The Colony
V. Ducain

Chapter Nine
A Distasteful Medical Problem

After that first time, we just lay quietly together without talking as we recovered from our first sexual experience as chakats, contemplating what could, what we hoped would, result from our efforts.  After a tranquil few minutes, Katherine casually bent around and began licking hir own penis-sheath and partially exposed semi-erect penis.  Seeing Katherine casually licking hirself like a dog or cat was more then a little surprising.

Shi noticed me staring and paused in mid lick to give me a wry smile and say, “Well, this is the easiest way to keep yourself clean.”

I just nodded then said, “Ahh, yeah.  I guess so.  It's just I've not seen anyone else doing that.”

Katherine frowned, then smiled and said, “Well, I assume most people usually do this in private, but I've seen several people cleaning themselves this way.  It's the easiest and best way to keep, the important parts clean, and it is a rather natural thing to do now.  If you don't do this, then how do you do keep yourself clean?”

“Uhh, well,” I said, “I use my hand to wash myself.  Wish I had soap.”

Shi nodded and said, “Yes, soap would be nice, though it's not as necessary now since we don't sweat, but a good bath every couple weeks would still be a good idea.”

“Every couple weeks?” I asked, my surprise evident.

“Sure,” shi replied, “We are basically felines now, and we really don't need to bathe, except to discourage parasites like fleas, and to clean stains from our fur bushing doesn't remove.  In fact, as far as felines in general are concerned, regular bathing more often then once a month really is not all that healthy.  Especially with the kind of ordinary harsh lye soap we'll probably be making to start with which will strip the natural oils from our fur.”

Katherine finished cleaning hirself then added, “Of course, that most definitely does not apply to keeping your penis and sheath clean.  There are very good reasons dogs and cats seem to always be licking themselves.”  Shi paused then asked, “Just how often do you wash your penis and sheath. . . and your vulva?”

“Ahhh. . . well. . .” I reluctantly said, “I wash when I go swimming.”

“Only then?” Katherine asked as shi gave me a 'thoughtful' look.  When I nodded shi then commented, “As far as I know, you've been swimming only two, or maybe three times since we woke up.”

“Twice; this is the second time I've managed to get away for a swim,” I said as I thought of my sore penis.

“You really should clean your penis and sheath at least once or twice a day,” Katherine said, “It's not so necessary to 'wash' your vulva every day since it's normally clinched shut, and has 'natural' antibacterial secretions.  But, your penis and sheath are much more exposed, and as far as I know lacks similar antibacterial secretions.  Something as minor as a small scratch from a twig or blade of grass can become badly infected overnight if your penis and sheath aren't kept clean.  And, you really don't want to get a septic infection there.  As a vet, I've seen some very nastily infected canine and feline penis sheaths, when for some reason they couldn't keep themselves as clean as they normally do.”

Thinking of my red, swollen penis and sore sheath I could only think to respond with, “Ohhh. . . really?  Ahh, but primitive people, uh, I mean primitive humans don't seem to to have any problems.”

“We're not human any more,” Katherine said, “and just because a people was considered 'primitive' doesn't mean they didn't keep themselves as clean as they could.”  Then shi sniffed the air and got a serious thoughtful look before shi said, “Mmm, I think I better take a quick look, if you don't mind.”

With a sigh, I rolled over on my side to give Katherine a look at my penis and sheath as I said feeling very embarrassed, “Ahhh. . . I meant to see you today about. . . Ahhh, about it, but you were busy with the cubs.”

Katherine pushed my sheath back to expose two or three inches of my flaccid penis.  Then shi said, “Hummm. . . it is redder than it should be. . . just try to relax.” as shi gently took hold of my penis and began pulling on it.

I jerked in reaction to this and exclaimed, “Oww, that hurts!  What are you doing?”

Katherine paused with a frown and replied, “That should not be painful.  Where does it hurt and what does the pain feel like?”

“Uhh, well, I guess it burns kinda like a sunburn.” I replied and added, “I noticed it was a little red and tender yesterday.  When I woke up this morning it was redder and swollen and a lot sorer.”

As shi took a close look at the exposed part of my penis Katherine said, “Mmm, uhh.” then sniffed it too.  I got the impression shi was not pleased with me from the look shi gave me as shi said, “You have an infected scratch on the lining of your sheath.  It is a minor infection. . . so far. . . so it shouldn't be hard to take care of.  But you will have to do a lot better job of keeping your penis and sheath clean than you have been doing.  You may be washing your penis and sheath when you bathe, but you are not washing often enough, nor does it appear you are doing a thorough job when you do wash.”

