Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: WILD (11/16/17)
TITLE: THE TRANSFORMATION
By simon davis
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“Be careful!” the girl warned us. “They’re not used to people yet. They’re only a week old.”
I slowly put my hand inside, then hastily withdrew it as the sleeping mass suddenly became alive, accompanied by much hissing and spitting. My wife burst out laughing at my discomfort.
“Hm, I see what you mean,” I remarked ruefully, carefully inspecting my hand.
“I know!” said the girl. “Why don’t we try to give them some sardine? They like that. In fact, it’s all I can get them to eat.”
“OK. Good idea,” I replied.
She fetched an open tin from the fridge and handed it to me.
“I usually just put a little on the end of my finger,” she suggested.
I followed this advice and, sure enough, one of the kittens started to lick greedily at my finger. The others quickly tried to join in. We were now able to lift the tiny creatures out of their container and have a better look at them.
“I found them in the warehouse which is next to my place of work. They had obviously been abandoned there. Look at this little chap,” she added, pointing to one of the animals, who was missing one of his ear flaps. “It looks like he got too close to a machine, doesn’t it?”
We spent some more time feeding the little creatures.
“Which one are we going to take?” asked my wife, Dee. “It’s so hard to decide. They’re all so cute!”
After much debate we finally decided on one.
“Why don’t you take two?” suggested the girl. “It will be hard for me to find homes for all of them.”
She hesitated, before adding in a pleading tone “How about the one-eared one?”
So, this is how Dee and I came into possession of our first pets, Sooty and Sweep, although our neighbour would always refer to them as “Two ear” and “One ear”. Over the next few weeks they gradually lost their fear of people. We kept them inside and would sit them on our laps feeding them their beloved sardines and using pipettes to squirt milk into their mouths. The hand-feeding stopped abruptly however after, one day, I painfully discovered that Sooty had grown some teeth. From now on, each morning as I entered the kitchen, I would see two small black shapes on the windowsill, staring inside, waiting for their food. Sweep lived up to his reputation as the adventurous one. Each morning the gas boiler near where we put the cat’s food, would burst into life at the set time. One morning, after this had happened, I smelled burning. The morning ritual was slightly different this time, because, not only did one of the cats have only one ear, he also had badly singed whiskers. He was also the greedy one, and had to be kept behind a closed door so that his brother could finish his food without interruption.
In fact, they became so domesticated that they would race across the field to meet us after we’d been playing tennis during the summer evenings. One evening, we had been invited out for dinner by a close neighbour and, as we left for home, we found Sweep waiting patiently outside to accompany us home.
Who says that cats are cold, unloving or without character?
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