If you love animals...if you love cats....if you love a great story, then A Prophecy of Snow is the book for you....a book adults and kids will love....it's the story of Scratcher, a house cat who leaves the comfort of hearth and home for a great adventure in the company of his mysterious friend, the black street cat Jackson. The adventure they undertake, one that weaves its way through a world thoroughly feline, takes the reader on a journey of danger, heroism and courage. Once you read A Prophecy of Snow, you will see feline kind in a new and exalted way.
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This tunnel was not as densely dark as the others had been. It was nearly as well lit as city central, in that there seemed to be more, and larger, storm drain grates, and a few manhole covers with open holes that let in small shafts. Dancer seemed to be in a hurry, striding out in staccato steps. Jackson seemed tense, his head shifting from here to there, and it made me wonder if he suspected rats, or worse, men. The more light in the tunnels, like city central, the more entrance points for men. I did not smell any men, or rats, but I knew Jackson’s experience was far greater. I kept waiting for him to comment to me, slyly, under the cover of his breath, but he did not speak, nor did he catch my eye when I turned to look at him. So I kept my gaze ahead, and followed Dancer as he moved down the way, I in the center, Jackson to my left, and Flash to the right.
And then, Dancer passed through the light streaming from a multi-holed cover, and then he passed again into darkness. And in a blink, moving out of the shadows into the light, appeared three powerful toms, eyes fixed on us.
Their abrupt appearance caused me to hiss in surprise, and I took a step back.
Jackson eyed them calmly, stopping and holding his ground. Flash shuddered slightly, but stopped and followed Jackson’s lead.
Behind the three toms, silhouetted on the edge of the light, two more
sets of ears appeared, topping two scarred feline faces. And in the midst of
them all, right in the center, Dancer reappeared.
“This is the one,” he said slyly, peeking out between two of the toms, inclining his head toward Jackson. “This is Jackson.”
“Yes,” the large dark grey tom to the left said, looking Jackson up and down. “Yes, this is the one he talked about.”
“Killer had a run in with him, I heard,” the center tom, yellow-and-white-striped, muttered.
“And you’re sure this is the one Bigger talked about?” the third tom, brown and black striped, asked.
“Yes,” the large grey tom agreed. “Jackson it was. Jackson it was.”
“What do you want of us?” Jackson demanded.
The five toms hissed in hilarity, as if this was the funniest thing they had ever heard said. Following their lead now, white Dancer hissed as well.
“I say again, what do you want of us?” Jackson asked.
“You are leading cats through the city, and taking food that doesn’t belong to you,” the yellow-and-white tom said. “This is our part of the city, and the food belongs to us.”
“And the rats belong to us,” added the third tom.
“Yes, and you’ve been killing our rats,” the first tom, the large dark grey, said.
“Your rats?” Jackson snuffed. “I don’t recall you standing with us last night when they attacked.”
The large grey tom’s face contorted in anger. “This is not the world of a cat!” he exclaimed. “These cats you lead, they came down here to escape from the world we rule. We say when they come and go. We say who eats what and when. We say who has what queen. We say which kittens live and which do not.”
“We?” Jackson said. “The five of you?”
“Six!” hissed Dancer.
“Since when do cats like you rule other cats?” Jackson demanded.
“Since Bigger came and showed us the way,” the grey tom answered.
“We are part of Bigger’s kingdom. We rule the part of the city he set down for us.”
“This is not your city,” Jackson said. “Cities are the work of men. Cats are not to rule other cats. We are to live as cats. The world you speak of, above us, is darker than these tunnels. It is more natural here. That’s why the cats came down here.”
“How dare you!” the third tom, the brown and black, hissed. “You call our world false! You surrender to men!”
“Yes, men rule,” the yellow-and-white tom conceded. “But there is a part of our world that is cat. That is the part we take. That is the part we rule. That is the part men do not know of, or care about. And that is what we hold.”
“Fools!” Jackson said deeply. “Utter fools! Tools of Bigger’s ego! What does he do? Go from city to city and bully other cats, and use your foolishness to say he has followers, an army. Fools!”
And now I had gone beyond fright. I kept waiting for the moment that Jackson would tell us to turn and run. Perhaps there was a side tunnel, one I’d missed, and he’d lead us there and the toms would race past us and we’d climb up and get away. But then I realized that this would mean they would find the others, the young and weak, and tear them apart. And so I stood with Jackson and Flash, against six toms, and I knew then that I wouldn’t see another day. At least I would be dying in the defense of the others, and maybe they would hear the fighting and get away. I thought of Marshall and Darkness, and wondered if they would be able to get back from the rear in time to fight. If we fought hard enough and loud enough, they would hear, and at least they would be able to place themselves before the attack and buy more time for the others.
It had reached the point of quiet, and staring. There were low growls, and positioning. Flash faced off against the dark brown and black tom, and Jackson against the grey. That left me, wounded, in the center, to face the larger, stronger, yellow-and-white tom. And then, behind them, Dancer and the two others waited. They would be fresh, if we survived the first fights, which meant we would have to kill these three who faced us. And that was not likely....