Indignant, I insisted, “I am too thorough!  I do as good a job as I can do with just water.”

Discovering I was not keeping myself 'clean enough' and getting scolded about it was bad enough, but it was a lot worse since it was Katherine doing the scolding.  Shi said, “Washing the way you've been doing it might be sufficient if you're able to wash yourself every day with soap.  Even so, it still would not be the best way to keep your penis, sheath, and vaginal area clean.”

Shi paused and sniffed my vagina before continuing, “Hummm. . . well, your vagina smells normal, considering you're in 'heat' and just had a good screwing.  You have to remember, we are not human, and washing all over every day or even once every couple weeks would not be the healthiest thing to do, but we have to keep our genitals clean.  As far as keeping our penis and vulva clean, I cannot prove it yet, but I am reasonably certain our saliva, like all canine and feline saliva, has a highly effective antibacterial action on most harmful septic bacteria.  So, licking really would be the easiest and most effective way to keep these areas clean.  It should also be a pretty good treatment to keep open wounds from getting infected.”

Katherine bent around to face hir own penis and sheath as shi said, “It's really not hard to do, and with a little practice you'll be doing it like you were born to do it.”  Then shi began demonstrating exactly how to easy it was to lick every square inch of hir penis and sheath, as well as hir vulva.

As shi finished shi said as I reluctantly bent around to follow hir example, “Judging by your smell, you won't taste too good right now, but once that infection is cleared up and you're nice and clean, like you should be, you shouldn't have any bad taste.”

When I got close enough to take a sniff of my partially exposed penis, I smelled something like sour spoiled meat and I asked, “Eeeww. . . that stinks!  Why didn't I smell that before?”

Katherine shrugged and replied, “Well, the smell really is not very strong, not yet.  If that infection had gone untreated another day or two, that spoiled meat smell would have been much stronger and you would have been in some serious pain.  You did just wash yourself when you took your swim, didn't you?”

“Ahh, yes.”

“Well, didn't you notice a sour smell before you went swimming and washed your penis?” Katherine asked.

Feeling embarrassed I admitted, “Well, yes, I did.  That's why I took a bath, besides the fact I felt like going for a swim.”

Katherine explained, “I'm sure you've noticed we don't sweat to keep cool, and since we also don't have much body odor we really don't need to bathe, except to clean mud and other dirt off our fur.  Any foul body odors will almost always be due to some kind of infection, an illness, or an infected injury, or a surface infection caused by lack of 'proper' personal hygiene.”

Since it was clear just what shi meant by 'proper personal hygiene', and that shi expected me to follow her example, I reluctantly took my first lick of my penis.  Shi was right about it not tasting good, but at hir insistence I kept at it till I had licked clean every square inch of my penis and sheath to hir satisfaction.  Then shi had me turn my attention to my vulva and semen filled vagina, which I discovered tasted much better.

When I finished Katherine said, “You do that two or three times a day and you won't have any more problems.”  Then shi kiss-licked my cheek and said, “Don't let this bother you, it's just one more aspect of our transformation we have to accept and get used to.”

“But, it, it's so demeaning, so much like what animals have to do!” I complained.  “We have hands, we shouldn't have to lick ourselves clean like animals!”

Katherine shrugged and smiled as shi said, “Ohh, I agree with you, we're not animals, but we're not human anymore either.  We could probably keep ourselves clean by washing, but it would take a lot more effort and time and probably wouldn't be as healthy as simply licking.  Look at it this way, you wouldn't expect us to shave off our fur and start wearing clothes because as humans we were fur-less and wore clothes, now would you?”

“Of course not!  That would be stupid.”

Katherine snorted and said, “Yeah, it's a stupid idea, but you know there are a few people who have seriously insisted that is what we should do.  I have no doubt if they had a way of shaving their fur off, they'd do it, 'because God intended us to wear clothes'.”

I growled and muttered, “I have no patience for fools who presume to know what God's intentions are.”

Shi chuckled and said, “Yeah, so I've heard.  You know, you're not the most subtle person on that subject.  It's a good thing most of the more religious among us understand your point of view does not mean you're anti-religious.”

Shi laughed and said, “By the way, that was a very neat maneuver getting DiVargin and his supporters to so viciously denounce religion and God before they realized how many people held strong religious views.”

I stared at hir with wide-eyed innocence and protested, “Me?  Do something subtle and sneaky?  Now why would you say something like that?”

Katherine poked me playfully in the ribs and said, “You know something. . .”

