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The Silver Tabby

by Spooky A 

Posted: 08 January 2008
Word Count: 570

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The Silver Tabby

We chose a silver tabby from a fish tank of three, each crawling with life and vibrancy, mewing in eagerness at our arrival. As I held her, she seemed quiet, perhaps pleased to be free of the others, her blue eyes dreaming of a new life, yet her tiny heart beat so fast in the palm of my hand, her purr barley audible.
“She seems a little quiet” I said to the pet shop owner.
“Oh, no worries, kittens, always sleeping and eating, little bundles of joy” he exclaimed waving his large hands in the air, much too enthusiastically I thought.
We agreed on a date, a week Saturday, they would deliver the kitten.
Emma was so excited. Everyday she asked cat, cat today?
“No I said, “Cat on Saturday”
She went back to playing with her toys, telling her dolls all about the cat.
Saturday came, Emma woke early, “cat, cat today?
“Yes darling, cat today”
She beamed with delight.
At 12 o clock the doorbell rang, a deliveryman man stood at the door with a cardboard box in his arms, there were holes cut out at the sides and top. I took the box and placed it upon the kitchen table while I signed his pad.
Inside the box was silence.
Cautiously me and Emma both stared at the box, before she whispered---
“Can I?
I nodded in silence, savouring her joy.
With theatrical delicacy she opened the box before stuffing her fingers into her mouth, stifling any squeals that threatened to escape.
I looked down into the box, the silver tabby lay on her side, unmoving, in silence.
Reaching into the box, I lifted out the warm limp body and lay it upon the table, now a mortuary table. We both stared in silence.
Emma started to cry, tears rolled down her pink flushed face as she stroked the kittens soft fur. I touched her wet cheek “Poor sweet kitten, we must give you a proper burial” I whispered, as much to myself as to Emma.
Slowly we both put on our Wellingtons and coats, our movements seemed exaggerated, as if we were waiting, waiting to see if life would come back to the kitten. We walked outside into the garden taking the box, now a coffin, laying it gently upon the grass, while I dug a hole under the Apple tree. Emma sobbed.
A tear escaped from my eye as I lay the tiny warm body into the cold earth. Emma stopped crying, she watched unmoving, listening as I said a poem. I asked her to find some sticks to make a cross, she didn’t understand of course, but relished in searching the ground. I took two of the longer sticks and showed her how to bind them with ribbon. She smiled, she liked the pink ribbon I had chosen and picked a pink flower to match, leaving it upon the freshly dug soil.
Silently we went inside the house, later I took her to the park, I heard her tell the swing the cat was in a box in heaven.
A silence hung upon the air, like damp washing refusing to dry.
The pink ribbon fluttering outside in the breeze, gave a gaudy brightness to our sadness.
Emma looked out of the kitchen window towards our makeshift grave; “Mum” she asked “can I have some pink Wellingtons to match the ribbon outside”

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 20:33 on 08 January 2008  Report this post
Hello Spooky A and welcome to writewords. This is quite a powerful flash. Gut wrenching really. I think the pet shop owner would get done but I did like the way the child got over the event and went on to pink Wellies instead. There is a kind of matter of factness in the way children change focus.

I think you have some punctuation missing here.
Everyday she asked cat, cat today?

= barely?

You might like to rethink that title to better reflect the story.

You aren't in any group? It helps to get feedback if you are. Enjoy writewords. It's a great place to be.


Spooky A at 14:10 on 09 January 2008  Report this post
Thank you for your feed back. I agree it does have impact and oops a few mistakes!
I quite like the title, for its simplicity, but I welcome idea's.
Already I am enjoying this site!

V`yonne at 15:15 on 09 January 2008  Report this post
Great. Hope to read you again. :)

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