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TITLE: Life is What You Make of It - Chapter 2
By Karen Macor

This is the second chapter of a book written for children in crisis. The questions and reactions are trying to anticipate thoughts the children might be having. e.g. The stranger in Chapter one is identified as a stranger since a Social Worker, doctor, police man etc. is essentially a stranger to a child when they enter the picture during a crisis.
Chapter 2: This is our Mother?

Benny and Baruch both rode on the man’s shoulders with their claws dug firmly into his skin, but the stranger understood. The kittens did not mean to hurt him; they were scared.

Baruch meowed, “Oh no, watch out Benny! There’s a big animal here.”

The man was bending down in front of a dog, and Benny was the first to look the dog in the eyes. While doing so, he saw the dog’s huge, pink tongue slide out from between a mouth full of pearly white, sharp teeth. Benny was too scared to do anything. He froze on the man’s shoulder, and dug his claws in even firmer, holding on for dear life. The tongue gently washed Benny’s face and ears, and then moved on to his body, but at no time did Benny become lunch. The dog was so gentle that Benny began to relax.

“Hey Baruch, it is okay. I think this is a dog. It’s certainly not a cat. I thought she was going to eat me, but she washed me instead. Her tongue was too soft, and too big to do a good job, but she was very gentle. It felt funny, but I feel better now that I have been groomed. She’s coming to you now. Just stay still and let her groom you.”

Baruch said, “You’re right. She’s not as good as Mommy, but it does feel good. I wonder if she has any milk for us. I sure am hungry.” Baruch nudged himself up against the dog’s belly but there was no milk. “No luck. She didn’t give me any milk. What kind of a mother is this?”

Just then the man put some egg in front of the kittens? “What are we supposed to do with this?” asked Benny.

Baruch replied, “I don’t know. I want my Mommy!”

A woman’s voice said, “Poor things. They don’t know how to eat yet. I’ll get some water and an eyedropper. We’ll give them some liquid, and then take them to the veterinarian.”

Baruch meowed, “What’s an eyedropper? What’s water and what’s a veterinarian? I am so confused!”

“I don’t know. Why don’t they just get us our mother?” asked Benny.

At the veterinarian Benny and Baruch learned that they were a month old, that they no longer had a mother, and they would be fed a special liquid called Mammalac to replace their mother’s milk. They heard the veterinarian explain to the man and woman how to put the liquid on a plate, and let the kittens walk in it so they would lick it off their paws. Apparently, this would teach them how to eat.

“So that is how you eat,” said Benny.

“I’d rather just drink Mommy’s milk,” said Baruch.

“Didn’t you hear the veterinarian, Baruch? Our mother is gone. We’re going to live with the man and woman now. Maybe the dog will be our mother.”

“You’ve got to be kidding!” said Baruch. He couldn’t believe Benny would replace his mother with a dog.

Benny said, “Well, the dog is gentle. She did a pretty good job of cleaning us, and did you see how closely she watches us? I feel safe around her.”

Baruch said, “We’ll see. I miss being able to snuggle up to Mommy when I sleep. I bet the dog won’t let us do that.”

That night with their bellies full of Mammalac, the two little kittens settled down to sleep snuggled up to the dog.

“How did you sleep, Baruch? I slept great. The dog smells different than Mommy, but she kept us warm, and she even let me lick her.”

“I have to admit the dog kept me warm, and she is very gentle with us. It’s just that I’d rather have Mommy.”

Benny said, “Well, I’m going to make the best of it. We’re better off than we were in the garbage dumpster. The dog might be funny for a mother, but I think it will work. We will be okay in this new home.”
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