“Yeah, several things, in fact.” I interrupted, then shi poked me again.

And finished saying, “As I was saying, I really think you changed your name to White Tip from Machiavelli.”

I shrugged and said, “I observed DiVargin and his people, before they were transformed, and Deering's description of them being socialist elitists mostly agreed with what I saw.  While I didn't know for sure if they really were hard-core socialists, I knew from hard experience that many such people can be unbelievably arrogant if they're caught off guard or think they have an advantage.

“I knew most, if not all, of the passengers on the plane were Americans.  And as a group, Americans have always held rather strong religious views.  A fact many non-religious people, or religious bigots underrate because they confuse tolerance of other religious views with a lack of religious convictions.  I noticed many of the passengers prominently displayed crosses and other religious symbols, and I also noticed more then a few Masonic rings and pins, especially among the military personnel and dependents.

“It wasn't hard to irritate DiVargin, which also irritated his supporters.  So I gave them something they'd believe to be a weakness, an openly stated religious view some people seemed to disagree with.  When they took the bait, plus some of the other things I've observed and learned from others since then, confirmed they were more or less what Deering said they were.”

I looked around before continuing, “I've seen the horror, the pure evil such people can do, 'in the name of the common good', and I'd murder them in their sleep before I ever allow them to take control.”

Katherine looked shocked as shi said, “You surely don't mean that!”

Looking away I replied, “I've seen piles of skulls taller then a tall man, the skulls of men, women, children and infants whose only crime was to be educated or 'too western' or to be members of some other group judged to be 'enemies of the people'.  I've seen these piles of skulls or similar atrocities in Southeast Asia, Africa, China, the Balkans, and other places the insanity known as communism, or national socialism, or whatever name it's hiding behind, has gained control of a nation's sanity.  I will never tolerate or compromise with such insane inhuman philosophy no matter what it happens to be calling itself.”

I sighed and asked, “Please, this subject is always a downer, so lets talk about something else, something happy.  I've noticed most of the cubs seem much better behaved in the last few days, so I guess their parents decided my ideas of 'house-breaking and training' weren't such 'insensitive' ideas after all.”

Katherine laughed and said, “No, not after a week of unsuccessfully trying to control the 'darling' little monsters by more traditional 'humane' methods.  Most of the parents finally accepted the glaring fact any cub less than about two years old is little more then a very smart and hyperactive feline cub and really needs to be treated like one.  At least, they've all survived, so far.”

“Yeah, the little ones do bounce pretty good, don't they?”

Katherine shuddered and said, “When I saw Alex falling off that cliff, bouncing off all those boulders on the way down I was sure we'd find a bloody pulp at the bottom.  It's hard to believe shi only fractured an arm, a leg, and three or four ribs, all simple fractures too, and shi seems fine otherwise.”

“As I said, they bounce pretty good.  And it's a good thing too.”

About then someone called from up above, from outside the cave, “White Tip, Katherine, are you down there?”

I sighed and said, “Well, it looks like our break is over.” then I yelled, “YES!  WE'RE DOWN HERE!  WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

The voice, too distorted by echoes to be recognized, yelled back, “Night Runner thinks the new test batch of paper is going to turn out to be usable.  Shi said it's going to be a bit heavy, but it looks like it'll be make a decent writing paper.”


“DiVargin is trying to lay claim to the paper, and Night Runner thought you should have something to say about who gets this first batch,” the voice replied.

I muttered, “If that asshole wasn't such a hard worker or hadn't come up with some good ideas, I think I could take a real disliking to hir.”  Then I yelled, “HOW MANY SHEETS OF PAPER DOES NIGHT RUNNER EXPECT TO GET OUT OF THIS BATCH?”

The voice replied, “About a dozen sheets.”


“Yes, full size sheets.”

Cut into smaller more or less standard size sheets that would be about 240 sheets.  While that would be useful, we would need many times that amount to record and preserve the surprising wealth of basic technology know-how spread among group's members.  It would take at least two or three times that number of sheets just to record basic mathematics such as algebra, plane and solid geometry, trig, and basic calculus.  Then there was chemistry, metallurgy, biology, medicine and dozens of other areas, many that we would have no use for right now, but which we would need to record and preserve for future generations.  I considered this and other shorter term needs before I yelled, “TELL NIGHT RUNNER WE WILL TALK ABOUT FUTURE PAPER ALLOTMENTS LATER THIS EVENING, BUT SHI CAN LET DI VARGIN HAVE THIS BATCH UNLESS SHI HAS ALREADY PROMISED IT TO SOMEONE ELSE.”

