A cramp entry about a naughty kitten - 945 words
|You know, there are a lot of things I like. I like it when the teacher sees me working hard and puts a big blue sticker in the back of my book. I like racing down the steps of the classroom and through the school gate when the bell rings at the end of the day. I like getting home and throwing my backpack on the floor and checking if there are any new snacks in the cupboard.
When my Dad gets home from work, he’s usually tired and grumpy. Sometimes he argues with my mum about things I don’t really understand. Sometimes he just walks really quickly into his bedroom and shuts the door loudly and doesn’t come out. Sometimes he goes out to meet his friends and comes back home really, really late.
But sometimes he’s so happy that his smile looks like it could split his face in half. When he’s like that, he always picks me up and swings me around in the air and asks me how my day was, and that’s what I like most of all in the whole entire world.
At least, that’s what I thought I liked most of all in the whole entire world, but all that was before he bought Tiger home. I know it was a Tuesday when it happened because I was in my soccer uniform. At first, I didn’t go out to say hello because he slammed the front door so hard all the window panes rattled, and besides, I was doing my homework. But trying to put those stupid fractions in order was really making my head spin, so I snuck out to the kitchen to grab a snack.
Mum and dad were sitting across from each other in the lounge. I guess mum was worried – her face gets this pinched, screwed up look when she’s really fretting about something – but my dad was smiling like anything and dangling this short piece of string between his legs. At first, I thought perhaps he’d gone a bit crazy, but then this tiny ginger kitten raced around from behind the couch, leapt up at the string, backed off, waggled its rear, saw its own reflection, jumped about a foot in the air, and then raced back behind the couch.
Well, I was pretty shocked. Dad looked up and smiled even more when he saw my face.
“Hey,” he said. “How’d you like your early birthday present?”
Well, my birthday wasn’t for another whole month, but I wasn’t going to argue with him. “I sure do! It’s awesome!”
Dad handed me the string. “I know I said I never wanted a pet in the house, but I figured this is a good way to teach you some responsibility.”
The kitten ran out again and swatted at the string. I patted it gently on the head and when it looked up at me with adoring blue eyes and started to purr, I realized how much I already loved that kitten. “This is so awesome, Dad. Really. It’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had.”
I decided to call her Tiger because she was covered in these beautiful soft orange stripes. Tiger and I played together right up until dinner time. She loved racing around at top speed. She explored pretty much every nook and cranny she could see. Sometimes she’d rub against my leg and looked up at me as if I were God or something.
I guess mum and dad had been arguing the whole time, because dad wasn’t quite so happy when he called me to the dinner table. He even yelled at me for not washing my hands before I had a chance to go to the sink.
Now, when my dad gets caught up in a bad mood, I know it’s best to keep my mouth shut. I went and washed my hands and sat down. I didn’t say how pleased I was that we were having my favourite kind of sausages, or that I scored two goals at soccer today. Mum was quiet too. She kept her face down and cut her dinner up into tiny little pieces and pushed it around her plate without really eating a thing.
When Dad got up to go to the fridge, Tiger leapt up onto his chair and then on to the table and then - before me or mum could stop her - grabbed a piece of Dad’s dinner in her mouth and dragged it off his plate and on to the floor.
When Dad came back from the fridge, he saw what had happened. His eyes bulged and all the veins in his neck stood out. Without a single word, he grabbed his fork and threw it straight at the floor. I was on the other side of the table and couldn’t really see what happened, but I guess he must have hit Tiger pretty good because I heard a dull, wet thunk and then my Mum cried out. She grabbed me and pulled me from the table before I could get a good look at what had happened.
“Stay in your room,” she said, and then shut my door tight. Now, it wasn’t the first time she’d said that to me, but it had been a long time since I’d cried while dad threw words and then plates and then finally his fists. But I cried that night, because I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to see Tiger again.
After the front door slammed, mum came back into my room. Her eyes were all red and puffy. “Enough’s enough,” she said. “You need to pack a bag. Quickly.”