The Tale of Jeffery Cat Written by Gaby Germanos Hi!

I’m Jeffrey Cat and I’d like to tell you about the most horrible, um, the most magical experience a cat could ever dream of having! It started on a normal Saturday afternoon... What a lovely day, I thought. I had just woken up from a deep sleep inside the McKinley’s mailbox. You see, they had such an enormous mailbox that it could fit three cats! I stuck my head out and looked down at the ground under me. “Great!” I said sarcastically in cat language. “More junk mail!” But then I caught a glimpse of my name on one of the letters. I picked it up. It said:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. McKinley, I am so excited to take care of Jeffrey. I can’t wait! What kind of cat food should I give him? I bought Jeff a new toy! By the way, I didn’t phone you because I like to write letters much more! Sincerely,

Jolene Cosmarez
Now, you’re probably wondering how I could read this letter. Well, all cats are born knowing how to read but humans just don’t know it. And, who’s Jolene Cosmarez? And also, I’m Jeffery the cat who is going to be taken care of by this lady! I was very confused. I trotted to the front door of my owners’ house and squeezed through the cat flap. Just then Martin, the ten year old of the family, came over to me and stroked my fur. “We’ll miss ya, Jeffery.” he said. I looked around me and saw suitcases being packed. What was happening? I soon learned that the McKinleys were going to Kenya for a month to visit an old friend. On their way to the airport they would drop me off at Ms. Cosmarez’s house. Her house was two hours

away. That’s why she had to write a letter and not tell the family in person. There was a slight problem that made me mad. Martin forgot to pack me some of my toys like Martin’s math book. But then again, how would humans know that cats know how to multiply and divide? I sighed. When were the non-furry life forms going to learn that cats can do anything that humans can? Actually, they really can but humans can’t find out about it. You see, 600 years ago the great Egyptian cat named Akrenkamen found a magic stone in his food dish. He ate the stone, thinking that it some of the food. After that, he became so powerful that all the Egyptians worshiped him. Then Akrenkamen gave all his power to the other cats of the world, making them smart. So, the Egyptians started to worship all the cats in the world. But if the humans find out about cats having this wonderful ability to do whatever, the magic will go back to Akrenkamen and all cats will be dumb once more. And since Akrenkamen is dead, he doesn’t need all this power. We would be wasting our wisdom by giving it to him! Anyway, back to the McKinley’s. The McKinley family has a mother (Daisy), a father (Raja), a fifteen year old girl (Cleo), and a ten year old boy (Martin). Their friend in Kenya was Mr. McKinley’s drama teacher when he was in junior high. I sat down on the grass and thought about all this. Just then, I heard a howl. It was Barkley, the neighbor’s dog who was trying to tell me that it was time for school. All the cats and dogs formed a school in the McKinley’s backyard. The school was called Meow Doggies. I ran into a bush and out into the backyard. I heard a second howl. I was going to be late! But no, I was just on time. I took a seat near the teacher and listened. The teacher was Mr. Bow McBowWow. He was very kind. “Hello.” he said in his gruff manner. “Today we will study difficult math. Now, who can multiply 3,198 x 14,893?” I raised my paw really high. Mr. McBowWow turned his head to me. “Yes, Jeffery. What is the answer?” I knew it so I said it loud and clear. “The answer is 47,627,814.” I tried to look proud. “Very good, Jeffery. Now, take out your math books and turn to page

44.” Mr. McBowWow looked at us sternly. “Do not look at anybody else’s book.” We all nodded. Mr. McBowWow was really strict! The first one to finish was Roger. He was abandoned when he was a kitten because his owner was too sad to take care of him. You see, there was a family called the Snidleys. In the family were a mother, a father, an older sister, a younger sister, and the mother’s parents. Now, when the older sister had her wedding, everyone in the family attended it. But, when the younger sister had her wedding, the father died a month before it, the mother died two weeks before it, the grandmother died a week before it, and the grandfather died an hour before it. The bride was so upset that she drowned herself in a lake, but not before leaving her kitten in a basket on her front porch. Then when her older sister found out about this, she gave Roger away to a neighbor. Poor, poor, Roger. But Roger likes his life with his owners, Mr. and Mrs. O’Brian, because they always have time for him. That is because they are both retired. And, the O’Brians aren’t husband and wife. They’re cousins! The next day was the day before the McKinleys were to go to Africa. All their friends said goodbye to them, for the McKinleys were the happiest people around, and you feel happy being with them. First, Mr. McKinley’s officemates came to say goodbye. They brought a book about surviving Africa, because Mr. McKinley’s job was as an editor of books about surviving. Then, Cleo’s teacher came with a batch of cookies that her class had baked and said that she and the class would miss Cleo’s smiling face when she was gone. She also gave Cleo her report card. She got an A+ in everything, except for a B in Social Studies. Next came Martin’s tennis team, who gave him two tennis balls and a racket just in case he wanted to play tennis in Kenya. Last but not least was Mrs. McKinley’s sewing group. They had sewn her a tshirt for the hot days in Kenya. Mrs. McKinley also showed them

