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TITLE: Life is What You Make of It
By Karen Macor

This is chapter 1 of a book written to be read to/with children going through crisis. It is meant to give the child a safe way to look at issues through the eyes of the cats and the adult a brdige to open discussion with the child about issues in their life. For every page of writing there is also a page of really cute pictures.
Chapter 1: The Dumpster

Baruch dug furiously trying to hide. He was so scared! Where was his mother? He was hungry and cold. What had happened?

Benny saw light above him, and wanted to climb towards the light, but he was so tiny. He tried with all his might, but he could not escape from the great big, cold, dark dumpster. Where was Baruch? What had happened to him? Where was his mother? Oh, he was so confused. What had happened? Benny began to cry. He was just a kitten and already life was not fair.

Maybe if I cry loud enough Mommy will come, thought Benny. He meowed as loud as his little lungs would let him, but no Mommy came. He tried and tried to call her, but all he heard was Baruch digging his way to the bottom of the dumpster.

Baruch heard Benny. If we both cry really loud, then surely Mommy will come, thought Baruch. He started to meow as loud as he could. He could hear Benny crying too, but no Mommy came.

I hear something. What is that? Oh no, it’s a stranger! I’ve got to hide. Baruch dug right down to the bottom of the dumpster. I’ll
be safe here, he thought, but I am so hungry. I need my mother. I don’t know how to eat yet. I need my mother’s milk. He tried calling to
Benny. “Are you still there? Are you okay? Can you see the stranger? What should we do?”

The stranger found Benny before he could hide. He lifted Benny towards the light, and out of the dumpster. It felt good to feel the warmth of the sun, and to see the light again, but the man was so big Benny was scared. He climbed onto the stranger’s shoulder, and dug in his claws to keep from falling off. He felt safe up high, away from the stranger’s hands, but how long could he stay there? Oh no, the stranger is leaving Baruch behind. Benny called to Baruch. “You have to meow, Baruch. I don’t think the stranger knows you’re here and he’s leaving. Let him find you. He hasn’t hurt me.”

Baruch didn’t want to lose Benny and be all alone, so he meowed as loud as he could, over and over again. He was scared, and he was so well buried in the dumpster that the stranger barely heard him. Oh my goodness, what big hands he has, thought Baruch, as the stranger’s hands cleared away the garbage around him. Baruch started to hide again, but he heard Benny crying to him.

“Be brave. He hasn’t hurt me. At least we’ll be together.”

Baruch let the man pick him up. When he felt the gentle touch, and heard the soothing voice encouraging him, he crawled up the stranger’s arm. He too clung onto the man with all his claws. He didn’t want to fall back into the dumpster.

The two kittens were now once again
together and safely out of the dumpster, but they were scared.

“Now what?” asked Baruch.

Benny answered, “I don’t know. Maybe he knows where Mommy is.”

Baruch sobbed, “I don’t think so. I’m so hungry!”

“Me too,” sighed Benny, and he started to cry.

The stranger reached up and patted Baruch’s head. Benny was afraid of the stranger, but his hands felt gentle and loving as he cradled Benny in his hands. His voice was calm and assuring, and his eyes shared Benny’s sorrow. The man was looking directly at Baruch, and Benny could tell he was making sure Baruch was okay. Benny could tell the man wanted to help him, but he didn’t know how to talk to a man, and the man didn’t talk “meow”.

Baruch meowed “Don’t be afraid, Benny. At least we are together, and I think this man is trying to help us.”

Benny said, “Yes, but I want my Mommy. This man doesn’t have the milk Mommy gives us, and he’s so big. I want Mommy. Only Mommy knows what we want.”
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