Catkiller and Scratch
Updated: Apr 7, 2019
Cantankerous old bitch of a badger. Indomitable.
In a previous life Catkiller was called ‘Sour’, or ‘Sow’, and kept mostly to herself on the edge of the wood’s society. For unknown reasons (ain’t writ that part yet) Sour was also an outcast, willing or not, from the wood’s main badger sett. She’s always been cantankerous, and difficult to talk with. When Truthful Sly introduced the cat to the forest, Sour made a rare social appearance to fight against the proposal. She was quashed in a vote, and left in disgust. Eventually, Sour was tragically proved right about the cat. Returning to her sett months later, she finds a bloody trail leading to the cat, and the corpses of her children. During the fight the cat blinds and wounds Sour, and they both go tumbling off the cliff. Sour finishes her off and collapses. She waits for death to come, but is surprised by the sound of light scratching: one of her cubs has survived.
The wood doesn’t entirely know how to treat her after this. Her new name is spoken in awe, but the meaning goes a bit further than that, intertwining her identity with that one terrible day. They feel pity for her loss, and her disability. They also feel guilty about letting the cat in. These twist into a sort of discomfort, and borderline hatred. The feeling is certainly mutual.
Catkiller’s an older badger (pending research…), not overly large or small. Her fight with the cat was a bad one. No ‘Scar’ scars a la Lion King, she should look like she was say, mauled by a Scottish wildcat. Maybe between half a year and a year has passed since then though, so she will be somewhat healed. Either way, she’s blinded, and her eyes will have to reflect this somehow. Having said all that, it would be good if she could just look a little battered, and not actually unpleasant to look at.
Catkiller should always be direct and assertive. She never looks down, or away. For enemies, this is an act of defiance, saying she’s not afraid of anything. For the animals of the wood, she wants them to see her scars. Though she can’t see, her sense of smell is enough to get her through most situations. When walking, she should probably lead with her nose, if that makes sense.
Catkiller’s core drive is twofold. On the surface, she just wants to save Scratch. She let her other cubs die and she’s not going to let it happen to him too. On a deeper level, what Catkiller wants most of all is to die for him, as a form of absolution. She wishes that she could give her life to bring back one of her cubs, and she desperately wants to have that chance with Scratch and Stonepecker. She doesn’t expect, or really intend, to finish this story alive.
Runt of Catkiller's brood, but a survivor at that.
Scratch hasn't had a good life. His siblings died when he was young, and his short childhood thus far has been characterised by Catkiller's hard-love method of parenting. He is compassionate enough, and by defending Stonepecker from bullies he sowed the seeds for his attachment. After being kidnapped, Scratch wastes no time in actively trying to escape, whilst the other children fall apart. As his mother's son, some resentment comes through when he sees how useless Darling(fawn) is. Because of his hard line upbringing, Scratch isn't entirely sure that his mother is coming to get him.
As the runt of the litter, he should be quite small. He is a good digger, though, so the claws ought to be prominent, perhaps.
Scratch is at the intersection of a child's friendliness, and the coldness of his upbringing. He is capable of both warmth and hardness. Most of the time he looks either defiant, or submissive.
His speech, like Catkiller's, is quite limited, though his manner isn't so standoffish.
To survive. To feel adequate. His siblings died but he didn't: Scratch very much feels the weight of that.