger is too close and comes pouncing from the tall grasses with a growl. Fortunately it cannot have felt much pain as Senajit flies over it, pinning it to the ground with a paw and breaking its neck with his teeth in one swift movement. His paws pull it with him, holding it against his stomach as he curls up and rolls forward while biting down on the dark green rabbit’s neck just to make sure.

Mirri purrchuckles as Senajit proudly returns with his kill, his tail wagging behind him as he drops the stick on the grass in front of her. The tigress scritches him behind the ears, seemingly just as proud as he is, “Good boy.”

Senajit blinks once and sniffs the place where his bounty ought to lie, but finds only part of a branch. However, the striped being does not seem to take any overly note of the fact that his trophy just mysteriously disappeared and was replaced by the stick he did not bother to fetch a few minutes ago.

What is there to do about it anyway..?


Go Back