A Cat to Remember, a short story by Violet Wilkins.
A Cat to Remember
Yusuf was too upset to say
anything. His teacher
waited till he had stopped crying and then patted
him on the shoulder
and said she hoped everything would turn out all
meow." The weak cry came from a drain at the side
of the street just as
Yusuf was passing by. He stopped and listened. The
cry came again:
Yusuf looked into the drain. A kitten, thin,
gray with dirt, and very wet, looked up
beseechingly at him. Yusuf
reached down into the deep drain, picked the kitten
up, and set it on
the boards that covered half the drain. It just
stood there, looking
very forlorn. "Poor little Puss," said Yusuf,
"come, I'll take you home
Yusuf's mother was not happy about the kitten. "You
know, Yusuf, we've applied for a flat. You know
that the regulations
there forbid pets and that we can't take the cats
with us. Already we
have three of them to worry about when we move. How
can we find four
people to give them homes? It won't be easy, let me
But Yusuf begged so hard to keep the kitten that
his mother finally
gave in, with the warning: "But it won't be for
always. Do you
Yusuf promised that he himself would find a
home for the stray when the time came. He fed it
and then cleaned it.
They were all surprised when they found that the
called it-was snow white. Her eyes were a beautiful
the months passed, Yusuf grew fonder and fonder of
Puss and pushed out
of his mind the thought of moving to a flat.
Perhaps they'd never get a
flat, and he would be able to keep his
Puss grew into a
handsome creature with long silky hair and a fine
straight bushy tail.
She was not at all like their other three cats,
which were short-haired
and had kinks in their tails. Yusuf loved hr more
than he had ever
loved any of the others.
There was great excitement when the
family found that Puss was going to be a mother.
They fussed over her
and talked often of Puss and the kittens she was
going to have.
It was quite a shock to Yusuf one day when he
returned from school to
find that they would soon be given a flat. What
would become of Puss?
What about her kittens?
His parents had to speak firmly. Puss
definitely had to go. They'd take her to the RSPCA,
where they'd look
after her and find homes for her and the kittens
when they were born.
Yusuf listened but couldn't say a word. He felt
like crying. He wanted
to scream out that they couldn't take Puss away
night he tossed and turned in bed. When he finally
fell asleep, he
dreamed that Puss was in a cage meowing to be let
out. She cried so
sadly that he put his hand out to pet her and felt
something soft. . .
. He awoke. Puss was in bed with him, meowing
quietly. Yusuf thought
she knew about having to go and was trying to say
that she wanted to
stay with him.
Puss had never got into his bed before. She had
always stayed in her straw bed in the toolshed when
she was not
prowling around. His mother would be annoyed if she
knew, for she did
not like the cats sleeping on the beds.
Snores were coming
from the other rooms. Quietly Yusuf got out of bed,
picked Puss up, and
tiptoed to the front door. He opened it slowly, not
making any noise,
and put Puss out, whispering: "You be good now,
Puss, and go to your
Puss looked at him, hesitated, and then walked
toward the toolshed.
On the way back to his room Yusuf glanced at the
clock. It was a little
past five. His mother would be up soon to cook
breakfast. It was almost
time for him to be up too, as he had to leave early
for school. The
school bus picked up him and his sister at
He lay in
bed thinking of his pet and wondering what he could
do. Perhaps someone
in his class at school would take Puss. All the
children who had seen
Push had wanted her. But would they still feel the
same when they knew
she was going to have kittens? Well, he'd ask them,
and if they said
no, he'd have to think of something else. Puss must
not be taken away
to some place where he'd never see her
began to droop. Just as he was dropping off to
sleep the idea came to
him. Of course, his grandmother's old house! It had
been vacant for
more than two years. If nobody wanted Puss, that
was where he would
hide her. No one would ever think of going
through the alarm that woke the finally. His
sister, Tina, shook him
till he got up. He was still drowsy, and she said:
"Hurry, it's nearly
half past six. You'll make us late for the bus."
Tina kept on
complaining that they would be late, but Yusuf was
finally ready to
minutes before the bus arrived.