baby pictures, including when I was a little kitten. I was so embarrassed! “Stop that right now!” I meowed. But that didn’t do any good. “Aw, you wanna see your baby pictures!” said Mrs. McKinley, showing me the photograph book. I turned my head and walked away in disgust. I walked outside, seeing that the door had been left open. “Why do they have to go to Kenya?” I wailed. “They’re not even going to bring me!” I remembered the first time they took me on a trip. It was when Cleo and Martin’s cousin Frank had his Bar mitzvah four years ago. We had to go all the way from our little house in Virginia to a big temple in Washington. When we got there I had to put on an itchy tuxedo that Mrs. McKinley and her sewing group made for me. I even had to wear a bowtie! The next thing I knew it was Friday, the day of the trip. I was not happy, and Martin’s complaining made it even worse. “I’m hungry!” he wailed for the ten millionth time. “Shush!” said Mr. McKinley sternly. “Betty Lou’s Diner is up on the next left. We can stop there.” That shut Martin up. When we were in the diner, Cleo was staring at this one really buff waiter. “What’s so great about Mr. Muscle?” asked Martin, getting up from the table. Then he started to imitate the waiter. “Ooh, look at me, I’m buff man!” Mrs. McKinley fell out of her chair laughing. “Mom!” said Cleo, really annoyed. “Sorry, honey.” said the laughing mother, wiping a tear from her eye. Just then the buff waiter headed towards us. But, out of nowhere, this wimpy waiter rushed up to us first. “Great.” Cleo muttered. “I was just about to get a buff waiter and what do I get? A wimp! He is so boney that he isn’t even a human being.” “What is that about human beings, dear?” asked Mrs. McKinley. “Oh, I didn’t say human beings, I said... uh, lima beans. Yeah! I want a hamburger with a side order of lima beans.” Martin looked at her suspiciously. “But she hates lima beans!” he said. “Well,” Cleo said in a dignified manner. “I want to try something new, alright?” Cleo looked around the table to see if anyone believed

her or not. But, they all looked like they did. “Whew!” she said quietly. In fact, so quietly that since my kennel was right next to her chair, I was the only one who heard her. “That’s my girl, always willing to try new things!” said Mr. McKinley, smiling at his daughter. Finally, when the food came, Mr. McKinley was the first to take a bite. He had ordered the spicy buffalo tenders. But when he bit into it, he instantly spat it out. “What’s wrong, dear?” Mrs. McKinley asked worriedly. “Aw, they used American mustard!” Mr. McKinley gulped down a glass of water. He sighed. “They should have used Dijon mustard.” “Hey, Dad,” Martin asked, wiping off a little spaghetti sauce from his mouth. “Why do you have an Arabic first name but an Irish last name?” Mr. McKinley looked at his son. “Well,” he said. “My father (Grandfather Kevin) was Irish, but my mother (Grandmother Reema) was Syrian. My parents made a deal that if they had a girl, they would give her an Irish name, but if they had a boy, they would give him an Arabic name. And, they had two boys. But my father wanted to be fair so they gave your Uncle Conner an Irish name, and me an Arabic name.” Mrs. McKinley smiled at her husband, who was now tired from all the explaining. “On my side, my mama (Granny Gwen) is Canadian. My papa (Grandpa Melvin) is half Polish, half American. Also, I grew up in Indiana while your father grew up in Syria. That’s why he has a taste for spice, because the Arabs love spices.” Martin suddenly started to scream. Then he calmed down. “I thought that Dad’s chicken would be mild but jeez, this stuff is crazy hot!” Mr. McKinley shrugged. “I think it’s bland.” Martin and Cleo stared at their father and he laughed. But then, well... I kind of had to pee. Cleo saw my legs wobbling and turned very pale. “Uh, um... Dad? I think um, Jeff has to go to the bathroom!” Mr. and Mrs. McKinley’s jaws dropped. Then their surprised faces turned into looks of pure anger. They both glared at Martin. “Honey,” Mrs. McKinley said. “I thought that you were going to make Jeff go to the bathroom before we left.” Martin gulped.

