Story Time ~ The Boy & The Barn Cat

Story Time ~ The Boy & The Barn Cat

The Boy and The Barn Cat


He sat on the bus, some would say he looked forlorn and lost. He wasn’t either of those things though, he was worried. As worried as a ten year old boy could be. He clutched on his lap a small brown paper wrapped package, his knuckles white in their grip. He didn’t sit in the back, nor did he sit in the front of the bus. He sat somewhere in the middle, hoping no one would notice him. 

They did notice him; he was hard to miss. 

He wore patched and faded blue jeans, rolled at the cuffs yet somehow still dirty from dragging through the dirt. His mini carhart jacket was torn and faded, which seemed impossible for such a small human to have worked outside so many days his clothing faded from work, but his tanned skin didn’t argue that assumption either. He was hunched over the brown paper package, but he looked up at every passenger that boarded, stealing a glance at their faces. Each person tried not to notice his plaintive gaze, but his eyes pierced their very souls with ferocity. Long eyelashes that any woman would kill to have, his green eyes glittered as if they were constantly full of tears.

The bus went on its merry way, stopping at each stop, and delivering its goods. The boy remained seated, until the driver called back, “Last Stop…”

The boy jumped up, ran towards the back door, and waited, ready to go. The door opened and he bolted. Suddenly he didn't look forlorn at all, instead he was a boy on a mission.

He ran, to the edge of town, past all the stores and past the last house. He kept going, even when the pavement turned to gravel. Eventually he came to a driveway with a battered house number sign. Only two numbers remained, dangling slightly from rusted nails. Something something 27, it read. 

He trudged up the driveway, one side full of rusted and mossy old cars, left there for decades. The trees shaded them, making them seem like an old scary movie set. The other side was dense woods, with the occasional distant lowing of cows. 

As he approached the house, a faded dark brown two story building, he could see his momma through the living room window. Rather than go inside, the boy scurried quickly away, a little too late. 


To which he called back, "no momma I ain't", but he most certainly was. 

Down through the pasture to the barn he ran, fast as his little legs could take him. It didn't matter what trouble he would catch at the hands of his momma, all he wanted to do was deliver the brown paper package. It was the most important chore of his life thus far.

Into the barn he went, up the ladder to the loft, to the lopsided stack of straw bales. He kneeled, and unwrapped the package. The rustling of paper brought her running, belly huge and wide. The cat was pregnant, ever so pregnant. She was hungry, and she needed protein. The boy had listened in one evening as his parents ranted about the "damn alley cats" and how they needed more food than they could afford, how spaying the momma cat was too expensive. 

He didn't know what spaying meant, but he did know the butcher was a nice fellow. Every Sunday, the boy went into town, and stopped at the butchershop. He told his story of the hungry momma cat to the Butcher, and asked for scraps a kitty could eat. 

With the sweet and earnest face of innocence, he was impossible to say no to, and the butcher had wrapped him up some beef trimmings.

The boy sat back on his haunches, he could hear his parents yelling at each other down in the house. He looked back at the kitty, growling as she gobbled down every bit. "I'll stay here with you, momma cat" and he settled into the straw bales, comfy as a cat in a barn. The kitty ate every bite, even licking the blood off the butcher paper. She gave a little contented chirp, and walked onto his lap, tail twirling, belly full. She laid with him there, a boy and his cat, best friends in an uncertain world. 

It didn't matter what happened, he thought, as long as he could make his kitty happy, everything was alright. Falling asleep together, crumpled brown paper at his feet, the boy and his cat were safe.

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