From the moment I opened my eyes, all I saw around me was filth and disgust. I was brought into this world in a hole in a house, below a bay window, surrounded by lots of pink fluff. It was me and my three brothers and my mother. My mother was gray and knew how to take care of us when we were small. She fed us mice from the field, behind the house we were born in. She would leave us for a few hours and come back with three or four mice dangling from her mouth. We would all have to share them and then drink the left over rainwater from the drainpipe. Some days the water was cleaner than others and other days we had no water.
One day, I woke up on the porch of the house. I looked around at the overgrown weeds in the yard, standing at least three feet high, and saw my brothers still sleeping, but could not find my mother. I walked around the house, searching for her. I figured she had gone to get some more mice for us to eat, which she frequently had done before we all woke up. But she never came back. So, we were left there, at this nearly abandoned house, with an overgrown yard, with nothing to drink but rainwater runoff and nothing to keep us warm at night but the pink fluff we found in that hole below the window. We all started to get skinny after a few days. We were only a few weeks old and we had no food to stay alive. I was afraid we were going to die.
One day, we were all sleeping on the porch again. The weeds had gone away while we were sleeping, so now we could see to the street. I saw a little girl and her mother pointing at us, and then they left. A few minutes later, they came back with something on a plate. I sniffed it and I didn’t know what it was, but it looked like food, so we all ate it. We were so hungry. It had been days since we had eaten. Other people started leaving food for us too, some mornings we’d wake up and find some wet food, other times it was dry, and other times there was nothing. That little girl and her mom came up to us a lot. I think she liked us. All of my brothers were terrified of them, and so was I, but I knew I could trust her. She always brought me food, so of course I could trust her to at least feed me.
I think she and her friends named us all according to our colors one day. She’d always call out the same thing whenever she came up to the house. She’d say, “Princess, Midnight, Toffee, Timid Tiger!”
Midnight was one of my brothers, he was all black with a small white dot below his chin. Toffee was a tabby, a little chubbier than the rest of us. Timid tiger looked a lot like Toffee, but was skinnier, smaller, and abnormally scared. From the moment we were born, our mother taught us to always be afraid of people and that they could not be trusted. I was the rebellious one out of the four of us, because not only was I the only calico, but I trusted. And I shouldn’t have.
Some days I’d walk with the little girl down to her house. My brothers wouldn’t have it, they were too scared to leave the house. But I was adventurous so I figured I would try it. She had a small tree in her front yard that I would climb. “Oh Princess, get down from there!” She’d always tell me, like she was worried about me. I knew I would be fine. One day, I was standing on her front porch, and the front door to the house opened. Some cool air escaped from the doorway I stepped closer and peered inside. And then, I saw him. A big, white, fluffy, scary…dog. I backed away in fear.
“Don’t let her get inside!” I heard someone say.
“You want to come inside, don’t you sweetheart?” The little girl said as she shut the door. I backed away, still afraid to get really close to her.
One day, all four of us were lying on the porch as usual. We heard a loud noise coming closer and closer to us. Then, a big white van pulled into the driveway and four people came out and started walking toward us. My brothers ran up under the house and I stayed behind. For the first time, I felt almost as timid as my brothers were. The people had their hands out and were coming toward me. I saw one of them setting up cages near us, with milk inside. Toffee came out from the under the house and started walking toward the milk. I tried to tell him not to do it, but he kept going, and as soon as he stepped inside the cage, the door snapped closed behind him. They took him into the van. The others were terrified. The people were coming at me and I hissed at them and ran. They backed me into a corner and put the cage down in front of me, leaving me no choice but to go inside. As soon as I stepped inside, not only did the cage snap, but it snapped on the milk and it spilled all over me. I was so upset and scared. What were they doing to me? They started taking me toward the van, and I opened my eyes slightly, and saw the little girl’s mother running up the street toward the van.
“Don’t take the calico one!” she screamed, repeating herself. The person carrying me stopped. “My daughter loves her,” she said.
That was the last time I saw my brothers. They let me go and the mother carried me back toward their house. I went into the house with her and she quickly set me in a small room that had blue walls and shut the door. I cried and cried, I was confused.
-Written summer 2008 for my ‘creative writing for english majors’ class at UCF