The Ballad of Mr. Snugglesworth

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The Ballad of Mr. Snugglesworth I never thought of myself as a cat person. I had always lived around dogs, seeing as my dad was allergicÓ to cats. When I found out that my younger brother Garrison was getting a cat for Christmas one year, (my dadÕs allergies didnÕt seem to matter anymoreÉsuspicious) I was thrilled, but that was because I loved animals and I loved being in on secrets. Jake, our new family addition, got along well with my dog Gracie, because she didnÕt bother him. Our boxer, Donut, however, didnÕt do so well and kept trying to prove his dominance until Jake extracted about a gallon of his blood by means of sharp retractable claws. After that though, Jake settled in and we all loved on him.

A while later, we had to put Gracie to sleep. I was heart broken, but I was and still am a steadfast animal lover and neededÓ another pet to fill the void in my life. My eleven year old mentality was, all the dogs IÕve had have left my life too early, I like Jake, why not get a cat. I sent a letter to my dad asking for a cat. He agreed and we started looking for a kitten.

After searching for a few weeks, we found out that my brotherÕs friendÕs dadÕs coworkerÕs motherÕs cat had had kittens in April (try telling everyone in fifth grade about that!). I thought they would be perfect. However, I am a girl who likes instant gratification, so when I heard that they would not be available to take home until May, I decided to keep looking and get one of those if I still hadnÕt found anything by then.

Then, we went to Petsmart one day, and noticed adoptions going on. My mom let me go and browse while she got more supplies for our current pets. I saw one cat that I fell in love with. A large orange tabby named Jeremiah; I knew this was the cat I wanted. I went and got my mom, and we got him out and held him. She agreed with me that he would be a great cat, but reminded me that he was already one and a half, so I wouldnÕt get a chance to have a tiny little kitten any more. I was so excited about finding him that I knew it would be ok if I didnÕt get to love on a little kitten. My mom got the paper work and began filling it out. Once she had finished it, she handed it to the adoption lady. The woman read over the forms. So youÕre going to keep him as an inside cat?Ó My mother and I nodded, knowing we had to or they wouldnÕt let us adopt him. She was almost finished and it didnÕt seem like there was any reason we couldnÕt adopt him. I was so excited at the thought of bringing my own cat home today that I didnÕt notice the womanÕs expression turn sour. You have another cat?Ó I looked up at her face and felt my stomach and heart drop to my feet. We nodded. And heÕs an outside cat?Ó We nodded again, my dread boiling up from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. Then came the bombshell. IÕm sorry, we canÕt let you adopt Jeremiah.Ó My throat started to burn, my eyes began to fill with tears. Your cat can get diseases outside and bring them in, therefore spreading them to Jeremiah.Ó My mom tried to convince the woman, but I didnÕt hear the argument, only saw through blurred eyes the lady repeatedly shake her head. I am truly sorry, but we need to make sure that these animals will live the happiest, healthiest lives possible. IÕm sorry; you are just not qualified to adopt him. Do you understand little girl?Ó I noticed the woman staring down at me, and I wanted to stomp my feet and yell and scream at this person who had just crushed my dreams of having Jeremiah, the best cat in the world. But instead, I bit back my tears, gritted my teeth, and nodded my head. We walked away, and I stood numbly by my mom as she paid for our purchases. We headed to the car and drove home. I went through the rest of the day in a daze, finally going to bed and crying myself to sleep. My hopes for Jeremiah crushed, I slowly got over him, and enjoyed the rest of fifth grade, all the while keeping my ears open for news of available kittens. When I accepted an invitation to go to a farm with my friend, I had almost completely forgotten about Jeremiah and the kittens of my brotherÕs friendÕs dadÕs coworkerÕs motherÕs cat. We arrived at the farm and proceeded to have a blast. We were inside, lying on some beds, taking a break from our play when the phone rang. Rebecca answered it, said a few words, and then handed the phone to me. I was greeted by my momÕs voice. We conversed for a short time about how I was, what Rebecca and I were doing, then my mom got to the reason sheÕd called. So Caroline, I talked to the cat lady today.Ó The cat lady?Ó You know, Mr. EdwardÕs coworkerÕs mother?Ó Oh yeah! What did she say?Ó WellÉÓ Tell me Mom!Ó She said she still has three kittens left, two boys and a girl, and sheÕs going to bring them over on the 29th.Ó Really Mommy!?!Ó By this time I was bouncing up and down on the bed with excitement. Really Sweetie.Ó What color are they Mommy?Ó She said that theyÕre white with tabby spots. Ok, I have to go, have a great time with Rebecca, I love you.Ó Love you too Mom.Ó I replied absentmindedly. I hung up the phone and turned to Rebecca. The cat lady is going to bring the kittens over on May 29th!Ó No way! I have to be there!Ó Alright! You can help me pick on out. There are two boys and one girl and theyÕre white with tabby spots.Ó I screwed up my face. Do you know what that means?Ó Nope, but I bet theyÕre going to be cute!Ó I know! I canÕt wait!Ó A few weeks later, May 29th arrived. I thought it was going to be the biggest day of my life. I was getting contacts, my cool new glasses, it was my last day of the fifth grade, and I was getting my kitten. I plowed through school and the optometrist, almost missing the speech on how to put in my contacts. Finally, it was time for her to get there. I was waiting at the door anxiously and watched her drive up. SheÕs here!Ó I yelled and undid the lock, flung the door open and was standing there waiting as she walked up the drive. She walked into our house and I tried to rush us through the introductions. After what seemed like an eternity, she put down two cute little kittens, explaining that the girl got adopted. I watched them crawl around, one white with brownish orange spots and one white with grey spots. After much careful consideration and much pleading with my parents to let us get both, I picked out the one with the brown orange spots, because he was more active and more vocal. I petted him as the lady finished talking to my parents. Eventually, she waved goodbye and left, and I was left alone with my kitten, who I quickly dubbed Mr. Snugglesworth. Snuggles is still around, as is Jake, and the newest addition to our cat family, Zelda. And me, why, IÕm a cat person of course!





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