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The temperature was warm and humid, and it stayed that way during the daytime and nighttime, even if it was warmer during the day and more humid during the night. The only time the temperature would become cooler, even just a tiny bit, was at night and when it rained. Most of the time it would smell like soil, water, and spices. There would normally be motorcycles and cars driving on the road in front of my grandparents’ house, and the beeping of motorcycles would be way more common than that of cars.
My grandparents’ house was a two story building. Each story was a house and the bottom house was uninhabited, the tenants moved away three years ago. Below the unfinished house next to my grandparent’s house, six puppies were born. There were three male and three female, an even litter.
Three of the puppies’ pelts looked the same as a german sheperds. One of them was female and the other two were males. Another puppy had the same shade of brown fur, but his paws muzzle, throat, belly and tip of his tail were white. One of the other female puppies looked just like her mother and had the same playful eyes. The last one had fur like a border collie, but shorter and less fluffy. She would always hide in the back and stare with nervous eyes.
I knew that something bad would happen sooner or later because it would always happen since whenever there were puppies something would happen to either two or three of them. At night I would always keep wondering what would happen the next day, and feel increasing dread whenever the day ended.
One day, the puppies were playing in the sand that was next to the area they used as shelter. There was a tiny space under one of the gates of the house that was just big enough for the puppies to move through. They would occasionally use it to explore outside in an area with plants. In the afternoon, my uncle looked out one of the windows next to the stairs and made a noise like a squirrel. He had black hair that started to become gray, and was wearing a white undershirt and black pants. The mother and five of the puppies came and wagged their tails for food. He came back inside the house and announced, “One of the puppies isn’t there!” I looked up at him from my spot on the sofa and asked, “Which of them is gone?” He responded, “Rani is missing!”
Just then, my brother stepped into the living room after playing on my aunt’s laptop. He had the same black hair as me, was wearing a blue collared t-shirt, shorts, and a questioning expression on his face. He asked, “Rani is missing? Where did she go?” My uncle answered back, “Yes, she is missing.” I put my art supplies in a safe place and fast-walked to the steps where the window was. I peered down and counted the puppies. ‘One, two, three, four five?’ I counted again to make sure. ‘One, two, three, four, five.’ I shouted back to my brother, “He’s right, there are only five puppies!” I went back up after counting and peered down when I was on the balcony. She wasn’t outside near the road.
A few weeks, later my uncle went to the balcony to check something. My grandparents and aunt complained about a horrible smell from outside. After he came back he said, “She was hit by rocks.” I asked, “Who?” “Panda.” I looked on his IPhone for proof. ‘Oh no, he was right.’ On his phone there were two photos of Panda. On both of them there were two or three gashes that showed where the rocks hit her. She was lying on her side with her jaws locked but mouth partially open, and her fur was matted red with blood around the gashes.
The same night, I asked my mom, “Why was she killed?” My mom answered, “Maybe the people who threw rocks at her because she was annoying them.” After she spoke I thought, ‘But that doesn’t make sense, she doesn’t usually come out of her hiding place.’ The next day, even more parts of her internal body were exposed. The day after that, it was stolen by a crow or hawk and taken elsewhere.
Before Panda died, I befriended an orange tabby kitten who liked pouncing after leaves, straw and feet. After Panda was taken away, the kitten hid under the car for a few days and my grandmother would feed her milk or chicken twice a day. After I found her, I thought, ‘Maybe she’s bored and would like to play.’ I looked around and saw a straw broom. I picked a straw and tried waving it around on the ground. She started giving the straw her attention and would occasionally pounce to catch it.
One morning, a white cat with yellow eyes was sitting in the corner behind the car. The kitten hid in tiny space between a gate and a door. I came closer, watched his tail, placed my hand a few inches above his head, and he pushed his head towards it. Seeing this action I thought, ‘Okay, he’s friendly.’ He would move house to house, sunning himself on the roof where laundry would be drying. I would see him on the house across the road and yell to my mom and aunt, “Hey, he went to the other house across the road!”
I slowly got used to sad feeling I would get from time to time, and playing with the kitten and watching the friendly cat helped me stop feeling lonely during my Summer vacation at my grandparents’ house. Watching the kitten play with the straw reminded me of the puppies play-fight each other and since her family had abandoned her after she fell from a balcony, I decided to play with her so that she wouldn’t have to feel the same loneliness.