“Well, uh.... I guess it kind of well, slipped my mind.” By now I really wished that I had diapers on. Mr. McKinley was turning bright red. “Oh, man! Martin, listen to me next time I tell you to do something, okay?! Jeez! Martin, go take Jeffery to the men’s room, now!” “But, dad...” “NOW!” Martin grabbed my kennel and ran to the bathroom. But on the way, he dropped me. I went crashing to the blue and white checkered floor. My cat-carrier skidded into the bathroom and Martin grabbed me and ran to a toilet. “Ahhhhhh.” I thought. Martin ran back to the table. “Where’s Jeff?” asked Mr. McKinley madly. “Oh, right.” Martin ran back to get me. He pulled me up and onto the table. For a second no one said a word. Suddenly, I heard squealing. I turned around to see three girls. Two were hopping up and down, giggling. The other one was smirking and rolling her eyes. She went over to Cleo and stared at her. Then she stared at Martin. Finally, she made her way over to Mr. and Mrs. McKinley. “What a pleasant surprise meeting you here, Cleo!” she said, a fake smile quickly developing on her face. Then she turned back to Mr. and Mrs. McKinley and said: “Oh, my! I forgot to introduce myself! I’m in Cleo’s French class. I am Marcy Shaw, the most popular girl in all of Wexford High. And this is my sister Maeve, and her friend Maura.” She pointed to the two girls giggling in the back of the diner. They were both dressed exactly the same, wearing t-shirts with sweat pants and platform shoes. One was dressed in blue, the other pink. The one dressed in blue stepped forward. She blushed. “I-I-I..... I’m Maeve.” she said very quietly. Marcy pursed her lips and looked at her with pure disapproval. “She’s always been shy.” she whispered to Mrs. McKinley. “Well,” began Marcy. “You guys must be Cleo’s grandparents!” I saw Mr. McKinley clench his fist. Please don’t do something violent, I prayed. His wife put her hand on his shoulder. His fist loosened. I glanced at Marcy. She obviously wanted to bug them. Suddenly, Martin spoke up. “Why do all your names begin with the letter ‘M’?” he asked. Marcy shrugged. “Our parents named us that way. We have our own club because of that. We’re called the ‘M-eralds’. And besides, your name begins with an ‘M’

too.” She glanced at her watch. “Omigod! We’re gonna be late for the yacht party at Greg’s!” Greg was an equally popular boy who also went to Wexford. (I had learned this from snip-it’s of Cleo’s phone conversations.) Cleo looked at me and winked. Every night Cleo would talk to me for about one hour. She would tell me her problems. She would also tell me about her crushes. And Greg, of course, was one of them. When I looked up again, the M-eralds were gone. “Now kids, don’t lose the cat on your trip.” Mr. McKinley said to his eager son and daughter. We had just finished eating and, seeing that there was a little park behind the diner, Mrs. McKinley decided that it would be a good idea if Martin and Cleo gave me a walk. And they happily agreed. So, while Mr. and Mrs. McKinley looked at the quickest route to the airport, Cleo and Martin gave me a walk. Cleo smirked. “Remember when Martin almost lost Jeff on the big trip?” Martin sighed. That trip was looong! The big trip was when we still lived in Seattle and Mr. McKinley got a new job when he visited Augusta, Virginia, where we live now. So the four of us (Mrs. McKinley, Cleo, Martin, and I) drove to Augusta. But not to Virginia, to Augusta, Maine. You see, Mrs. McKinley thought that that was where her husband went. But, when she got there, she was wrong. Then we went to Augusta, Georgia. Then Augusta, Arkansas; Augusta, Kansas; Augusta, Illinois; Augusta, Montana; and finally Augusta County, Virginia. So, we took a thirteen-and-a-half-day trip! It was so boring! “Hey, mom?” Martin asked, changing the subject. “How come you didn’t just call Dad to ask him where he was?” “Because where your father was, there was no phone connection.” “Oh.” Martin probably thought that her answer would be more exciting. After the walk, we hopped into the car and drove for another half hour before we got to Jolene Cosmarez’s house. It was a big, pale yellow mansion on top of a hill. In the front yard, there was a huge fountain with many exotic fish. “Wow.” Mrs. McKinley said

