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The Life in Times of A Poodix

My name is Lewis Alastor and I am a poodix. For those of you not in the know, a poodix is a poodle mixed with something else. Anything else. I am told my something else is a large dog called a laborador. I did not get the tall genes, however. I am considered short and I only weigh about twenty pounds. I am very good-looking though. My new people tell me this all the time. I am newly adopted, and here is the story of my life. Day 1 5:00 A.M Pacific Time

It is five oclock in the morning. The big man, called Dave, is sleeping next to my new mother. Dave has blonde hair and blue eyes. He has a deep, gravely voice. I really like my new mother and I want to be next to her, but the big man is blocking me. I am not too happy about this. I try to wait patiently for them to notice me, but it is not happening. During the day, my new mother looks at me and understands what I want. She is very bright for a human. She seems less so when she is sleeping. I would have woken up immediately if she were sitting on the floor near the bed, waiting for me to notice. I realize I need to do something to get her attention. I stare for another minute as I contemplate my options. AhhHaaa! I will sing the song of my people in hopes that the big man will move.

Howllll!! HOOOOWWWLLL! After singing for a few minutes, my mother speaks with the big man. She then picks me up and places me on the bed. It is soft and warm, and I snuggle closer to my mother. I decided to stop singing and sleep. Note to self: I must sing the song of my people at night if I want to sleep in bed. My new family responded well to it. We are off to a good start. 8:34 A.M Pacific Time

The child, Max, is a wonderful thing. He drops delicious treats during the three meals, which I have identified as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Max is short, loud, and smelly at times. He has large brown eyes and very little fur. He stands on two legs. He often wails and cries. He is small and cute. He sits in a giant, looming contraption. Once inside, he cannot leave the contraption. He often must be carried away to a room full of water. I find his odor pleasing although Dave and my mother seem to determined to remove the fabulous scent. I have sung the song of my people again, and Max has fed me. Although my kibble is tasty, I always yearn for something more. I like people food better than kibble. Max is a very good service provider. He also has access to the treasure of the house- the refrigerator. The refrigerator has magic powers. It keeps food cold and fresh. Every time my parents open it, new treasures seem to appear. To thank him, I will leave to stand watch and alert my people if any marauders are on our land. Max will like this because his favorite word is mine. After a few minutes, I see a man dressed in jeans, a work

jacket, and leather gloves. He seems to be tampering with the ground. I alert my people by yelling, Intruder alert. Intruder alert. My people tell me to be quiet. I do not understand why. I am doing a good thing. But if it pleases my people, I will yield.

10:34 A.M Pacific Time

The strange man has left. My mother calls me to the front of the door. She brings a strange device called a leash. I have seen other dogs walking with this contraption hooked on their collar. In my old home, they never took me for walks. I am excited to try this. The leash has a hook that will latch on to my collar. The leash will make sure that I dont stray too far from my parents. My old people had never taken me on a walk. What Heaven! The clear, vivid, blue sky is devoid of clouds. The wind brushes my fur lazily. The grass is a deep rich green. The air is full of scents. A squirrel was here several hours ago. A strange man drove his car away five minutes ago. A neighboring dog has marked his territory here. I march over to his territory and mark it as my own. This land is MINE! And nobody is going to take it from me now. I am very good at marking. As we patrol the neighborhood, I see other dogs walking. The sky is a perfect blue and the grass is emerald green. The wind is cool and brushes my fur like a comb. I then see my neighbor, Steve, patrolling the sidewalk. Steve is a short terrier dog. He has white fur and a high-pitched bark. He smells of shampoo and

baby oil. His mom is a nice lady who gives out lots of treats. I love treats. They make my tummy feel great, and I usually dont get them because my parents are strict. Lewis, whats up? Steve asks. Nothing much, just patrolling the neighborhood, I reply. I am happy that my mom is friends with Steves mom. It gives Steve and I a chance to catch up on news. Dude, I heard that theres been a strange thing around here. Its eyes glow in the dark and it climbs trees. Ive even seen it! I was walking with my mom down the street yesterday when I saw the creature. I tried saying hello and the thing whirled around and scratched me, Steve told me. Steve has a nasty scratch mark across his long nose. A quick sniff confirms Steves story that it happened yesterday. This thing was obviously not a dog. What kind of animal did this? I ask. Im not sure. My parents said the word cat, but I have never seen one in person. Have you? Steve asked. I shook my head. No, just raccoons. Man are they scary. Steve, we need to talk with as many dogs as we can about this. If we can track this thing and chase it out, then it wont bother us anymore, I said. Your idea sounds good, but who would ever want to go after a creature that scratches? This is a quiet neighborhood. A lot of these dogs are content dozing in the sun and resting, not hunting and fighting, Steve said. It was then that we heard an awful howl. It made my skin crawl and eyes water. Every dog in the neighborhood heard. We all began to strain against our bonds to see what was going on. It was then that I saw the foul beast Steve had

spoke of. It was sleek and skinny. Its eyes were narrowed into slits. It walked along the fence gracefully. I barked at it as loud as I could. The creature then bolted off blindingly fast into the alley, and we lost track of him in seconds. A beaten up, battered dog walked out of the alley. Like Steve, his nose was scratched ad unlike Steve, his scratch was bleeding. The dog whimpered and my mother went over to help the poor fellow. Oh Frankie, She said. Dont you know better than to mess with cats? They are bigger than you. Frankie may be small, but he is an experienced animal hunter, Steve said softly. He takes down squirrels, birds, and even rats like they were nothing. This cat thing is bad, Lewis. I nodded before my mother dragged me off to Frankies house.

1:00 P.M Pacific Time

Thankfully, Frankie was fine. He called us for a meeting the next day. He told us all to get out of our yards and come to the park. We all gathered around a large rock. Frankie told us that the creature that had nearly brought him down was indeed a cat. Unlike mice or squirrels, cats fight back. They try to run away first. If you get it trapped in a corner, it will attack you. The best way to catch one is to lure it into a corner. The cat will then wait for you to get close, or try to sneak up on you. They strike fast. You need to get out of the way. Try to bite its legs. If it cant move, it cant

attack you. Dont let it get you in a corner. You will be at a disadvantage and the cat will have the upper hand. If you are in a group, catching a cat is much easier. You just surround it and then go to work, Frankie said Frankie, you say all the right things. We all know you are an experienced hunter. Why did you fail in defeating that cat? I asked. I screwed up. I got overconfident. I though that the cat would act like all normal cats do. The cat I was trying to catch was extremely aggressive. He didnt run like the rest. He just straight up attacked me. In my shock, I forgot to get out of the way, Frankie admitted. Chill out man. We all make mistakes. If you want to redeem yourself then you can help us drive the cat out, Steve said. After much conversing, we figured out a way to make sure that we were ready if the cat ever did come back into our neighborhood. If any dog spotted the cat, he would howl a warning. The other dogs who heard the message first would send the alert to the other dogs in the neighborhood. When we had enough people, we would slip out of our yards and drive the beast out. Most of us didnt think the cat would ever return. Some people said that this probably wouldnt happen again, and that it was some stray cat who wandered in. Others said it was a good thing we had the plan because if we were caught of guard again, it could be worse. I wasnt exactly sure about the whole idea, but I didnt think it was ridiculous.

8:00 P.M Pacific Time

Just as I was going to my bed, the warning howl sounded. I changed course and ran into my yard. I found a large enough hole in the deer fence and slipped out of the property. I bolted towards the park. All the dogs in the neighborhood were there. They all had looks of panic on their faces. No one would have thought the cat would have come so soon. One of the dogs had seen the monster running near his yard. He was absolutely terrified. Frankie told us to split up and go find the cat, without being hit by cars.

The night air was cold and damp. My eyes could hardly see in the gloomy light. My nose then began to pick up the scent of the monster. I barked to my fellows to stand guard and then the thing leapt out of the shadows. Claws outstretched, it flew through the air like a big furry frizbee. I leapt to the side. The next few moments was a blur of barking dogs, squealing cats, and scuffling paws. The cat slipped and fell into a foul looking puddle. Frankie told us cats loathe water. He saw a cat get sprayed by water and the cat was repelled backwards. With a yowl, the cat scampered away. We all ran back to our homes, praying our parents didnt notice.

September 11 2013. 7:00 A.M

I woke to a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancake scraps. It was the best meal ever. After my scrumptious meal, I sauntered in to the living room to lie on the couch. But when I got there I saw my mom and Steves mom talking. I then saw

Steve on the couch. I ran over to talk with him. Steve was fast asleep. His breath was deep and even. Steve, wake up. Its me, I said, Hey Lewis, whats up? He asked groggily. I want to go check out that place again. Something tells me that the alley is more than it appears to be. The place smells of cat, I stated. Are you sure? Frankie said not to go there, Steve said with a yawn. I dont care what Frankie says. While he may be the best hunter of us all, he goes a little bit crazy sometimes. Once he gets going about something he wont stop until its finished, I reminded him. So we went. The alley was cold and dark. We began to search around for some clues. It was then that we found something shocking. A small porthole lay in the black brick walls. I told Steve to go get Frankie. He bolted away. I stuck my snout inside the hole and barked as loud as I could. I hear it reverberate in the wall. I heard hundreds of yowls and snarls in response. I then hightailed it to the edge of the alley. A single cat slipped through the hole. Its teeth were bared and its lips were drawn back to reveal deadly sharp canines. Its onyx fur blended seamlessly with the bricks. I snarled back at it. The thing then moved to the side. More and more cats were coming out every second. It was then that Frankie and his group showed up. I told them to wait for my signal. Frankie, any advice here? I asked.

Dont look to me for answers. You started it, so you get the honors of finishing it, Frankie replied. It was then that the biggest cat stepped out of the porthole. It dwarfed all of us. Its huge claws gleamed like sharpened knives. Its big ambers eyes held a malicious gleam. Its muscled body was tensed and ready for action. I would like to know why I heard the bark of a dog in my home, he hissed. I wanted to speak with you. I want you to answer some questions. Why are you intruding in the neighborhood and attacking innocent dogs? I asked, my fur bristling. Intruding, what are you taking about? He asked. Dont lie. One of your cats attacked Steve and Frankie, I said just as Steve and Frankie came forward. I had no clue that this was happening. I sincerely apologize for it. It will not happen again, he spoke. We will stay out of your territory, but you must never come here again. Why do you think one of your people intruded in our homes? I asked. Food has been scarce these last few days. Many of the kittens need food. But we cannot find much prey. Many of our people are starving. Ive tried t o tell them that stealing is not the answer but some are more desperate than others, he said I felt his pain. I knew what it was like to go hungry. I began to think of ideas that could help solve their problem. Then an idea hit me. Maybe we could try and find you all a home? I asked

September 17, 2013: 5:00 Pacific Time.

It is a cold morning. I thought about the homeless cats in the brick wall. It really bothered me. Having spent some time homeless myself, I could empathize even though they were cats. No one likes being cold and hungry. Something had to be done. I couldnt live with knowing there were hungry kittens in town when we all had so much. I headed into my yard and took a swift sniff of the air. I smelled Steve. Hi, Lewis, Steve said, slipping past our fence. Hey Steve, I replied. Whats up? You seem thoughtful this morning! He asked. I am. I wanted to ask you something. How would you feel about hunting game for a day? I asked. Who, me. Are you kidding? Im too short and pudgy to hunt. Im good for snuggling, not hunting, he protested. Steve, we need to do something about those hungry cats. You dont need to run that fast to be a hunter. You can help smell out the prey. You do have the best nose. Plus we are hunting small game, I replied. Steve thought for a moment You make a good point. My nose is good. I helped smell the faintest trace of cat in the alley. I would be willing, Steve beamed. Steve and I ran out to go get Frankie. Frankie is a chuachua mix. He claims rat terrier blood. I cant tell. He has black fur and blue eyes. He has a deep, masculine bark especially for a little guy. Frankie was the expert hunter. He hunted deer and