After whoever it was left, I snuggled up to Katherine and said, “Well now, since they know where I am, I guess it won't be too long before someone else drops by with a problem or a question they feel I need to solve.  But, we should have at least a half hour, if you want to. . .”

“Ohh, I think that should be enough time.” Katherine said as shi nuzzled then kiss-licked my ear.  When I started to stand up shi gently pushed me back down as shi said, “No, I don't think you should do any 'pitching' until that infection on your penis clears up.  So, until then I guess you'll have to settle for 'catching'.  I hope you don't mind.”

As shi rolled me over on my back and stood over me, I said with a big smile, “Oh no, that would be just fine with me.  I have to say I like 'catching', at least I like 'catching' your 'pitches'.”

This time we mated face to face in a Chakat version of the good old 'missionary' position.  I thought this way was better because I could more easily caress and fondle Katherine and hir breasts.  And mating this way rubbed my soon fully erect penis between our bellies in a most pleasure enhancing way.  After Katherine and I came, shi cleaned hirself again and this time I followed her example.  At least I tasted a lot better this time.

After we finished, my penis was still fully erect, and licking myself clean did nothing to alleviate my condition.  Since I had not yet cummed, at least not that way, Katherine urged me to keep 'cleaning' myself until I did.  This did not seem nearly as objectionable as I'm sure it would have before shi got me to lick myself clean.  So I did as Katherine suggested and I soon discovered cumming this way was, well. . . 'nice', but it was not nearly as pleasurable as cumming while Katherine fucked me.  I also seemed to have a lot less semen then Katherine, which shi assured me was 'probably' normal, due to the fact I was at my 'female peak'.  Shi was near hir 'male peak', and very 'male'.

Before we returned to the caves most of us now thought of as 'home', Katherine and I used hir wonderful gifts to carefully groom each other.  Grooming proved to be a very pleasant activity and while it was not really sexual it was just as enjoyable in its own way.  As Katherine brushed and combed my fur and mane I wondered what the chances were I would get pregnant and what it would be like to actually feel a new life growing in my body if I did.  Since it was very likely I would be giving birth in about ten or eleven months, I decided I better make sure to attend the next few birthings.

I was very happy with Katherine's surprise gift shi had made hirself.  Since we had a lot of fur to keep groomed, brushes and combs were not really a luxury, and I'm sure they would be a very valued item to give to a friend or loved one.  Katherine was not the only one trying to make usable combs and brushes, but shi seemed to be the first one to succeed.

Shi said, “I knew what kinds of natural raw materials were used, before plastics came into use, to make brushes and combs and such things.  My grandmother had a brush and comb set a lot like the one I made you.  It may have been pure luck rat-pigs have such heavy tough bristles which make excellent brush bristles, or those odd six legged 'armadillo-tortoises' shells are perfect to make combs with, but I have no doubt we'll find many other sources of materials to make brushes and combs with.”

I chuckled and said as I carefully put away the brush and comb, “I have no doubt such personal grooming accessories will be very popular gifts.  I'm also pretty sure rat-pigs and armadillo-tortoises are going to be the game of choice for a while.  Good thing they're pretty good eating.”

A little later that day, I somehow found myself alone with Katherine again and we were soon cuddling and 'necking' like a couple of over-sexed teenagers.  Katherine paused long enough to ask, “White Tip, are you sure you really want to do this?  You are in heat and if you're not already pregnant from this morning, you probably will be if we continue doing this while you're in heat.”

I kiss-licked hir and said, “Yesss.  I'm sure.  I want to have a cub, your cub.  You said you wanted a family and children.  Well, so do I.”  Shi kiss-licked my face and nuzzled my neck as I rolled over on my back to receive her.  This time, we discovered we did not have 'quite' as much privacy as we did in the cavern, and by the time we realized we had a couple of curious young spectators it was a little late to do anything about it.

While we were cleaning up after our love-making, Jay's and Melissa's heads popped up from behind a nearby boulder and Jay asked, “That looked like fun, what kind of game is that?”

Melissa slapped the back of Jay's head and said, “Dummy!  They're making a baby.”

Jay returned Melissa's slap with an elbow to hir belly as he said, “I'm not a dummy!  You are!  I know they were making a baby!  What they're doing now looks like fun too!”

Melissa poked Jay in the ribs and said, “They're just licking themselves, like Freddy used to do.”

