The Guardian Cats of New York City: Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood is still available for free download through Thursday! If you haven’t downloaded a copy yet, here’s a taste of what you’re missing:
Something was coming. Something that raised the fur along her spine and made her claws twitch involuntarily in their sheaths.
Closer and louder now. Close and loud enough so that even a two-legs could have heard it. If any two-legs did hear, they would have been disturbed, even frightened, but they wouldn’t know why. Shin-Nephura knew. Whatever was coming was…wrong. It had come from the river – it squished and dripped and splashed with every step, and Shin-Nephura could smell the tidal muds – but it was no right part of the world of cats, birds, mice and two-legs.
It drew closer, and Shin-Nephura finally caught a whiff of something other than the muds.
Not like the food the two-legs so wastefully threw away, the meat just moldy or spoiled enough to be flavorful, but the smell of something long dead and decayed.
As the dead thing came around the corner and into view, Shin-Nephura’s hackles went all the way up and her claws scraped on the sidewalk.
A two-legs. The dead, lurching, half-rotten thing was a two-legs.
No wise cat wishes to face a two-legs in a straight fight. Slow, clumsy, half-deaf, night-blind, nose-numb, so often strange and silly in their behavior…it was easy to underestimate them. But yet, they were giants. Their strength was immense and their clever forepaws could create horrors. Once a cat was in a solid grip, there was little hope of wriggling free. The best one could hope for was to make the price too high.
Still. She had a duty. The ancient compact.
The dead thing was shambling toward the iron gates that led into the courtyard. They were locked, but Shin-Nephura doubted that would be any obstacle. Locks and gates were little use against something like this.
“You are not welcome in my territory, dead thing.”