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A boy and his cat

by Jaqueline Gairaud

Sleeping cat


Jackie has been friends with cats since she was a little girl. They have sat beside her as she writes and reads all sorts of things ever since.


A lot of people say that dogs are people's best friends. That may be true for many people, but not for me. My best friend is Mr. Whiskers, he's my cat. I've had him since I was six years old and we've had amazing times for three years. He likes playing a lot, with any kind of cords and with straws, he loves straws. When I'm sick he always comes to my bed and lays down with me, purring a lot. Sometimes, when we play around in the garden, we get so dirty mom makes me wash him, he hates that part as much as I do, but he lets me do it anyways, because we're friends. He's orange with stripes the color of honey, his hair is soft and his nose is wet, he wakes me up with it in the mornings. I love Mr. Whiskers and I hope we can be friends for all times.

"All right, very good, Steve. Thank you."

Steve folded back his picture of Mr. Whiskers and returned it to his place in his pocket. Whenever he couldn't be with Mr. Whiskers, he carried around a picture of him. This one was new, he had taken it specially to show to his class and to Miss Natalie. 

When the recess bell rang, he ran as usual to hide from John, Rick and Gus, who were always nagging him. He ate his lunch behind the toilets and proceeded to search for fun stuff to take Mr. Whiskers. He kept his eyes open at all times, making sure the other boys weren't around, but he didn't have to, they were nowhere to be found. Through all that day and the next three, nothing happened. Steve wondered if they were finally going to leave him alone.

Maybe they also have cats. Or maybe they found Mr. Whiskers so neat that they would like to be his friends too. He pondered if he should let them be friends with Mr. Whiskers. His mother was always telling him that he should hang out with other kids, but Steve did not see why, he had Mr. Whiskers and he would be the only true friend he'd ever need.

On Friday evening Steve was so excited he left school without checking if John or Rick or Gus were around. He had found not one, but two marbles! Mr. Whiskers would go insane. He didn't notice the other kids outrunning him. He was only aware of them as he heard the noises. He knew he had heard that sound before, but didn't quite place it until he saw the scene. Mr. Whiskers was making the sound he made when Mom accidentally stepped on his tail. Neither Steve nor Mr. Whiskers had spoken to her for days.

But it wasn't Mom this time. It was John, and Rick and Gus, throwing something at him. Stones, he realized as he ran closer. Tears were filling his eyes. Some of the stones hit him as he reached out for Mr. Whiskers, cornered against the wooden fence. When Steve held him he could feel the warm blood pouring from him, he looked at his gorgeous hazel eyes, one was gone, there was only a black stain were it should be. 

His hands were shaking, he got up and ran, not knowing where. Steve was not aware that he was screaming, but the rest of the neighborhood was. The nice lady two houses apart came out in a hurry. She didn't need too long to understand what was happening. Steve was still screaming and shaking, he didn't realize that he was inside a car until he was pulled out from it. They were at the Vet's office. At the same place where Steve had chosen Mr. Whiskers from eight other cats, he had picked him because of the way Mr. Whiskers had looked at him, no one believed it, but Mr. Whiskers had looked at him with a smile in his eyes. Now it was gone. Mr. Whiskers was barely looking at him from a long cold table.

The doctor worked fast, but Steve could see he wasn't happy. Mom held him, he didn't notice when she arrived but she was there, her and the nice lady were both patting him, shushing him. But that didn't stop his tears.

"Forgive me Mr. Whiskers," he repeated uncontrollably. "Forgive me, I should have never mentioned you. They would have left you alone if nobody knew you were my friend. Forgive me Mr. Whiskers".

Mr. Whiskers did not answer, not the usual half meow he gave Steve when he said his name, nothing. He was just lying there, his missing eye patched, the other one trying to open without results. There were some tufts of hair missing but he was breathing. Steve, on the other hand, was not. Air didn't seem to find its way inside his body.

The next thing Steve knew, he was lying in his bed. He had small pinches of pain coming from various parts of his body. He raised his head slowly, afraid of what he might find. He had bandages and band aids all over his arms, he supposed his legs and all of his body where the same. His stomach rumbled until he noticed how hot his left leg felt, he turned to look, and there he was, Mr. Whiskers, all covered in bandages as well. He repressed a sob trying not to wake him, but Mr. Whiskers woke anyway. He looked at him with one eye, and though there was not a smile in it, it had the understanding of a friend.  


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