I froze in the middle of giving myself another blow-job at the cubs unexpected appearance as I tried to think of some way of explaining what Katherine and I were doing.  Before I could think of anything to say about why I had my penis in my mouth, Katherine said in a calm matter of fact voice, “We are cleaning ourselves.  It's important to keep yourself clean.”

Melissa giggled as shi pointed at me and said, “It looks like White Tip's doin more then just lickin hirself clean.”

This rather rude comment from Melissa goaded me out of my startlement to protest, “Hey!  That's no way to talk about your elders ya little scamp!”

As I started to get up, Katherine stopped me and said, “Melissa, you're old enough to know you shouldn't make fun of someone's embarrassment.  So you apologize now.”

I didn't think Melissa seemed all that apologetic as shi said, “I am very, very sorry White Tip.  I really, really didn't mean to make fun of you.”

I still felt very embarrassed that the two cubs had caught me sucking my own penis.  That was bad enough, but Melissa's and Jay's joking around made it clear they both knew exactly what I had been doing.  And Katherine's casual reaction did little to ease my embarrassment.  I was just wanting the cubs to go play somewhere else, but Katherine called them over instead.

Melissa and Jay seemed as surprised as I was when Katherine said, “You two come on over here.”  It was clear they were as curious as I was about what shi wanted as they sauntered over to where we lay.

As the cubs stopped next to Katherine shi sniffed and said, “I thought I noticed something.”  Then shi asked, “Jay, when was the last time you took a bath, or cleaned your penis and vagina?”

Jay looked surprised and unsure as shi replied, “Uhh, well. . . I'm a cat person now, cats don't take baths.  Do they?”

Katherine gave me a disappointed look that made me feel like crawling in a hole, then shi commented, “White Tip, you really should pay more attention to the health of the cubs in your care.”  Shi took some of the sting out of what shi said by adding, “But I can't say too much since I've not paid as much attention to this problem as I should have.  I guess I'll have to stop worrying about what people may think of the easiest and most effective way of taking care of personal hygiene.”

Then shi turned hir attention to Jay and Melissa and said, “Melissa, Jay, I want you two to sniff each other's penis and vagina.”

“What!”, Melissa started to protest.

“But. . .”, Jay started to protest too.

Katherine interrupted in a firm tone of voice, “Just do what I tell you to do, cubs.  Now, sniff each other, then sniff yourselves.”

After they did as shi said, Katherine said, “You don't smell too good, do you?  You kinda stink, don't you?” When both cubs nodded, shi said, “Now, sniff me and White Tip.”  After they sniffed Katherine and me, shi asked, “Well, do you smell the difference?”

Jay nodded and said, “Yeah, White Tip smells bad too.”

Melissa added, “Shi doesn't smell nearly as bad as you do, Jay.”

Jay poked Melissa and said, “Well, you stink a lot worse too!”

Katherine raised hir voice a bit as shi said, “Settle down you two.  You smell bad because you've not been keeping yourself clean.  White Tip was trying, but shi wasn't doing it good enough, and shi got an infection.  I bet both of you have sore penises.  Does it hurt when you pee?”

When they nodded yes, Katherine had them lay on their backs so shi could examine their penises and penis-sheaths.  I had no trouble seeing how red and sore looking their penises and the lining of their penis-sheaths were.  I knew how sore I had been and I did not look nearly as bad as the two cubs did.  I could not help saying, “Oh my Gawd!  Why didn't one of you say something about this?  You must have realized something was wrong.”

Melissa looked embarrassed as shi said, “Well.  I. . . never had a penis before.  I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be this way or not.”

When Jay did not say anything I asked, “Jay, you were a boy, so why didn't you say something?”

Jay shrugged and finally said, “It's different.  It's bigger than it was, and hides most of the time in its. . . sheath.”

Katherine muttered as shi gently examined the cub's penises, “I see I'm going to have to insist on everyone attending some basic hygiene classes.”  Shi wrinkled up hir snout as shi said, “I really wish I had some soap 'n' clean warm water and wash cloth for this particular job.”  Then as I looked on feeling a bit ill, shi began licking Jay's red and swollen penis.

When I asked, “Do you have to do that, Katherine?”

Shi spit then said, “Unfortunately, yes I do.  If you want to help, you can clean up Melissa.”

I really did not want to lick Melissa's filthy penis clean, it really smelled bad.  But from what Katherine said it was the only really effective way to treat Melissa's obviously infected penis.  When Melissa insisted, “I'm not an infant!  I can keep myself clean, but do I really have to lick my penis clean?  That's so, so. . . eccky!”

