sensitive topics mary on a cross ✚ death

Dovekit ★

olive branch | 10/03/2022
Sep 23, 2022
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(Tw: For Emetophobia & Kitten Death)

She is playing outside the nursery, a rare day of peace where she is not confined to the medicine cat den. Dovekit gets the idea Cinderfrost does not like her, because she is very unhappy everytime she is ushered into her den by her harried parents, so she's happy to no longer be troubling the she-cat. She's happy that her fathers seem more at ease today as well, watching from the mouth of the nursery as she and her siblings engage in a little roughhousing. Its a game she often does not get to play, Sunfreckle was protective and murmured about her being delicate, so he often times stopped their tussling from getting out of hand but right now she is powerful and dominating; knocking @Spark-kit over with a well placed bounce and laughing giddily as she dances away from @DEWKIT ! and @Flickerkit attempting to tackle her after. Somewhere nearby she is certain @mosskit is playing in the dirt and moving pebbles around, her multi-colored sister was a strange one but whatever made her happy also made Dovekit happy.
The pale white kitten paused suddenly in her play, tiny paws trembling as she went stock still and without much warning lurched forward in a great heaving motion; vomitting her breakfast of milk and bits of soft prey because they just got old enough to have real food and she enjoyed her first mouse so much she only wanted to ever eat those. The force of the sick had her entire body shaking and she turned around to give a pitiful yowl, thick with tears back in the direction of the nursery where her parents were resting.
"Daddy, I don't fe-" Her wavering, broken words were interupted by another heave, dry this time and laced with yellow bile and a lot of kitten cries.

( @Rabbitnose )
 
  • Crying
Reactions: salamander

His head was resting on Rabbitnose’s back, watching the kits play and basking in the warmth of an early day. Sometimes he thought about life before, back in the iron bars of the cage at the shelter where his movement was limited and he felt suffocated and it was the cry of his daughter that threw him sharply back into that place; locked him firmly behind steel and deprived him of his happiness. The red tabby’s head jerked upward in alarm, panic, immediate adrenaline surging through him and he nearly trampled his gray-spotted mate in his attempt to stand and go racing across the camp to the sickly child’s side. His tail curled around her as she sobbed, he folded himself over her protectively as if his very body could stop the trembling in her own smaller one, his presence could dissuade the sickness from digging in it's wretched claws.
“It’s okay-you’ll be okay-it’s okay, Dovekit-hold on! Hold on-!” Sunfreckle’s head snapped upward, watery green eyes darting around the camp in frantic jerking glances, “Help! Is-Cinderfrost! Someone!” He didn’t care who, he didn’t care who showed up but someone had to, someone had to fix the tiny white kitten’s ailments, ease her pain, she didn’t deserve any of this.
Once again he found himself frantically wondering if this was his fault, he knew he got sick easily at times but he didn’t think the kittens would as well, had he brought them into this world just for them to suffer horribly?
The longhaired tom hunched over more as he heard the little she-kit murmur something, his ears falling flat as she gradually lost the tension in her body nestled between his paws and went still.
His head dropped down, muzzle pushing into the side of soft kitten down, nose pressing against the tiny head lolling limply now between his forelegs as he sunk into the ground fully like gravity had won its battle against him at long last.
The sun was burning bright, yet the day felt so cold now; a creeping chill moved from his chest and through his body. “Dovekit…?”
No, she was fine. She was sleeping, she was always tired constantly, always asking for a few more moments of sleep. He had never met a kitten so disinclined to wake up when roused and she was further cementing that now as she resisted his attempts to get her back up.

 

Rabbitnose was watching his kits play as he rested peacefully with Sunfreckle at his side. He was still trying to comprehend that they had made them. Those little guys there. They made them. Like, dude. Biology.

He watched Dovekit bowl over Sparkkit and the small orange tom give a squeak of surprise. She was glad to see his daughter finally able to have fun, to play with her siblings like kits should.

So when he heard her cry out, he was rightfully alarmed. He sped over to her alongside Sunfreckle.

"Darling it's okay-"

It wasn't okay. He saw her stop moving and tthe warmth left his veins, chilling him to the core.

"Please....Please wake up..."

He gently nudged her, with no response.

"P-please- we can go back inside...."

This isn't fair.

"Cindefrost will be here in a moment." His voice was cracking. He trembled.

She was just a kit. Why does it have to be like this? What did they do wrong?

Sparkkit, usually nosy and butting into things, sat cowering by the entrance to the den, ears flat. Hewas too scared to go closer. What happened to his sister?
 