in awe. We stepped up onto the porch and rang the doorbell. Then a woman opened the door. She looked about a hundred years old. She was wearing a blue dress that also looked as if it was a hundred years old. Her white hair was in a loose bun and she was barefoot. “Hello.” said the woman weakly. “Pardon me ma’am, but is this the house of Ms. Cosmarez?” Mr. McKinley asked. “Yes, indeed. I am Jolene Cosmarez.” The old women smiled again. “Come in, please.” We slowly walked into the mansion. But instead of seeing fancy furniture, we saw cats. Everywhere. Just cats. Not any furniture at all. Mr. McKinley looked around nervously. “We must go now. Thank you very much.” And with that, the McKinley family left. Ms. Cosmarez slowly let me out of the cage. I meowed. Then, she meowed back! “You know cat language?” I asked. “Of course I do!” answered Ms. Cosmarez. “How else would I communicate with the two hundred cats I have?” That was an awfully big number. “Ms. Cosmarez...” “No please, call me Jolene.” Then she showed me her house. She said that the only places I couldn’t go were in the kitchen, the bathroom, or her bedroom. Then she showed me my bedroom. I would share a bedroom with three other cats. There was Smelly Ernie, one-eyed Frank, and your highness Katherine the Great. Then I saw my bed. It was a doll’s bed with silk covers and a real box-spring mattress. It was heaven. After one day of being there, I had developed two friends. One was Katherine the Great, who found it amazing that I knew how to multiply numbers. The other was Smelly Ernie’s twin brother, Clean Clouse. But everyone calls him Howard the Coward. Why the name Howard? Because Clouse is a big coward and no other name rhymes with the word coward except for Howard. Anyway, I told them both about living in an Irish neighborhood and living with two kids. When I told them about Meow Doggies, Katherine told me that they had a school too. “What’s it called?” I asked. Katherine looked embarrassed. “It’s called ‘Madam Cosmarez’s School of Cutie Pies’,” she said

quietly. I laughed. Suddenly, I heard a loud crash. I turned around to see Jolene threatening a cat with a frying pan. “And stay out!” she yelled. I gulped. “Why is Jolene acting so mean?” I asked Katherine. “She was nice to me.” “She’s only nice to new cats.” she said. “Why?” I asked quizzically. “Well, she’s scared that if she’s mean to a newcomer, it will run away and she will have to pay the owner a fine. It’s happened once before.” I didn’t believe her. “I bet that she was mad at that cat because she was in a bad mood.” I said indignantly. Katherine shrugged. “Believe what you want. I know I’m right” she said. I was going to argue more, but something held me back. I think it was my subconscious mind. My subconscious mind believed her. Whatever it was, it made me turn around and head back to my room. At night, when I was tucked up into bed, I felt a strange feeling. So I crept out into the living room where Jolene was sewing. “Jolene?” I meowed. “I’m here.” said Jolene. I opened the door and came in. She was sewing in her rocking chair. “Jolene?” I asked. “What my dear?” “I have a strange feeling.” I said. “Am I sick?” She examined me. “You’re not sick.” she said. She smiled. “You’re in love.” I guess I am, I thought. I think I love Katherine. I better go tell her. I scampered off. Then I turned around. “Jolene, what are you sewing?” I asked. “Oh, just Spot’s tuxedo. Spot is another cat. He’s getting married.” She sighed. “Honestly, I don’t know how anybody could marry him. Why, just today he came into the kitchen and ate some of my lunch. He’s so mischievous!” That must be the cat she yelled at today, I thought. “Hey, Jolene?” I asked. “What?” “Who is Spot getting married to?” Jolene finished her sewing. “Katherine.” “Do you, Katherine, take Jeffery to be your lawfully wedded husband?” “I do.” “And do you, Jeffery, take Katherine to be your lawfully wedded wife?” “I do!” “Then I now pronounce you husband and wife you may kiss... Jeffery!” I opened my eyes.

