Tag Archives: kitten

1658. Feral Coal

(Thanks to Chris for giving the opening sentence).

Secretly, they had known all along that the cat could never have been tamed. It was a feral cat. It lived in the woodshed and had little tunnels so it could hide safely in the depths of the haphazard pile of firewood.

And then it had kittens; six in all. After a few weeks they would venture out into the sunshine to play. Little Lottie, who was seven years old, would take a saucer of milk and leave it on the concrete path leading to the woodshed. The kittens would form a circle around the saucer and lap up the milk.

The prettiest kitten was a black one with a little white bib and a little white paw. Lottie called it Coal. She wanted to catch it and keep it as a pet. Her father helped her make a drop trap. They set up a small cage held upside down with a stick tied to a string. When the black kitten went beneath the cage, they would pull the string and the cage would fall down entrapping the kitten. And they caught it! Coal was caught!

There was no way Lottie or her father could reach into the cage to pick up the kitten. Even at that young age the kitten would have scratched the threatening hand. They had to let the snarling kitten go. It would be forever wild.

Later that week a man came and caught all six kittens and their mother in a cage. He took them away. For Christmas that year Lottie got a kitten. It was black with a little white bib and a little white paw. It wasn’t quite the same but it almost was. It was a girl, so Lottie didn’t call it Coal; she called it Coalette instead.

293. Little grey kitten


Mrs Burnside lived just across the road from Sally and Sally’s mother. Sally was four. Sally loved to visit Mrs Burnside or, rather, she loved to visit Mrs Burnside’s cat.

“I’d like to have a cat one day,” said Sally, “but mummy says it costs too much to feed.” Sally’s mother had no money; just none at all. She struggled.

One day, Mrs Burnside was chatting. “Does Sally have a cat?” she asked.

“No,” said Sally’s mother.

“Oh, that’s a pity,” said Mrs Burnside. “I always have too much cat food, and I hate to see it go to waste. You should get a cat.”

“I suppose we could,” said Sally’s mother. And that’s what they did. They got a beautiful, grey, fluffy kitten that Sally called Freckles, even though it didn’t have any.

Every week, Sally got the spare cat food for Freckles. And every week Mrs Burnside accidentally bought twice as much as needed.