Anne Gwish and the Seven Seas
Anne Gwish sniffed the air as she crossed the plank to her recently acquired ship Reinhardt. Reinhardt is a ten gun vessel with three masts and is painted black with black sails. Reinhardt was stolen from her once lover Blackie. Her previous ship, Loki, was a two mast, 4 gun ship built for speed and not suited to Cattain Anne Gwish, a ruthless pirate who was known for her policy of taking no prisoners. Gwish had duped Blackie into a "spontaneous" one night stand at Litter Pan Port and while he was sleeping left her measly ship and stole his which she liked better. At the moment Gwish and her crew were preparing to leave the port of Scratch Post where she had left her crew to recuperate from a rough battle with another pirate and his crew. The wind teased the fur on her back as her ruthless, scurvy mates reported for duty. "One Claw" Snickers was her first mate and adopted daughter. Snickers is a tortie mix with striking green eyes and a penchant for fighting. The claws of her left paw are sharpened down to razor sharp points so that she only needs one to kill. Her favorite past time is leaving scars on other ship mates and chasing the mice on board. Snickers is pounced on and cleaned head to toe by Gwish as soon as she crosses onto the deck. Gwish's other mate "Two Hits" Marley crosses the gangplank as if in a drunken stupor and is immediately batted by Gwish and then Snickers. This leads to Marley, a massive white and tabby striped cat with a catnip addiction , begrudgingly handing over a pill bag full of catnip. After a low growl from Gwish, Marley hands over a half gallon bag of catnip. Marley is a peace loving pirate whose favorite past time is to get high and swat at Gwish while the Cattain sleeps. Gwish then delivered another bat at Marley's face and in a low growl says "Only sober scurvy mates cross the plank to join me in my pillaging." Next to cross the plank are Jack the Scratcher, the only male crew member, Tough Girl Fluffy and Kappa (named after a Japanese Water Demon) their only reason for joining Gwish's crew was for the catnip and the fighting. Peg Paw was the last to cross the plank. She is a three legged tuxedo with yellow eyes and has a scar under her left eye that somehow managed to have white fur grow back in.
Once the crew were all aboard the ship Gwish turned and faced them with a low growl. "I know you all are a wonderin bout me new ship. The wheres and the hows are unimportant however Blackie is sure to be a followin me back here so we need to move quick. You all know where ya are supposed to be. GET THERE!" The crew members scattered and quickly took up their well known duties. Within no time the ship was ready to set sail. Gwish made her way up to the helm and breathed deeply, the smell of salt from the sea hit her first, then the faint smell of catnip and tuna drifted along the breeze. The smell of wood calmed Gwish's nerves as she steered the ship out towards the horizon.
After hiding the gallon bag of high quality catnip "Two Hits" had brought for herself she returned to the top deck. Gwish sent "One Claw" to sleep for the night shift and yelled "TWO HITS! Let loose the sails and raise me flag you fat oaf." Two Hits did as commanded and slowly Gwish's flag began to unfurl with the wind. The image of a blood red paw print on a black background is whipped about. The blue-green water stretched out before them and the salty sea air carried the faint traces of a storm building on the horizon
Three sunrises after leaving Scratchpost, Gwish rose with the sun to take up her shift and relieve "One Claw" of her post at the helm. Immediately the hair on her back rose and she growled softly to herself. The sea and air were an eerie calm that bothered Gwish immensely. She batted "Two Hits" from her catnip laden sleep. "MREEOOWW!" hissed Gwish, "I need you to inspect the hull you lazy, rat!" After another bat she growled "NOW!" Two Hits grumbled and rolled out of the cot and started to mosey to the storage area at the bottom of the boat to make sure Reinhardt's hull was watertight. With her mop and bucket at her side Two Hits began her task of sealing the inside of the boat coating it liberally with tar. As she climbed the rickety wooden stairs back up to the top deck, the ship violently lurched to the side, throwing One Claw out of her bunk, and the skies darkened releasing a downpour that turned the seas into a tumultuous and deadly course.