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elk with the big dogs, or so they said. He has a sympathetic, kind, and energetic personality Steve, Lewis, how are you guys. As you can see, my scratch is almost healed, Frankie said, as he ran over to meet us. When we told him our plan, his eyes became wide with excitement. His tail began to wag. He told us that it had been forever since he had gone hunting. A few minutes later, all the large dogs came streaming into the park for play time. We shared our plan and we told them of the cats plight. The real question was what to hunt and how to do it. We decided to set up lookout posts. Many of them were excited. Many had never hunted while others were excited to partake in it. Lets spread out and see what we can find, I said. We all ran in separate directions. The sun was high in the sky. Its radiant warmth suffused my fur. I felt alive. Then I saw a squirrel. It was small and fluffy. I tried to run after it, but it dodged me. I tried to pounce on it again but my paws found empty air. I began to run for the squirrel. I saw where it was headed. The trunk of a very tall tree was coming up fast. I stopped mid run, sliding across the wet ground. My nose was inches from the tree. Failure. Then I heard, I did it! I caught an animal! Thats great Steve! I replied, excited for my friend as I recognized Steves voice. Wait, I dont have him. Oh no, hes gone, Steve groused. Yuck! Squirrel fur in my mouth but no squirrel. Man, squirrel fur tastes awful.

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I started laughing. Steves face was red with embarrassment. Then I smelled something good. I smelled gopher. I put my nose to the ground and began looking for the source. After a minute of searching, I found the hole. It was narrow, but my snout had just enough room to fit inside. I stuck my face inside the hole. I heard loud squeaks of surprise and the sound of scurrying paws. The scent of gopher was fading quickly. Ugh! Are all small animals this hard to catch? I tried to pull myself out but I was stuck. I tried again but I wouldnt budge. Steve! Help please. Im stuck! I yelped. Lewis, dude, why did you stick your snout inside the hole? Steve asked. Steve grabbed hold of my tail with his teeth. He began to pull and pull. I felt myself slipping out of the hole. The pain in my tail was growing worse. I felt myself released with a loud thump. I landed on something soft and fluffy. Lewish, thats my face mmmph, Steve said, his voice muffled by my fluffy hindquarters. Sorry Steve, I replied. We went home. My parents were occupied. Mom was talking on the phone and dad was busy filing papers. I love the taste of paper. Especially when its warm. My parents dont like me eating the paper though. They spend long amounts of time looking at strange symbols on the paper. Somehow, the symbols tell them things. I ate my dinner and then crawled into bed. I fell asleep, listing to the rhythm of the clock. In my dreams I thought of nice leather shoes. Why were leather shoes infinitely tastier than slippers?

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End of Week 1

My parents were leaving for a trip. They had gotten all dressed up. They held two large boxes on wheels. These boxes could be opened up. But they were full of clothes. I have never understood people. They wear so many different kinds of fur. And the women smell different every day too. Whenever I tried to smell good by rolling in something, they didnt seem to like it. They gave me a bath to remove the fabulous scent. I remember the first time my mom gave me a bath. It was a nice warm day. Mom smelled of vanilla and cinnamon. She smelled wonderful. I decided to smell good also. I went out into my yard and began looking for something to rub myself in. I found it. A patch of small pellets was in the corner. I rolled myself in it and ran back into the house. I had thought that my mother would have loved my new scent, but she picked me up and began to walk towards a strange looking room. I then saw the inside of the terrible place. There was a sink. The inside was as white as chalk and there was a big faucet with two handles. I did not want to be wet again. My mom set me down inside. She then began to turn on the faucet. The water was warm. I felt it pour all over me. I tried to scramble out but she put me back into the water. I did not volunteer to clean you. You got yourself dirty. Its your fault if you dont enjoy this! she grunted. Well why are you bathing me if you dislike it so much? I protested. She continued with the awful process. She pulled out a bottle that said shampoo. Oh no, not that. Anything but the shampoo. She put a dime-sized bit on