Sunlight streamed through the tiny window of my bedroom. Then I saw Smelly Ernie hovering over me. “Ah!” I screamed, startled. Ernie laughed. “C’mon, Jeff! Get up! It’s already 11 o’clock!” I rubbed my eyes sleepily and sighed. I’d been having that wedding dream ever since I found out about Katherine’s engagement to Spot. It had already been a week. And a busy week it was. Everyone was hurrying, getting ready for the wedding. I had just got my invitation yesterday. It was white and was heart shaped. It also had lots of lace. Lace was dripping down from every direction. This is what it said:

_Jeffery___ is formally invited to the wedding of Miss Katherine and Mr. Spot on the 17th hour of the twentysecond day of the fifth month of 2006 at The Tall Oak Tree in the woods.
I wanted to go so badly. But the thought of seeing my one true love being married to a cat that isn’t me made me want to hurl. But I decided to go anyway. I slowly put on my tuxedo. Then I helped Spot with his. “This is my day to shine!” he said happily. Then he turned around and pointed an accusing finger at all the people in the dressing room. “Don’t ruin it for me!” I gulped. Spot was a big cat. He could probably kill me in a second! I let out a shaky “Okay” and left the room. I wanted to see the bride. I knocked on the door of her dressing room. “Come in.” she said. I smiled at her but my smile quickly went away. Katherine was pale and frightened.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, leading her to a chair. She sat down. “Well, when I first met Spot, he was kind and generous. But now he yells a lot. And he’s always into mischief.” She sighed. “I’m also only two years old. My mama didn’t get married until she was five! I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.” I nodded. It made sense. “Thanks for being here, Jeff.” she said. Then she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and scampered off to the woods. “Caw! Caw!” I heard a crow calling overhead. I had just got to the wedding party. You see, we had to have the party before the wedding because the party is loud and if we had the party after, the night watchman would hear us. The night watchman was a man that the owner of the woods hired to make sure that people weren’t camping, hunting, cutting down trees, or making bonfires in the forest at night. So we had the noisy party first. When I got there, Spot was performing a magic trick. He was holding a full, unopened Coke can. “I, the amazing Spotini, will open this Coke can with touching it at all!” Then he put the can into a top hat. But not before showing us that the hat didn’t have any pockets or anything in it. Then he rapped some magic words: “My name is Spotini, better than Houdini! To do this magic trick I gotta sing! La, la, la! Loo, la, ley! Here comes the Coke can open and everything!” Then he pulled out an opened Coke can. He dumped the empty hat upside down. I was shocked! I had thought that Spot had cheated. But that was real magic! Katherine laughed and clapped her paws together. Spot bowed and winked at his bride-to-be. I felt sadder. Soon I was trudging to the cat church that Jolene had set up a little farther in the woods. It had already been at least twenty minutes and I had still seen no sign of a cardboard church. Maybe, I wondered, I had gotten lost. But that idea soon passed. Clean Clouse had said to go through the hole in the Tall Oak, clamber to the top, and get down the tree towards the sun. Then I would

follow the patches of moss. I was starting to feel worried. So I hurried on and dismissed the idea of being lost. Soon I had been walking for at least three hours. I was tired, hungry, and sweating. Flies were swarming around me. I moaned. Then I tripped. “Oof!” I landed on the ground. I tried to get up but couldn’t. My knee was badly cut and bleeding. So I lay there for what seemed like forever before a man saw me. “Poor cat!” he said kindly. He had a large, shaggy brown beard and was wearing muddy hiking boots and a winter coat over sweat pants and a woolen sweater, even though it was May. He picked me up and put me in his pack. He closed the zipper but left a space for air to come in. I soon fell fast asleep. When I woke up, I was lying on the man’s lap. He was on a bus. Soon I heard a woman’s voice. “Now if you look to your left you’ll see Townsville’s oldest house. It was built in 1877.” the voice stopped. A teenage girl with braces and zits came over to us. “No cats allowed on the bus.” she said firmly. So the man carried me out of the bus. “Now look at what you’ve done! You’ve got us kicked off a bus!” the man said jokingly. He petted me on my head and carried me to a restaurant. And suddenly, I knew I wasn’t in Virgina anymore. Because as we walked past the bus, I could see printed on it in big, bold letters: TOWNSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA TOURS. I panicked. I was supposed to be in Virginia! But here I was, with some strange man in a small town in the wrong state! Don’t panic, I thought. Think of the three C’s: calm, cool, collected. I had to be the three C’s. The man looked down at me. “You look kinda tired, young fella. Let’s go to the hotel.” It was actually a motel. A fifty bucks-a-night motel. The man’s room had a bed, a bedside table with a lamp, an empty closet, and a bathroom. The bed was a lumpy mattress on four plastic legs with a stiff, starchy blanket and a pillow. The man started to take things out of his pack like a cell

