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A Bad Trip This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "[sniff sniff] "Oh, no! Not the same old cat food again." I was about to go on strike, but the growl of my belly was too much. I sometimes wished I could get out of this orphanage, or rather, the ASPCA as humans call it. Just as my whiskers penetrated the mushy stuff, in came a peculiar lady. From past experience, I knew she was an adopter. All of a sudden there was a racket as the others tidied themselves. They licked their dirty paws, stopped scratching the fleas, and turned a sleepy face into a cute one. As for me, I didn't care. Our warden and the lady came over. I don't know why the others got so excited. Didn't this home mean anything to them? Their new home might not be as good.

The lady looked kind and sweet. She searched every phony face. When her eyes met mine, she broke into a warm smile. Suddenly, a thought popped up: What if this lady picks me? Will she be a mean, cruel owner? If I go, will have to start all over again, make new friends and get used to a new environment. Just then, the door creaked open and unfortunately the familiar hand that had come in many times reached for me.

The moment I saw the cold cage, I was terrified. I tried to hold onto the cool tiles with my claws, but it was no use. My warden was stronger. As soon as the door closed, I ran over to scratch the criss-crossed wires. It was no use. I was going. After purring a few good-byes, I turned to face my destiny. It was worse than going to the vet because I didn't know what to expect.

The lady and I went into a huge cylinder that moved by itself. There were doors on both sides. At a certain stop, a man with a black coat blocked my view. A child's cries filled the air. A dog came close to sniff my



cage. On top of that, something constantly screeched to a halt, causing my cage to sway. So much commotion! Oh how I wished I was back home.

My new owner carried me up some of stairs. Next to it were funny characters that looked like an upside-down chair and a donut. I wondered what the phrase meant. Humans! Sheesh! They are so odd.

All the stores had an air of elegance and cleanliness that could captivate anything. I would have had a fine time looking at all the sophisticated shops if it wasn't for the cacophonous honking of the horns, piercing screams of men from yellow cars, and an occasional siren. We turned a corner and everything changed.

A whiff of warm, summer air lifted my fur. Oh, it was so invigorating! The birds were chirping in the verdant trees. The leaves swayed to the rhythm of the wind. I could really get used to this. Arriving at the building, my owner had a little problem, but she reasoned with the guard that I was in a cage. The place had a crisp, clean smell. I needed a while to get used to the darkness. When I did, I saw books all over the place. While my owner sat down to read some books, I noticed the people were different from the ones I saw during the ride. To my relief, nothing annoying happened. At last, I can enjoy some peace and quiet. After a few moments, I got bored and had an urge to purr. However, a flashback of the guard shut me up. By now, I was almost over not seeing my friends. This may sound cold-hearted, but I am a cat and cats have bad memories.

My next stop was the big house that resembled a lady holding a torch. The only part I loathed was the boat.

I've never been on a boat before so I didn't know I was sea-sick. I guess it was worth it, since I wanted to see the view from the torch. However, my owner had a mind of her own. She kept on stopping on every floor to admire the trinkets on display. Although we were already on the nineteenth floor, the thought of the number of stairs still ahead nearly drove me crazy!

So I did what every cat does best. I took a nap. I woke to a beautiful sunset. Red streaks of sunlight streamed through fluffy clouds, Every skyscraper sparkled with spectacular colors. There was a refreshing breeze through the bars of my cage. Enjoyment seemed to have broken through my cage. The cage door opened and my owner took me into her arms. She said something to me and then held me snugly. I felt my whole body relaxing. Maybe I was wrong, maybe this was a wonderful trip after all. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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