A gentle breeze blew through the gathering hollow, the pine needles of the fallen tree rattling in the brisk air and the seeing falls shimmered brightly from the moonlight and the stars. A sandy-colored she-cat padded to the hollow edge, with her Pride beside her she scanned the meeting place. A fawn pelted tom padded over to hollow ledge, glancing over at the she-cat.
The female leader spotted the other cat, she stared for a few moments before twitching her ear, her clan beginning to move into the hollow, her moving with them. The tom watched as she went into the hollow, flicking his tail and leading the pride down. The sand colored cat moved towards the other leader, a calm expression on her face. He noticed the she-cat walking towards him.
"Hello Lionstalker of the Night, wonderful to see that you could make it," the tom said
"A pleasure" she replied in mellow tone, "I hope you are well, Roaringlion of the Sky."
"I am, what about you?" The tom asked.
"I am well, yes" the she-cat turned to look at the approaching leader, a young she-cat with white fur and goldenrod colored ears, tail, and front left paw named Goldenfeather of the Sun. Beside the she-cat, a gray tom with patches of dark gray on his back, right eye, paws, and tips of his tail and ears, and a white belly and muzzle, named Lakebelly of Rivers.
Goldenfeather of the Sun made her way to the large smooth stone that the leaders sat while the rest of her Pride mingled with the other cats.
Lionstalker of the Night turned her head towards the approaching leader. Goldenfeather smiled politely at the she-cat, but stared coldly at Roaringlion of the Sky. As the weather grew colder as leaf-fall approached, prey slowly grew scarce in the Prides, but there seemed to be a rather steep plummet in the amount of prey the Pride of Floodingstreams, of which Goldenfeather of the Sun was the proud leader of, that the cats were very thin. Much thinner than the other leaders. Compared to the two she-cats, the fawn colored tom seemed rather fat.
Soon, Fallenpetal of the Stars and her Pride joined, and the Gathering began. Roaringlion of the Sky went first.
The tom stood proudly as he raised his voice "The Pride of Fallingsnow has been doing well this season. Our prey has been plentiful and the cold has done nothing to our herb supply"
Goldenfeather slowly blinked at Roaringlion of the Sky, her suspicion growing steadily. Lionstalker nodded.
"That is good to hear" the she-cat calmly stated. She went next, simply stating that the Pride was going well as leaf-fall slowly approached, sure to bring cold rain and slight lack of prey. Then, it was Goldenfeather.
The white and gold she-cat looked rather pathetic compared to the other three leaders, but she ignored the murmurs of the cats below as she began to speak.
"The Pride is fine, although there was been a lack of prey. There hasn't been any signs of foxes or twolegs, although there has been another Pride's scent on our territory," she stated, glancing over at Roaringlion of the Sky before letting Fallenpetal of the Stars go.
After the Gathering, all the Prides went back to their territories. Back in the Floodingstreams camp, few cats appeared out of the dens as Goldenfeather of the Sun padded back into the camp. Many on them were too tired and weak to get up.
"Well?" one of the queens asked. The small sounds of her three kits mewling could be heard. The kits were of great concern. With the lack of prey, there's wasn't much of a chance for survival for the tiny balls of fur.
Goldenfeather sighed softly. "As expected, Roaringlion of the Sky denied stealing prey."
Soft murmurs from the Pride echoed in the camp, almost as soft as the nearby river, which seemed to be their only source of prey until newleaf. But not even the river could supply them for that long.
Foxsun, a sand colored tom, looked up and asked, "What are we gonna do?"
Goldenfeather of the Sun saw two options: Steal prey from Fallingsnow, or find another prey source. Neither one seemed like a good option. Stealing prey would most likely start a battle, and with the weak Pride, many lives would be lost. Trying to find another prey source seemed impossible. Finding prey now was hard enough as it is. Searching for different prey was pointless.
Goldenfeather remained silent before finally saying, "I don't know..."