Here's an excerpt from my new book A FOREVER HOME FOR ATHENA, currently available as an ebook on Kindle and through Smashwords. There will be a paperback edition released soon. Remember, a portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated by my mum to her 3 favourite animal charities.
I am sitting on my mum’s lap, purring. This is what I love most in the world. It’s a cold early start to the day and the heating has just come on. I screw up my nose as Mum picks up her cup of coffee from the table to drink. I hate the smell and can never understand how Mum loves to drink it. But never mind. I love my mum, no matter what she smells like. She saved my life.
I could never remember much of my early life as a kitten. Anything I did remember made my heart hurt a lot. I had some scary moments which I wanted to forget about because it was better not to think about those things.
I’ve always been a great believer in living in the moment. In fact most animals think like that. Only humans, it seems, can never live by that rule. That’s why they are always worried about something or other and feeling stressed all the time. This is something my mum has a problem with. But I’ve taught her not to be like that and she really appreciates it. She is a happier, calmer person now.
But back to my early life as a little kitten. Sometimes I do dream about how I used to live. You see, these dreams are not very nice dreams because I had once lived a very rough life on the streets. The good thing was I had not been alone because I had my sister with me. She was black all over, whereas I’m tabby. A brown/black tabby.
When I came to live with my human mum, I did soon realise that she wasn’t my real mum. Unfortunately, I could not really remember my real mum at the time. Which makes me sad sometimes.
But my human mum hugged me close like a real mum would right from when we first met, and I immediately loved her like she was my real mum. She can always sense when I feel sad. I too can sense her feelings and I like to snuggle extra close to her when she is feeling upset about something.
Like she is now. But I don’t want her to be upset so this morning I am providing her with an extra long purring and healing session.
Oh, I love her so much. I have such a lot to be grateful for.
But I really should get back to my story about how I came to live here, hadn’t I? As I tell you my story, I do realise that it could have been very different. I sometimes dread to think what could have happened to me if I had not been so lucky.
As very young kittens my sister and I had been left out in the cold and we had to fend for ourselves. We were totally lost and alone in the world and soon became so hungry and we could not stop shivering from the cold. Even though we had both been born in the month of May - springtime - the early mornings were still very frosty in London.
Now that I am older I do remember quite a bit about what happened to me then. Before I had been abandoned with my sister, I remember I was the smallest kitten in the litter and I struggled to get fed. I had to push my way through my other siblings to get to my mum, my cat mum, my real mum, for the feed. Then sadly, my cat mum got sick and died.
Us kittens were with her and then suddenly we weren’t. A man with a loud voice that boomed had frightened me suddenly back then, He had been shouting at his lady and two little humans.
'Get rid of the kittens! We can't afford to feed them!'
Little humans were crying and hurt my ears. I heard a loud bang and I jumped. My sister did the same. Then suddenly there we were, shuffling along in someone’s garden.
I remember an old bathtub with funny feet and lots of weeds and yellow flowers, and with long grass growing out of it and under it, and it was very wet. I liked to snuggle under this and eat the grass. I was very hungry. All around me I could hear lots of noise and horns blowing, and horrible sirens. Many people shouting, coming and going. And funny smells that made me so dizzy. But no one seemed to notice me or my sister. I couldn’t understand it. I'm so sure now that if my human mum had walked by then she would have seen me and saved me. But it didn’t turn out like that.
It was so wet and soggy there and very cold. Even at night there was lots of noise and I couldn't sleep. Nestled up close to my sister, I felt scared to close my eyes because of the fear of what might happen to us as we slept. A big dog or fox could eat us, or a giant human could pick us up and throw us or step on us with their big heavy feet. I was really scared by this point. Perhaps I would die just like my real mum. I just knew then that this world was very cruel and I didn't want to stay in it any longer.
It was scary searching for food without our mother to guide us. We were both so starving. We ate some worms and insects, but as I said, I took to liking grass. I noticed that it made my stomach feel better. But even though I was scared, I knew I had to go on. Scavenging for food wasn't my destiny. I could feel it.
My sister began to follow me and then suddenly decided to put me in charge. Which was funny, considering I was once the bullied one in the litter. How times change!
Searching for food was really hard. I taught my sister to nibble on grass too when we couldn’t find anything to eat. We really wanted our mummy’s milk, but she was no more. We had to both accept that she had gone up to heaven and abandoned us.
My sister sensed my upset and meowed with me in agony. But then as dark night fell we snuggled up together under the bushes of an old-looking house. It was noisy here too and the roaring things on wheels sped by, terrifying us so much.
I licked my sister’s fur and she did the same back to me. It made us feel quite good, but we could not stop shivering in fear. Was this it for us? Were we to be left here all alone and hungry? Oh, what were we going to do?
It went on like this for ages it seemed, and though we were growing, we were both becoming weaker each day. Food continued to be hard to come by, and we were very thirsty too. When it rained we licked up some water from the ground and from the grass.
Then one day some big hands picked us up and I was so frightened. Where were they taking us? We both squealed in fear. What was happening? Help!
We were thrown into wired cages and locked away. Meow! Meow!
I shuffled about in there, my sister falling and tumbling all over me as we were driven away at the back of wheelie thing. What if this was it?
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