The wind howled and raged through the tall grasses. Snow spiraled through the air, dancing around the frosted hills. The winter blizzard was freezing the moors of WindClan, forcing the Clan into old rabbit dens underground.
A small, empty clearing stood out in the whiteness, three sets of pawprints leading into it. A snowy pit fell away in the center of the clearing, snow piling into it in drifts. Three cats and one kitten were sheltering in an overhang, shivering in the cold snowstorm. One, a sleek, black and white she-cat with bright, green eyes curled around the bundle of white fur that was the newborn kit. A second black and white she-cat with softer green eyes and fluffy fur crouched beside the queen, nosing the kit.
"She's small for her size. Most kits that have no littermates are larger, but this kit is so small." She turned to the only tom there, a large, broad-shouldered cat with a light brown pelt striped with dark brown, his yellow eyes shining in the swirling snow. He looked very much like a tiger. "Diamondstar, I'm worried about Nightwhisper. She and her new kit are weak, hungry, and cold. They need a warm den and food as fast as possible. They need to rest but out of this weather."
The tom looked worriedly down at his mate, still curled protectively around their kit, who was starting to shiver. "They'll be all right, though, right?" he asked. The she-cat shook her head.
"I'm sorry. I may be the medicine cat, but even I can't be sure."
"Crystalwing," Nightwhisper murmured, speaking for the first time, "It's all right. You did your best, but my kit was destined to be small." Crystalwing bent her head.
"I feel like I failed, though. You're my sister, so your kit is my highest priority." Nightwhisper pressed her head against Crystalwing's cheek.
"It's ok," she meowed comfortingly, "You couldn't have changed the kit's body, however hard you worked. Even the best medicine cat couldn't." Crystalwing nodded, gathering herself. She nudged around the kit, grasping her scruff and pulling her into her paws. Squealing, the kit tried to make her way back to her mother, but Crystalwing blocked the way with a paw. Looking up at Nightwhisper and Diamondstar, she meowed solemnly, "Have you chosen a name for your kit yet?" Diamondstar nodded at Nightwhisper, licking her ear lovingly.
"You tell her," he meowed softly, his voice barely audible over the storm. Nightwhisper nodded and turned towards Crystalwing.
"Her name will be Snowkit, for the blizzard she was born in." Crystalwing bent her head and lightly touched the top of the kit's head.
"From this day forward, this kit will be known as Snowkit. Wear your name with pride, for this blizzard is an omen." Snowkit wriggled slightly in Crystalwing's paws, and Nightwhisper picked her up again.
"Snowkit, always remember this," she meowed, licking the kit. "You are destined for greatness, that I am sure. You will be the best cat in all the Clans. Always remember that."
Snowkit wriggled around, staring up at her mother with her clear, sky-blue eyes. Nightwhisper purred and gathered her kit in her paws. Snowkit squeaked in protest and tried to scramble away. The flash of her bright gaze caught Crystalwing's eye, and she snatched the kit up.
"Her eyes are open! She isn't supposed to have her eyes open yet!" she exclaimed, the alarm audible in her meow. Diamondstar left his mate's side for the first time that evening, and padded over to his medicine cat. He stared at his kit, eyes wide with surprise and amazement.
"Why are her eyes open? Do you know?" he murmured, worriedly glancing at Nightwhisper, exhausted but scared, at the other side of the pit.
"Well, there have been a few cases like this one," Crystalwing meowed slowly, still staring at Snowkit with amazement. Diamondstar's ears swiveled forward, and he gazed at Crystalwing with rapt attention, his eyes shining with eagerness, silently willing her to continue. "If severe weather happens, especially sudden cold, it could happen. There was a case in RiverClan, when the river froze and a newborn kit fell in. His eyes opened early, too." Diamondstar nodded, glancing around at the snowy pit.
"That would explain it," he meowed, relief in his deep meow. He returned to Nightwhisper, and Snowkit scampered over to them. She snuggled in with her mother, sighing contentedly.
In her short life, she had been an extraordinary WindClan cat. Her pelt was white, unlike many other cats. She was already playful and energetic, uninterested in sleep. Lastly, her eyes had opened early. She, however, had no clue she was extraordinary, or even unusual. She was perfectly happy with what she had, just like she should be.
The three cats and the strange kit lay there, while snow thickened, falling with even more earnest. Crystalwing, after a particularly violent shiver from Nightwhisper, announced that they should be getting back to the others. Diamondstar picked up his kit, and led the way out of the hole. Crystalwing followed, supporting Nightwhisper.
The cats padded slowly across the field of snow, until Crystalwing called to Diamondstar, "It's too much! Nightwhisper's not doing well! She needs an easier path!" Diamondstar glanced back at them, half-hidden in the snow.
"How about I tunnel under the snow?" he called back, and barely managed to see Crystalwing nod in ascent. He burrowed under the thick layer of whiteness, clawing out lumps of cold, frozen snow, and packing them into the sides of the tunnel. After a few foxlengths, he turned to talk to Crystalwing again. "Snowkit's too heavy, and she gets in the way. I don't want to put her down, because she might freeze. What should I do?"
Crystalwing considered the problem for a moment. She couldn't carry Snowkit, and neither could Nightwhisper. There seemed to be only one answer.
"We'll have to set her down, because I've got my paws full with Nightwhisper, who is too tired to carry Snowkit. She'll have to walk between me and you." Diamondstar nodded, and placed Snowkit on the ground. He continued to clear away snow, Snowkit stumbling along between the cats.
She could see, although everything was fuzzy. She thought she had gotten a snowflake in her nose, so she stopped to rub it. All of a sudden, she sneezed, the sound echoing around the small tunnel. At once, she felt the cold nose of the fluffy, black and white cat on her fur, sniffing at her worriedly. She mewled in protest, and tried to dodge her, although it was hard without clear vision.
"It was just a sneeze," the cat meowed, relieved. Snowkit couldn't understand it. She had just gotten a snowflake in her nose, and every cat had treated her like she was dying, or something.
The foursome padded along the tunnel, until they reached another tunnel, this one made of dirt. A cat stood at the entrance, his black and brown pelt almost invisible in the shadows of the tunnel.
"Diamondstar! Is this your new kit? She's so cute!" he meowed, purring at Snowkit.
"Thank you, Hawktalon," Diamondstar meowed, and padded into the tunnel. Snowkit followed, warmth washing over her. She sighed contently. This was nice, all this warmth. As she was settled into a mossy nest with her mother, she thought about how cold it was out of the tunnel, and how warm it was here. Peace flowed through her as she fell slowly asleep. She knew instinctively that she was safe. No harm could reach her here.