The waves crashed against the sides of the Reinhardt sloshing water onto the deck. Two Hits, after finally gaining the courage to go up to the deck despite the storm, got hit with a gush of icy cold sea water and quickly sobered up from her outlandish catnip high. Gwish ordered the storm-awakened One Claw to go down through the ship and secure the hatches that covered the ten cannons as well as the cannons. As her hair was drenched by the pelting rain she hissed and growled at the skies, raving as if the sea were another cat attacking her. Upon seeing the now salt water drenched Two Hits Gwish ordered her to reef the sails throwing in a "catnip sniffing fool" for good measure and making a mental note to show One Claw how to reef the sails the next opportunity she had. Gwish remained at the helm hissing and growling at the new opponent as the storm continued into the night.
Gwish fought the storm until the sun rose the next morning when she would be met by One Claw and thoroughly cleaned of the salt water that had pelted her fur through the night. She then retired to her cattain quarters to curl up in a ball and sleep. Two Hits went to her favorite hiding spot and sniffed the stresses from the storm away. As Two Hits passed out from her catnip high One Claw remained at the helm until Gwish awoke two days afterwards.
The following two weeks were peaceful, much to everyone's (especially Two Hits) delight. Two Hits, Jack, Kappa, and Peg Paw spent their time sitting around the cannons sniffing catnip and playing poker. Two Hits dealt the cards while Peg Paw and Kappa discussed Gwish's latest escapade of stealing the ship.
"Aye, I do recognize the ship. Tis the one that belonged to the Pirate Lord Blackie. They say his fur be as dark as his soul." Peg Paw said in a hushed voice.
"I heard his fur be so long that if you was to cut it you'd never even see a difference." Jack chimed in.
"Aye" responded Kappa, "But Blackie tis not the one ya should be a lookin out for. No, that be Princess, the foulest creature to walk the earth. She has a room completely for torture. I heard tell that she calls it her "Skills Room" and she has got a stretching table, nail coffins and other instruments with which to be a torturin a captive."
One Claw and Gwish took turns at the helm, Gwish in the mornings and One Claw at night, neither oblivious to what was going on down below the deck. "Aye the fat oaf will pay dearly for bringing the stuff aboard MY ship." Gwish promised One Claw.
At the end of the two weeks One Claw is shocked awake by distant cannon fire and leaps from her bed. As she looks out the port hole above her bunk she sees the familiar ship, Loki in the distance. Gwish meets her at the entranceway to her room. "Arrgh, the scurvy rat has found us" Gwish said with a growl. "Go, get the crew up. I'll be a needin all hands on deck this day." One Claw quickly makes her way to Two Hits' cabin where she extends only the first claw of her left paw, which she has meticulously sharpened for times such as this, and scratches Two Hits along the cheek bone. "Hsss! Get up you big fat niphead. We are being attacked." One Claw made the other cheek bone match as Two Hits stretched and looked at One Claw. "C'mon girl chill out" Two Hits said just before a loud cannon boom splashed two feet off the bow. One Claw extended her whole paw of claws sharpened like knives and headed towards the door. Turning she looked back towards Two Hits with a wicked gleam in her eye and said in a low growl "The ship Loki is nimbler than us with the Vicious cattain Blackie and all of his children. Rumor has it Princess is allowed one prisoner with which to hone her skills so I suggest you get up lest you be captured." Two Hits, scared senseless, rises quickly from her bed and opens all ten hatches, awoke the other four cats aboard and headed to join Gwish and One Claw.
