It's a rainy day here in Catworld, the greyest of the week and there's been plenty of them around here in Catworld this year. I've never been a fan of the rain, makes you all heavy and urghh but that it now a thing of the past. I was sitting watching Daddy read and River cuddle up asleep next to him when I spotted Doublay out of the window running across the front lawn. I tapped on the window to get his attention and he side-nodded to me indicating for me to meet him down the side of the house.
Even though it was raining I wasn't going to let that keep me indoors, not when I've been waiting for Doublay to come over. I'm dying to know what he knows and I was hoping that from his reactions, the time was now.
I ran out the back door, around the side, past Disappears Daddies new bike, Pearl he's called it, humans tut! Anyway past Pearl and over the gate and there Doublay was sitting waiting for me, he had a serious look on his face and said it was time for him to tell me about his encounters with Troy Lamore.
Hi Lil, he said, I smiled back.
Time's in the plural, so there had been more than one! I didn't want to interrupt his flow and settled down next to him, I didn't want to miss a word.
I first met Troy, he began, before that night under the tunnel where you slapped Foxy Lectar. I was much younger when I first encountered Troy and I'm ashamed to say I wasn't quiet the cat I am now.
I think he could pick up that I wasn't exactly reading through the lines, took a deep breath and continued.
Back then, I was a bit of a chancer, I thought I was a bit of a clever cat and had much to learn about respect for others. My parents had moved when I was little I was supposed to go with them but on the day of moving I'd been playing out and got excited by some birds up a tree at the back of Catworld, over there somewhere. He pointed behind us over to the woods, and by the time I'd gotten home everyone had moved and gone and I'd been left behind.
I was very scared and didn't know what to do and for a few days I got by on searching for scraps from people's bins and the odd bit of food that some cat had left behind in their outside dinner bowl.
I made a little shelter under a low lying bush and managed to find a bit of an old towel to lie on. I felt very lonely, I was still very little but I was getting by and that's when Flash entered my life.
Flash! I interjected.
Yes, he was kind to me, he gave me a chunk of beef, oh it tasted so good after bits of peas and cold jelly stuff. I can remember exactly how it tasted now. He complimented me on my bed and said that if I wanted I could come and stay with him, I jumped at the chance, here was this big wordily cat offering me a place where I could feel safe and there was beef chunks to eat, what little cat wouldn't?So I end up moving in with Flash.
He lived a little way away at the edge of the woods, in a shed at the back of someones house. I thought it must be his place, it was only later that I found out we were all squatting. I say all because when I got there I wasn't the only one. Chameleon and Spit also lived there.
Spit was about my age and said that he'd been there for about a month, having been dumped on the side of the wood in a bag by some horrible people who couldn't sell him, ripped he, was ripped from his mother.
We made friends, we had a similar start in our own different ways, he was a bit of a ladies man himself, and we grew up very close, we became brothers. All he ever wanted was a family to love him, it might surprise you but out of the two of us Spit was the one who took me under his wing and introduced me to little secret hidey holes he had where he put away the odd pretty stone or couple of Dreamies that he had found out and about and we would sneak off there together away from Flash and Chameleon and just spend time on our own, laughing and eating. Happy days!
Things you see were not exactly as they first appeared. After a couple of days I first noticed the change in Flash, he became a little grumpier with us and the portions of the beef chunks grew smaller. Chameleon never really said much to either of us, he just sat in the corner cleaning himself and purring, occasionally stopping before turning and looking at us, just staring but he never came close, then!
Spit said he could get into terrible rages which I didn't see till a while later. Chameleons portions never seemed to reduce though, nor did Flash's.
Another little cat came to join us for a while, Crisp his name was, a cheerful little thing but when one day Chameleon got angry over him chatting away he beared his teeth at him and Crisp said he wasn't putting up with that and when we all went out searching for food, Spit and I had been assigned this task by Flash as our contribution to the gang by that time, he ran away.
