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A Cat In The Attic

by Calligraphy

Note: There is one swear word in it.

My dad hates cats. He has always hated cats, and he always will hate cats. He complains about them all the time. “Those good for nothin’ cats; all they do is eat. You can’t get one.” He’d tell me whenever I became glued to yet another ‘Free Kittens’ box. He never actually said that they should all be drowned, but I was always absolutely sure that is exactly what he thought. After a while I gave up with my begging.

But that’s when a new kitten came along. I was in love. She had orange and white stripes and I named her Dandelion. She needed a home and I was going to give it to her. The only problem was that I hadn’t actually gotten a yes from my parents yet. “Please, please, pretty please!” I pleaded with him. Finally he gave in. I was overjoyed. I had at last received a very best friend that understood me completely.

Not everything was well though. I yearned for my kitty to be an ‘inside cat’. Spending time with her in the barn just wasn’t enough. I showed my mom the allergy medicines you could take that were sold in the store; I bluntly told the doctor that my mom was sick and she needed her allergy shots, but to no avail. The cat stayed outside, and my mom still sneezed every time she hugged me. Then I saw my chance. Winter was here and on the way home from a Christmas Eve party I heard the news on the radio. Tonight it was supposed to be 30 below! “Mom, what will happen to Dandelion?” I asked.

“Don’t worry honey, she’ll be nice and warm in the hay.”

“Can I check on her when I get home?”

“No, it’s way past your bedtime; you need to go to bed.” I crossed my arms and gave a little pout. I knew not to argue with her, but I was not happy with the situation. So that is when I took matters into my own hands. After I knew my parents had fallen asleep I went and got Dandelion. She purred so loudly once I had laid her down amongst my covers I knew I was doing the right thing.

When I woke up in the morning I didn’t wake up to piles of presents or even the cat. Instead there was my mother with a runny nose and a tapping foot. Well, I got a talking to, and I realized bringing her inside probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I had learned my lesson and I thought it was the end of the whole ordeal. Boy, was I wrong.

You see, just because I had learned my lesson didn’t mean that Dandelion hadn’t realized how nice, warm, and cozy it was inside. She made a little plan of her own, and put it into action. The next night when I brought her food up to the barn she ate ravenously, but when I turned around to go get my supper she followed. “No, Dandelion, you can’t come inside.” I brought her back up to the barn, but as I turned around once more she did the exact same thing. I tried to get her to stay, but it wouldn’t work so I ended up just leaving her outside. She meowed, she scratched, and she howled all night long.

This didn’t really go over well. My dad’s complaining started up again. “I should have never let you get that damn cat.” He seemed to say a thousand times an evening. The reign of terror had begun. From then on Dandelion stationed herself outside our front door. Whenever someone or something went in she made a faithful dash to try to get inside. That fiasco didn’t work out for her. All she managed to do was get kicked a few times (accidentally mind you) and locked up in a dog crate by my father. She was persistent though and she lasted almost until Valentine’s Day with a few successes to keep her going, scattered through the long weeks. But no evening went by without a glare from my father and some words I can’t repeat.

When my dad left Dandelion in the dog crate almost a whole day she realized she needed a new strategy. She found one – right above that scratched, spit-on door. It was the opening to the attic. Once she realized this, it wasn’t too hard to figure out that if she jumped on the tool bench she could get on top of the freezer and then up to the rafters where it was just a matter of good balance to walk right into the hole. That night when I went out to feed her Dandelion wasn’t there. My first thought was my father – what had he done to her? But after lots of accusing and crying I realized that he had been at work all day.

The days went by and I became more and more depressed. What I didn’t know was that Dandelion was becoming more and more weak too. Her curiosity had gotten the best of her and she had trekked across the whole huge attic, resting occasionally in the pink, fluffy insulation. Unfortunately when she finally got across, she turned around to see a huge mountain of pink in front of her and no way out. She meowed, she scratched, she howled, but no one heard her. Instead my mother smelled her, and came to a conclusion pretty quickly.