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her hands and began to rub me with it. It was soapy and felt awful. She began to rub my ears and head. Let me out! I didnt sign up for this! I have rights! I howled. Would you be quiet? Im trying to work here. Things will be easier if you werent fighting me, she growled in frustration. This was humiliating. I would never forget this. I felt the shampoo coming off. Thank the lord it was almost over. Then she grabbed a different bottle. This one read conditioner. I was mad, ashamed, and embarrassed. She washed me off just so she could lather me again? I felt the conditioner on my fur. This liquid was heavier, but not as soapy. My fur felt like it weighed an extra pound. The washing process took even longer. After an eternity, she took me out of the tub and placed me on the top of the washing machine. Finally! I was free at last. I tried to run but she stopped me. The hard part is now over. Time to get dry, she announced. I shook myself back and forth rapidly as payback for the bath. She wasnt too happy about getting sprayed. Before I could spray her a third time, she wrapped me in a towel and began to dry me off. After most of the water was gone, she then took out something that would dry me off even faster. I felt hot air buffet me. So this was a blow-drier. After I was dry, she put my collar back on and sent me out of the bathroom. I vowed then to never get dirty again. They drove me to Steves house. I was first happy but then that happiness was replaced with a sinking feeling in my stomach. They must be leaving me here so they could travel. Frankie told me that parents often leave dogs at a friends house

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when they cannot take them on their trips. Frankie said he didnt mind much. It wasnt bad, but it wasnt great. I like my family and I want to be with them. By the time we got to Steves house, my sinking feeling had gotten worse. My stomach was tingling. I refused to leave the car. I stuck my furry hindquarters down on the seat and refused to move. My people saw this, and they picked me up. I tried to squirm and writhe, but it was no use. I tried singing the song of my people but they simply told me to hush my noise. Then they told me they loved me very much. They talked with Steves mom briefly. Steve knew what was happening. He had this experience once before. Dude, Im so sorry, Steve soothed. What if mom doesnt come back? I asked. I was starting to panic. When they walked out into the driveway I tried chasing after them. But I was trapped. I watched as they waved to me and drove off. I began to howl. I howled and cried, but they did not come. I tried throwing myself at the door repeatedly but it did not open. I then decided to stand constant vigil until they returned. Steve stopped trying to console me. I heard him mutter that he should have stopped trying after 20 minutes. He lumbered off to his yard, grumbling and growling. Steves mom called me for dinner, but I refused to come. Until my parents were home, I was not going to do anything but sit and stare at the door. I heard her call again. I did not come. Lewis, stop moping around and eat. Nobody asked for you to throw a pity party. I dont want an invite. Start doing something and stop sulking. Youre acting

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like a 19 year old cat. Youre just sitting there, moping around looking sorry for yourself, Steve growled. Excuse me. When did you decide to be my personal manager? I am doing fine. I actually lost my family. I was thrown out on the street by my parents, left to die. I had to beg for food, avoid coyotes, and then bad guys came and put me in doggy jail. It was awful. It smelled of fear. You wouldnt know that because youve never felt what its like to go hungry, or huddle in a corner hoping a pack of coyotes dont eat you. The only reason Im keeping vigil is because Im terrified okay. So leave me alone! I roared, my blood roaring in my ears. Lewis, Im sorry. I didnt know, Steve apologized. Leave me ALONE! I howled. Steve scampered off. I began to cry. I wish my mom were here. Steves mom walked out of the kitchen to where I was standing. She put the phone to my ear and I heard my moms sweet voice. Just the sound of her voice and that she was alright helped me feel better right away. I ate my food and went to bed. We had that ritual everyday. Maybe Frankie was right. Maybe staying at a friends house wasnt so bad after all. The next day I decided to go check out the yard. The yard was ultimately the best part of the house, next to the kitchen. Unlike the kitchen, you can do a lot more in the yard besides eat and sleep. You can play, roll, and sniff for exciting things like squirrels and skunks. Steves yard was much larger than mine. The yard was full of green grass and flowers. The soil was soft and warm. The air smelled of pine and citrus. The scents and sensations combined to create a fragrant and soothing

