Goldenfeather of the Sun sighed heavily. The Gathering was coming up soon and her Pride was weaker than before. The fresh-kill pile seemed nothing more than a dropped squirrel, far too skinny to satisfy even a kit. Many cats were too weak to stand, let alone hunt and fight.
The only ones able enough to hunt were herself, Lakebelly of Rivers, and Foxsun.
“Lakebelly of Rivers,Foxsun, could you come here a moment?” she asked.
Lakebelly of Rivers and Foxsun, who were sharing tongues, padded up to her. She was much skinnier than the rest of the Pride but insisted she was fine. “We’re going on a hunting patrol. Just the three of us,” Goldenfeather of the Sun told them.
She could see the helplessness in their eyes.
“Goldenfeather of the Sun, you’ve sent out many patrols already. Don’t you think we should rest until tomorrow?”
The she-cat scowled. “And let cats die because we didn’t at least try to find a scrap of food? Not a chance. If you don’t want to help, then stay here. Foxsun and I will go.”
“Actually..” Foxsun started, “I have to agree with Lakebelly of Rivers on this one. The only prey we’ve found all day was that squirrel. It’s hopeless.”
Goldenfeather of the Sun took a deep breath to prevent losing her temper on her Deputy and one of her best warriors. “Fine. I’ll go by myself.” She made her way to the camp entrance, but before she got there, she swayed on her paws. Lack of prey had made her weak.
Lakebelly of Rivers raced towards her and caught her before she fell, then coaxed her to lay down.
“Look, if it’ll help at all, Foxsun and I will go. You stay here and rest,” Lakebelly of Rivers said.
Goldenfeather slowly stood again and, before padding to her den, simply said “Alright” as Foxsun and Lakebelly of Rivers left.