I was quite willing to let Melissa lick hir own penis clean, but Katherine said, “White Tip, it's very important to get Melissa's penis and sheath thoroughly clean.  So while I'm sure shi can keep hirself clean, I really think you should clean hir up this first time.”  So, with great reluctance I followed Katherine's example and licked Melissa clean as shi was cleaning up Jay.

It was not a pleasant experience for any of us.  They tasted as bad as they smelled, and from the way they squirmed and whimpered from time to time, it was clear the cubs was not enjoying it any more than Katherine and I were.  By the time we finished, Jay and Melissa had tears in their eyes, and from the red inflamed appearance of their penises, it was obvious how tender and sore they were.

Once we were done, Katherine said, “Now, I expect you two cubs to lick yourself clean when you get up in the morning and before you go to sleep.  And, at least twice during the day.  If you do as I tell you, the redness, swelling and tenderness should be noticeably better by tomorrow or the next day, and it should be all gone in a couple of days.”  Then shi looked at me and continued, “And I expect you to examine them at least twice a day until the infection is gone.”

Feeling shame-faced I replied, “Yes, of course.  I'll also make a point to continue checking them every day until I know they know how, and are taking care of themselves.”  I felt like I had failed in my responsibility to my adopted cubs because I had not noted their infections.  The distinctive scent of the inflammation was now obvious to me.

After we returned to the huge main caverns where most of the colony lived, I noticed for the first time the same slightly rotten sour scent.  I asked Katherine, “Do you smell that?  Why didn't I notice it before?”

She replied, “Yes, I do.  Don't feel bad about not noticing the smell.  I'm the one at fault, and I noticed it four days ago, but I didn't realize what it was until today.  I see our sense of smell is going to play a major part in diagnosis of medical conditions.  It's so obvious now, but I just didn't consider its obvious usefulness.”

I sent Jay and Melissa off to round up the rest of my adopted 'family' and gave the problem some thought as I followed Katherine to the small well-ventilated and lighted side cavern that served as our so far unused 'hospital'.  I made myself comfortable as Katherine informed some of the other medical people, who happened to be present in the hospital, about her disturbing discovery, then I asked, “Katherine, would you say this problem of personal hygiene is caused by ignorance?”

Katherine nodded and replied, “Yes.”

“And, it is, or should be, easily treated and cured?” I asked.

Katherine sighed and replied, “Yes.  All people have to do is keep themselves clean, but I may have trouble getting most people to accept the easiest and most effective method of doing so.”  Shi sighed and added, “I just don't know why I assumed everyone would do the obvious thing.  Maybe it's because I've dealt with animals for most of my life.”

I chuckled and commented, “Well, you've got to admit licking your own cock and pussy like a dog is not something that will be all that appealing to most people.”

Katherine said, “It's only one more thing people are going to have to get used to.”  Shi chuckled and added, “Can you imagine how DiVargin or Blackmane will react to this, or to getting pregnant?”

I couldn't help grinning as I said, “Yeah, seeing a pregnant DiVargin waddling around would be an interesting sight.  But, who's Blackmane?”

“Oh, that's colonel Deering.  At least, that's the nickname some of hir soldiers use.” Katherine replied.

I nodded and said, “Mmm, the name does fit.  Hir raven black mane is a very striking contrast to Deering's beautiful leopard patterned coat.  And I'm not sure, but I think there was a famous military leader of some kind by that name.  If so, I wouldn't be surprised if that had as much to do with hir nickname as hir black mane.”

A little while later Jay, returned with Randal and Valerie.  Shi said, “Buffy 'n' Black Tail are supposed to be explorin' a cave 'n Melissa went ta get them.”

I asked, “Shi didn't go alone, did shi?”

Jay snorted and said, “We know better than that!  White Spots and Jerry went with her.”

I had to suppress a smile at hir indignation that I would think they would break my rule about going into any cave or cavern alone as I said, “Good.  I didn't think shi, or you, would do that, but you know I worry anyway.”  I was very pleased how well behaved all of my adopted cubs were, at least as far as the things that really matter such as my safety rules are concerned.  So far, my practice of treating them as responsible as they're willing to assume seemed to be working pretty well.

Obviously annoyed, Valerie said, “We were doing something important when the pests insisted you wanted to talk to us about something.”  Then shi pointed at Jay and said, “And, that little pervert snuffed me where he had no business sticking his nose.  Then he whispered something to Melissa and they both just laughed and wouldn't say what was so funny!”

