The Guardian Cats of New York City: Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood Now up at

Cover with title

The story of the mystic battle that goes on below our line of sight begins at!

An excerpt:

It was deep into the night. Even the most cat-spirited of two-legs had finished with eating their burned meats, drinking their mind-fogging poisoned waters, and inhaling their strange-flavored smokes. They had all returned to their dens to mate and to sleep. Only those with no den of their own remained out in the open airs, or those performing some strange human task or other. The great metal serpents still roared in their caves, but their bellies were nearly empty.

It was the time of the Cat.

The cat known to other cats as Shin-Nephura the Gentle, to herself by the secret name no other knew, and to the two-legs as Dodger, was out walking the streets of her domain.

She was known as “the Gentle” because she was affectionate and gracious to the two-legs of her domain, visiting them often and allowing them the liberty of scratching her head and stroking her back once she was sure they belonged. This familiarity had the benefit of teaching her much about the two-legs. For example, she knew that the name they’d given her came from one of those marvelous two-legs stories, and that it was the name of a clever thief. This pleased Shin-Nephura greatly; clever thieves are highly esteemed among cats. Also, many cats who were less in-tune with their two-legs were confused by such habits as putting on obvious mating displays and heat pheromones, but not mating. Shin-Nephura understood that the mating ritual of the two-legs was simply much longer and more complex than that of cats.

Perhaps most importantly, she had learned the names with which the two-legs marked her territory. Two streets marked the boundaries of her territory, and she lived where they came together. Their names were “Seaman Avenue” and “Dyckman Street”. For some reason, the two-legs seemed to find this funny.

She had a family of two-legs that she stayed with, who fed her and tended her hurts and stood as her companions. But unlike many cats that shared nearby dens with the two-legs, Shin-Nephura did not content herself with enjoying their companionship, playing and taking the food they gave her. She kept to the old Compact: “You will shelter us, feed us, and care for us in our illness and injury. You will honor us and give us good company. In exchange, we will protect you from the rodents that eat and foul your food, the insects that trouble you and bring disease, and the darker things that come out of the night.”

During the day, Shin-Nephura guarded the food place that her two-legs ran (in her clever listening, she had learned the words “corner bodega”).

By night, she walked a patrol.

Read the rest here!


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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Links, The Guardian Cats of NYC

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