#AtoZChallenge — G is for Good Girl

GBased on a true story, more or less. There are a lot of stray kittens in our area and one of them recently found its way to our house and tried to befriend our cats through the window. It broke our hearts not to be able to take her in, but our babies were upset enough as it was.

Wherever you are, I encourage you to support your local rescue shelters. If you’re in Sonoma County, there’s a benefit event for Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County coming up in May that’s a great opportunity to do so! Most places will always happily accept donations of litter, food, towels, toys, cash, and your time.

711 words.

Good Girl

I am a good girl. My momma told me so. But I worry that maybe I’m not so good, because I don’t know where she is. I left the warm huddle of my siblings to go exploring and now I don’t remember the way back.

The world is fascinating, though, I couldn’t help it. The first day I found a huge forest where all the trees were small and growing in row free row after row, seemingly endless. Their leafless branches were all at the very top of the trunks and stretching out to their nearest neighbors. When I finally reached the end, I crossed a thick stripe of black stone that felt hot against my toes in the warm sunny day and found a similar forest. It was also in rows, but the trees were older, more crooked and gnarled. They had little green leaf buds just beginning to open up.

The second day, I started to feel very hungry. I started crying for my momma, hoping she would hear me and come to save me, but I must have explored to far because she doesn’t come. She probably can’t hear me, but I worry that she does and has just decided I am not a good girl anymore.

I kept walking and crying, hoping someone would save me, when just around nightfall I heard a voice. It wasn’t my momma but I ran towards it all the same and found a big wooden house, even bigger than the one where I was born. This house is also much harder to find my way into. It’s all sealed up, but I can climb up the wall to a screened opening where I can at least see inside. There are others like me in there. They aren’t my momma or my siblings, and they hiss at me, protective of their place. But I can tell they are good girls, warm and well fed, with good parents to take care of them.

Hopeful, I drop back down and wander back and forth, crying to be let in. I’m a good girl, I promise! If they let me in I know I can be good.

After a while, their momma comes out with food. I’m so hungry and so grateful that I gobble it down. It’s hard food that breaks against my teeth, not what I’m used to, and sometime while I’m inhaling the pieces one sharp edge nicks my gum. I taste a little blood, but it’s not so bad. When all the food is finished I rub against the new momma, telling her thank you, telling her I’m good. She smooths the hair on my head and rubs my cheeks, telling me I’m sweet but that she’s sorry she can’t let me in because her babies wouldn’t like it. Then she brings me water to drink, and while I lap at it she slips back inside and is gone.

It’s disappointing not to be warm, but my tummy is full and the water washes the blood taste away. I wander around the house until I find a good place to curl up and sleep.

The third day, just around nightfall, I return to see if the good girls have changed their minds about me. They still hiss, but I think it’s a little less and that makes me happy. A little while later their momma comes out and leaves more food for me. She doesn’t stay this time, but I hear her call me a sweet girl before she goes. Is that the same as being good? Is it close?

On the fourth day I am woken by gentle hands stroking my fir. The good girls’ daddy tells me that he will take me somewhere warm. He has food that he puts in a big soft cave; I rub against his hands, purring, before running in to eat my breakfast. The opening of the cave closes behind me with a quiet zip and he says, “What a good kitten! We’re taking you to a shelter, sweetie. They’ll take care of you there.”

My heart swells, and even though I don’t know exactly where I am or where I will go next, I know that I am a good girl once more.

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