Encountering Wildlife

Avondale Woods 
#1
Closing her eyes and reaching her arms up in a long stretch, Kimi stood barefoot in the grass near her cabin at the edge of the Avondale Woods. The sun filtered through the thick pine and warmed her skin against the chill fall air that smelled of rich evergreen. Releasing the stretch she moved into the next Aikido warmup, delighting in the feel of the earth beneath her feet. A symphony of sound and sensation that she would never tire of. A relaxed smile graced her lips as she just enjoyed the motions.

Turning towards her cabin she opened her eyes and picked up her Jo Staff to begin practicing her formations. It was a daily ritual that helped keep her centered, the best form of therapy she had ever invested in. Taking a moment to glance around her surroundings she smiled again. Her two bedroom little cabin that she had inherited was charming. Built completely with local logs and the windows stained glass, it sat as if one with the nature around it in a small clearing. Her nearest neighbor was nothing more then a small plume of distant chimney smoke visible over the tree tops.

Suddenly she felt something nudge at her ankles. Looking down she saw His Obstinacy, her large white cat, rubbing himself against her in greeting and leaving behind the inevitable white hairs on her yoga pants. With a small tsk Kimimila smiled. "Hello to you too, Obby." Reaching down she went to scratch him between the ears, a favored spot of his, when suddenly he hissed and bolted for the cabin and through the small cat door. "What's gotten into you?" She called after him in confusion. He wasn't and easily startled feline.

Straightening up she looked around trying to find the source of his distress, Jo Staff gripped firmly in hand.

@Scout Hazelgrove
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#2
Danger. Danger. Danger.

Run. Run. Run

She had been hit! How rude.

The cougar raced through the forest, weaving in and out around trees and boulders, doing her best to ignore the bullet in her shoulder. Damn hunters. She was pissed and bleeding, wounded. Her tail maneuvered her safely around the obstacles, avoiding the chance to get hurt again. The cat wanted to stop and clean her wounds, but she needed to make sure she was safely away from the scene and the hunter, in case he came back to finish the job.

No thank you.

The cat leaped over a large boulder and landed into a small field of grass. Ah, soft grass. The cat came to a stand still in the grass, eyes wide.

The scent of human filled her nostrils and the image in her eyes confirmed it. Human! A female human. The oversized cougar stood still, unsure of what to do. It was time to run again, but since she had stopped her body was begging her to stay. A growl developed deep in her throat as a warning to the human. She didn't want to fight, not in this condition, but she would if needed.
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#3
Kimimila didn't have to wait long before the source of her cats disturbance made a sudden and spectacular appearance. It wasn't every day that a cougar would just leap into her yard in broad daylight and yet that's exactly what happened. She stood there in momentary shock at the large feline and unconsciously slipped into surprised Lakota, "Igmuwatogla!"

Quickly regaining her composure, Kimi finally took in the whole scene. The cougar was wounded, bleeding from some shoulder injury. Uncertain how to approach the creature without alarming it she craned her neck in a vain attempt for better vantage to see where the blood was coming from. When that failed she slowly backed up toward the stairs of her porch. Keeping her eyes on it as she reached her destination she set down her staff and picked up a shallow tin bowl, one of many scattered across her porch, and filled it with water from a near by hose.

"I'm going to place this here," Kimimila called out as she placed it on the bottom step, not that she thought it could really understand her but sometimes intent was universal. "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to go inside and grab something that I can try and treat your wounds. Come get some water and if you are still here by the time I come back out I'll see what else I can do for you."

She didn't take her eyes off it until she was up the stairs and closing her front door. Taking a deep breath she shoved her fingers over her scalp and into her hair in an anxious motion and squatted down to calm herself. "So that just happened..." she muttered to herself, instinct told her not to call animal control, that this situation was a bit different. "Ok, so what do I do?" Spurring herself forward into the bathroom she grabbed some towels, a first aid kit, and a small plastic tub to carry it all in. Next she made a pass through her kitchen and filled a pitcher with clean water and a pair of scissors. Figuring this was enough until she knew more, Kimimila made her way back to see if the cougar had decided to trust her to help.
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#4
The woman started speaking to her. In most cases, that usually ended with them grabbing their guns and trying to chase her off. Or they ran away, which only triggered her chase. But this woman seemed, scared, but also, eager and excited?

