As we pulled into the drive after ballet, he was there.
‘Oh look,’ I said to my daughter. ‘A big, fluffy cat.’
We’re not big animal-lovers in our house, but I try to keep the kids interested in them and not afraid of them.
We’d never seen him before. He was black and fluffy, with patches of white.
My daughter went to talk to him and he followed her to the door. We could see his shape through the glass.
‘Tell the boys!’ I said, ‘They’d like to see him.’
My eldest loves animals, my younger son, not so much. But he loves cats.
‘He’s rolling on the grass!’ shouted my daughter, excitedly.
And she didn’t just mean the cat. Her biggest brother was rolling too.
There was a lost cat poster the kids had spotted in the village. They thought they’d better go and check it. The next thing I knew, I could hear Grandma’s voice. If anything happens at all in our house – good, bad or unusual, my mum is straight round. The kids had dragged her round to see the cat. And it wasn’t the cat on the poster.
By now, my younger son was out stroking him and talking to him.
‘I didn’t know he liked cats,’ said my mum.
‘They’re the only animals he likes.’
‘Can we have a cat? Can we keep him? I love cats!’
It was time for Scouts.
The boys went.
The big, fluffy cat didn’t.
We could see his shape through the glass in the door and we could hear him meowing. Loudly.
He sounded sad. He sounded hungry.
I felt sorry for him. I could feel my resolve crumbling. My head was saying ‘don’t feed him’, my heart was saying ‘feed him’. My mind was running away with me. Maybe we could keep him if he was lost?
But I stayed strong.
My daughter cried. She hated that he was lost and couldn’t find his way home. She was worried that he would starve.
I told her cats are hunters, that he would find food.
So why was he still crying outside our front door?
He’d been there for over two hours.
I realised there was another way. We didn’t have to keep him and he didn’t have to find his own way home. We could put up notices – online and off line and call the animal shelter in the morning. If he was still there in the morning, I would DEFINITELY feed him. As I googled and formed my plan of action, I realised something.
It had gone quiet.
We couldn’t see the big, fluffy cat any more.
He was gone.
And then the boys came home.
‘Where’s the cat gone? Shall we go and find him? Can we get a cat? I love cats!’
Linking up with The Gallery at Sticky Fingers. Pop over to see how others have interpreted the theme ‘animal’.