Loki was now along the port side of the ship, Blackie and Gwish eye to eye. Gwish could see the missing tip of Blackie's ear. Her blue eyes shone red. They were both ready for combat. At Gwish's silent signal the cannons are fired towards the rival ship and Blackie's vision was obscured by Loki being hit followed by Gwish having to regain her balance from the five cannons on the port side going off together causing the boat to rock. Gwish orders a plank to be lowered and Blackie's boat to be boarded. One Claw, Two Hits, and Peg Paw and the other three cross the plank to create a fur flying frenzy. Gwish takes on Blackie scratching and hissing as they circle each other around the helm. "What be the matter you spineless coward? Can't bring yourself to be a killing me?" Gwish taunted Blackie. Blackie growled low in his throat "I be trying to figure out how you managed to make off with my ship by yourself you sneaky wench." At this comment Gwish lunged for Blackie's throat hissing and clawing. Pinning him down she tore out his jugular and as he was losing consciousness whispered "Don't EVER call me a wench!"
One Claw, having cornered Einstein growled at the cowering cat. "What be the matter you spineless fool? You're the son of a pirate lord and yet you cower from a mere female? You are a worthless excuse for a pirate." With this last statement One Claw pins Einstein and drags her sharpened claw across his throat. As he bled out she let out a maniacal laugh. Two Hits, having taken on three of Blackie's other children does not see the fourth come up behind her and knock her over the head.
Peg Paw tracked down an unsuspecting Princess in her "Skills Room" and chains her to the stretching table using Princess' own chains against her. While stretching her Peg Paw mutters "What's wrong lovely? Can't handle a dose of your own medicine?" Grabbing up a Cat-o-nine tails Peg Paw cracked the whip against Princess's arms. By the time Peg Paw walked away Princess was in pieces….literally.
After returning the injured cats and the "dead" Two Hits to Reinhardt Gwish orders One Claw to burn the ship and Loki, blood stained and fur covered, slowly sinks to the depths of Bathtub Ocean. After returning to the ship Gwish rewarded all those left alive with a round of catnip from the stash that she had confiscated off Two Hits the first day. Two days later Two Hits' replacement is announced as Peg Paw. Peg Paw's first assignment by Gwish is to sew Two Hits' body into one of the main sails that she had so long cared for. One Claw clumsily climbs up onto the helm and says in a slurred voice "May Two Hits rest forever in Davey Jones' Locker." With that Two Hits is rolled over the side of the ship and laid to rest at sea. Afterwards a mass scavenging hunt for the rest of the catnip ensues. Gwish orders Reinhardt towards Litter Pan Port for repairs. Two Hits' supplies and gold are divided among the rest of the crew and Gwish finds it in her black Siamese mixed heart to allow everyone a day off in Litter Pan. Later that night she meets everyone at the Watering Dish for Tuna, water, and catnip.
As Gwish enters the hole in the wall pub her senses are assaulted by the smell of Catnip and Tuna. The remaining crew members are seated at the bar being served by a scruffy cat with an eye patch and a clearly visible scar protruding from behind it. Behind the bartender there was a cooling chest filled with raw albacore and yellow fin tuna. Above that were rows and rows of canned tuna and still above that were dozens upon dozens of bags of catnip. The sheer level of the volume from inside the pub was enough to make Gwish cringe and hesitate for one second before making her way over to join One Claw at the bar.
In the morning Gwish wakes her crew from the floors of Watering Dish and they board their ship. Gwish maneuvers her way out of the port and towards Toy Chest Lagoon to hide the gold and cat treats pillaged from Loki. On the way out of Litter Pan they notice a makeshift flag bearing a bloody paw that has been slashed through twice. Giving the makeshift flag a passing glance Gwish admires the restorations that have been made to Reinhardt. The ship has been perfectly crafted and her crew members are quickly making the deck shine in the sunlight. The five black cannons that lined both the port and starboard sides of the ship have been cleaned and polished so that they sparkled. The wind picked up speed and the sails billowed outwards pushing the ship faster towards their destination.
Back at Litter Pan Port a catnip laden Marley returns to her 'ship' made from floating driftwood, most likely sections of a much larger ship that had been blown into the water by a firefight. Stashing several gallon size bags of catnip into a safe compartment she sets a course for a well remembered destination.