Adult ( 2 season cycles )
Oriental Shorthair/Egyptian Mau
Doggedly loyal, once Uheri has found where her loyalties lie, she is bound to stick with them till the end. Through any conflict, petty or just, you have a steadfast companion and friend in her. After leaving Kehri and his family (which she sees as an act of betrayal, on some days), she decided that she wouldn't leave her family ever again. Earth Tribe was her family, now. And for them, she'd do anything. Even the most rotten, sick, twisted cat in Earth Tribe is part of her family (even if it's the part that cats avoid mentioning). If protecting her tribe meant dying, she'd do it without hesitation. She is a friend for life, whether you want to her to be or now.
There is a fine line between confidence and vanity and, thankfully, Uheri walks far from the line on the side of the latter. Despite a rough beginning when it came to hunting, and even more rough in fighting, Uheri has confidence in herself. She believes that she can achieve anything that she sets her mind to (however, with this in mind, she won't set her mind to something too unrealistic). And, in conjunction with her stubborn nature, she isn't one to give up on her goals. Even with simple things like hunting, she won't return to camp empty-pawed. She'll keep on going at it until she catches something. If catching something is literally impossible, then she'll gather bedding or bring water back.
Uheri is not and never has been opposed to trying new things (hence her decision to join Earth Tribe). She rarely (if not never) shuts things down before giving them a try, as long as there's some credibility in what's being said. She doesn't shut out other cats' ways of thinking, and she would hope that they wouldn't shut hers out without even listening, either. Now, this isn't to say that she loves and accepts everyone that crosses her path, or that someone who has left a bad impression on her is likely to be let back in. But before judging anyone, she wants to know how their mind is working. Unless someone has an opinion different from hers and is being in-your-face about it, she won't get aggressive. || Aside from her openness to ways of thinking and acting, she also has a love for adventure. Exploring new places and finding new things is something that she spends a lot of her free time doing.
Once Uheri has made up her mind about something, it is nearly impossible to change it. This isn't to say she's perverse or contrary, but telling her what to do and/or how to do it isn't really wise, unless you've been exclusively asked for directions. She likes to do things her own way, on her own time. She is uncompromising and won't allow herself to be bullied into (or out of) anything. However, as most of this seems negative, this also means that she won't wimp out on anything. If a situation calls for her to stand tall and be brave, she'll do it. Uheri isn't one to get scared out of anything, even if her life is on the line.
While some more optimistic cats may call her a pessimist, Uheri is more of a realist than anything. She see things the way they are. Rather than sitting around with her tail between her legs, sugarcoating a situation, she tries to figure out the best way out of. Hoping won't get anyone anywhere, and neither will immediately accepting defeat. Unless a situation is very, very grim and she knows there's no getting out of it, Uheri will not back down. She isn't one to give herself false hopes, and she certainly isn't one who thinks she'll always get exactly what she wants. To be honest, most of the time, she won't. But she'll take what she gets and work with it instead of complaining. And the unfairness, or misfortune or whatever of life doesn't really bother her. At this point, she knows that life isn't all it's cracked up to be. She didn't have parents who filled her head with fairytales, and Uheri thinks she's better off for it.
Uheri has a very short fuse, so it doesn't really take much to tick her off. Her patience only lasts so long, can only stretch so far. In that sense, she's like a kit. Being kept waiting is worse than sitting in a thorn bush, to her. Stupid questions should get stupid, if not sarcastic, answers. Rubbing her the wrong way, blatant disrespect towards her or her tribe, and insults are as likely to be met with claws as they are to be met with sharp-tongued, sarcastic, biting words. Since she's one to hold grudges, anger can sit with her all day, or well up to the point where she explodes sometime later. She doesn't like being told what to do by anyone other than someone who actually is superior to her. Orders from a stranger or someone younger than herself are not to be followed.
When it comes to dealing with other cats (or anything that requires any sort of delicacy), Uheri is not the cat for the job. She's one to cut right to the chase, to say things exactly as they are. She won't tell someone that they'ree good at something that they're not, or that they're attractive when they're not, or that they're smart or talented or funny when they're not. Unless they really deserve the compliment, and the compliment is true, then she doesn't hand out praise. Negotiations aren't a strong point for her, either. She isn't very good at deals, since she isn't terrific at reading what is is that others want.
