The Great cat Plague

The Pawmen

In the still before the first light Craw opened her eyes and her ears pricked up.  Now was the time of  greatest danger. The time of the Pawmen. They came with stealth and brought death. These killers knew that their victims were at their most vulnerable, tired because they’d hunted through the night and were desperate for sleep.The Pawmen would come and take the unsuspecting, the timid, the ill, the old or those just starting with the shudder. Craw had to be especially aware and alert

  She stretched and reached out her back leg pushing the stiffness from one limb then the other. All the time she watched, listened and then sniffed the air for any scent, especially the scent of the Pawmen. A cloud full of great tastes, always, preceded their sudden appearances. The first time Craw had sensed the cloud she wanted to run straight into to it and be enveloped by its wonderful smells. Even now she couldn’t stop her tail rising into the air. Then her fur stood on end as she remembered how the first time she sensed that cloud she had heard the terrible cracking noise, the noise of the Pawmen – the crack that meant the limpness – the end!

The opening paragraph of the Great Cat Plague!