phone, a baseball cap, a wallet, and an airline ticket to New York City. I gasped. I had a feeling that he was going to take me with him to New York. Then I would be even farther from home! I was right. Here I was, with the man at LaGuardia Airport, New York. Before we got on the plane, the man with the shaggy beard gave me a drug so that I would sleep throughout the plane ride. And it worked. Those hours on the plane were a blur. A couple of times I woke up. But mostly it was sleep, sleep, sleep. So when the man picked me up off the plane, I was tired and drowsy. We went straight to our hostel. It was very close to the airport. It was called “Columbus Studios Hostel”. It was kinda nice but very cramped. But I didn’t stay there for long because as we walked up the stairs to our room, the manager told us that pets weren’t allowed in this hostel. So the man had to get rid of me. And it wasn’t fun, roaming the bad parts of New York City at night. I was very hungry. Suddenly, I saw a big hunk of meat on the ground. I ran but I was too slow. Another cat snatched it and walked away. I followed the cat, hoping to get more food. Then I saw the cat jump into a hole. So I jumped in too. There, inside the hole, was a mansion. There was electricity, plumbing, food, you name it! And there were lots of cats. Then I saw a desk with a cat sitting behind it. She wore a tag that said “Nanny”. She looked up. “Are ya‘ll a stray?” she asked with a heavy southern drawl. “Cause if you is, I’d be happy to give ya‘ll a home.” She stood up. “Follow me.” she said. Then she explained that the cats had worked years on this institute. It was called “Stray Shelter”. She said that stray cats that haven’t got a home are welcome to stay there for no more than half a year. Suddenly, a kitten ran past us. Nanny grabbed him by his collar. “Ya‘ll new here?” she asked. “Y-yes ma’am.” he stuttered. “What’s yo’ name, boy?” “Stanley.” “Well!” Nanny said. “I’ve heard all about ya‘ll! Yo’ a mischievous boy, that’s what yo’ are!” She looked at him sharply. “And I ain’t gonna take none of yo’ sass, boy, none of yo’ sass!” Stanley gulped. “Now,” said Nanny. “Are ya‘ll ready to go?” “Go where?” Stanley asked. “To get yo’

collar cleaned, boy! None of my strays are gonna have filthy collars!” She straightened up. “Oh, Tiny!” she called. Then a cat came. And he sure wasn’t tiny. He had big muscles. “Tiny, take this here kitten to the polisher.” Nanny said. “Ugh.” Tiny said, taking Stanley down a hallway. “Yup.” Nanny said, turning to me. “That collar’s gonna look mighty nice when it’s polished. Sho’ is.” After a couple of hours, I had explored the institution. It was very nice. There were three big dining rooms with spouts sticking out of the walls and under them were large basins. I asked Nanny what the spouts were for. She said that the spouts spewed water from the city’s water supply at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cats would drink the water, for it was the only drink they had. There were also rows and rows of rooms for the cats to sleep in. Each room could fit six cats. There were also cats that worked for the institute. There was a butcher, a carpenter, a blacksmith, an electrician, and a barber. On weekends, the blacksmith and the carpenter made instruments together. I asked Nanny another question. How did you hook up electricity? She shrugged and said: “Twenty-one years ago, my great-grandpapa started this place. When I came to work here, the lights were already put up. He didn’t tell me how he did it.” So they lived a simple lifestyle, besides having electricity. The food was very good. We had beef jerky with pork ribs and cream. “We only have cream for special occasions.” Nanny said. “The cat at the farm a couple miles away doesn’t like to share his food much. But when he heard that youthe first new cat in almost five years-came to this place, he felt that you should get special treatment. ” When I went to the room I would sleep in, the bunks were uncomfortable, the air was hot and sticky, and my roommates were rude. When I told Nanny about the roommates, she laughed. “They’re just jealous of ya‘ll.” She said. “None of them was ever owned or loved. They’ve been here all their life, just like their parents and grandparents before ‘em.” Then she looked at me sternly. “I was born in this place and I