There’s an old saying that says it’s hard to teach an old cat new tricks—or something like that. And while Calais wasn’t particularly old, he wasn’t one to correct his follies. Over the years, he had courted plenty a she-cat, and more often than not, each was expecting kits by the time he made his exit from their lives. No, he was never one to stick around to see what kind of mess his recklessness had wrought.
Hera and Calais’s love story (or, what the former presumed to be love) is a short one. Children of exiles from the First War, they were born in the northern lands, and had lived there since. Neither had any intentions of ever joining the tribes, Shadow and Fire to Hera and Calais respectively. Neither of them had much time (or reason) to make such long term commitments. But the flighty, abrasive, manipulative tom had somehow won the graces of the noncommittal, selfish, sometimes cold she-cat. For a time, there was content from both parties, genuine from her, and dubious from him. Yes, she was ready to lay down her life of total freedom to have a family with the tom—and he was nearly ready to move on.
As was to be expected, Hera was soon pregnant with the tom’s kits, and he was gone. For a time, she had convinced herself that her ‘mate’ would soon return to her. There was no way that any tom that was half decent would leave a she-cat alone in the dead of winter, to take care of herself and her kits. He would be back, and he would be so sorry for leaving her, for making her worry that he was gone for good, or that perhaps something had happened to him.
Of course he didn’t come back.
The remainder winter had been a hard one, for Hera. She was alone, and she was expecting kits—soon. Most exiles weren’t very friendly, and a number of them were even less so upon discovering her predicament. There were few who allowed her to stay the night or even a few at a time. Even fewer provided her with food, which she was in desperate need of, if she was going to take care of his kits. What she had believed to be a fairytale ending had turned into nothing more than a nightmare. Did she even want kits? No. No, she had decided that she didn’t. She wanted them as much as Calais had wanted them. Hera wanted nothing to do with the bundles of joy that had been schlepped off onto her. How cruel of him, to leave her to deal with his burdens!
Winter had begun to come to a close, and Hera had just barely managed to scrape by on the charity of others. Whether she was unable to hunt or unwilling to, those who hosted the queen were uncertain. Regardless, even after doing her best to ‘get rid of’ her problems (or, her best without seriously wounding or killing herself), Hera gave birth to two squirming, squealing kits that she wanted nothing to do with.
Things We Lost In The Fire
Out of spite, Hera didn’t give the kits names that had any sort of significance to her. The first kit, a dark brown and faintly spotted tom, she named Thrush, for how much she hated the fact that birds were so loud and cheerful in the morning. The second kit, a she-cat who was russet and covered in dark spots, she named Autumn, the she-cat’s least favorite season and the polar opposite of the current one. The first few weeks of their existence were full of glaring into unseeing eyes, yelling into unhearing ears, and cold nights when Hera refused to share her warmth.
During the first few weeks of their eyes being open, they had adjusted to the glaring and the scolding that was prompted by nothing in particular. It was nothing new, for the young kits. Regardless of her cold gestures, Autumn and Thrush held an unrequited love for their mother. They didn’t know any better than to believe that every kit had a relationship such as this one with their parent(s). Most of the time, the kits were left to themselves, allowed to do anything they wanted, so long as it didn’t disturb any of Hera’s day to day activities (which usually included nothing more than sleeping and hunting just barely enough for her and her two kits). Bitterness had made her lazy and spiteful.
Between the two of them, Autumn was decidedly the most adventurous (and even meddlesome) of Hera’s kits. Ordinarily, she could find something to busy herself with while their mother was napping or secluding herself from her maternal duties. Sometimes, she’d even convince Thrush that it would be fun, and manage to drag him along for the ride. However, today, it was raining. The kits were huddled under a shrub while Hera napped in a den with more room than she needed. Boredom made Autumn antsy—and brave.
Out of curiosity, she left the company of her brother under the little bush, and made the short trek to the den where the lion slept. Her mother was fast asleep, sprawled out across the floor in what she (before Calais’s ‘betrayal) would consider to be an unsightly manner—belly up, head to the side, and paws, whiskers, and ears twitching every so often. This was exactly what Autumn was looking for. It was almost like an invitation for her to jump on her! And so, she did. With a start, Hera woke, eyes wide and lit with fury. When her gaze found the interloper, annoyance mixed with the anger. With size and strength superior to the kit, the rolled over onto her paws, hooked a claw through her ear, and tossed her from the den.
