Prompt:  Write about a pet

Emily came home from working a Saturday morning at a Pet Refuge event and told me about a kitten she had been holding that day.  Nothing struck me as unusual about that:  twelve-year-old Emily befriending a pet-refuge kitten for a morning triggered no alerts.  It would have been surprising to me if she hadn’t spent the morning befriending a homeless kitten.

Later that week I saw Mrs. Wright under whose care Emily had worked at the Pet Refuge event.  “Emily had a kitten friend Satuday morning,” I said to Mrs. Wright.

“It was more than a friend,” Mrs. Wright said.  “Emily carried the kitten around in her arms all morning, most of the time wrapped inside the folds of her sweatshirt.  I think she was hiding her from view so no one else would adopt her.”

“She asked me about adopting a kitten, but she always asks about that.  I thought this was no different.”

“Perhaps, but the two of them were inseparable.”

That day I called the Pet Refuge and asked after the kitten Mrs. Wright had described to me, and the person to whom I talked said that that kitten had not been adopted.  The next day, Emily, Annie, Karen, and I drove to a house outside of town and were taken into a room in a basement that had more windows than basements normally do. I don’t remember anything else about the basement except all the light, and at least one wall was not underground but rather exposed to the field behind the house.  There were dogs in the yard of the house and lying inside the front door, but none of them followed us downstairs.  We were taken into a room that reminded me then, and makes me think now, of an aviary–there were cages on the wall and wide shelves on which cats and kittens were perched like birds.  When we came into the room, a number of the cats stood and stretched, drawing attention to themselves, but after a moment of looking along the shelves, Emily pointed to one of the kittens that seemed to have larger eyes than the rest:  the kitten had not stood, but she was watching us.  “That’s her,” Emily said.  “That’s my kitten from last Saturday.”

While I completed the paperwork, Emily and Anne settled into the rear seat of our car with the kitten.  When I returned to the car, I looked into the back seat at a kitten with four white paws on an otherwise black-and-brown body.  “Let’s call her Sox,” Emily said.


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