Miro and My Brother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 8, 2011
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From what I've heard, all kids will eventually want a pet, and will whine until they get one. If the parents are resistant or put it off, the kid might bring one home just months before they leave for college. That's what happened in my family. My brother, Devon, was always whining about how much he wanted a cat or a dog, but my parents never gave an inch. That's not to say we never had pets. We had birds, rats, fish, and dwarf hamsters. We also had a dog named Raija, but she died when I was young.

So the years passed, and my brother continued whining. Eventually he took things into his own hands. A friend of a friend had a large litter of kittens he was giving away. So, when my brother stopped by, according to his story, the owner randomly grabbed a kitten and handed it to Devon. When he came home that night, he went straight to his room. It was late, probably around 2 a.m. The kitten was frightened – after all it had just been separated from its family. It was loud. My dad woke up to the meowing and was the first to discover our new family member. Dad woke Mom up, and I woke up to yelling. Dad was angry, but it was late and he wanted to sleep. We made a make­shift litter box and all went back to bed.

According to my dad, the first thought he had when he woke up was, A kitten, huh? I can live with that. He gave in pretty fast. I didn't. I was mad and didn't want it at all. I'm not sure what my mom felt. Inevitably, my dislike for the kitten faded. By the end of the month, I was spending hours with Mira. One day, I discovered that she was really a he. We renamed him Miro.

Before college, Devon would always leave the house late at night, not telling anyone where he was going, and we usually didn't see him until the next morning. We all worried and hoped he wasn't getting into trouble. A couple weeks after Devon left for college, Miro started scratching at the back door at night, so we letting him out. Soon it became a routine. Miro did whatever during the day (mostly slept), then would come out of hiding for dinner, wait until dark, then scratch at the door. If we didn't let him out, he would start meowing loudly, jumping on furniture, and scratching chairs.

Recently, Miro's habits have intensified. He sleeps all day, wakes up, poops, goes back to sleep for a few more hours, eats, goes out, spends the whole night outside, going who-knows-where with who-knows-who, comes back when we humans are getting up in the morning, poops, eats, and restarts the cycle.

If he isn't let out when he wants, he goes further than before – jumping to higher places where fragile possessions are kept, including the china cabinet and high windowsills. On more than one occasion, he has gotten his way by jumping from the floor to the dishwasher to the microwave and then to the top of the refrigerator. From the microwave to the fridge is easily six feet at a sharp angle with two walls in the way. My family often jokes that he would dominate if he were allowed to participate in the Olympics.

Once, when Devon was home from college, we couldn't find Miro, and it was really late. This was before letting him out became a routine, and we didn't want to lock him out for the entire night. Devon, realizing how worried the rest of us were, asked, “Is this what it's like when I sneak out?” In unison, we replied, “Worse. Miro doesn't take the car.”

None of us could predict how much like Devon the cat would become. Now, both the cat and my brother whine when they want food, stay out all night, sleep all day, spend a lot of time grooming themselves, are real sweet to you when they want something, destroy things when they want something, hide things and then forget where they put them, fight with you when you just want to play, and won't stop growing.

The most recent example of their uncanny similarity happened just a few weeks ago. We had all forgotten about letting Miro back in, and were eating breakfast. I was looking at the window and out of nowhere, a black claw and face appeared and then fell, leaving behind a paw-sized tear in the screen, right next to the finger-sized one my brother had created 12 years before. Call it coincidence if you want, but every day Miro seems to become more and more like his owner.

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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pandagirl312 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm
I like the comparison of your brother and Miro. Nice story. :)
Sarathebutterfly said...
Feb. 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm
Very sweet but, Why didn't you have a real pet (i don't count all of the small ones real) till he was 18 or so? I have had at least 2 dogs, 5 cats, and chickens my entire life! My first cat i got when i was 2, and my first dog when i was 5! I think this is a nice story for the most part, keep it up. :)
aem312 said...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm
This is cute. I love cats and yours certainly sounds like it has quite the personality.
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