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I'm Sorry, Kitty

Story ID:5004
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Hilliard Ohio USA
Year:2001
Person:Kitty
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I’m Sorry Kitty

I pulled the rope, lifted the garage door, and stepped out into the warm summer
evening. “Hey, Mike!” I said to my neighbor, who was unloading his kids from their van.

A black cat zipped past my feet. “Bob! Come here, Bob.” Bob was a black cat
who lived in the house across the lawn from our townhouse complex. He was my buddy.

“That’s not Bob.” my neighbor said.

I looked down. “You’re right. It’s too small. Whose cat is it?” The little cat,
much smaller than Bob, brushed against my leg. I reached down and petted it. The cat
pushed its head into my hand as I scratched its neck.

“I don’t know. It’s been hanging around for a few days now.” he said.

“Seems friendly. Maybe it’s lost.” I
changed topics. “You watching the game this
afternoon?”

“You bet! The Buckeyes are on a roll.”

“You know it!’ I said. “I have to get back in. See you later. Go Bucks!” I yelled.
As I closed the garage door, I noticed the small black cat staring at me.

Later, I opened the garage door again. The little cat came running to me. “You
lost, little one?” I knelt and petted it. “You’re a cute little thing. I bet you’re hungry.”
Wait here.”

I went inside, cut a slice of bologna into small pieces, and took it outside. I placed
the small pile of meat on my patio. “Here ya go, little fella. Enjoy.” The little cat raced to
the food. It gobbled it down, barely chewing.

I got more bologna and a small dish of water and them outside. The cat was gone.
I put the food and the dish on the patio. “Here, Kitty.” The little cat ran around the corner.
This time it ate slower, enjoying its meal.

I picked it up and held it to my chest. “Are you lost little one?” It hung weakly –
lethargic – in my arms. I ran my hand down its
side and noticed a hard lump in its
stomach. I ran my handover it again. “Does it hurt, Little One?”

The next morning, I opened the door and the little cat was asleep on the mat in
front of our door. It jumped up and came to me. ”Good morning, Little One.” I said and
picked it up. It snuggled its head into the bend of my arm, close to my heart.

Later that day, I went to the office of our housing complex and asked, “Has
anyone been looking for a lost cat? There’s a little black cat hanging around my place.”

“You’re the second person to ask about that cat today. Sadly, no one has come
looking for it.”

I left my number. Deep down, I knew no one would call. The cat was sick.
Whoever owned it probably knew the same and had dumped it in the street.

When I got home, my son sat on the patio with the cat in his lap. “Dad, she’s so
friendly.” He petted her. “Can we keep her?”

“Justin, you know we can’t. We can’t have pets here.”

“But, Dad, she’s lost.”

“We’ll feed her for a couple days and see if anyone comes looking for her. If
not, we’ll take her to the S.P.C.A. They’ll find her a nice home. Lots of people are
looking for a nice kitty to cuddle.”

Days went by. The kitten slept on our patio and ate the food we provided. Each
time I picked her up, I felt the lump in her stomach. Did it grow larger?

A week later, I looked at my son. “Justin, we need to take her to the shelter. She
needs a home.”

“Please, Dad.” he pleaded. “Can’t we keep her?”

My heart ached for both of them. “She’s very sick. It’s best we take her.”

I borrowed a cat carrier from a neighbor. We took the kitten to the shelter. Justin
held the carrier in his lap and talking softly to the scared little kitten.

I stood at the counter. “It showed up at my door one day.” I said to the young
lady. “I think someone abandoned her. She may be sick. There’s a lump in her stomach.”

The young lady looked at the kitten with compassion. “Hi, Little One.” She
looked at me. “It’s sad, but we get a lot of abandoned animals here. Is it feral? Can
I take it out?”

“Sure you can take it out. She’s very gentle. Actually, she’s lethargic. The lump
in her stomach concerns me.”

She opened the carrier and lifted the kitten into her arms. “She’s so cute.” Her
hand moved to the kitten’s stomach and felt. Her brow creased with concern.

“Do you feel it?”

“Yes.” She felt again. “It could be a hernia.” She paused. “Or it could be a tumor.”

“I was afraid of that.” I whispered and hoped my son didn’t hear.

“Don’t worry, Mr. Smith. We’ll do everything we can for her.” she assured me.
“She’s a pretty little thing. I’m sure we can find her a home.”

I didn’t believe her. She knew as well as I did, the kitten was gravely ill.

She put the little kitten in a carrier and rested it on the counter. “Mr. Smith, I
promise, we’ll do what we can.”

“Thank you.” I replied in a whisper. Tears formed in my eyes as I turned to walk
out. I reached the door, opened it and made a mistake – I looked back. The kitten sat in
her cage and stared through the bars at me. She whimpered a weak cry – pleading, “Don’t
leave me.”

I sat on my deck that night. My heart was heavy. I knew I did the right thing and
prayed they would find her a home, but deep down, I knew she was terminally ill. I
prayed someone would hold her and comfort her at the end.

I made a mistake. I should have been the one to hold her.

I'm sorry, Kitty.

Michael T. Smith