D-Daddy, what’s wrong with Dovekit?” Watching the terrified version of her father, Dewkit’s tiny frame would shake with a combination of fear and confusion. What had gone wrong? Was Dovekit sleeping? In the young girl’s mind, Dewkit was just laughing and bouncing around with her! Had she hurt her in some way? Trembling paws would lead her to where her sister laid, momentarily looking eyes with Sunfreckle, giving him a gut-wrenching glance as she moved to sniff her sister. Rabbitnose had seemingly appeared out of nowhere (likely due to her rather altered state of mind) as she gently poked her sister with a paw. “H-hey… wake up! Wa-wake up Dovekit! Come on… you gotta wake up….” Tears would begin to stream down the child’s face, distraughtly looking between her parents, anyone, as her sister flopped with their touches. Did I somehow do this? She was really sick too, does this mean I’ll end up like this as well?
 
The air in the camp changes, one can feel it in their whiskers. Howling Wind is receiving a report from one of the morning's patrol leaders when they both halt the conversation, looking towards the nursery in shock. There's something wrong; both Sunfreckle and Rabbitnose appear panicked. The kits, too. Exchanging a glance with the warrior before her, the tabby gets to her paws and hurries over, coming to a rushed halt next to the parents. "What's going on?" She asks, worry in her voice as she looks over Dovekit lying on the ground. Is she ill? Weak? Leaf-fall has hardly begun, the air still warm - there's no danger yet! But the longer she stares, the cruel realization hits her that there is no shifting of whiskers as she breathes, no rise and fall of her flank. She's still as stone. Her heart breaks for the fathers who nudge her, the littermates who watch. As a mother, she can't imagine losing one of her own.

"Someone get Cinderfrost," She orders lowly, grief already heavy in her voice. Gaze downturned, she takes a step back with eyes squeezing shut in sorrow, wishing to give the family their privacy. She'll need to alert Emberstar - there is a vigil and burial to take place tonight.

// @cinderfrost
 
Panicked and pain cries reached the medicine cat within the confines of her cave. "Cinderfrost!" Her StarClan given name being called upon never brought forth good tidings. Instead, the frantic calls for her only meant injuries, sickness, or-

Death.

Her whole body froze, stiff as a tree, when she arrived. Precious little Dovekit's chest no longer rose or fell. Warmth slowly drained from her body. No, that couldn't be. The she-kit had just been released from her care. Her heart sunk deep into the pits of her chest. What had she overlooked? Dovekit left with life in her eyes and a pep to her step. But there she laid in her own vomit, never to move again.

She couldn't break down. Not right now. Later. When she was alone in her den and hidden away from the prying eyes of ThunderClan. Right now, though, the departed needed to be attended to. The blue mink needed to clean her up and gather lavender. Or would Dovekit had preferred mint? Her heart throbbed with pain as she realized she'd never be able to ask the child.

"Sunfreckle. Rabbitnose." I'm sorry. She never should have looked away from the sickly child. If she'd kept a close eye then, then...

Then what?

She wasn't a competent healer. Even if she noticed in time, the medicine cat wouldn't have a clue what to do. Stars, she couldn't even determine the cause of death or why Dovekit suddenly left the world behind.

All she could do now was prepare the body. That didn't sound right. There was no way someone so young needed to be buried. It's all my fault. "I'll- I'll clean her." The slight stutter was the only tell that the medicine cat had been affected.

I'm so sorry.
 


Little Wolf spends most of her days just outside of the nursery now, her belly slowly swelling with her unborn kits and making her unfit to participate in the normal daily happenings of the clan. She had resisted at first, of course, but it was difficult to ignore her mother's insistences. Still, her paws itch to do something more productive.

She watches with eyes slanted against the sun as Sunfreckle's kits play, roughhousing in the dust. One day, soon, and with any luck, that would be her kits. The thought brings a light smile to her face. It quickly disappears though as Dovekit stops, utters something then retches. Little Wolf is on her feet in an instant, but the kit's father is there faster. She watches with widened, horrified eyes as the child falls over. Gone. Dead. Tears fill the black pelted she-cats eyes as she watches her clan-mates gather around the grieving family. She does not join them.

Selfishly, she worries about her own kits that have yet to be born. What if they were born sick as Dovekit had been? What if this happened to them? Worry fills her thoughts as she back up into the shadows of the nursery, needing space from the tragedy that had unfolded before her.
 

