Benetar was not only left to babysit his nephew, Kobane, but now he found himself taking care of Cyclonewing’s kitten, Gale. Caring for one kitten of his kind was pushing it, now there was a clan kitten in the mix. What was Cyclonewing thinking leaving her young daughter in his care? Of all the cats in the entirety of the territories, she picked him! Either Cyclonewing was crazy, or she was in trouble and desperate to the point of leaving Gale with him. The bobcat tom scowled.
“This ain’t right!” he thought to himself. “Bobcat toms do not take care of kittens. It ain’t the way of things. It’s the mother’s job.”
Benetar was right to think that; male bobcats never helped in the raising of their young. Even if they wanted to see the kittens, the mother would object and attack, being very protective of their young. The only time he ever got to see his children is when he'd run them out of his territory when they came of age.
In any case, he couldn’t turn Cyclonewing and her kitten down. She was an old friend of his father, and they were both on good terms. Cyclonewing was also one of the few clan cats he could trust around here, so it didn't bother him too much to do her this favor. He should hope not to mess this up, otherwise he'll have to answer to an angry mother cat half his size.
Daybreak had come, and the kittens were still in the care of the bobcat. Kobane and Gale were getting hungry, and the bobcat kitten was the first to bring it to Benetar's attention.
“Uncle Benetar, I’m hungry. Is it breakfast time yet?” Kobane chirped.
Gale was more quiet about it, staring up at the adult bobcat with a bewildered expression. Where was her mother, and why was she still here with these strange tailless cats? “Food?” she mewed.
Of course, the kittens need food. Benetar was not only hunting for himself this time; he was hunting for three. Since it was early morning the deer would be out grazing in the dewy meadows. It was a bit of a journey to the grazing grounds, and the bobcat didn’t want to leave these two by themselves. He didn’t want to let little Gale out of his sight while traveling, so he made up his mind to carry her along.
“Come, boy,” he chuffed at Kobane before leaning down to pick up Gale by her neck scruff. She was such a tiny kitten that her whole head could fit inside the bobcat’s mouth. With Gale secured in his grasp, the bobcat sauntered through the tall grass in the direction of the grazing grounds. This bobcat was used to carrying limp dead prey in his mouth, not tender little kittens. This was new for him. Nevertheless, he was gentle with his grip.
Kobane bounded along behind his uncle, hopping and bobbing through the grass in attempts to keep up. “Hey! Wait for me, Uncle Benetar!”