Hollowstone Chakravakasana
Practice made perfect. And Monica was thankful that she didn't live in the city. She could walk out her front door, shift, and be in the woods. The cat liked it. She was beginning to get into it again. Not quite mentally opening the door, but installing a cat door.

It was warm and beautiful and cloudy as the small cat roamed a couple miles from home. Morning had broken way to afternoon and the heat was just reaching it's peak. She'd gotten started and hadn't stopped for much yet. Among filling out trees and grass, thinning leaf litter, she felt nearly invisible. Not her perfect habitat, but close.

A small stream, bubbling perfectly, finally brought the little cat to a stop and she took a drink. And then, "Ahhhhhugh." A very human noise yawned happily out of the cat as she stretched up against a tree, sharp little claws tearing easily into the wood. When you were a very tall person in a very small body a nice stretch was everything.

Cats really had it right.
When it was not the farm or the woods near her home, this was where Parker shifted often. It was possibly strange to some to shift outside of the full moon and emergencies, but Parker enjoyed its mindlessness. It minimized the world despite however small she became. The things that troubled her on a human scale seemed so wildly insignificant from this perspective. She felt more a part of the earth when she could feel the grass between pink beans and chew the poplar with tiny teeth.

A familiar smell had drawn her to the stream, though the small feline had hardly realized as much until the movement from the adjacent bank caught her eye. The cat slunk toward a hollow log that was wedged between a pair of boulders, finding a space among them to tuck herself securely. Hidden, she peeked her round face out to peer at the feline. The giggling brook that gambolled over stones and branches separated her from the stranger, but even from this distance, she was able to recognize what she was. What, but not who. Parker knew the other cats well enough to know that it was none of them. Someone new, then. A stranger. But like her in every way.

Curiosity breathed life into courage as the small cat moved to abandon her hiding space. Well, not entirely. She wound her way from beneath the forest clutter, and clambered atop it instead. Tightroping her way along the log, which lifted upward at an angle, she aimed to stop at it's precipice. There, she hunched, belly to moss, blue eyes wide and focused on the other black footed cat. No sound, but she was not hidden. It was the bravest she could muster.
She unhooked herself from the tree and flexed her claws in the earth for a moment. And then in a back arching stretch, the cat rubbed her cheek across the bark, went up to her toes to rub down her neck, along her side, and beyond the tree. Now it really smelled like her. Her tree.

Which meant when another cat appeared, they would get a thoughtless RAOWL of warning before she realized that she was almost looking in a mirror. Just no white eyes reflected back at her. Her tail went straight out behind her as she lowered her belly to the earth and inched towards the similar stranger. This was not Shane and she was certain it was no Ophelia either. Which one of the others was she?
Parker's weight shifted back, toes splaying as she sunk her claws into the moss below her. Ready to run, but holding her ground as the other cat approached. Heart fluttering, she watched with wide eyes, the tip of her tail ticking down the seconds it took the stranger to reach the other side of the water. Her neck extended, and she bobbed her face in the air, nostrils flaring to take in the smell. Was she a friend or foe? Parker certainly hoped she appeared to be a fear.
The cat wasn't particularly interested in touching the water, but the desire to get to the other cat overpowered the distaste. Just barely. It was cold water, very cold. And she shook each of her paws off as she cleared the little stream. The front right one was still too wet. It got an extra shake.

The biggest obstacle had been cleared so she stopped, lowered to the ground, and sort of stuck her chest out to stretch her neck up and sniff. Her tail lashed with intense curiousity. "Frriend?" She asked, gutterally, the 'r' rolling in the chest like a purr.
Her weight subconsciously shifted backward the nearer the other cat drew. The fur at the base of her tail lifted, her tail flagging behind her, but she bravely held her ground. Er, log.

Parker's wide blue eyes blinked as the stranger's face stretched to meet hers. She took in everything, each marking, the strange ethereal whiteness of the eyes staring up at her. It drew her in, and she sunk her head down from over the lip of the log. Close enough that their noses nearly touched, she was unprepared for the sudden noise from the other cat. Not just noise. A word.

Jumping sharply, Parker straightened from her crouch, her back arching as her fur exploded away from her skin. A fuzzy little pin cushion. Ears cocked backward, she inspected the stranger in wonder. Friend? Was she? Well, she certainly not an enemy.

It was such a strange thing, to speak like this. It required a flexing of a part of her brain she often left behind while shifting. But the word had been so distinct that it had woken that part of her, reminded her that they were not just wild cats. "Yyyy... yooouhhh." She tried, flicked her ears, and pressed her belly back to the moss. Again. "Yesh." She managed.
A chain reaction was activated. Their noses so close, but speaking had startled the other cat, which in turn startled her. The cat bounced back as well, almost mirroring the other. Electrocuted, trying to make herself as tall as possible. What? What had she done? Her sides heaved until she calmed herself down, tail lashing out the rest of her anxiety.

Maybe being smaller would make the other cat feel better. That was what she wanted anyway. A friend. And friends did not scare friends. More than once. On purpose.

She joined, putting her belly to the dirt and cock her head up to look at the other. Her tail lashed on the ground. "Shhh....srrrrrame cet." She purred the pleasing fact. They were the same. "Toogetherrrr."
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