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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)

TITLE: Rainbow The Kitten
By Jacquelyn Horne


Rainbow the kitten heard his mother calling but was too embarrassed to come out of hiding. He hadn’t realized he was “different” until the children began laughing at him. His brothers and sisters were all solid black or yellow, his mother black with some white spots. They were “normal”. He now understood that he was not. He had many colors in his coat and that’s why the children were laughing and pointing at him.

But mother insisted, so Rainbow ran as fast as he could, dodging the hands of the children as they grabbed at him. Tears formed in his sad, gray eyes. It sure hurt being different.

Mother noticed the tears glistening in the sunlight as Rainbow ran to the safety of her caress. As he snuggled into her embrace, she began purring softly, soothing his stiffened body and making him feel loved. If I could stay right here with mother, thought Rainbow, I wouldn’t have to hear the children laugh again. He burrowed up to his dinner, along with his siblings, who didn’t even know that their brother was different.

After dinner, his brothers and sisters went to sleep. Rainbow was sleepy too, but mother wanted to talk. He loved to hear mother’s soft smooth voice. She often told him stories about God. She was so gentle and kind that he almost forgot that the children had laughed.

But that’s exactly what mother talked about! “Why are you unhappy?” mother purred.

“Because I’m different,” whined Rainbow. “The children laugh at me.”

“Children can be cruel sometimes, when they don’t understand,” said mother. “Yes, you look different than your brothers and sisters, but different isn’t bad. You’re a very special kitten. You’re what people call Calico, just like your father. He’s the strongest, bravest tom cat in the neighborhood, and no one dares to laugh at him,” crooned mother proudly.

“But no one will want me for their pet,” remarked Rainbow, still whining. “Everyone who looks at me will see my colors and pick the others first.”

“We don’t have to be first to be important,” mother said sternly. “Someone will want you just because you look different. God made you like you are, and God doesn’t make mistakes.”

Mother began purring softly, and Rainbow fell asleep thinking, I hope mother is right.


Rainbow awoke startled. Hands were lifting him out of his cozy spot next to his black-furred brother. He feared that the children had found him, and he was now their captive. Just as he started to scratch and struggle, he became aware of a feeling of love in the small hands that had secured his tense body. He heard a child’s voice. “Oh, I want this one! He is so cute.”

Now “cute” is not exactly what Rainbow wanted to be, but the snuggles under a soft chin, the caressing hands and the tender voice made him aware that maybe it wasn’t so bad to be cute after all. Yes, I can live with cute, he reasoned.

“Aunt Peggy, this is the one I want,” said the little girl holding him fast to her heart. “He is so special. Look at his colors! He’s beautiful!”

Rainbow reached out and licked the soft little hand that held him tight. He began to feel a kinship to this lovely little girl. She has good taste, he smiled proudly, thinking of his brave father who was somewhere roaming the neighborhood.

Rainbow nestled in the soft lap of Aunt Peggy’s niece while the adults made arraignments. He was content and happy to cuddle there. But realizing he was about to go to a new home, Rainbow jumped down to rub against his mother one last time. He would miss her, but he knew that he’d probably see her once in awhile. This is how life works for kittens, he reasoned.

Jumping back into the lap of the little girl, Rainbow felt himself being rolled to the waiting car. She held him tight in her arms as strong arms lifted her into the car and fastened the seat belt.

Rainbow began to understand that the little girl was “different” too. But he didn’t care. She was just what he needed. She was becoming very special to him.

I can live with this, he thought, snuggling deeper into her warm lap. As the car pulled away from the curb, two special friends nodded with sleep, each content that they had found something special in the other.

God doesn’t make mistakes.

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Virginia Lee Bliss 06/07/07
I enjoyed your story. You may want to change Rainbow's gender to female as all calicos are females. From your description Rainbow sounds like a tortoise shell, rather than a calico. Torties are always females as well. Otherwise it is a good story.
Jacquelyn Horne06/07/07
Virginia....you are right! But I have been saved by a fluke. According to MadSci Network "The only way a male cat can have a calico
coat is if it has what is called Klinefelter's syndrome in humans - it has
two X-chromosomes and one Y."

I stand corrected, but for poor little Rainbow's sake, lets say he is unusual. LOL
Virginia Lee Bliss 06/07/07
Jackie, check the e-mail I sent you.
Joy Faire Stewart06/07/07
Perfect children's story. Many children face the problems of being different and will relate to Rainbow. Loved the happy ending...excellent storytelling.
Lisa Holloway06/08/07
Very nice story with a good message. I really enjoyed it and, since I know virtually nothing about cats, the little "problem" isn't something I would have noticed anyway. Good job! ;)
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/08/07
I know nothing about the gender of calico cats, but I know I liked this cute story with a wonderful message for children and adults--God doesn't make mistakes.
Lisa Graham06/08/07
As a cat lover, I really enjoyed this sweet little story illustrating how God works in the lives of both humans and animals. God has a special purpose for everyone.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/09/07
This story is a gem! As I write, my tri-color male cat is curled in my lap, smiling. We have both known he was special all along. This story and the discussion it has generated only confirms it. Your spiritual application is even more perfect because of the rare occurence of tri-color males. Terrific writing!
Janice Fitzpatrick06/11/07
Beautiful job. Reminds me of a true story I read a while ago about a little boy with facial disfigurement and handicaps and the lad was joined with a puppy who had some deformity and had been the last one left in the litter. The unity was powerful and the lesson so sweet.Thank God that the Lord looks differently at beauty and sees the inside. Thank yo for such a sweet entry. God bless,Janice
Rita Garcia06/11/07
WOW! You have brought such delight to a very difficult problem!
Dee Yoder 06/12/07
I, too, think this is a great story with a beautiful message for all children. I think kids would enjoy reading this very much.
Kristen Hester06/13/07
Great story! I knew calicos were usually female but didn't really notice until I read the comments. I was too captivated by the sweet message. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 06/13/07
I love a good kitty story! I purred with delight reading this one.
Joanne Sher 06/13/07
Very sweet - and a wonderful lesson. I love kitty stories. :)
Myrna Noyes06/13/07
Very sweet story with an excellent message! I really enjoyed this piece and know children would love it, too! (I think in one spot you meant "arrangements" instead of "arraignments.") Great writing! :)
Dara Sorensen06/13/07
I like it ^_^

I didn't know that calicos were female...lol shows how much this reader knows :P
Esther Gellert06/13/07
This is a beautiful story. I loved it. Did you know that apparently all ginger tabbies are male.... all except my one, who surprises the vet every time we go because I say 'she' and the vet corrects me, then looks and says, "Oh, it is a she." So, don't worry about the cats colouring. ;)
Sara Harricharan 06/14/07
The last line is so touching! I was with Rainbow all the way. (I am the proud owner of an adorable calico kitty!) This is definitely a good bedtime story. ^_^
Loren T. Lowery07/02/07
We have an 18 year-old tortise cat that we named Sunny (because the flecks of gold in dark coat stood out like sparks of sunshine). I still remember picking her from among her litter mates, simply because she was so "special." To this day she has not disappointed us.
Your story is tenderly written and with a wonderful, but simple message. Children and adults, like myself, will surely enjoy it!