Marissa ran outside as fast as she could. “Tiger!” she yelled. She hurried out the back door in search of her orange striped cat. “Tiger, where are you?” She went inside and told her Mom. Together they looked for their family pet. They looked everywhere, but Tiger was nowhere to be found.
Marissa was heartbroken. She absolutely loved cats. Her neighbors had a friendly cat named Crackers. She went over there every day and held Crackers. She knew it wasn’t the same as having her own pet, but she pretended Crackers was hers anyway.
Her friend, Lacey, came over for an afternoon visit. “I’m really sorry about Tiger, Marissa,” Lacey said. “I know. He really was a good cat. I cried really hard when he ran away. I go over to see Crackers, but it’s not the same. I really want my own cat,” Marissa answered.
While the two girls were hanging up Marissa’s latest cat calendar, Lacey asked, “Hey, did you know that there is going to be a cat show at the Douglas Auditorium next Saturday? Do you want to go with me?” “I’d love to go! Maybe my Mom could drive us. But Lacey, what if I see a cat-like Tiger? It will make me so sad,” said Marissa. “Marissa, we’ll have fun. Let’s go ask your Mom,” replied Lacey.
A week later, Lacey, Marissa, and her Mom attended the show. Marissa bought a fluffy stuffed kitty and held it close to her the whole day. Seeing all the beautiful cats just made Marissa feel awful. She had an ache inside of her that wouldn’t go away. On the way home, Marissa’s Mom asked her a question. “The Smith’s are going away on a vacation. They asked me if you would like to feed and water Crackers for a week. Would you like to do that? “I’d love to!” Marissa shouted. “Thanks, Mom!”
For the whole week, Marissa took care of Crackers. She remembered to feed and water Crackers every morning. The Smith’s came home and praised Marissa for being so kind to Crackers. Marissa put the money she earned away in her drawer. She thought she could now buy those cute cat earrings she had seen at the mall. She asked her Mom if they could go shopping. Mother agreed.
They had a wonderful time at the mall. Marissa bought her earrings and went with her Mom to the health food store. At the window, there was a sign for free kittens. “Mom, look at the sign! They want to give away some kittens. Can I have one please?” Marissa begged. Mother said,” I saw how loving you were with Crackers. And I know how much you miss Tiger. Let’s talk to the owner and see the way he says.”
The owner of the store said that his cat had just had a litter of 5 kittens. They could come over that very night to see them. He then said the kittens are on a special diet of all-natural kitten food that helps them to grow beautifully. He said all 5 kittens are very special and precious and he just wanted them to go to a loving home. “Mom, our home is loving! Can we go over to their house tonight?” asked Marissa.
Mother smiled as she spoke, “Yes, Marissa, we can go.” She then got directions for the owner’s house. Later that night, Marissa and her Mom got to see the kittens. They were all really adorable, but Marissa loved one from the moment she laid eyes on him. He was white, with black ears and two black spots on his side. He also had a little black tail. “Mother, can I have that one? I promise I’ll take care of him. I’ll feed and water him every day. I’ll love him so much. He’s so cute!” Marissa picked him up and held him close.
“Yes, I can see how much you love him already. We’ll take the kitten,” her mother said. “Thanks Mom! I’m going to name him Cutie Pie.” Marissa stated.
On the way home, Marissa’s Mom reminded her that it would be her job to feed and water the kitten. She would need to remember her kitten’s needs every day. Marissa heartily agreed. For the next several weeks, Marissa fed Cutie Pie every morning, and gave him fresh water. She thought it was fun to feed him. One day, Marissa went over to Lacey’s house for awhile and forgot to feed Cutie Pie. Marissa came home to find a bright red bow attached to Cutie Pie’s collar.
“Mom, Cutie Pie looks so sweet! Why does he have a beautiful bow?” “Marissa you’ve been doing a good job the last few weeks of feeding Cutie Pie. But this morning you forgot, so I put this bow on him to help you remember. I fed him, so he’s fine, but he is your responsibility and he needs your love and care,” Mother replied.
“Mom, thanks for feeding him today. I won’t forget again. I love him so much, and I know that he needs me every day. I’m so thankful to have such a wonderful cat.” And with that, Marissa reached down and picked up Cutie Pie. He started purring as she hugged him close. She whispered into his little black ear. “I love you, my little kitten. You are so precious to me.” Marissa had a feeling that Cutie Pie would be a part of her life for a long time, and she was going to enjoy every minute of it.