Flash was furious and Chameleon actually got up and came over to us. That was the first time I felt fearful of him and would do anything to try to avoid being left alone with him after that. Flash could be grumpy one minute but lovely and sweet the next so I found him bearable and anything at that time felt better than being under that bush all on my own.
After a few months we were both assigned the additional task for the gang of going through people's bins. It was OK Flash would say, they've thrown stuff away anyway, and I suppose that did make sense but it didn't feel right, especially when he told us he want us to find him precious things and not just food.
I didn't understand why a cat needed precious things, usually a lap, some water, some food and a sleep was all we needed but Flash said we must have precious things.
Yeah well a slippery slope, he convinced us he could trade them for other bits of beef and stuff and it seemed to make sense, after all they had been thrown away.
I really didn't feel it was right when he then suggested we start creeping into the odd open back door and go looking for sparkly precious things.
Spit protested loudly and Chameleon slapped him hard right across the face and for a moment I thought Spit was going to hit him back but Flash said it was Spit's fault and if we wanted we could go back to living on our own, if we didn't want to contribute to the survival of the gang. Oh yes we were very much a gang then we kept on being told it.
I did it, I remember the first time very clearly.
I was so scared, anyone could come at any time, I made sure I went a long way away from home base I didn't want anyone to recognise me. I remember the carpet on the stairs and how I paused scared rigid when I thought I heard a sound upstairs that turned out to be a creaking floorboard.
I found a ring on the ladies table and I took it, running all the way to home base as fast as I could.
Flash and Chameleon were very pleased with me and that night we all dined on a lovely whole piece of beef. It felt good to provide and for everyone to be happy with me and each other and laughing, it had been forever since we'd last all laughed together.
I tried never to think of how I felt in that house and every time I went into someones house afterwards I would just block out the feeling and not think about it after I left, I was fooling myself to avoid feeling guilty.
He put his head down, he looked still ashamed.
Troy first turned up 2 weeks before that night under the tunnel. If you remember we were around a lot then, Flash had this plan to come in and take over control of M's soup kitchen, word had spread there was a veritable running buffet going on over there and he wanted a piece of that action.
Things has been spiralling out of hand within the gang, we no longer went searching through bins, we were on house jobs all the time and Chameleon was now joining us outside waiting for us to come out, when he would instantly take the precious things away from us so it wouldn't stop us from moving onto the next one, we had to do at least 5 a day each. We had targets to reach!
I was sitting under one of the trees in the wood, very near to where Spit was dumped, it gave me a strange kind of comfort, I don't know why, maybe because I was thankful for him, he was the only nice thing in my life and was my go to place when I needed time to myself which was getting rarer and rarer at that time, I felt, we - Spit and I, felt under pretty much constant supervision.
He turned and looked me in the eye.
So there I was out in the woods on my own sitting under the tree when I heard a voice call out from the darkness of the bushes, it gave me a bit of a start.
You OK my friend, you look like you have lots on your mind, came the voice that I later learned belonged to my saviour Troy Lamore.
I don't know why, maybe it was because I just needed to speak to someone not connected to the situation or maybe it was because his soft voice just instigated a sense of trust that I nodded and he walked over and sat by me and I told him all about the situation.
I could totally identify with that but not wanting to interrupt I just nodded.
Troy listened throughout my self pitying tale of woe, half way through producing some rather lovely chicken pieces which we shared. I'd not been eating, Flash had cut the rations again saying we weren't getting good enough precious things so we must all pay the price.
Hours I must have talked and all the time his kindly face showed the greatest interest and concern, occasionally nodding but never really saying much. I didn't feel at all judged by him and when I finished it felt like a great big weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I asked him for his opinion and he said that he thought it best I speak to Spit and just be honest about everything but that he was sure that things would work out OK but only if we took action, he said it wasn't the sort of way that anyone should be being treated but that it was up to us to do something about it no matter how scary it felt. It was a situation that couldn't be put up with any longer.
I knew he was right I loved Spit and I loved myself, I didn't want to lose Spit but I couldn't keep living under these conditions any longer and I needed to go. I would ask Spit if he wanted to join me and we could set up a home all by ourselves and look after each other like brothers should.