While the wound wasn’t serious physically, it was enough to let Autumn know that her mother didn’t want to play. Ever.
After that, time went by fairly quickly. Autumn and Thrush grew quickly, and before either of them knew what exactly it was that was happening, or that anything was happening at all, tattoos, dark marks signifying an element appeared on their shoulders. On Thrush’s left shoulder was a grey swirl, resembling (unbeknownst to either of the kits) a wave. On Autumn’s right shoulder was a vine-shaped mark, black and spiraling and dotted with what looked like thorns. Naturally, both of them inquired of their mother what exactly these markings were. They assumed that she would know, seeing as she had a mark kind of similar to theirs sprawling across her face. Upon their first time asking, she ignored the question, and pretended to not hear them. However, the longer they bore the marks, the more they asked about them. When Hera answered three moons after they first appeared, it was only to get them (or, Autumn asking on behalf of herself and Thrush) out of her fur.
Groups of cats—huge ones!—all lived together, south of where they were now. There was Air Tribe, Earth Tribe, Fire Tribe, Light Tribe, Shadow Tribe, and Water Tribe. Thrush was chosen by the Water Spirit, and Autumn by the Earth Spirit.
And that was the last time they saw Hera.
Oh, What A Life
It was decided by Thrush that Hera didn’t simply disappear. Her den was cleared completely, her nest was gone, and anything that she had collected had either been taken with her or discarded. She left of her own volition.
It was winter, now. Thrush and Autumn hardly knew how to hunt, seeing as their mother refused to teach them. They knew nothing about self-defense. For all they knew, there were no other cats anywhere near them, save for the tribe cats far to the south. What were they supposed to do? Before the two of them would even know it, things would start to get competitive. Cats would sooner kill another than starve or freeze to death. Who was to say that a larger cat wouldn’t take advantage of their naturally small statures? Who was to say that they wouldn’t get competitive?
Thrush proposed that they split up, which Autumn rejected immediately. However, he had a point. He was larger, and had a better chance of defending himself. He had more body fat and fur than her, too, and could survive harsher temperatures than she could. She was faster, and had better chance when it came to hunting. Autumn was also smaller in general, and could fit into tighter, warmer spaces. With both of their strengths and weaknesses combined, they’d probably have made a great team in any season other than winter. But there wasn’t enough prey for Autumn to even try to hunt, and as of yet, they hadn’t encountered any other cats. So what was the point?
Shortly after (and quite reluctantly), they parted. Autumn figured that he was right, but it didn’t make leaving Thrush any harder. Since their mother never spoke to them unless they were being scolded, her brother was the only cat that she’d ever really known. Would he make it through this winter? Would she?
Though she was quickers, and had more potential as a hunter, Autumn wasn’t very successful when it came to finding food. Prey was short, but it made it all the worse that when she did find something, she couldn’t get her claws on it. Only the slowest, weakest, sickliest fell victim to her. Often, she went without any food at all.
She herself was becoming slower and weaker. She couldn’t sleep, even when she tried. Soon, she’d fall ill—and die. She had thought of seeking out the tribes. She had intended to upon learning about them, but had made her first priority keeping herself alive long enough to even attempt to make the journey.
Since Hera left and Autumn and Thrush had gone their separate ways, she had pushed further north, into the mountains that was considered to be the threshold between tribe territory and the vast unknown. It wasn’t her best idea, but it made sense. She figured that there would be fewer, if not any cats living there. Prey may be more abundant there, though she was concerned about predators like lynx and eagles or hawks. It was colder, too, and the rocky terrain made her paws crack and bleed. Regardless, for the time being, she would make the best of a grim situation.
Or, it was grim, until she met Kehri.
When the day had begun, she hadn’t the slightest idea that her life would actually be saved by a cat that had no obligation to help her. Not that the help was unwanted, but it was a tad surprising. It had been a long day of hunting, and she hadn’t caught a thing. She was too tired, and too weak. There was no way she could catch anything, the way she was. In all her life, she’d never seen another cat aside from her own mother and brother. So it came as a bit of a surprise when a large, tan tom cat appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
He seemed as surprised to see her as she was to see him. Was she on his territory? She assumed that she was, and expected consequences to follow soon. But instead, he simply introduced himself. His name was Kehri, and he lived in these mountains along with a few (she would soon realize that the word ‘few’ was being used lightly) other cats. Awkwardly (since she’d never done so before), she introduced herself as Autumn. Just Autumn. She assumed that her short story wasn’t worth sharing at the moment. As much as she wanted to fend for herself, to not rely on anyone else, she knew that if she went on like this, she’d be dead in a few days. Tentatively, she asked if she could go with him. And to her surprise, for reasons beyond her comprehension, he accepted.