haven’t ever gone out in the real world. I don’t even know what no human bean looks like. I have no education, no talent; I’m just a plain old cat. My kids and grandkids are off in the real world. I’m all alone. You might think you ain’t lucky but boy, compared to me, yo’ a king. Yo’ should consider yo’self damn lucky!” The next morning I awoke to find Jameson, one of my roommates, crying. I leaped out of bed and went over to him. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Well,” Jameson sobbed. “When I woke this morning, my brother Sanderson was gone! And he left a note that said he ran away to find a better life!” “It’ll be okay.” I said sympathetically. Suddenly, I had an idea. “I know how to cheer you up, Jameson!” I said. “How?” he asked curiously. “Well,” I began. “Every Sunday my owners would read the newspaper. Mr. McKinley would read the sports section, Martin would read the comics, and Cleo read the entertainment...” “Okay! We get the point!” Jameson said impatiently. “Cut to the chase!” I rolled my eyes. “I’m getting there, I’m getting there!” Then I started up again. “Anyway, the health section was never read. So when I was feeling crummy, I read the health section. All the long, scientific words made me laugh. So maybe you should try that.” “What a great idea!” Jameson said. Then he shook his head sadly. “But where will I get a newspaper?” he asked. “Leave it to me!” I said. And before Jameson could stop me, I was outside in the center of a park. I found a newspaper in no time. The outside was pretty soggy but the inside was fine. Luckily the health section was on the inside. So I took it out and ran back to Jameson. But instead of running to our bedroom, I ran to dining room #2 and sat down next to Nanny. I asked her where Jameson was and she told me to look at the end of the table. And sure enough, there was Jameson, sulking at the end of the table. When I showed him the health section he perked up. Then he said thank you and ran off to our bedroom to read in privacy.

After I finished breakfast, I went to our bedroom and found Jameson. He was crying harder than ever! “The health section didn’t work?” I asked. He looked up at me. “No!” he said. “Now I know that I have a rare kind of disease!” I winced. “Well, at least I’m not as bad as Robert Joseph!” Jameson said. “Who’s Robert Joseph?” I asked. He sighed. “He’s my brother-my autistic brother.” “Oh.” I said. “Can I meet him?” Jameson nodded. “You can meet him right now.” So we went down the hallway until we found a closet. Jameson opened the door and stepped inside. “He lives in a closet?” I asked. Jameson laughed. “No, silly!” he said. He pulled me to the back of the closet and bent down. He picked up some matches and a candle and lit the candle. Then I saw a doorknob on the wall. He fumbled with it and opened the wall (which I guess was a door.) Inside was a room with a carpet on the floor, a bed, a litter box, and a dim light hanging from the ceiling. And in the middle of the room was little kitten sitting down on the ground, playing with a toy mouse. Jameson sat down next to the kitten. “Hi, Robert Joseph.” he said. Robert Joseph looked up. “Food?” he asked hopefully. Jameson shook his head. “Not now, little bro. But I’ve brought a guest.” He gestured towards me. “This here’s Jeff.” I smiled and squatted down next to them. “Hi, Robert Joseph.” I said. “May I call you RJ?” “Robert Joseph.” Robert Joseph said. “How about Rob or Joey?” “Nope. Robert Joseph.” he said. “Well, how about Bob, Bobbie, Robbie, or Joe?” I asked. “Robert Joseph.” he said. I sighed. “He’s sure stupid.” I whispered to Jameson. Jameson gasped. “He’s not stupid!” he yelled. Robert Joseph covered his ears. “Too loud!” he screamed. I rolled my eyes. “Well,” Jameson said. “He is smart. Watch this.” He turned to Robert Joseph. “What’s 4,789 x 6,908?” Jameson asked him. “33,082,412” Robert Joseph said without looking up. I stared at him. “Okay, I’m sorry.” I said. “He’s not stupid. He’s just kinda weird.” Jameson nodded. “Yes, he is weird.” he admitted. “But in a good way.” Robert Joseph looked up at me. “G-g-guest?” he finally managed to say. “Yes.” I grinned. Then Jameson and I

