This week opens on the Thundertank, with Cheetara, Panthro, Snarf, WilyKat and WilyKit wondering where Lion-O and Tygra are in the mountains. After Kit and Kat complain about being hungry, Panthro decides it’s high time for them to learn about hunting. So they decide on having a competition between men and women — whoever brings home less meat has to cook.

Panthro’s first lesson to WilyKat is about tracking prey using their footprints. Of course Kat messes it up by thinking Panthro’s tracks are those of prey. And then the older cat decides to teach him about traps instead; as Panthro sets one up, WilyKat notices something watching from the woods. When he calls Panthro’s attention to it, the red-eyed creature is gone.

Panthro comments he shouldn’t be surprised an orphan didn’t have anyone to teach him about survival. Kat responds that there was someone–and he recalls living with Kit and their parents and siblings on a remote farm. Their father takes a break from the harvest to eat, and tells them the story about Eldara–the jewel of the world, where everyone has everything they need. Sounds like a great place eh?

WilyKat and WilyKit decide they want to go search for the city so their parents can stop worrying. Then they suddenly stop, so their dad jokes about them giving up the search already. Except what they see is a twister in the distance. The entire family runs for the root cellar, but Kit and Kat are cut off from the cellar with their father … who hefts them over a giant tree. He’s caught in the twister and killed before he can reach the cellar while Kit, Kat, and the rest of their family watch in horror. Oh no!

Panthro and WilyKat lie hidden, waiting for an oddly horned creature to eat the fruit in the trap. However, Kat warns the beast since he’s so cute. Panthro comments the cute ones taste the best … and gets angry when the creature runs away. He starts to run after the beast, but Kat trips him and Panthro falls headlong into the trap. Whoops. Guess Kat’s in a spot of trouble now.

Cheetara teaches Kit about masking their scent with a smelly fruit. She tells the young cat that sometimes survival means doing things you don’t want to. And Kit remembers that it wouldn’t be the first time. We flash back again to their farm, after their father died, and their mom serves the kids while holding nothing back for herself.

She puts the four kids to sleep, and Kit and Kat ask when they can go to work with her. She says they’re still too small … so unless they find Eldara there’s nothing they can do. After their mom leaves, Kit and Kat sneak out to go questing for the city of treasure their dad talked about. The theory is that their mom will thank them because there’ll be two less mouths to feed.

In the present, Cheetara and Kit creep along a tree branch toward a cute little creature. Kit says she’s not even hungry anymore, but Cheetara tells her sometimes the world can be cruel. Rather than allowing Cheetara to kill the cute creature, however, Kit starts bouncing up and down on the branch. Cheetara falls headlong into the bush of stinky fruit. Guess her scent’s really masked now, eh?

Something growls in the woods when Kit climbs down, which makes Cheetara stand up and whip out her staff. Kit asks her what’s wrong, and she says it seems like something’s hunting them. Ruh-roh, Raggy–those eyes are back in the forest.

Cheetara and Kit stand in the clearing, waiting, while something rustles in the bushes. Cheetara readies her attack … and then Kat launches from the forest and tackles his sister. Panthro and Cheetara make the decision to force Kit and Kat into making the hard choice to kill prey, something they don’t want to do. Cheetara breaks a stick over her knee, hands it to the kids, and tells them they either come back with food or sleep outside.

Kit and Kat sneak up on the blue creature Kat saw earlier. They’re about to attack, when the pink creature Kit and Cheetara were after shows up with their two kids in tow. Now they can’t attack. Darn.

Flashback again. This time to a city, where Kit and Kat beg for money to purchase food. Except people just ignore them, until someone bumps into Kat and loses his pouch in the scuffle. Kat goes to return the money, and then the man shouts “Ratters!” He calls the guards to take Kat and Kit in for being thieves. It’s when they sit hungry in an alleyway that they make the decision to steal two loaves of bread for supper. They have to do whatever they can to survive after all.

In the present, the kittens decide to head back and face the consequences. And then a giant skunk-pig thing leaps over them to attack the cute blue and pink family. So Kit and Kat go on the offensive, attacking the giant creature to get him away from the other creatures.

Kit plays her music, lulling the beast to sleep, while Kat ropes the beast’s legs and brings him down. After the battle, the cute blue and pink family surround Kit and Kat, thankful for their help. Then they lead the kittens to a giant tree full of fruit! Hooray, they don’t have to kill anything!

So Kit and Kat bring back all the fruit they can carry between them. Cheetara approves–the fruit’s delicious after all. Panthro, on the other hand, merely says it’s passable. And there might be hope for the kittens yet. Who knows, Kat says, they might even be able to survive on their own someday. Heh.

If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘ThunderCats: Native Son’ recap to catch up.