I resolved to talk to him the following day and get everything out in the open and Troy smiled at me. It was the right thing to do, I knew it all along but he somehow gave me the confidence to tackle it.
By this time we'd been talking most of the night and I could hear Flash screaming out, furious I hadn't returned and I got up, not quite as scared as normal but still scared, I wasn't out of there yet!
As I went to run off I realised that I hadn't even asked this kind stranger his name.
Troy he called back and Doublay, he said, watch out for your back leg.
I stopped a bit confused, what did he mean watch out for my back leg? I turned to look at him to ask him to explain but he was gone.
When I got back to home base Spit was in the corner, looking very scared, Chameleon was snarling and Flash was apoplectic with rage, pacing up and down screaming and accusing me of keeping precious things to myself.
He kept on moving closer and closer to me and not knowing how to react to such fury, as he walked towards me I took a step back.
Ouch, I screamed out and looked at my back paw, pined down by one of Chameleons newly sharpened claws. I looked at my paw and then at Chameleon. Chameleon looked at his claw on my paw, looked me in the face, looked back at my paw and scraped his claw all the way across, making a blood red trail.
I immediately hung my head down and begged forgiveness of Flash, I was so sorry, I hadn't been, I just got lost going so far to get the best precious things. It wouldn't ever happen again. In the end the shouting stopped at they let me have a couple of hours sleep before we had to go out again.
Looking back I should have payed more attention to the big question in my mind. How had Troy known I should be careful of my foot?
The second time I met Troy I had just come out of a house with a precious thing for Chameleon when Troy turned up again. It was late, Flash said we needed to work double time shifts to make up for the lost takings on the night I'd spent chatting with Troy.
I'd not said anything to Spit about us running away together, I was too scared these days to do anything apart from exactly what Flash told me to do.
Hello my old friend how things? he called from the dark of a nearby bush.
I looked around to see where Chameleon was, he was walking away into the distance so I knew I would be OK to talk.
Again just like before I opened up and spilled everything out about what had happened and how scared Spit was and what a terrible mess I'd made of it all and how I could kick myself for getting myself into such a pickle.
He just smiled and gave me his shoulder to lean on, I could have cried you know Lil' at the hurt I was feeling for myself and for those that I was robbing. Yes I'd now admitted to myself I had turned into a thief.
It's OK, I said, that's all in the past you mustn't beat yourself up about that anymore.
Doublay smiled back.
I should have known the advice he would give, it was the same as before, again speak to Spit, everything would be OK, there would be a fairy-tale ending for us both. Well after last time he seemed to have a good take of things so it was definitely worth considering again, no matter how difficult it would be for us both.
However I wasn't going to let him go without questioning him about that leg comment and so I asked him. He just smiled back at me and said he would tell me but first I must do something for myself, the things we had spoken about but that he would leave me with a thought.
My ears pricked up, something told me to listen closely.
You will know when you've had enough and the time is right, follow you instincts and look for a sign, I won't tell you when but I will tell you after. Tell that fox to watch out for his nose!
Chameleon was approaching and with a wide grin Troy disappeared into the bushes again. Well it all made sense to me just a week later!
Flash and Chameleon had joined forced with Foxy Lectar by this time in their plans to take over your Catworld and the night was approaching. We'd been called to a pre-attack meeting under the other side of the tunnel.
I'd tried to speak to Spit but he was now so frightened of Chameleon and Flash that he was scared to talk in anything other than a whisper and when I raised it with him that what was happening to us wasn't right he shushed me up. I had tried a few times and each time the same response from him and I wasn't going to go anywhere without Spit so I just had to keep on trying to get him to trust me, that we could do this together.
We were there hearing what Foxy, Flash and Chameleon were planning and it was abhorrent to me, Lil' they wanted to beat one of you up just for the fun or it, they planned to rule with terror and Mogsie was a target, hit the biggest down first and the rest would fall they laughed.
This was madness, violence upon violence and I knew I couldn't put up with it any longer, just as Troy had predicted I would. I stood up to Flash and told him know, Chameleon was furious and raged so much that both Spit and I shook but I couldn't go through with it no matter how much they threatened.
Just as I feared the worse kind of attack upon us out you jumped from the bushes.
Troy was with me, I jumped in
Was he?! Doublay smiled, I had no idea, I would have felt so much safer if I had known that then.
Well you know the rest Lil' and another one of Troy's predictions came to fruition. It was I think at that moment that I felt my strongest and after we all ran off I finally managed to get Spit on his own and talk everything through again. I told him about all the things that Troy had said and that had happened and I told him how Troy said we would have our fairy-tale ending, what we'd been living was a nightmare and could go on no longer. It was that night that we both broke from The New Cat Crew although it wouldn't appear that way for a very good reason, which brings me to my third and final visit from Troy Lamore.
He turned up about two months after that night. We'd ended up making our own home in the woods over near the tree where I used to go and sit by myself. We were doing OK, making our way, finding food and bits of things for our land, it was comfy and free.
That tree will now always remind me of him.
Hello old chum. Troy said as we settled down and I passed him some beef scraps we'd found
He asked me how things were and I told him that for the first time in ages I felt happy and I told him everything that happened that night with Foxy and you and the tunnel, he listened intently and took everything in and smiled when I told him I now understood what he was trying to say to me.
He then asked if I believed and trusted him. You bet I did and nodded, of course I do I said, you've never let me down.
Lil' I was dumbfounded, he said he needed me to re-join The New Cat Crew. All that effort in trying to escape and now he wanted me to go back into it. No I wouldn't, I couldn't do that! Spit was the most relaxed I had seen him in years, he'd really settled into country life and was spending a lot of time with you lot, he was content and I wouldn't do that to him.
No Troy reassured me, Spit now was living his happy ending and wouldn't be involved, he was he said shortly to be adopted and settle down to live happily ever and would have his one true desire to come true, he was to be given his own collar.
I truly believed Troy and felt comforted but why would he need me to re-integrate myself with those evil cats and Foxy Lectar? It was then that Troy sat down and told me everything. He said one would pass and return and that I was one of those fated to be able to communicate with them. That's you Lil'!
He gave me answer to questions you'd not yet asked to prove to you that I could be trusted because he knew you'd be suspicious of me.
He also told me that others would be able to communicate with you and each would have things they had to do, we were all a part of fate now Lil' and as you know there's no stronger bond than Cat Fate. Everything that Troy had said had always come true for me and his prophesies to me are still coming true.
Atishoo, I sneezed.
Of course he knew that was coming.
Yes, Troy said to give you that one to make you smile, said you'd appreciate the joke.
We laughed together and Doublay continued.
Troy then got serious and said to me that something he was about to tell me might sound scary but not to fear and the reasons he needed me to go back to The New Cat Crew, as an insider, to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn't get too out of hand. He'd given me instructions as to how to handle them at certain times and in certain situations but no matter what, I needed to go along with what they were planning, he would appear again when he was needed although I've not yet seen him since. Then he continued;
The return has been foretold and it's vital that you follow my instructions and remember my predictions there's not an easy journey ahead of you, there will be trials and tribulations, just has there have been in the past which have led you to this point, but fear not the judgement's, the journeys these are ones you are destined to go on for the sake of all Catkind for The Time Is Coming!
You'll know when the time is right to tell all about our times together to the one who has gone, you'll know because you'll be told three can communicate, listen out for it carefully for then you shall know that the time is right.
You are not alone in this endeavour, others will reveal themselves when their time is right, for before you all is the greatest battle to have befallen Catkind, a battle that has been fought time and time again but now wakes once more from it's slumber .
You must work together to prevent a great evil from occurring with dire consequences for us all if you don't work together, there will be a choice to make and one will asked to be saved, the one who is trapped, make the choice carefully.
I implore you do not return to a place of great danger a third time, do not return to The New Cat Crew at any time other than I have instructed you to, that is not the way, for The Time Is Coming Doublay, the time is coming for the return of The Queen of Catkind!