In a sunny city far away, there once lived the most beautiful cat you have ever seen. Her name was Aurora and she was pure white and soft like fresh snow. She was a big, healthy cat with a lean frame and long legs and long swishy tail. She had a pretty face with a small pink nose and big green eyes. She lived in a happy home with a family of humans who loved her very much, gave her lots of good food and snuggles and games. One day, when she gave birth to just one tiny white kitten, her family were even happier, now they had a mini-Aurora!
The baby kitten lived happily with her beautiful mama. She knew she was lucky to be an only-kitten and not have to share her mama with brothers and sisters. She snuggled up to Aurora and enjoyed being bathed by her. She liked to purr and trill in her mama’s ear. And she liked to watch her mama with the humans; they were so kind to her, and Aurora loved to be near them. The kitten idolised her mama, and Aurora adored her beautiful baby girl with the jet black eyes.
One day when the baby kitten was five weeks old, the family were preparing for a party. It was Chinese New Year and they were celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Horse. There were lots of people coming in and out of the house with deliveries, and the baby kitten got frightened by some big heavy shoes, so she scampered away on her fat little legs to hide. But she found herself outside the house, which was scary, so she ran a bit further, and it was scarier, so she ran a bit more. Before she knew it, she was hopelessly lost, far from the safety of her home, the humans who cared for her, and her beautiful mama who she loved so much.
And it was getting dark and scary. She hid under a bush and curled up in a tiny ball, and purred to herself for comfort. She tried to forget about the noise, and how frightened and hungry she was, and she fell asleep. When she woke up, it was morning and the noise was even worse. There were shoes walking past the bush very fast; there was a parade coming on the very road where she was hiding. She crept out from under the bush, and noticed how dirty her lovely white fur was. This made her sad for her mama, who always made sure she was sparkling white and clean. She thought she saw some food, so she crept toward the gutter of the busy road, when one of the pairs of shoes stopped right next to her. It was a man, and he was pointing a camera at her. The kitten waited patiently while the man took her photo, just like she had seen her mama do, then he scooped her up and tucked her inside his jacket, next to his chest. Off he went, after saying to her “hey little girl, you are a Chinese New Year kitten, and I’m calling you Horse”. With that, Horse snuggled into the man’s chest and went back to sleep.
Horse woke up when they arrived at the man’s apartment. First he gave her some food, and then things got very unpleasant. He got some tweezers and started poking at her little body; she had been itchy ever since she went under the bush, and now he was picking fleas from her dirty fur. Then he put her in a bowl of water and wet her all over – that was horrible! He dried her off with tissues and put her in a cardboard box and left her alone for a long time. She was very unhappy. She missed her mama and the nice humans. She wanted to snuggle with her beautiful mama and purr in her ear and fall asleep. She hoped this was all a horrible dream.
Later that day, the man put Horse into a paper shopping bag and took her outside. She got jiggled around while they walked, then they went on a bus, then they walked some more. She stayed huddled in a corner of the bag, too frightened to move. They went into a warm, fragrant room – Horse liked this place, she recognised the smell of coffee and it reminded her of home. The man put the shopping bag on a chair and then nothing happened for a long time. Then a lady came and talked to the man, peeked into the bag at her, and then lifted her out and put her in a carrier, lined with a soft blanky. Then she was on the move again, this time with the lady. She never saw the man again.
The lady took Horse to a different apartment, and opened up the carrier when they were inside a bright white sparkling clean bathroom. There was a little soft kitty house in one corner, and a litter tray, and some food and water. There were some balls of foil hanging from string, and some little toys. Horse ate some food and then went to sleep, happy she was safe, but missing her mama.
Over the next few days, the lady spent a lot of time in the bathroom with Horse. She had a bean bag chair that she would bring in, and she would sit and watch Horse play. The lady told Horse that she was a foster kitty, and that when she was big and strong, she would go to her very own forever home. One day, Horse climbed on the lady’s lap and played with the ties on her blouse. And then she climbed on the lady’s shoulder and sniffed her hair. And then she realised that if she climbed up onto the lady’s shoulder and closed her eyes, and rubbed her face in the lady’s hair, and purred into the lady’s ear, it made her feel warm and safe and happy, just like when she had snuggled with her mama. So she decided that she needed to stay with this lady, and that the lady would become her very own mummy, no-one else’s. And lucky for Horse, the lady decided the very same thing, that she couldn’t possibly let her go to another home, she was too special. So she was renamed Asha, and became the most beloved white cat anywhere in the land. As Asha grew bigger, she forgot to feel sad about her mama, and the humans. She settled into her new home and felt happy to have her very own family, and to be loved as much as her beautiful mama ever was.