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Oct 18, 2021 6:36 AM
That sure is one weird-looking kitten.
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It hasn't been all that long, so he's still there, worrying at the branch with sharp little teeth.

He looks up as the cats approach, and his tail thumps against the ground, once. 

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Bluestar's eyes widen and her tail bristles in shock. "You brought a dog to our camp?" she hisses.

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"Um, it’s just a kit," Tornfoot tries.

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"And what do you think will happen when its people come looking? Or its mother?"

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"I don't think it has any," Lionheart says quietly. "I can't smell anything on him but the forest, Tornfoot, and himself."

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Bluestar sighs. "What are we supposed to do with it?"

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Apparently bored of the stick, the dog blinks up at her with round, blue eyes.

Slowly, hesitantly, his tail begins to wave from side to side.

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She keeps an eye on it. "Tornfoot?"

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"I didn't know he was a dog. He's still just a kit, though. His eyes haven't even changed color yet. We can't leave him to starve."

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This sure is a small harmless friendly puppy making himself as small as possible on the ground and looking up at them hopefully. 

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Bluestar's tail flicks in indecision. "The Clan comes first," she says finally. "And it doesn't come in the camp unless you can prove it's safe." Barely waiting for Tornfoot's acknowledging dip of the head, she ducks back in the underbrush to return to camp. 

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Lionheart lingers, a bit curious. "I've never seen a dog kit before," he says.

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This particular 'dog kit' may or may not live up to expectations.

Right now, he appears to be applying a good deal of his seemingly boundless energy to the task of biting at a conveniently placed rock.

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"Um. Yeah," Tornfoot says, a little awkwardly, watching the - kit? pup? doglet? She'll have to ask someone what dog kittens are called, since clearly Lionheart doesn't know either. She takes a deep breath. Okay. Now for the hard part: communicating all that to the... doglet. That sounds right.

Also not falling over after being the object of Bluestar's vocal disapproval, but that's beside the point. She paces up to the doglet and waits until she's got his attention.

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She has all of his attention!

Not that there's very much of it. 

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It'll do.

Okay, uh.... She draws a line in the dirt with her paw, between the doglet and the camp. "You," she says, and points at him. "Stay here." At the other side of the line. "Don't come into camp." For lack of a better idea, she takes one of his front paws, puts it on her side of the line, growls theatrically, then puts it back on his side of the line and purrs instead. Lionheart watches, amused.

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...he puts a paw over the line.

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She growls, just a warning.

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The offending paw is hastily retracted.

Huddling smaller on the ground, the little dog blinks up at her with sad blue eyes. 

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As soon as his paw is back over the line, she purrs again. This feels a little ridiculous, but whatever, it's working.

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He backs away from the line and curls up into a little comma shape. His tail isn't quite long enough yet to reach round and cover his nose. 

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Okay. Good. Tornfoot stands and inhales sharply at the sting of pain through her leg.

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Lionheart sees it. "I'll catch your share," he offers. "You go to Spottedleaf for some poppy seeds."

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She shoots him a grateful look as she heads into camp. "Thanks."

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Spottedleaf's apprentice, Snowpaw, is sitting outside the medicine cat's den. 

"Hi, Tornfoot!" she chirps. 

"Um, what can I do for you?"

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