"Bravo" The Warrior Prince

Bravo was a sauntering kitten - a large tabby with bad eyesight and a pedigree that would strike fear into any ordinary house cat's heart. He was the only offspring of a backwoods experiment by a trapper who wanted a wild cat for a pet. The trapper had a lynx who stayed nearby for the food the trapper would share. He developed a respect for the young wildcat, but as a true to form backwoodsman, he knew that a lynx’ fur was worth more than her friendship.

But something tugged inside of the grizzled trapper’s heart. He wanted a pet. Not just an ordinary pet - he wanted a cat with attitude. When one of his friend’s male kittens grew to an extraordinary size, he came up with an idea. He would mate this large male with the lynx.

It took awhile for the missy to reach her moment of rapture, but, she finally showed some interest. Since the large tom was the only male available and as the hunter had put together a rather elaborate honeymoon suite for the two - nature took over. The trapper was the proud owner of a clynx as he dubbed the sole kitten that came from the coupling.

Once the kitten was born, the lynx would have nothing to do with him. The male tom ran away and the trapper was forced to find someone who knew how to care for a kitten.

He called him 'Bravo' for the brave and fearsome soul that would take over once his bottle-feeding stage was complete. Unfortunately for the trapper and for Bravo, the kitten turned into a docile, sweet, rather large tabby. He'd thrust his head into a bowl of kibble with relish, knowing the food was there, but unable to adequately gauge where it was. He was considerably farsighted.

The woodsman was disappointed. He didn’t want a docile, bottle-fed tomcat lolling around his trapping grounds. Although fond of the kitten, he knew this cat would be no match for the first hungry coyote that came by.

He asked around to see if anyone wanted to buy a real-to-life clynx. There were few takers. When a prospective buyer came to see the kitten, he would head -butt the fellow and act like a perfect gentleman. The trapper was embarrassed. He put Bravo in his truck and drove to the city. He figured someone would take this friendly cat in. At a local hospital, he placed food and water in the bushes and patted Bravo one last time. "Good luck ya old housecat. Why ain't ya a real fighter?" With that, he left the sleepy cat and sped off.

Bravo didn’t fret. He just stretched out under the bush taking in the sun that leaked through the leaves. Soon he fell asleep. Little did the trapper know what dreams the laid-back tomcat had that day. As his lynx blood began to stir in his nine month old body, Bravo felt his mother’s ancient lines calling.
When he woke, the sun was down. Bravo left the bushes to see where he was. Smells were all different and the trapper was nowhere in sight. As he ventured out, he heard another cat yowling. The large orange tomcat had been watching him from the other side of the expanse of grass. He felt something rise inside him as the tom screamed a challenge. The orange cat was many years older, wiser, and more experienced in the ways of battle. He was used to the younger toms leaving his territory with haste as he challenged them. Bravo didn't back down.

Actually, Bravo would've backed down if he wasn't confused about the whole situation. The tom walked closer in an arc with his head lower than his body, growling. Bravo knew things were not looking good. His wild ancestors whispered to him that he could win this battle.

When the orange did not get the respect he assumed, he ran at the large kitten. The cats circled each other growling louder with each step. With one quick lunge, the orange had Bravo pinned to the ground and bit the back of his neck causing a large wound. The tom turned triumphantly and trotted away without looking back.
Bravo ran to the bushes for cover. He felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. By morning, the bite was becoming a festering wound and much more painful. His eyes were closing when he saw a small, female cat staring at him. She began running around him furiously. Moments later he felt her tongue on his shoulder. The wound was gone and he was no longer on the grassy expanse. She looked at him with compassion. "Bravo, you are the brave one, aren't you? As a warrior, you must learn when not to stand your ground!" She smiled. "Afterall, you're still a kitten."

The Abbottsford Cats welcomed the newcomer with open paws. With his fierce bloodlines and honorable ways, he became the protector they'd been seeking - their Warrior Prince.

"Bravo Through the Fire'@2011 KY Cady

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