Knowing exactly what Jay was sniffing for, I said, “Jay, that was not a polite thing to do.  Now apologize to Valerie.”

As shi perched on a nearby boulder, Jay smiled and said, sounding very insincere, “I'm sorry Valerie.”

“Okay,” I said, “now you can go play.”

Jay said, “I don't wanna go play, I wanna watch.”

In a firmer tone I said, “I said, 'you can go play', so go on, get!”

As Jay reluctantly left, Valerie muttered, “Pest.”  Then shi lay down, notably slower and more careful then usual, and asked in rather irritable tone, “Okay, we're here.  What's so important you sent the pests to fetch us?”

I started to reply when Valerie sat up in obvious discomfort, so I asked with concern, “Valerie, you're in pain.  What's wrong?”

Plainly embarrassed Valerie reluctantly said, “My, my penis hurts!  It's all red and swollen.”

Much to Valerie's embarrassment, Katherine ordered hir lay on hir back so shi and the other medical people could watch as shi carefully exposed Valerie's red and very swollen penis.  Although Katherine was as careful and gentle as shi could be Valerie was whimpering in great pain.  While shi first rinsed Valerie's infected penis with sun warmed water, Katherine said to the gathered healers, “I fear we may have allowed a potentially serious health problem to creep upon us.  Luckily prevention is a relatively simple matter, if we can convince people to take the proper precautions.”

After carefully and as gently as possible washing Valerie's penis Katherine continued, “In this case and other cases this severe, the abscess film should be washed off with warm clean water, then the penis and the lining of the penis sheath should be thoroughly licked.  I have seen some indications our. . .”

Valerie belatedly exclaimed, “What!?  Did you just say you're gonna lick my penis!?”

Katherine gave Valerie a bland look then said, “No.  I am not going to lick your penis.  You are going to do it.”

“Ya gotta be kidding!  No way am I gonna do something like that!”

Katherine gave Valerie's sore swollen penis a gentle nudge, causing hir to gasp in pain, and said, “Oh yes you are.  If you think this is sore now, what do you think it would feel like if gangrene develops and I had to amputate your penis?”

Valerie protested, “But why do I have to lick myself like, like a dog!?”

I said before Katherine could say anything, “It's the best way to keep yourself clean, and Katherine thinks our saliva fights infections, kinda like an antibiotic.”

Valerie sniffed herself and protested again, “Ahh, do I have to?  It stinks!”

I sighed and said, “Yeah, you do.  I know you stink, I can smell you, and it'll taste as bad as it smells as long as your penis is infected.  Don't feel too bad, you didn't know any better, neither did I and I got an infection too, so did Jay and Melissa.  And I'm beginning to suspect more people than not have infected penises too, so it's a good thing the cure is simple, even if it's distasteful.”

Valerie reluctantly gave hir penis a lick, then wrinkled hir face as shi spit and complained, “Eeeoowww, that tastes horrible!”

Katherine nodded as shi said, “Yes, I know, but I washed most of the bad tasting film off so it doesn't taste as bad as could've tasted.  But no matter how bad it tastes, your penis has to be properly cleaned, and I wouldn't expect anyone to do it for you since you are fully able to do it yourself.”

After a lot of whining, Valerie as well as Randal eventually licked themselves clean to Katherine's satisfaction.  Buffy and Black Tail arrived with several of their friends just as Katherine finished instructing Valerie and Randal on how and how often shi expected them to clean themselves, and the whole process was repeated with them.

That evening a general meeting was called and Katherine announced, “I have to inform you of a potentially very serious health problem we have discovered.  I must also apologize for not recognizing this problem before it got as serious as it has, but luckily the treatment is easy, simple and should be totally effective. . .”

Someone, one of the usually impatient loud mouths shouted, “What the hell is this health problem you're talking about?”

Much to my surprise Di Vargin snapped at the loudmouth, “We might all be learning what the problem is if you'll shut up and let the doctor speak.”

“Thank you doctor Di Vargin.” Katherine said and continued, “As I was saying, the problem can be very serious, even life threatening if left untreated, and though the treatment is simple and easy to apply it may be a little embarrassing for many of you.”

Katherine paused before continuing, “I am sure many, if not most of you have noticed an unpleasant odor gradually growing more noticeable over the last few days.  Well, it is easy to make the mistake of assuming that odor is normal for a large gathering of felines like we have here.  I have discovered today that stink is not normal, and it in fact an indication of infections caused by a lack of proper personal hygiene.  As a result I have to insist on everyone, and I mean everyone, submitting to a physical examination and answering a few rather personal questions.  The only exceptions are those few we have already examined.”

