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Rated: E · Short Story · Biographical · #2119022
A narrative about life and a little of the unexpected.
Lucky
____________


I like the feel of grass on my feet. I always have. There is a scent in the air I can't define because it ignites my instincts and my thoughts are given over to them. It only lasts a moment.

I am about to impart to you a narrative of my beginning. Humble as it may have been I am incapable of regret due to my nature and therefore have always been relatively satisfied with my life through the ups and downs. I will try my best to avoid sounding cliche.

For me, abandonment is an old friend. Though it has not visited me in a long time I am grateful to say. This is where the distinction between regret and sadness begins because although I was party to sad beginnings, I do not regret them because they made me strong.

My tale begins on a farm many years ago. I was not the first born of my family but I was definitely the loudest. I was actually born blind but as I grew the condition mysteriously corrected itself and I gained full vision. Sometimes strange and incredible things just happen like that I suppose. We were poor and lived in a delapitating homestead where the only visitor that ever frequented us was an old woman who brought food. The truth I found out later, was that without her generosity my siblings, mother and I would have starved to death that winter. I never met my father although I suspected that I saw him once. There was someone crossing our field one day while we were out playing and my mother's head shot up suddenly. My mother looked at him very keenly as he passed. He didn't seem to notice us as the grass was long and we were partially obscured from view. After he crossed our field though she got up and forlornly walked to the house saying nothing.

I grew so fast! It did not take long for me to be able to out wrestle all my siblings. I was strong. I was the strongest of all of them! I learned how to protect myself and my family. I learned ways to provide for us like my mother.

She taught me how to be independent and I relished it.

My adolescent years though arrived with a basket of tragedy. First, the old lady who was helping us started to come less frequently. Then she stopped coming all together. My mother was forced to go out more and more to take care of us. We became indiscriminate about our food because there were times that she was forced to forage and bring back the unpalatable. We ate it without complaint. Soon winter was upon us again. But the worst of it all is that one day my mother went out during a blizzard and she didn't return either.

The search for her had been fruitless. She was never found and now at a young age my siblings and I were going to be forced to look out for ourselves. We didn't know about 'foster care' or institutions that were created to care for and protect us. We had been isolated. We learned about those things soon enough though. Before we even had time to contemplate our new life it changed again and visitors came. It was frightening as the only others I had ever known were my close family and the old lady. We were not socialized properly like we should have been, I learned later, so we were all quite reactive and I lashed out in my fear. Fight or flight it was and as always I chose fight. It was a hard lesson. For the first time in my life I was restrained. For the first time in my life I learned that there were others and some of them were stronger than me.

The next blow was when I was separated from my siblings. I began to dread this termed 'foster care'. I did my best to be sweet and good to no avail but I was still passed from place to place as is often the case. Despite that however I was never physically abused and my caretakers did there best to attend to my needs. I did become much friendlier but I never truly opened my heart to them, I never truly trusted.

When I reached my second year of adolescence I decided I could take care of myself. I ran away. I learned to be persuasive and friendly so that people would give me what I needed. Sometimes I approached them like when I was really hungry and sometimes, out of pity I suppose, they approached me. I decided It was worth the cost to have what felt like freedom for the first time in my life.

I should have known it wouldn't last. I had heard from others who had witnessed these 'do gooders' to always be wary because if foster care workers saw us they would take us back. As lonely and dangerous as the streets could be, I did not want to sacrifice my freedom for a new merry-go-round of attachment and loss. I did not want to face any more abandonment. Well It turned out I didn't have a choice. Despite my best efforts I was caught and taken again.

I noticed immediately that things were different this time. There was no talk of 'foster care' or 'temporary homes'. Instead I heard about adoption. I learned that adoption was a permanent home and it dangerously ignited my hope. I didn't want to succumb to wishful thinking but it was hard not to. People would come to meet me but they would still leave. I started to postulate that perhaps I was too independent or too old for adoption. Perhaps tales of my rebellious nature reached ears and no one wanted to put up with that. I tried not to dwell on it very much.

One day, a woman came in to meet me. She smiled when she saw me and talked nicely like the others but there was something different about her. She had determination in her eyes and to my surprise I went home with her that day. A new chapter started in my life and I was adopted.

It took time for me to trust. There were times when I tried to run away, rebelled, typical behavior for someone that had my upbringing really. I was never blamed or rejected though. I was just loved and not since I had been in that old farm house, I began to love again too. I even learned to love a younger brother who was adopted like me and he became my best friend. I learned to replace 'caretaker' with 'mother'.

Hunger is beckoning so I will bring my tale to an end. I am walking through that very same home today that I was brought to live in long ago. Many years have passed. Many stories are left to be told about me but not today. I don't wish for you to despair for me or my past. I don't ask for sympathy or pity especially since serendipity has stayed with me. I just want my story to be known.

As my narrative comes to an end, I walk by the mirror in the foyer and appraise my reflection. I notice a speckling of grey and a thinner stature than I had in my youth. But I am no longer the struggling farm kitten from meager beginnings. I am no longer the young feline forced to survive. I am no longer a lonely cat.

My name is Lucky.
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