By Rachel H Grant
Sean turned over in bed, his ginger hair like a halo round his head. He could not sleep. It was New Year’s Eve, the last day of the old and the start of a bold new chapter. Only it did not feel like a new beginning. This new year would be the same as the last and the one before. School, bullying, hell. Days that fell like dominoes, an unfinished game that was the remains of his life. If only something good could happen tonight. A sign of better times to come.
Sam was being allowed to stay up for New Year. At eight, he felt so grown up. He stroked Charlie absently, his ginger kitten. Then he had an idea. Charlie would go on a mission. He would become a New Year supercat!
He hastily attached the cat angel wings novelty gift they had been given. He placed the kitten on the backdoor step. Charlie ran confidently ran in to the night. “Come back after you have performed some wonders!” shouted Sam.
His mother came down the stairs, anger chiselling her features in to middle-aged madness. “What are you doing?” she demanded.
“Charlies has turned in to a supercat and is on a mission!”
“You fool! We may never see him again! He has never been out yet!” She opened the door and called the kitten. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. He was gone.
Sean still could not sleep. Then he heard something. He sat up, alarm an invisible architect, freezing his features. He heard it again. A scratching at his window.
Cautiously, he opened the curtains. A handsome ginger kitten confronted him. Sean laughed, quickly letting the cat in. Angel wings were attached to a collar. Sean removed them, then cuddled back in bed with the kitten by his side. He descended to beautiful dreams, lions and tigers his friends as together they faced the school bullies. Sean chuckled in his sleep.
The next morning, he woke with the embers of his dream still warm in his head. There had been a kitten in his dreams. Sean turned over, and froze. It had not been a dream. The kitten was next to him, right here and now. It looked in to his eyes and began to purr.
Sam sat at the backdoor for the third day in a row, calling Charlie. He did not come. His heart beat with burning regret. Why did stupidity hide a sharp knife inside? His heart was bleeding, he was sure. But still no Charlie.
“It’s time to get over this,” scolded his mother. “Charlie will have found another home, another warm fireplace. He will be fine. Time to get ready for your new school tomorrow!”
Sam scowled. He hated school.
Sean felt more confident at the prospect of returning to school than he ever had before. It was supercat power from Clio the kitten, he was sure. Sean had never felt more happy.
Clio was his new best friend. And that day at school, he even made a human friend, Sam, a new boy in town. Could life really be getting better? It was the kitten, he was sure. A magic spell of feline charm had transformed him and his life.
Sam ran home from school. “It wasn’t too bad!” he gasped running through the front door. “And I made a friend!” The he paused, perplexed. “Charlie hasn’t come home has he?”
“No,” said his mother softly. “Who is your friend?”
“His name is Sean. He’s cool. I’m invited to his house after school tomorrow!”
Sam and Sean walked home from school together. “I have a secret to show you,” confided Sean. When they opened the front door, Clio the kitten ran to them in delight.
Sam stood stock still. “Are you scared of cats?” asked Sean. “He came in the night, and he has been like a lucky charm. My life has never been so good. And I even met you!”
Sam tried to say something, but the words would not come out. Then a mature version of him rose from a deep slumber. “That’s great! He’s a supercat and you are meant to have him!”
Sam forced himself to smile, and to pretend that he had never seen the cat before in his life.
That night, in bed, tears fell on his pillow. But whether they were of joy or sadness, he could hardly tell. In the night, magic would unfold. Because cats have superpowers, and they appear just when needed.
The next morning, his mother knocked at his door. “I have something for you!” There was a box in her hands, and scratching from within. Could it be … ?
“It’s not Charlie, but we have a new kitten!”
A white kitten fell in to his lap. Sam smiled. “I will call her Snowflake!” His eyes dried, but in his heart tears still fell. For a true friend gives up the one cat they love more than any other. No matter how much it hurts.
He took Snowflake in his arms. “You’re my supercat now, and I’m never letting you go.”
Sam’s heart still cried, but his smile was real. He had learned a lesson. At the end of our tears … there is always a rainbow.