More surprising than Kehri agreeing to her request was just how many cats were living up in these mountains. This wasn’t even a tribe (officially)! Autumn could only imagine how many cats were living down south, combined. There was Kehri and his mate, Kena, their kits, some older than the others; and other cats, all or most of them coming from the tribes. Some of them were born there, and some of them weren’t. Regardless, they were all living here together—one giant family.
Among Kena and Kehri’s kits was a little she-cat named Song. Initially, despite having been one herself not too long ago, Autumn was not fond of kits. They were loud, and really needy (not that she wasn’t at the moment, but). But despite her misgivings, she decided to start a conversation with a kit who was trying to escape her mother’s watchful eye. Honestly, she was adorable. Not too terribly annoying, and full of energy. Being a kit, she was blunt, and was quick to point out (repeatedly) how bone-thin she was. Autumn didn’t mind much, though. After a story, a game of tag, and reluctant cuddle, she found that maybe kits (at least, this one wasn’t) weren’t so bad.
Her living among these exiles wasn’t without a cost. Eventually, when she got a bit healthier, she’d need to start contributing. Hunting and gathering was something that other cats helped each other out with, apparently. But since her hunting skills were less than subpar, someone would have to teach her. That duty ended up being split up between Kehri and a golden she-cat named Arcis. Autumn and the latter of the two got off to a rough start, but after a while, communication with her got easier. Enjoyable, even. Autumn liked to think of her as the mother that her own never was to her. Fortunately, Arcis was also an excellent fighter, and taught what she could to the younger she-cat.
There were a lot of things that Arcis told her. What the tribes were like was one of them. One of the other reasons that Kehri accepted Autumn into his family was another one. Once, he lived among the tribes. Eventually he became a leader of Light-Tribe—but before that, he had met a young she-cat named Akida—an Earth-Triber. When he met her, it was because she was bleeding half to death from a gash on her throat. After her patched her up, they became pretty close, and was something like a daughter to him. Eventually, she became his oldest son’s mate, and they had kits. Not too long after they were apprentice, though, she died (Arcis didn’t know all of the details on that, though, so she didn’t say how). It stung a bit to know that she was allowed to stay with them partly because she looked like some dead cat that Kehri knew, but she tried to ignore it.
After living with Kehri and his family for almost two seasons, Autumn’s health had improved significantly. She was still thin, but less unhealthily so. She had built more muscle, and had developed her skills in hunting in fighting to be about equivalent to what a warrior’s should be (though, according to Arcis, they could still use some work). She was ready.
Saying goodbye to Kehri and his family—her family, now, wasn’t easy. It was something that she had known was coming, but hadn’t really prepared for. Nothing would prepare her sufficiently, even if she had rehearsed what she was going to say. Instead, she left quietly. She didn’t make a big deal out of it, and she hoped that the others wouldn’t either. She said goodbye to Song, and to Kehri, and even Arya, who she had never really gotten along with. Lastly, she said goodbye to Arcis, who was heavy with kits. In front of her on the ground laid a golden hoop, which looked like it could have functioned as an earring. And that was what it had been. It was an earring that Arcis’s mother, Ameena had given her. She had repurposed it into a sort of hairband for Autumn. The fur at the back of her neck had gotten long and messy—a hairband would help to keep it in order.
Silently, selfishly, and uncharacteristically optimistically, she hoped that someday, even if only one of them, they would return to the tribes.
With excitement guiding her paws, she made it down the mountain much more quickly than she had ventured up it. The trip south went by quickly, even if finding something to put her in the right direction was a bit challenging. Not but three days later did Autumn find Earth Tribe. And after a short (mildly awkward) conversation with the leader, Alcina, she was allowed into their ranks. Her tattoo was flushed with vibrant pink and vivid orange, and a name was whispered into her ear—Uheri.
- Niece(s) : Freya (Pink-Light)
- Nephew(s) : Zodok (Blue-Shadow)
- Extended Family: sta.sh/0moi30s1bbl