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atmosphere. I decided to take a short nap. When I woke up, it was raining. My fur had turned from fleecy soft to soaking wet. I bolted inside. The water was all over me. Can somebody help dry my off. Im soaking wet. Hello? Steves mom had gone out for groceries. I asked Steve what I should do. He told me to go find the bath mat. The bath mat, he said, was made so that dogs could dry themselves. I wasnt exactly sure he was right, but it beat being soaking wet. I ran upstairs. Then I saw the muddy paw prints I had left all over the floor. Steve looked at one of them and then his face went as white as a dogs face could get. Dude, my mom is going to be so mad when she gets home! Steve groaned. How do we fix it? I asked worriedly. I dont know! Dont ask me how to fix it. You made the mess. you clean it, Steve yelled. I ran upstairs to the bathmat and dried myself off. It was then that I heard the door open. The creaking hinges were like the tolling of the grave bells. I heard Steves mom gasp. Her shoes clicked on the floor in an eerie rhythm. I knew I was in trouble. I hoped she didnt tell my parents. I bolted down the stairs and immediately flopped over in the best groveling pose I could. Maybe if I acted really cute, she wouldnt be so mad at me. She cleaned up the mess and then she gave me the evil eye and picked me up. Steve started to snicker. What? I asked. You do know what time it is dont you Lewis. Its bath time, Steve laughed.

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Oh no! Youve got to be kidding me. Why is it that whenever we try to smell good or get dirty that we always have to get bathed! They dont see us bathing them whenever they smell bad or look dirty, I yelped. The bath was awful. Like always, she rubbed me down with shampoo and conditioner and then blow-dried me. I now knew why cats develop a hatred of water It was the third day of the stay over at Steves house. Things were getting progressively better. I now knew where everything was. I still really missed my parents. It was then that I heard the sound of tires on the road. My ears perked up at the sound of it. Raw joy suffused me. I bolted for the door, my eyes focused at that point. My parents came inside. They were so very elated to see me. The picked me up and carried me home. Before they left, I nodded my head to say thank you. Steve dipped his short head in response. I licked my mothers face to show my gratitude. Her warm smile and comforting hands washed away the sadness of her departure. Those days at Steves house were like a drought. When my mother came it was like the rains falling, giving the land life. Yes, it is melodramatic. But that was how I felt when she returned. The house had changed since I had last been there. I saw dog food all over the floor. My food canister had been overturned and now lay in a great heap of kibble. The carpets were ruined. Somebody had been tampering with my house. An uncontrollable snarl rose from my throat. It was low and menacing. My people were not pleased either. They had faces of shock and anger. I began to sniff around for more clues as to who committed this atrocity. Then I found a clue. The rug had a large yellow patch on it. I knew what it was. Someone had urinated on the rug. I

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sniffed the patch. The scent of raccoon hit my nose. Those bandits are a menace to society. They are always in costume, wearing masks so no one can know their true identity. Who do they think theyre fooling? Cant they do something productive with their lives instead of pillaging? My parents went out and replaced the flap dog door with an electric dog door. This door could shut behind me. You needed keys to get in. My parents hooked a special key to my collar. I marched to the dog door and it opened. I walked outside and yelled, Try to come in now you marauders. Your kibble stealing days are over. You will never vandalize this house again! I then proceeded to mark the yard thoroughly. That was until a raccoon appeared at fringes of the deer fence. Then I went inside. When I came in, Dave picked me up and set me down on the couch. He began to scratch my tummy. For now, I was content. I knew today was special when I woke up. The air was filled with the scent of steak and meat. I saw my parents looking down at me excitedly. I heard the word birthday and Lewis. I knew that it was a special day. The steak loomed before me like the Holy Grail. I rushed towards it like a man possessed. It was delicious! The steak was served perfectly. It was juicy enough that I could savor it. I bounced around excitedly and flopped over. Flopping was one of the best ways to get petties. I felt the warm hands begin to rub my tummy. He found the secret spot and my leg perked up and began to shake. Today couldnt possibly get any better. Dave took me outside and set me down in the yard. He pulled out a huge Frisbee. He chucked it and I ran hard after it. Everything else faded away. There was only my Frisbee. My teeth closed on the soft plastic and I returned it. I was puzzled when he chucked it

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again. But never the less, I caught it and returned it. This game was unusual but it was a great deal of fun. I then romped around in the grass. The sky was perfect. It was a clear deep blue. The trees swayed in the breeze. The wind was alive with the scent of the forest. Later that day, my parents and I sat near the fire and snuggled quietly. Of course, I still hadnt figure out how to feed all the kittens or find homes for all the cats, but that would have to wait for another day.

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