Staring outward as rain fell from the clouds, Coalmask regarded the weather in quiet disdain. His heavy coat didn't allow him to enjoy the water. It clung to his fur, weighed him down to the point of discomfort. Not to mention it took too long for him to dry properly. An annoy damp feeling following him around wherever he went post-soak.
Yet, as he watched the rain patter against the ground he knew he'd have to brave it at point or another. His mother's strict upbringing didn't leave much space for him to be neglectful. He had duties to attend to, hunts to join and perhaps some training. Grateful not to have an apprentice during the rainier seasons of the year, Coalmask knew he couldn't slack.
His chest heaved, sighing loudly for those nearby to hear. Not that'd he welcome conversation. In fact he had no interest talking to his denmates. It would only prolong the inevitable.
Pulling together his inner conviction to get up and out, a fleeting she-cat caught his attention. Brindlemask, he only knew of her because of their similar names. Picking his steps carefully to avoid the few puddles in camp, Coalmask followed after her. "Brindlemask! Are you going hunting? Could I join you" Hunting in pairs meant getting it done and over sooner. The less he stayed out in the rain better, even as he waited for her reply it felt his fur start to soak up water. Flattening down the plume of his tail and scruff.
Rain. It was both a blessing and a curse. When one wished to hide their scent, rain falling from the sky was a good way to do so. If a cat were to be hunting near a water source, rain could cover any quieter sounds that they made. But it also meant that the water would soak into fur, weighing down any cat who happened to be out in it. There were some cats who despised water, some that loved it, and some that didn’t care. Brindlemask was one who didn’t care.
As the torbie she-cat emerged from under a small rocky overhang she had used for brief cover, her normally fluffy tail appearing much more thin and flattened, she felt droplets of water hitting against her fur that was already smoothed down with water, quickly finding themselves at her skin. A chill ran down her spine at the feeling, but she shook it off. She had more important things to do than focus on the rain.
Amber-brown eyes blinking a few times at the sky, she turned and began to walk. Not anywhere in particular. She just walked, mouth slightly opened in case there was any prey nearby. But then she heard a voice call out to her. Her steps ceased and she turned her head back to find a black and white figure making their way towards her. Based on the black face and mostly white body, as well as the large amount of fur that appeared to be flattening by the second from the rain, she assumed that this was Coalmask. Though, she wasn’t sure what exactly he would have wanted. This question was answered as he called out asking if she was going hunting and if he could join her. Curious. This was the second time that a cat she didn’t interact with much had wished to join her on one of her excursions.
“If you wish to join me, then you may, ” she said calmly, turning once more to continue on her walk.
Coalmask dipped his head at her words. Thank you," He muttered politetly. Walking beside Brindlemask the grey-black tom studied the undergrowth. Rain made it difficult to hunt. Scents were muddled together. Prey rarely ventured out to explore, preferring to be safe in their nests. Where Coalmask secretly wanted to be.
Pushing the thought from his head, he attempted to focus more on the task at paw. Find some internal motivation to make sure he didn't miss anything of value while walking.
The hum of the rain provided much-needed sound to the otherwise quiet talk. The rain's song offered a cushion so their pawsteps weren't detected. Nevermind that fact it also meant his paws would be covered in mud for days. Oh, how he longed for the dry moons of early Greenleaf.
Gradually finding himself wandering away from Brindlemask, Coalmask paused. The distinct sound of ribbiting caught his attention. They had made their way to the muddy pools, the perfect place for finding frogs. One of the few creatures to venture out during the rain.
Returning to Brindlemask's side, he vied for her attention. I hear frogs," His voice barely above a whisper. The last thing he wanted was for the frogs to hop away before they got the chance to grab a few.
As the two cats walked in silence, there was a moment of dejavu as the torbie she-cat realized that something like this had happened before. Only the previous time had been with Frostjaw. Only somewhat intrigued by the odd occurrences, she continued walking forward, her mouth just barely open.
She hadn’t really noticed when Coalmask began to wander away from her until he made his way back, movement from him out of the corner of her eye catching her attention. As she turned, amber eyes scanning his face, her ears twitched as she heard him whisper that there were frogs nearby. A very small nod was given in response as she walked silently towards him. She began to go in the direction he had been, fur just brushing over his as she passed. She didn’t go far before she also heard the ribbiting, causing her movements to cease.
Her ears both perked and slowly rotated on her head in different directions, looking for the source of the croaks. One of her ears stopped when she found the direction that one was coming from, but she also heard another. When she finally did find both ways that the croaking came from, she noted that they were not too far from each other, but far enough that if she and Coalmask were quiet enough, perhaps they could catch them both.
Her head slightly turned, her tail lifting and motioning in the direction that one of the frogs was in. She began to take slow and quiet steps in a slightly different direction, going for the frog that was more to the left of her and leaving the frog to the right for Coal. As she walked, each step deliberate and careful, she watched for any sign of movement, ears still swivelling to listen for any changes in direction. After a small amount of time, the dark she-cat froze. The frog she planned to go for had just jumped through the bushes ahead of her.
Her body slowly lowered to the ground and her eyes locked on the creature, pupils thin and body suddenly a mix of tense and relaxed at the same time. She very slowly began to walk forward towards the frog, noticing the fact that she couldn’t really get around to the back of it like she had done before. It was facing sideways, so she needed to be careful. Each pawstep she took was very slow and quiet, for she couldn’t risk scaring off the prey by being quick. As she got closer, she found herself freezing each time that it slightly turned its head. When it came to frogs it was hard to tell if they saw you unless you were behind them, so each time the frog would shift, she couldn’t move.
Finally, her chance arrived. The frog was turning and seemed to be intent on going the other way. As it did start to hop in the opposite direction, she quickly began to walk forward again, trying to keep her pawsteps quiet still as she did so. When the frog stopped, she slowed her pace, but kept going until she was within leaping distance. She waited, now frozen in place about a fox-length away from it. She listened for the croaking, tail twitching each time it did. When it croaked the third time, she launched herself forward, paws slamming down on the back of the frog. It let out a few panicked croaks before it went silent.
WHERE YOU COME FROM AND WHERE YOU WANNA GO THIS TIME?
Taking direction from Bindlemask, the black and grey tom headed for the opposite frog. Unlucky for him, the frog ventured further into the muddy pools. Forcing back the groan for getting his paws even more wet, Coalmask followed aftr the prey.
At first, he tried to avoid stepping into the pools. Playing a sort of game by only using various tree limbs or rocks to get around. He was forced to give that up fairly quickly as the frog ventured deeper into the pools. Fewer tree limbs were suitable for jumping.
Forgoing his attempt to keep his paw dry, Coalmask waded into the water. Remembering which pools were too deep, the tom-cat managed to line himself up with the frog. Only a few steps away and low to the ground. He lept forward. Claws pinning down to the frog, a bite ending its slimy life.
Turning to see Brindlemask a few tail-lengths away. Coalmask headed in her direction. Frog hanging from his jaw by the foot.
"Nice catch," He commented around the frog, dropping his at his paws. "We should try and find more, with leafbare coming we need all that we can get," Turning to look back toward the muddy pools, he ignored the feeling of dread. His Clan needed focused members. He couldn't let himself get sidetracked.