Jasper was born in a litter of 6 kittens to Tom Stripetail and Martha Softpaws. He wasn't the biggest of his 3 brothers and 2 sisters, but he was the most clever...or so he believed.
For whatever reason, Jasper never gave a thought as to how this human seemed to understand. He also forgot all about the wayward hat as the human picked him up and cradled him in his arms. Jasper began to purr, and noticed a shiny stone pendant hanging around the human's neck on a leather cord. He gently placed a paw on the stone, and purred even louder. The stone seemed to purr back at him! He rubbed the stone with his furry cheek, then to say thank you to the human, he rubbed his cheek too. The human chuckled and gently petted his scruffy head. 'Oh, you like the pendant? It's a stone called 'Jasper'. and I think that would be a fine name for you too.' With that the human gently sat Jasper on a cushion inside the coach. Jasper curled up and promptly began to groom while he purred louder than he had in his whole life. He had forgotten about the wandering hat completely, and he had no idea where they were going, but he did know he finally had a human of his very own.
As the kitten grew, Tom and Martha taught them to hunt, to hide, and when to run away. Jasper was by far the fastest of all the young ones. He loved stalking birds and mice. Jasper also loved pounding on anything that wiggled. In fact, he was so busy being a kitten, he never seemed to have time for proper grooming, which gave him a rather messy, spiky appearance, much to the dismay of his mother.
When the kittens had learned all their parents had to teach them, they began venturing out into the village in search of places to make their own homes. One by one the kittens found humans to protect from rodents and leaves that blew about in the wind, and moved into their new homes. All except Jasper. No one seemed to want the fastest very best hunter, they all wanted the soft fluffy well-groomed kittens.
Jasper began to grow despondent. All his brothers and sisters were gone. His parents were already planning another family and Jasper had no one to play, hunt or wrestle with. He neglected his fur even more, and began sulking in alleys and running with wild stray cats and kittens that no one wanted. Time passed and Jasper forgot ever being part of a family.
Then one day, when he was in the alley behind an in hoping to find something to eat, a hat scooted past. Curiosity won out over hunger, and he quickly ran after the mysterious mobile hat. Jasper chased the hat down the alley, around the corner and straight into a pile of luggage sitting on the ground beside a coach where the hat disappeared into a large curved top trunk. Standing beside the trunk was an elderly human wearing a blue robes decorated with stars and moons and a tall pointed hat to match.
The human looked down at the ragged young cat and smiled. He asked jasper if he was lost, to which Jasper shook his head 'no'. The human looked at jasper with a very curious expression the kept asking questions until he was sure Jasper was a stray.