turned around and left the room, carefully closing the door behind us, as so we thought. The next morning, I woke up to hear Jameson crying. “Waaaaaahhhhhhh!” Jameson yelled in my ear. “All right, quit the yelling!” I said. “Now calmly tell me, WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?” Jameson let out another long sob. “Oh, Jeff! This morning I went to feed Robert Joseph, but he was gone!” I gulped. “But Jeff...” started Jameson. “SHUT UP!” yelled Nightingale, Duchess, and Blackie - three of my roommates. Jameson looked up at me. “Help me find him!” he pleaded. I sighed. “Okay, I will. But only if those three help us.” I gestured towards my roommates. They all nodded. “If it will keep chubby here quiet.” muttered Nightingale. So the five of us split up into two groups – Jameson, Duchess, and Blackie in one group, me and Nightingale in the other. But as soon as we had departed from the other group, Nightingale laid down on the ground. “You can search.” she said. “But my Goth paws will not go digging in ditches to find some kitten.” I shook my head. If she didn’t want to look, I wasn’t going to try to make her. So I left her alone and went into dining room #1. As soon as I got in there, a cat came walking towards me. “I’ve heard of ya, kid.” he said. “I’ve heard of your adventures.” He stuck out his paw. “The name’s Quincy.” he said. “And I bet I could impress that hot cat over there before you could.” I looked at the cat he was talking about. She was hot, all right, but looked kind of dumb. I shrugged. “Wanna bet?” I asked. Quincy didn’t say yes, but I assumed he meant to say it because he started walking towards the cat. I ran after him. “My owner was in the WNBA.” he said. The cat looked up. “What’s the WBAN?” she asked. I rolled my eyes. “It’s called the WN...” Quincy nudged me. “It’s the Women’s National Basketball Association.” he said. “Your owner musta gone to a good college.” she said. “She went to Yale.” Quincy said. “Yale?” I asked. “Yale has a good basketball team?” Quincy nudged me again. “She didn’t know she was going to be a

basketball player when she entered Yale.” he said through gritted teeth. I had had enough of this nonsense for one day. I was about to walk away when I heard a scream. I turned back to Quincy. He was lying on the ground. And on top of him was Robert Joseph, holding a gun to his head. “Don’t do it!” I screamed. But Robert Joseph just laughed maniacally. I started to run when I heard a bang. I doubled over in pain. My head was spinning. I heard Quincy yell. “STOP, YOU IDIOT!” Then I heard another bang. And everything went black. When I woke up, I was in Nanny’s room. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my leg. “Ouch!” I yelped. I heard Nanny laugh. Then I saw Nanny putting something on my wound. “It’s medicine.” she explained. Then she grabbed the medicine bottle and headed out the door. “Hey!” I cried. “Where are you going?” “I stole this medicine from a near-by human pharmacy.” she said. “Luckily nobody was around. But now I must return it.” I leaped out of bed. “I‘ll take it for you!” I said. Nanny looked worried. “But your leg...” I grabbed the bottle from her. “I’ll be fine!” I said. Then I headed out the door and jumped out of the hole. It was a beautiful day. So I started singing. I didn’t know what to sing, so I ended up singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But as soon as I got to the part that went “And the rocket’s red glare,” I was at the pharmacy. I ran through the open door just to be caught in a net! “There’s the varmint!” said the man who caught me. “I’ve seen somethin’ scamperin’ about, and my wife thought I was just seein’ stuff! But hell, was she wrong!” I gulped. “Now ya’ll be taken to the pound, ya rascal!” The man sniggered. He dumped me into a box and shut the lid tight. I wondered how long I could survive in there. Luckily, after a few minutes, the lid was taken off and I was put in a small room. I was in the pound. I might stay here forever, I thought. But on the bright side, someone may pick me up and I will be taken to a nice home. And that’s exactly what happened. After about an hour, a nice newlywed couple came and adopted me. They named

me Royal Tiger, because they’re last name was Royal and they loved tigers. So I went home to live with Tom and Jacqueline Royal and there cat, Scarlett. And I still live there today. Scarlett and I have many kittens to take care of. And we live a decent life. And my life is not over yet. But this tale is.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful