Margaret's Special Cat (a children's story)


Dedicated and Copyrighted: May 8, 1988 to Margaret Bagnasco
( A true story from her childhood)

Way back in the year 1919, Margaret was a lovely auburn haired six year old girl who lived on a small farm in Illinois with her Mother and Father and older brother. Father raised chickens and pigs to sell to the market.

Margaret was lonesome for someone to play with. There were no girls her age in the neighborhood.

One her way home from school one day, Margaret saw a woman giving away some kittens. She ran home to ask her Father if she could have one for a pet. Her Father said, "No, you can't have a cat. Cats are known to eat birds. I can't afford to have a cat eating my baby chicks."

Margaret was so sad, but the tried not to think about it any more. She played tea party with her dolls by the pond near her home. She had a special spot in the cattails that she pretended was her house.

A few days later, Margaret was playing by the pond, when she heard a tiny sound coming from the bushes behind her. She crawled over to the bushes and peeked under the leaves. There sat the sweetest little black and white kitten, all alone and frightened. "Oh, how cute you are!" Margaret said. "Come here so I can see you better." At that, the kitten creeped out of the bush and curled up in her lap and started to purr.

All day Margaret played with the kitten and her dolls by the pond. She dressed the kitten in a bonnet and they had a tea party. When it came time to go home, Margaret could not leaved the kitten there. "You will come home with me little girl." said Margaret. "I will feed you and we will be best friend." Then Margaret remembered what her Father said about having cats around his chickens. "I know Daddy would not let me keep you. Let me talk to Mother, I know she'll find a way."

She got home just before her father and begged her Mom to let her keep the little kitten. Mom said," If you keep her out of your Father's sight, and away from the chickens, I can't see how she could do any harm."

That night Margaret found herself a huge shoe box and placed it under her bed for the kitten to sleep in. She brought the kitten milk and scraps of from her dinner.

For several months Margaret would carry her kitten everywhere in the shoe box. When se went to school, she let the kitten play in the schoolyard until she got out. Every day the kitten would be waiting next to the box for Margaret. They were such good friends!

One day, Margaret noticed that her cat was getting very fat. Mom said, "I believe you kitty is going to have babies of her own." Margaret was so excited. "But, how will I hide her and her babies from Daddy?"

That night Margaret's Mother explained to her Father about the kitten, and how well Margaret had raised her to be a good cat. When he found out that cat was due to have kittens any day, he said it was alright to keep her as long and she did not go outside near the chickens.

Margaret was going to have to give away the babies when they were old enough though. Margaret was so happy, she hugged her cat all night long. The the next day, Mom prepared a box in the kitchen for the babies to be born in.

At dinner time, Margaret's father brought three baby chicks in the kitchen and put them temporarily in the box. "Well have to protect these babies. The mother hen got too near the pig pen and it accidentally killed her. Without their mother, these chicks will not live out there alone." said Father. "I trust your cat will have the sense to leave them alone tonight. If she doesn't she'll have to go too!"

Margaret was dressing to visit her Grandmother and while she dressed, her cat was laying on the bed watching. Margaret whispered, " Please take care of the baby chicks tonight and make sure nothing happens to them. Daddy will be very angry if you hurt them." The cat just looked up at her and purred.

All evening long, Margaret worried about her cat and the baby chicks. She couldn't wait to hurry home and make sure they were all right.

When they arrived home, Margaret ran for the kitchen door.

What a surprise they all had when they walked in the door! There in the box was Margaret's cat licking and washing the three baby chicks and along side her were three darling newborn kittens! Father was amazed to see a cat take care of baby chickens.

From that day on, wherever the momma cat went, three kittens and three chickens followed. The chicks grew up believing that cat was their mother, and nothing could seperate them.

What a sight to see. That momma cat walking down the path with three kittens and chicks close behind!

Margaret's father could not believe his eyes. He grew to love the cat as much as Margaret did. He never again was afraid to have her or her babies around his chickens, for he knew that she was a SPECIAL cat.

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