It was early in the morning when বাঘিনী had her kits. She was a rogue, along with her mate, Runner. Runner and বাঘিনী were moving from place to place constantly, living off of whatever খাবার they could find. But, when it became time for বাঘিনী to have her kits, Runner decided they needed a better life. They needed to have a প্রথমপাতা for a family of kits.

The kits came in leaf-fall, with the dreaded leaf-bare fast approaching. They were named Moss, Vine, Rain, and Ice, after the first things বাঘিনী saw after they were born. From the start, Runner and বাঘিনী could tell their little she-cat Ice was special.

Ice was born with her two brothers Vine and Rain, and her sister, Moss. Her brothers and sister were mottled and tabby, but she, Ice, was perfectly white. She was solid white, with the brightest blue eyes আপনি could ever imagine. At first, বাঘিনী and Runner thought Ice was deaf, as many kits with white পশম and blue eyes are. But, her attention to detail of the surrounding forest led them to believe otherwise.

But then leaf-bare came. Soon, Moss and Vine were sick with a strange sickness that neither বাঘিনী not Runner knew how to cure. The new family faced another issue as Moss and Vine passed away. Runner was next. Soon, it was just বাঘিনী with two kits and herself to feed all দ্বারা herself.

Most of the time, baby Ice and Rain would say, "Mama Tigress! I'm hungry!"

And poor বাঘিনী would have to say back as gentle as she could, "I'm sorry, my sweet, sweet kits. Mama doesn't have any আরো দুধ for you. But tomorrow, I promise."

Lots of promises were broken that season, that dreadful season of leaf-bare.

And soon it got to the point where বাঘিনী was thin and weak and starving and only had the ability to feed one kit every few days. Then, little Ice told to বাঘিনী in the tiniest voice imaginable, that sweet, innocent voice of hers, she told to her mother, "Mama Tigress? It's Rain. He's not waking up, no matter how hard I prod him. And he's cold, as cold as Moss and Vine were that one time."

And with the greatest sorrow she could have, বাঘিনী buried the fourth dead member of her family. She didn't even have enough energy left to cover him.

And so it was. The rogue mother with a single kit, a single kit barely holding on, barely clinging to the tiniest scrap of life she had in her. Her clean white কোট was uneven and brown from dirt and dust, and she was thin to the bone.

"Mama Tigress?" she asked one day.

"Yes, my dear, sweet Ice?" বাঘিনী didn't even have the energy to lift her head and look at her only kit.

"Are আপনি going to die too? Like Papa Runner and Rain and Moss and Vine?"

A little kit should never, ever have to fear that their mother might die, especially so terribly young. But Ice did. Ice had so much to fear. She had also, the little stirrings অথবা fear that she, also, might die. And that her family would all be gone, and no one would ever know about the little rogue family that died one দ্বারা one.

"I'll try to stay, to hang in there. For you, Ice. And for Papa Runner. And Rain and Moss and Vine," was Tigress's reply. She ব্যক্ত she'll try, she'll try to live.

Again, poor little Ice had the fear that the best her mother could do was try to live. There was no yes অথবা no. There was only the maybe. Only the uncertainty.

And then the horror was over. It was newleaf, finally. And they lived through it! বাঘিনী began hunting again, and both of them were alive and well. They stuck close together, never leaving each other's side.

It was great, but a new problem after all the ice and snow melted arose. It got hot in greenleaf. বাঘিনী and Ice seemed to always be thirsty, and they would go out on trips to the nearest creek to soak moss with water and bring it back, and Ice was somewhere around eight moons then.

বাঘিনী went to venture out one time, and it took her longer than usual. Ice just assumed বাঘিনী had gotten a lot of moss to soak. She wasn't worried about it, so she went to sleep that night without a problem. But when she woke up that morning, panic struck her in the chest. Her mother wasn't there. Tigress's nest looked unused, and when Ice felt it, it was cold as the ground below it. She didn't know what to make of it, other than the feeling she had in her stomach that বাঘিনী wasn't coming back.

She went to the creek, knowing that when she got back to her home, a little hole under the roots of a tree, no one would be there for her waiting. She had no purpose except herself. 'I have to stay alive, have to stay here, for Mama Tigress, and Papa Runner, and Rain and Moss and Vine,' thought Ice. Picking the moss from the bottom of a big tree, she decided it would be best if she moved her প্রথমপাতা to near the creek so she didn't have to walk so far for water.

She inspected the surrounding area, and found a small tunnel that opened up into a cave. It was an old শিয়াল den, but it did fine. She put the water-soaked moss in the den, and went back to retrieve her tiny pile of fresh-kill, and her nest materials.

She also brought a leaf. This leaf had her whole family's front left paw on it in mud. She looked at her own. Was her paw really that tiny once? She looked at her mother's and father's and brothers' and sister's. A tear wormed its way out of her right eye. She brushed it away and gathered everything, taking care not to wrinkle the leaf.

"Goodbye," she ব্যক্ত to the little hole under the tree. "Goodbye, Mama Tigress. Goodbye, Papa Runner. Goodbye, Rain, Moss, and Vine." She regretted leaving her birthplace and the last place her family was when it was happy, without death and sickness.

She turned around and didn't look back. It was her duty to start a new life দ্বারা herself, দ্বারা the little creek. She would do it for বাঘিনী and Runner. She'd make them proud. She knew they were watching her from the sky, and that they would always be with her.

She was lonely in the moons to follow, but she did not become sick when leaf-bare came for the সেকেন্ড time in her life. She became deathly scared as it came. After all, this was when her brothers, sister, and father died. She stayed warm দ্বারা herself in the শিয়াল den. She got a good supply of water and prey in case she got snowed in. She also brought in snow to keep her fresh-kill fresh.

Ice did lots of sleeping and not much hunting, but she hung in there. দ্বারা then she was 16 moons old, well capable of living on her own. She was a full-grown cat, and had not seen another cat since her mother passed away. So, when someone started digging through the snowy barrier to the entrance to her den, she was surprised. She was even আরো surprised when a black tom hopped into the den.

Ice wasn't hostile, because she had nothing to hide অথবা protect except her memories. "Who are you?" she asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I had no idea this was occupied!" ব্যক্ত the strange tom. "But, in case আপনি want to know, my name's Crow."

"Well, hello, Crow. I don't mind. Do আপনি need a place to stay this harsh leaf-bare?"

"I do, but I think I'll find somewhere else, thanks."

"It's okay, please stay." Ice was practically begging কাক to stay so she had somebody to talk to, a friend even. She got really hopeful and put on her 'Please' face.

"Okay, but can আপনি sustain another cat?" asked Crow, gesturing with his tail to the meager stock of fresh-kill and water.

"I don't know. But if আপনি have an extra cat, you've got another cat to hunt, too."

Ice decided she liked Crow. As a friend, but none more.

END OF PART ONE

(The leaf and goodbye parts were written listening to Coldplay. I think আপনি can understand.)