On a blazing summer’s afternoon, a muscular tom cat yowled over the noise of the crackling flames that flared
before him. Everywhere was chaos. The stables were falling bit by bit, stained blacker than his own pelt by the
hungry fire. The horses had nearly broken down the stable door, and his friends had escaped without him. But
where were his mate, and his kits?
Suddenly a small brown shape flew from the burning building. She landed at her mate’s side, her belly heaving,
her pretty tabby pelt smudged with dust and smoke. In her jaws, slowly falling as it’s mother fought for breath,
was a scruffy, dark-tabby kit with tiny ginger paws. It mewed pitifully as it dangled, barely a day old.
“Amber!” Cried the black tom, lunging forward. Then he gasped. “Only one?”
The she-cat coughed and dropped the kit at her mate’s feet. “I only had time to save one, Coal. The other’s...
I couldn’t manage them.” She began to whimper.
Her mate stared at her affectionately, and then dropped his head to nuzzle the little bundle of fur. It looked dead
already, but if you stared hard, you could see the tiny rise and fall of it’s flank.
The tabby, Amber, coughed again, and picked up the kit. “Come on. We’ve got to get out of here before we’re trapped.”
Coal's emerald-green gaze moved towards the trees behind them. The fire was spreading faster than a rabbit could run. He
nodded, and took the kit from his mate’s jaws.
She stared at him for a second. “We should call her Ember.”
The tom glanced back over his shoulder. “Why?” He said through a mouthful of fur.
“Because she escaped the fire,” his mate said simply, “but she still has embers on her pelt to prove that it was
a close fight. And," she purred, "she is quite hotheaded."
The two cats gazed into each other’s eyes, and Coal looked down his nose at the kit dangling from his jaws. She squirmed and mewed, batting his chest with her fiery-ginger paws. The black tom bowed his head. “Ember it is!”
Secretly, he liked the name not only because of the embers on her pelt, but also because it was close to his mate’s name, Amber. He wondered if she realised that.
They left quickly after that, heading through the trees before the fire reached them. The horses bolted from the
stable seconds later. The fire blazed for days until the entire stable, and the surrounding woodland, was completely
destroyed, leaving only a parched, dry meadow that gave away to a steep gorge.
Little did Ember know that the fire that had both given Ember a name and destroyed her birthplace, would soon be
returned to- to give EmberClan, the hot-headed, wise warriors of the wild, a birthplace too.