Rabbitnose was there next to him, out of the corner of his eye he could see Howling Wind not too far away, but despite that the world had narrowed down to just him and the tiny white kit nestled into the crook of his lone foreleg; no one else existed-no one else was there and the Dewkit's cries of confusion were met with silence because he could not rip his gaze from the tiny bundled that had moments before been telling him how she wanted to be named Dovenose after her dad and, how, when she was leader she would keep it instead of star.
Both green eyes look up sharply at Cinderfrost's scent, the realization the medicine cat was there forced up a single shred of hope in his chest, but there was a cold sadness reflected back at him when he locked gazes with the ashen she-cat and he felt his heart drop once more to the pit of his stomach, into darkness; fleeting and gone, just like his kitten's life.
He feels that if he tries hard enough he can also just fade, tucks himself into a ball and encircling the motionless kitten with his tail hiding his face and shame from the world. What sort of parent was he that he could not keep her alive? What had he done wrong? How had this happened?
Sunfreckle hears his name spoking in a voice that whispers apologies and condolences and he does not want to hear it, his head shaking back and forth but it is the offer to 'clean her' that has his three paws pushing him upward to stand again forcefully; his teeth visible in a rarely displayed snarl from the usually chipper and docile tom.
"No!" The word burst from him like claws unsheathing, sharp and threatening and he hunches himself over so that Dovekit's tiny form is all but invisible beneath fiery red and cream fur. "Sh-she's sleeping. She's just SLEEPING!"
His neck cranes as he dips it down, turns in to push his head against the kit once more, ".....she's....just tired."
 

Sleeping, right. Just sleeping.

Rabbitnose couldn't convince himself of it, no matter how desperately he wanted it to be true. He wanted his daughter back. She was just here a minute ago.

Why can't she be here now.

Why did it have to be this way.

He said nothing as Sunny struck out, having no words to say. He couldn't blame him for it, and as long as he didn't catch anyone he would remain by Dovekit.

He took a few breaths before pressing his nose to her head.

"Shhhh...."

He softly hushed her, closing his eyes. She was with the stars now. She wasn't sick anymore, she could run and play all she wanted.

He gently licked her head.

"Good night, darling. We love you so much...."

He choked.

"You won't be sick anymore. You can run and play all you want.... Just don't cause too much trouble, okay?"

He pressed his head against her, eyes squeezed shut and tears dripping down his face.

"I'm sorry...."


 

"JUST LIKE FIRE, BURNING UP THE WAY"


The day had started off so well. The sun was bright in the sky, shining down and providing needed warmth in the chilly leaf-fall air. Her parents were basking in the streams of light as the rest of her and her siblings danced along in the clearing. Despite being grounded to the confines of camp, Flickerkit was enjoying much needed play time with her family. Tumbling in the dirt after a failed tackle towards her smallest sibling, the fiery tortoiseshell rolled to her paws in a fit of laughter. Suddenly though, everything seemed to crumble away.

As if she was touched by a ghostly paw,, the pure white kitten seemed to freeze, a shudder running through her small body before she suddenly emptied the contents of her stomach in the middle of their playing area. ❝ D-Dovey!! ❞ Any normal kit may have been grossed out by the scene or may have been angry that their play was cut short, but with having dealt with constant sickness in her and her family, Flickerkit was much more concerned about her sister.

Her fathers appeared in an instant and the tall kitten couldn't help but freeze up when she heard the panic in each of their voices. ❝ D-Dad?... Dad, i-is Dovey-- ❞ Flickerkit couldn't finish her sentence, not understand what she was going to ask. She just wanted her sibling to be okay but what could she do? So she stood there...watching with wide eyes as the ball of white was suddenly enveloped in red fur. She stood there, as her ears picked up the sound of a croaked out murmur coming from in between Sunfreckle's paws. She stood there as the small body of Dovekit shuddered, like it was the coldest night she had ever experienced, before she laid still.... Too still...

Her breath hitched in her throat. She looked so calm... Like she was just sleeping. That was what she was doing right? Just sleeping... That's why her parents and sister were trying to rouse her, poking and prodding the overly tired ball of kitten fluff. But then why did she feel this lump in her throat and this tightness in her chest whenever her gaze found Dovekit's white fur. The child barely registers the scent and sound of Cinderfrost behind her, nor the brown striped pelt of Howling Wind. Flickerkit simply couldn't pull her gaze away. Like only a few days before, it was the snapping tone of Sunfreckle's that pulled the tortoiseshell back to reality.

She was sleeping. Y-Yea. She was tired. Yea! They... they just had to wake her up, is all! Flickerkit straightened and looked around, mind racing to find any sort of trigger that might help wake the smaller kitten. Mossballs? No, to soft. If their words could wake her, a mossball wouldn't! That was when she glanced at the fresh kill pile and suddenly had a realization. A-A mouse! I bet the smell of one can wake her up! Without another word, the taller sibling ran off to pick out a small rodent from the pile.

As she made her way back over with it hanging in her jaws, she kept repeating to herself. She's just sleeping, she's just sleeping, she's just sleeping, she's just slee-- The words replayed in her head like a mantra. Squeezing past the adult cats that seemed to be surrounding her family, Flickerkit laid the mouse in front of Dovekit's form, moving a paw to gentle nudge her in waking. ❝ D-Dovey... I-I brought you a m-mouse... D-Dovekit... Y-You liked it, r-remember? Cant you...cant you sm-sme-- ❞ The words cracked as with each nudge to her form, the white ball simply moved with no resistance, muscles slumping this way and that from the jostling.

D-Dovey! Please wake up! ❞ She looked up at all the adult cats around her, feeling the tightness in her chest swell, threatening to boil over into a panicked state. ❝ D-D-Dad... C-Cinder... Why won't she wake up!? Sh-She has to wake up!! ❞ Golden eyes looked back at the still white form.

She was simply sleeping... she had to be...

✷ ϟ ✷
 

Grief. It was a feeling that Flycatcher knew all too well. First, he had grieved the first home he ever lost, and then it was Moth leaving to live her life as a kittypet, and then he had grieved his parents and remaining sisters, cruelly cut down in the Great Battle. He had suffered much but he imagined none of that came close to the grief and pain of losing one's own child.

Like many in the clan, he had noted the fragility of Dovekit. He had simply hoped that it was a result of when she and her siblings were born and not something more sinister or life-threatening. It was not so long ago that he watched Dovekit and her siblings playing outside, enjoying themselves without a care in the world. Flycatcher came across the scene late, drawn over by the concerned mews of his clanmates and how Dovekit's family all crowded around her. When he realises what is going on and what has happened, his eyes go wide in surprise, not expecting to hear such devastating news. The lead warrior would bow his head solemnly. What a terrible loss for her parents. What a terrible loss for the clan. How unfair it was for a young life to be cut so short before it even had a chance to begin.

"Rabbitnose...Sunfreckle...I'm so sorry for your loss," He mewed softly.
 

She wasn't sleeping.
Sunfreckle couldn't force himself to keep pretending, hoping that any moment the kitten would lift her head and complain that everyone was too loud. It was Rabbitnose suddenly right in front of him, apologizing and saying goodbye that finally had the tears spilling that he'd been fighting back out of stubborn desperation. His clanmates were apologetic, comforting, he found it only made him want to cry louder, start screaming at the sky; but he had four living kittens still who needed him, he couldn't shatter into the countless pieces he'd felt he had become in front of them right now. He wanted to fight, he wanted to fight for Dovekit and defend her, to take her back but there was no one he could blame for this, no one he could point an accusatory paw at and demand payment for the loss. Life was cruel.

After a moment of agonizing heaving, trying to catch his breath he lifted his head; forced himself to focus once more on the cats around them for stability and finally he managed to make himself look at Cinderfrost once more, "....please....take care of her."
He was fighting the urge to take his kitten and bolt, run into the woods to find her help that would not simply tell him she was long gone, but he knew. Of course he did, he wasn't stupid, but still the idea of passing the white she-kit over to the healer to prepare for burial was almost as painful as watching her grow still at his paws. It felt so final, so suffocating; he was back in the cage again and breathing heavy, turned to shove his face into Rabbitnose's shoulder and that long tail whisked out to gesture for Flickerkit and Dewkit to come to him and away from the motionless white child on the ground; looking like her namesake now, a wounded dove unable to fly.
"Go to your brother, go to the nursery with your brother..." The red tabby urged repeatedly, trying to nudge the two in that direction.

 
( )she's not the most involved in her clan's life. it's not that she doesn't want to be - contrarily, she wishes she could do more. but something in her head keeps her at bay. instead of playing moss ball or badger rides with her siblings, the girl remains on the edges of it all, head full of pebbles and flitting feathers. she cherishes her collection of little things, carefully sorts each item every day, meticulously picking favorites and handing them out. this is her way of showing love. not cuddling or touches of a normal family, but rather gifts, little things that she cherishes. and if she loves them so much, she knows her family will as well.

dovekit is quite correct in her assumption that mosskit is hovering on the sidelines. in fact, she hardly notices the commotion until her father cries out. mottled ears flick in surprise as she glances up from her collection, fern hued eyes squinting as she tries to figure out what's going on. cinderfrost hurries out, summoned by cries from classmates, and the woman hovers over the kitten. fear crawls through moss's stomach, beginning to claw up her throat. there's something sinister about the next moment- the wind whistles through the trees, but it's the only sound she can hear. everything else is frozen.

from afar, dovekit appears still. her siblings are saying something, pushing at her, begging, and mosskit sits, ears flattened, paws wrapped around her collection. there is nothing she can do. nothing… nothing she can do. the fear has spilled from her throat in a low whine, the fur on her spine spiking up. "no," she murmurs. the word 'death' has reached her ears. cinderfrost mutters something, and mosskit is loosing the first thing she will loose in her life. she is three moons old.

light paws tap quickly across the ground as she finally joins her family, burrowing in beside dewkit and pressing against the others like her life depends on it. "dovey, no please," her voice is soft, shattered, eyes flickering from the tiny kitten's head to her tail. "n-no this isn't happening. it isn't." burying her head into dew's side, she closes her eyes.

// pretend this isnt a full week late :(

( TRYIN' TO KILL THE MOON )