Alleycats And Rats; The Battle In New York City


Chase Hoven writes, The golden sun reached up and over the Empire State Building, lashing out at Pumpkin’s eyes.

The golden sun reached up and over the Empire State Building, lashing out at Pumpkin’s eyes. She was woken by a bright light streaming her in the face. She blinked a couple of times, regained her senses, and began stretching. Kneading her frigid paws on the asphalt’s smooth and hot surface, she began to wash herself with soft strokes of her elegant tongue. She looked around, stifled a yawn, and took grasp of her surroundings. The back side of the alley was quiet, unusual for this time of day. The black and blue writings of graffiti on the wall were solid and true; unlike the teenagers who had put them on there. Pumpkin heard a rustle and had no idea what it could be. She turned around and was surprised to see Patch, a small calico, climb out of an overturned trash can, carrying a piece of salmon. “May I join you?” asked Pumpkin politely. “Of course,” said Patch, who had settled down by the old, rusty iron gate. “There is some more food in the trash can if you’d like seconds. Be my guest.” She had devoured almost half the salmon before Pumpkin had made her way over to Patch, a mere thirty paw-steps away. They sat quietly and munched on their early breakfast in peace, not bearing to think of what was to come. As if reading their thoughts, Bond, a muscular tom who was sitting on ledge above the trash cans, jumped down. “Eat a good breakfast,” he said as he walked over to the cats. “It’s going to be a tough battle against those rats.” The sewer rats had been bugging the alleycats ever since they could remember. They lived underground in the sewers under New York City and where always up to trouble. Recently, their leaders had decided to battle the cats above them for their territory. Not wanting to let the sewer rats become powerful, Bond, the leader of the alleycats, had promised a week ago tonight to fight the rats. Though the cats where strong and brave, they were going up against nearly 150 rats. Though the advantage was on the rats side, the cats knew they must put up a good fight. Even if it meant death for some of them. Behind Bond popped out two more cats who had been hiding in the crack of the apartments. The cats were Rose and Smudge, mates who liked to sleep in a cozy environment, and had claimed the crack in the wall as their shelter for the last six months. “I’d eat up if there was some food around,” muttered Smudge as he sat by his mate. “Don’t worry,” said Patch. “The people on the second floor balcony had a party last night. They threw away leftover salmon and pizza with mini pieces of sausage on them last night. Don’t be so negative; you have to have a positive attitude to beat the sewer rats.” “Patch is right,” said Bond. “Have a positive attitude and you will see the difference in your fellow cats. Get pumped up; this is life and death.” Jasper paced the floor of his silent chamber. His head was exploding with a thousand thoughts. He thought of battle strategies, war and blood and the breakfast he had yet to eat. He finally slumped down in his chair made of trash and began to think more slowly. He processed his thoughts and made them detailed. Just as he was about to fall asleep, a knock on his metal door made him all alert. “What is it? It better be important!” “It’s Xon. I need to speak to you.” Without waiting, Xon burst through the door and walked right up to the half-asleep Jasper. “What are you doing? It’s nearly time! I have all the ranks ready to go in battle formation. Their claws are sharp, their tails brushed and pepped about the battle. All we are waiting for is you.” Xon pointed a sharp claw at Jasper’s throat. “Patience, patience my friend,” Jasper said as he stood up. He regained his balance by using his chair for support, and began to pace again. “Yes, I know it is nearly time for the battle. Yes, I know what I’m doing. You seemed to be very jittery. Did Thunder give you his ‘energy’ drink again? ‘Cause if he did, I will slice his throat!” “No,no Jasper. He didn’t give me his ‘energy’ drink. However, I have a question for you: Why aren’t you ready to fight?!” Jasper turned away and straitened his tunic while admiring himself in the shattered mirror. After it was strait, he turned around and looked Xon straight in the eye. “Patience, once again, my friend. I am ready to claw Bond’s fur off and shred him to pieces. That goes to all his friends too. Remember