Far far away there is a country made up of many islands, glistening like jewels in the ocean. The sun shines on the islands with their green jungles, tall palm trees and bright white sandy beaches alongside sparkling blue seas, and it’s always warm. Many of the people of this special place live simple lives with little money, but they help each other when times are difficult, and they smile and sing and find joy in their lives.
In the big city of this island country, there was a young mama cat, who had four tiny kittens. Mama was trying hard to care for babies, but it was tough on the streets, finding food and saying safe.
One dark night mama cat led her babies too close to a busy road, so she decided to leave them in a safe place while she went looking for food. She left the oldest kitten, who was a very tiny, ginger and white boy, in charge of his 3 baby sisters. Not long after mama left, it started to rain, and the kitten in charge knew he had to find shelter for his sisters or they would catch a cold and get sick. So he led them to a dry place, then went looking for mama to tell her where they were.
But while he was looking, the rain got heavier, and the wind started blowing, and he got very frightened. He started to turn back to his sisters, but he found he was lost and there was a big puddle stopping him from getting across the road. He was stuck.
Then, across the big puddle and the busy road, he saw his mama! And she was back with his sisters, had brought some food, and was moving them to safety. But the little kitten couldn’t find his way across the road! He meowed and meowed and meowed and flicked his short little tail but his mama couldn’t hear or see him. The poor little kitten watched his mama and his sisters until he couldn’t see them any more, and then hurried to find shelter himself under a car. Once it stopped raining he would need to find help – he was too young to find food by himself and he was getting hungry, and he was cold and tired.
The little kitten was also very frightened. There were lots of cars, and sometimes the cars sprayed water off the road on to his skinny little body. Suddenly a car stopped near where he was hiding and the car door opened. This made him even more frightened – he had never met a human before, and he knew his mama was very afraid of them. But he was so cold, tired and hungry, he couldn’t help but wonder what the human would do. The human was a great big tall man, who leaned down and scooped him up with one hand, wrapped him in a warm, soft towel and cuddled him close to his chest. The kitten was frightened so he purred to himself to calm himself down. The man put him in a box on the back seat of his car, and the car started and drove away. The kitten had never been in a car before, and he wondered what would happen next.
The little kitten fell asleep wrapped in the towel in the box in the back of the car. He tried to stay awake by watching the bright lights whizz past through the window but the rhythm of the car and the humming of the engine made him forget about his hunger and he fell fast asleep. When the car stopped, he woke up. The car door opened and the man talked to a lady who looked into the box at him and made lots of noises with her mouth that sounded nice. She said “oooh” and “aaaahhh” and “sweet little baby boy” and gently picked up the little kitten and gave him a cuddle. She smelled warm and sweet to the kitten, who dozed off again while the lady and the man talked. When he woke up again, there was a bowl of food in front of him and some nice clean water, and a soft blanket for a bed. He was in a cage and felt very safe. The lady was watching over him and called him “Eddy” – she said it was the name of the road he was found on. He tasted the food and it was delicious! He hoped his sisters were having a nice meal, and was happy that they were with their mama.
The next day Eddy woke up and could see his surroundings in daylight. He was in a shelter – a place were homeless animals are fed and cared for until someone comes to take them to their own special homes. Eddy could see a little white kitten next to him on one side of his cage, still sleeping, and on the other side there was a little black kitten, watching him. Eddy had learned how to wash his own ginger and white fur, which was a bit rough from living on the streets and he could feel his bones under the thin fur. He wondered what would happen today.
As it turned out, each day was the same. Because Eddy was so tiny, he was given wet food for morning, lunch and dinner, and biscuits every night. His cage was cleaned often and he had plenty of fresh, clean water. The nice lady came almost every day, but even when she didn’t someone else came and held him and played with him for a little while, but then he had to go back in his cage. Each morning when Eddy woke up, he wondered if today would be the day he found a new home. He noticed his tummy was getting fatter and his white fur was now clean and bright.
One day, Eddy was moved to a new part of the shelter. He couldn’t see the white kitten any more, or the black kitten. He was near some older cats, which made him sad. He didn’t want to be in the cage in the shelter when he was grown, he wanted to run and jump and play and have a nice human to talk to him.
One week after Eddy’s cage was moved, he had a wonderful dream. He dreamed of a big house and a nice lady who talked to him and stroked his soft fur. He dreamed of delicious food and toys and playmates. He dreamed of soft blankets to sleep on and sunlight on his tummy. He dreamed of running and running and running. He had never run before; there wasn’t enough room in his cage and he only had a small place to play in when he came out for a play. He dreamed that he would love to run and could even sing with the joy of running! When he woke up from his magical dream, the sun was shining in the window into his cage, onto his fur, and he felt warm and happy and full of hope. Was today the day?
And today WAS the day. A lady came! She picked him up gently and pressed her face into his fur and kissed him. She looked into his eyes and blinked slowly, which Eddy liked very much. He knew she was kind and loving. She talked to him and cuddled him and when he got a bit frightened, she loosened her hold and let him walk free, but she stayed close so he could come and sniff her. She smelled warm and fragrant and Eddy purred his loudest purr to impress her. When she spoke to him, he answered back with his sweetest little meow and the lady laughed at his voice and called him a little pipsqueak, because he was so tiny and squeaky. But then she put him back in the cage, smiled sadly and went away! Eddy was devastated! He did his very best, why did she go away? What did he do wrong? Eddy was so sad, was this why the big cats in the shelter were sad? Did humans come and raise their hopes and then go away? Eddy was very sad.
Two days later, when Eddy was still feeling very unhappy and confused about what happened with the lady, she came back! This time she had a small cage with her and she picked him up and hugged him and kissed his head, which he liked very much. She put him in the little cage which had a blue mousey in it! And then he got to have his second car ride in his life, which he stayed awake for. He squeaked his meow that made the lady laugh, and patted his mousey around, and watched the sunlight flicker throughout the car as it travelled along the roads.
After a short while, the car stopped and the lady took his little cage through a long dark corridor, and into an elevator, and they went to the 35th floor of a big apartment block. The lady took his cage into a room, set him down, and opened the cage door. Eddy came out slowly, to find some toys and a nice soft blanket by the window, which looked down on the street a long way below. He could see people and cars so tiny like little beetles. The lady sat in a low chair in the room and read her book while Eddy cautiously walked around the room, sniffing everything and discovering his new home. He found food and water and a litter tray and toys. And when he had sniffed everything, he came and sniffed the lady, who was still sitting quietly. He batted her toes with his paws, and then he bit her toes to see what she would do. The lady laughed and smiled at him. So then Eddy climbed on the lady’s lap, and she stroked his fur and made little cooing noises with her mouth.
Just as he was falling asleep, warm and happy in the lady’s lap, she leaned down and kissed his head and whispered in his ear “you are now called Pip, and I am your mum. You are home now my darling Pipi, we will be together forever, and you will always be safe and loved”. And the little kitten now known as Pip fell asleep in his new mum’s lap, feeling her stroke his fur and kiss his forehead, feeling the warm sun through the window landing on his tummy, hearing the lady’s soft voice and smelling the warm comforting smells of his new home.