Saki’s head was stuck in the bin.
The first few times it happened he got quite annoyed and had trouble getting out. Now he was more used to it he barely bothered to get upset.
He wriggled his way out of the bin, with the prize (a slightly smelly fish skeleton) in his mouth.
He trotted down the path to eat in privacy. As he left, he didn’t notice the face peering at him from around the corner.
After he had eaten he climbed up a lattice to the rooftops. There he started his journey home for the night. In his case, home was never the same place twice – he simply searched until he found somewhere suitable to sleep. He had been wandering for years now, scraping together what he could to survive.
His time as a house cat hadn’t gone well. Even as a kitten his playful tendencies had been more than most people could handle. In short: Saki wasn’t the kind of cat that people liked to have in the house. He chewed things, ran up legs, was noisy, and didn’t fit in with most families. Getting older had not calmed him down at all.
Despite his wild behaviour though, Saki longed to be part of a family. One that would accept him for who he was, rather than trying to make him sit still on laps to “get a pat”.
As he crept over the rooftops, looking for his bed for the night, Saki heard a scurrying noise. “A mouse!” he thought to himself, and with the promise of an evening snack close at hand he sprang over towards the noise.
There was no mouse.
Instead, he found himself face to face with the largest owl he had ever seen.
Saki was no coward, but this wasn’t a fight worth getting in to. He instantly tried to jump away, but large talons clamped around his throat and pinned him to the ground. He felt himself lifted into the air as powerful wings started beating.
Knowing he didn’t have a moment to lose, Saki skilfully scratched, clawed and writhed his way free – and falling.
He twisted his body around and manoeuvred himself to land gracefully on his feet on the soft grass.
After a moment, he moved on.
This was a normal event for Saki – each day might be his last, and danger lay around every corner.
Suddenly a voice called from the shadows “Saki!”.
Saki froze. Had he stolen something? Was he going to be arrested? What could go wrong next?
Calmly, another cat walked out from the shadows. Saki immediately noticed a deep scar running over one eye, although both eyes remained fixed brightly on Saki.
“My name is Snooty” said the other cat “and I’m putting together a team like nobody has ever seen.”
“I’ve seen how you dealt with that owl, and I’ve been watching you work for weeks.”
“It’s time for you to find your place, Saki. It’s time to join the Amazing Cat Club.”