Xon; I want no cat left alive after this battle. Every feline must die or suffer under my conditions. Now Xon, let’s go a get this over with.” The sunlight disappeared behind the tall skyscrapers in a matter of seconds. Pumpkin and Patch sat beside each other looking at the fading sun. “This might be our last sunset,” said Pumpkin. “This seems like a dream. I don’t feel like I’m really going to kill rats in a matter of minutes.” “Me neither,” answered Patch, who looked quite brave in the shadow of the sunset but was most terrified inside. “I wish you the best of luck tonight, Pumpkin. I have known you for three years and will never regret those moments we shared.” “I wish you best of luck too Patch. May the stars be ready to take you if they call you to come join them.” She gave Patch a lick of love on her cheek and turned away. Patch responded by giving Pumpkin a lick on the cheek also. “It is time,” replied a booming voice. Bond sat upon the ledge of the iron gate, looking down upon his fellow cats. “Whoever may die this night will never be forgotten. And whoever survive will always be remembered as heroes. Now let us go.” And like that, he led the cats out of the alley toward the dumpster. Jasper and Xon walked side by side to the main hall of the underground palace. They both carried stiff faces and were in no mood of talking. As they entered the main hall, the soldiers salutes of fellow rats were met by stern faces and a growl from Xon. The two stood together and began issuing orders about war strategy, infantry formation and helpful advice. “And to end this war strategy talk, I will lead Brigade One to the west wall while Jasper leads Brigade Two to the east. Any questions?,” ended Xon. “Good. Let’s mo-” “Just a minute, Xon. But I thought I was to lead Brigade One and you would lead Brigade Two,” answered Jasper. “You are wrong, Jasper. This is why you should have been ready earlier so we could talk about battle strategy.” “Well, last time I remember I was supposed to lead Brigade One.” “Your completely mad Jasper. Mad I tell you!” “Oh yeah? Well, how do you like this?” Immediately, Jasper threw himself upon Xon and were soon rolling on the ground, fighting. They turned into a ball and began to roll around in circles. They soldiers were getting very anxious and were soon trying to break up the fight. But, Jasper and Xon got too close to the ledge near the north chamber. Many famous sewer rats had fallen off the side of the ledge and none had come back. Jasper and Xon ignored there surroundings and continued to fight. Suddenly, they both disappeared while their screams pierced the cold air. Soon, nothing was heard. The astonished rats looked over the edge to see if they could see their leaders, but they were long gone. “What should we do now,?” asked Thunder. “I don’t know,” replied another rat named Tiffed. “Maybe we should surrender.” Murmurs of agreement spread through the soldiers. They were glad they wouldn’t have to fight after all. “I’ll go and tell the alleycats,” said Tiffed and quickly ran away, nearly tripping over his skinny, little legs. “Where are they? They should have been here by now,” muttered Rose. She was becoming very irritated by the cold air that pelted her pelt. The moon was at its fullest and was high in the sky. Nothing could be heard except for the cats’ breath. They stayed quiet and ready. They wanted to be prepared if at any time the sewer rats would attack. “Wait a second. I hear something,” yelled Bond by the east wall. Out popped a little rat with big ears. He was panting and looked very terrified. “Please don’t eat me,” he yelled. “I have news from the sewer rats. We do not want to fight against you. Our leaders have plunged over the edge of a cliff in our palace. We want peace, no blood to be shed and I don’t want to die!” “Don’t worry,” said Rose. “We will not fight unless the sewer rats pledge to leave all alleycats alone to eternity. Sound fair?” “It does to me,” replied Tiffed. “I and nine of my friends will arrive tomorrow at the Old Brick House to carve the treaty. At sunset and bring three cats.” “Alright,” said Bond. “We will see you there. Good luck getting things back together.” “O.K. and thanks again, guys,” said Tiffed and scurried down the hole, yelling the great news as he ran. “Well, that was short and simple and everything seems to be alright. Plus, no blood was shed,” said Bond. All the cats were happy once again and talked all the way home. It seemed as though peace would return to New York City.