When my father came home from work that day at 6:00 supper wasn’t waiting for him - a ladder was. My mom eventually did get to him to climb up with a bowl of milk and a flashlight, but it wasn’t until after much hullabaloo about that stinkin’, no good, and a few other ‘choice words’ cat. But when my dad does something he does it right. Even after at least an hour of calling ‘kitty, kitty’ he hadn’t given up. But finally at around 7:00 she came out. He promptly dropped her down from the ceiling of the garage, stomped down the ladder, snatched her from my arms, and brought her right back to that barn. I was so overjoyed just to have her safe I didn’t mind. When he did finally let her out not much had changed. She still sat by the door for the rest of the winter meowing her head off and she even did get trapped in the attic once more, but I had a paradigm shift. I didn’t say anything, but I could smell something fishy now whenever my father complained about the cat.

One day my suspicions were confirmed. I was walking up to the barn when I heard my dad talking. I ran up to see if one of his friends had stopped by. But I froze in my tracks. There was my dad scratching the chin of that ‘pesky stray’ of a cat. I was smart enough not to call him out on this and I walked back to the house with a little smirk on my face. Ever since then I’ve learned not to try to defend animals when he talks about how annoying they are. I know that he couldn’t even hurt a fly.

Is this a review?



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403 Reviews

Points: 23786
Reviews: 403

Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:46 pm
SmylinG wrote a review...

Cal. :mrgreen:

Well, this was certainly cute. Indeed a great story. You seemed to have your idea constructed quite cleanly of what you wanted this story to be, and in the end I feel it all worked out very well for you. I think what I enjoyed most was the dynamic in which you had written this. There was a sort of shift in angles between the narrator and the cat. In the beginning of the story, it seemed the narrator was the main focus of the story. But then you slyly shifted the weight here onto Dandelion. I started to see the story from her point of view, and then by the end of the story, the father's point of view. The narrator sort of became the outside observer, which is an interesting take. I think in this sense you did very well.

Another thing I wanted to bring up whilst I'm already speaking of my likes is the aversion the narrator's father has to cats. He doesn't like them at all, but the way in which you explain he doesn't like them is quite understandable and a little humorous I think. I've known people like this, and the fact that you wrapped it up with him stoking the kitty beneath her chin (their favorite spot) you know that one way or another the cat has grown on the father. Ending the story on a sweet note like this is what I think made it generally a good read.

I think you could have possibly been a bit more descriptive and playful with your words in places. And I don't just mean this because this story was quite simply written. I think it's simplicity is what probably makes this story. No, I mean that in places you had a tendency to sort of let certain moments simply be so. There was no elaboration, no creativity. And in the end I found myself wishing there had been more. More explanation, more attention to certain areas of your writing --of your story.

Well I suppose I can do with some quotes write about now. So here we go. x]

I had at last received a very best friend that understood me completely.

I'm not sure I like this line. It seems a little bit... overjoyed. You jump to the conclusion rather than give any incentive to the reader that this is true.

She purred so loudly once I had laid her down amongst my covers I knew I was doing the right thing.

This is a great line. It's that simple but endearing show of affection that opens up the eyes of the reader to the love the owner has for her cat. Well done I think, despite it being a single line. xD

That night when I went out to feed her#BF0000 ">(,) Dandelion wasn’t there.

Well, that's about good I suppose. I hope anything I may have said or mentioned may either be of some help to you or just encourage you to keep doing your thing. ;] It really was a very sweet story. though, it may be nothing stronger than that, that's probably okay by me. I still like it.


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1634 Reviews

Points: 67548
Reviews: 1634

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:50 pm
Deanie wrote a review...

Hi Calli

I found this a really sweet story. It really does sound like something a little kid would do. I love how at the end the she found out her Dad was slightly an animal lover too. Well not exactly but he didn't hate them. I found that a really nice ending.

I couldn't find anything wrong with it. So I'll just say good job and keep writing!

Deanie x

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1417 Reviews

Points: 3733
Reviews: 1417

Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:23 pm
Noelle wrote a review...

Hi there!

This is a cute story. In a good way, of course. My dad sounds exactly like the father. He never wanted any pets, but we finally convinced him to let us get some guinea pigs. They are so cute! Anyway, back to the story. I really like how you told this story, more like an article, but you kept me interested. You seemed to be 'telling' much more than 'showing' in this, but it worked out all right.

Overall this is a good story. I hope you got a good grade on it! :) Keep writing!

It's like being in love, discovering your best friend.
— Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity