Once upon a time, in a post post apocalyptic land…
A clever little kitten was born into a world where cuteness was worth all of a hand full of dingleberries. The land of OZ, a land divided by the control of four malevolent Witches, was no place for anything remotely soft and fluffy.
But this wry fuzz ball would somehow manage to warm the hearts and unite the heroes that would reshape the world. His name is Sly, and this is his story.
Cats were one of the few species of animals that managed to survive the various apocalypses that formed the land of OZ. For a time, felines were in greater numbers than they had ever been. The loss of almost all other large species of animals at the hands of brain draining witches looking for just a pinch more bandwidth was a large part of the reason. No one knew exactly why it was that cat brains were not suitable as servers but whatever the reason, cats were safe from the machinations of the vile Witches who battled each other, using everything else as a resource in their quest for domination.
But when Sly sprang forth into this world, the feline species had been on a decline for quite some time. Some Witches took a liking to cats, probably because they were some cliche ass dicks. Some of the more favored humans in a Witch’s employ might be allowed to keep one. But ever since the Witch who would kill her way to the title of “Witch of the East” had cast a spell, eradicating all rodent life – because they totally creeped her out – kitties had become scarcer and scarcer.
But Sly was born in the land of the West, a land that many considered to be the only slightly less awful option. In Elfesto’s empire, there was just a sliver of room for a little joy.
The breeze in his fur made Sly shake with excitement, his first hunt was going to prove to the others in the briar that he had what it takes. He approached the centimousapede carefully and deliberately, placing each paw as silently as possible… back legs taught, front claws out and at the ready, he pounced! But as he flew the short distance between he and his prey, the mutated insecta-rodent whipped it’s hind end toward Sly with a poisonous protrusion sharp and dripping with venom. But Sly was able to perform an impressive midair roll to the left, narrowly missing the creature’s barbs. The brave feline warrior rebounded and with a swipe of his claw, he batted the dangerous end of the centimousapede away to bring it’s front end right into Sly’s waiting jaws. He bit down, instantly breaking its neck.
Then the mud and the dirt began to shift and swirl. Dozens more of the things began crawling out of the ground; winding and unwinding, undulating and skittering toward Sly as he attempted to retreat with his kill still between his jaws. But he was cut off and met with a trio of hissing, slime covered mammal insect hybrids. He was doomed.
And then three knives appeared in the three creatures’ rodent-like skulls, and their bodies went still. In an instant Sly was whisked off the ground and in some large two legged creature’s arms. They were off and running. Clear of the danger, the large mammal lifted Sly to her face. Sly thought she was very pretty and he liked how warm her arms and hands were. It reminded him of when he was allowed to sleep in a pile with the rest of the litter.
“I watched you fight little kitty,” said the little girl. “I think you should come home with me”.
And even though he couldn’t say so, Sly very much wanted to do just that. I guess you could say Sly was always a sucker for a pretty face.
To be continued….
By Dick Phillips
Art by Stevie VanBronkhorst