Scout's tail flicked back and forth, unsure of what she should do. The woman grabbed a bowl of water and said she was going to go back inside to grab stuff to help. Help? Help with what?

Oh.

She noticed her shoulder again. It was still bleeding and finally her adrenaline was coming to a stop. Throbbing, burning pain ran up her whole front leg. Scout waited until the woman was completely inside before she wobbled up to the water and began to drink her fill. More and more water was thrown back until the bowl was totally empty, her tongue licking the sides of it to make sure she got every drop. Her ears twitched back and forth, hearing the woman inside shuffling around, fumbling to grab stuff.
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#5
Taking a deep breath, Kimi used her elbow to open the door and found the big cat at the bottom of the stairs. "Ok." She breathed. A good part of her had expected to find an empty yard so she was surprised, but also relieved that it stayed. Firming her grip she closed the door behind her and made her way down the steps until she stood next to the cougar and placed her items next to the, now empty, water bowl.

Now closer, she realized just how big this cougar was. And those magnificent blue eyes seemed to stare right through her, it was disconcertingly almost human in the way it seemed to hold her gaze. But it was trembling with exhaustion as if a mild wind is all it would take to bring it down.

"You are about to fall over aren't you, Beautiful?" Kimimila spoke softly as she moved around to get a better look at the wounded shoulder. She had to suppress a growl of anger when she saw the bullet hole, no exit wound. "You know, my people have a saying that if you harm a cougar you will have very bad luck visited upon you. I'm sure that whoever did this is going to be in for some rough times. Now lets see if we can't get you to lay down so I can help get the bullet out."

Slowly she reached out and ran her hand down the animals back while gently pressing down to urge it to lay down. This was going to be painful for the creature and Kimi prayed to every deity she could think of that she'd survive to tell about it.
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#6
Oh. The girl returned.

And she was talking to her. Did she knew what Scout was? Was that why she was talking so much to her?

Scout wanted to keep her distance, but nope. This girl was confident in touching a creature such as she. To her touch, Scout grumbled as a warning, slowly emerging and working it ways up to a loud growl. She flinched and threw herself away from the woman. This girl was going to have some bad luck if she kept touching the wounded cougar. Scout knew she wanted to help, but her cougar wasn't quite that confident about it.

The cougar let out her mightiest hiss before eventually crouching down on the ground. She wasn't happy, but she wasn't happy with the bullet hanging out in her shoulder either. Her eyes were locked on the woman in case she tried to pull anything funny on her, while her tail flickered back and forth.

Fine. She could help get the bullet out and then she would be on her way.
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#7
At the low growl, Kimimila immediately snatched her hands away and resisted the urge to run, barring herself in her house. Seriously, why was she even doing this? At what point did she decide this was sane? And why was she not dead yet? Did it understand what was happening? As the cougar crouched down she eyed the creature with suspicion. She might have been internally screaming, but aloud she only managed a soft, "Yeah, ok." before slowly reaching out again.

Maybe humming a tune would help calm it? She wondered to herself, talking usually calms her cat when having to do unpleasant things, but really this was total uncharted territory. Deciding to try it, Kimi began humming a children's lullaby as she began to softly inspect the injury. Thankfully it didn't seem too deep and so retrieving the bullet shouldn't be too invasive. Plus the hole was small, so only a few stitches would be required.

But first, disinfection. Still humming she reached with one hand and grabbed the pitcher of water and slowly began to pour the tepid water over the wound. With the thumb of her other hand she lightly began rubbing away the dried blood, dirt, and other debris away from the wound. Always keeping a cautious eye for any reactions. She was still half expecting to high-tail it out of there on a moments notice.

When she had the area as clean as she could safely manage Kimi let out a sigh as if she had been holding her breath. It was time to try for the bullet. Turning slightly away she opened the first-aid kit and found a decent sized pair of silver tweezers. "I wish I could offer you a healthy dose of tequila to help with what I'm about to do... Shit, I could do with one too." With a small nervous laugh she re-positioned herself for a better angle. More for her own benefit then for anything else she uttered a soft count down from three and as gently as she could began using the tweezers to retrieve the bullet as fast as she could. Loosing a limb was not on her list of things to do today.
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