After Katherine and the other 'medics' conducted a quick examination of everyone and separated everyone into one of three groups:

Group 1 consisted of those who did not show any trace of genital infections.  Unfortunately this was the smallest group and made up only about 10% of our 'colony'.

Group 2 consisted of those who had relatively mild inflamed penis and sheath.  This was the largest group and included about 70% of those examined.

Group 3 consisted of those who had severely inflamed penile infections.  This group made up almost 20% of those examined.

The severity of the infections varied from very mild to very severe with painful inflammation and swelling.  Luckily no sign of gangrene or permanent tissue damage was found.  Only a few mildly inflamed vaginal infections was found.

Because of the location of the infections, people had been reluctant to say anything about it or report their infections to the medics, so everyone was surprised and alarmed by the extent of the problem.  Katherine made no secret of the fact shi was very pissed off at hirself and the other medics for not spotting 'such an obvious' problem until it got so widespread.  Katherine, with the full support of the other medics, insisted everyone be examined every week and any abnormalities be reported immediately.

The examinations and any required treatment was done in private, as was the explanation and demonstration of the 'approved' method of personal hygiene.  Katherine got the expected protests after the examinations were finished while shi tried answering anxious questions and explaining the importance of disease control, preventive medicine, and maintaining community and personal hygiene.  The protests about having to lick themselves 'like common animals' was as loud as expected, but not nearly as widespread.  All but the most vehement objectors were silenced after Katherine pointed out how all the ones who did not show any trace of infection had already been licking themselves, or had been enjoyed frequent oral sex.  Katherine warned the few holdouts who totally refused to even consider 'doing such a nasty disgusting thing' about how the infections could quickly become life threatening.  Shi even graphically described how the infections could become gangrenous and what the effects of that would be for anyone who allowed an infection to go that far.

I grew more and more irritated as Katherine spent over two hours arguing with a half dozen thick headed fossil brains who absolutely refused to consider this obvious and highly effective treatment.  I finally had enough of their foolishness and I pointed out the stubborn ass-holes to the gathering who happened to remain after two hours as I said, “When I said I would never force anyone to do something they were not willing to do, I thought I was speaking to a group of intelligent adults.  But these idiots severely test that promise.  In most cases if anyone wishes to kill themselves, I will do nothing to prevent you from ending your life, except to attempt to talk you out of doing so.  But it is an entirely different matter if a person insists on killing themselves in a manner which threatens the health and welfare of others.  At this time we have only one effective treatment for these kind of genital infections, and if these idiots refuse to do what is necessary to cure and prevent potentially lethal infections, that is their choice.  But I will not allow them to inflict the rest of us with the stench of their rotting flesh, nor will I allow them to force us to care for them while they die due to an infection they refused to cure.”

One of the 'idiots', a particularly intolerant religious zealot, snarled and yelled, “I may be cursed to endure God's wrath to look like an animal, but I will never act like an animal!”

I did not feel at all sympathetic as I laughed at hir and replied, “What may be a curse to some is a welcome blessing to others.  And as far as the difference between the actions of animals and the actions of man is concerned, I have noticed animals are less savage to their own kind than man has been.”

When this didn't change any minds, not that I expected it would, I tried something else and said, “I will not argue with you any more, you hypocrites aren't worth the trouble.”

As expected, the zealot yelled in an enraged voice “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, HYPOCRITES!?”


The zealot yelled, “Yes, of course it is!  YET YOU WOULD ALLOW SUCH A THING!”


The zealot started to yell a reply but stopped as what I said hit home, then shi asked in a bitter tone of voice, “Why would you care if we die?  I thought you didn't care if people took their own lives.”

I sighed and replied, “You are wrong.  I care.  I care a great deal about everyone.  Even if you were the most useless no good lay-a-bout, which you are far from being, I wouldn't, I couldn't simply allow you to die without trying to prevent it.  Just because I would allow a sane adult to end hir own life if shi really truly desired to do so, does not mean I don't care, or I wouldn't feel loss because I failed to give them a reason to live.”

It took some more urging but eventually everyone accepted Katherine's simple and direct advice about our personal hygiene requirements.  This first 'crisis' sure came out of the blue, but luckily it was a fairly minor problem.  As I turned in that night, snuggled up against Katherine's warm body, I wondered what the next 'crisis' would be.  I hoped it would be as minor and as easily solved, but I really doubted it would be.

Continued in
Mercy Mission
Another Interesting Discovery

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