Coming of Age Happy

The cardboard box Penguin and Timber rode out the creek in gently shook as the creek’s currents carried it to a nearby bank. Once the container came to a stop, the bigger orange Cat pushed it over by pouncing on the side. The smaller black and white Kitten timidly crawled to the box’s rim.

“Where is this place?” asked the Kitten. “How will we survive?”

Timber looked up and saw a park sign that said “Beaver Dam Park and Campgrounds”. Reassured, the orange Tabby turned to look at his younger charge and said “Listen up, Penguin,  we’re at a park now, so we’ll start our journey to find a new home here.”

“Really? Do you think there will be people and food?” asked the Kitten.

“Probably, but in the meantime, I’m bigger, tougher, and stronger than you, so you’ll be just fine as long as you stick with me at all times and keep pushing forward!” declared the older Cat.

“Alright, Timber…” said Penguin.

Timber ran towards the sign, Penguin following after. At the park, there was a sign that said “Campground right, Playground left.”

“Let’s go to the campground to look for food.” Timber said.

“How do you know there will be food?” Penguin asked.

“Where there are campers, there are cookouts, and where there are cookouts, there are food scraps!” Timber explained, feigning optimism.

Several campers, parked vehicles, and tents could be seen from the campground, with campfires in front of at least half of them.

“Get under the brush!” said the orange Cat.


The two Cats quickly pounced under the bushes surrounding the Campground area, circling until they were directly behind a campfire. A family was seated in front of a campfire in foldable chairs as the dad flipped Chicken Thighs on a grilling pan.

“Those Chicken Thighs look so tasty…” started the black and white Kitten.

“Yes. But we have to wait until these humans eat most of the meat and throw away the bone. Then we can have the remaining meat on the bones.” instructed the Kittens’ charge.

“Please, let them leave behind scraps for us…” Timber thought to himself.

The teenage son in the family tossed the thigh bone behind his chair directly in front of Timber and Penguin, meat still on the bone.

“Run up and get that bone, Penguin!” said the orange Tabby.

The young ward swiftly dashed forward, grasped the scraps, and retreated back into the cover of the brush. A few moments later, the mom gently tossed her scraps into the bushes. Timber claimed that as his. The Cats continued circling until they found a half-eaten hamburger on the ground next to a trash can. After sharing the leftover hamburger meat, Timber hinted for Penguin to follow him to the park area. The orange Kitty climbed up to the top of the Jungle Gym in the children’s play area.

“Now we rest until dawn…” said the older animal.

“Are we safe?” asked his young ward.

“Of course. We’re high enough in this Jungle Gym that we’re out of reach from any Wolves or Cougars!”

After resting until dawn the two abandoned animals awoke. The Tabby escorted his ward out of the park entrance and down on a journey right beside the road. At that moment, a car drove by in the same direction that the kitties were running in.

“That car means that a city or town can’t be too far ahead!” Timber said.

“That’s good, I’m starting to get tired…” Penguin replied.

“Already?” asked the orange Cat.

After running for several miles, the kitties could see a fork in the road with two small towns on either end over the horizon.

“There are two towns within reach!” said Timber.

“Which town do we go to?” asked Penguin.

“Well…hmm…the town on the left is a little bigger, so let’s try that one first!” said Timber.

The wanderers then traveled to the town on the left end of the fork until they reached the city limits. When they got there, the two walked down the sidewalk of the downtown area. Penguin was fascinated by the window displays in the shops and restaurants.

“Look at all the pretty buildings!” said the black and white Cat.

“Yeah, there are lots of people in cities and towns, but also Dogs! You gotta keep an eye out!” Advised the bigger animal.

The Cats turned a corner when they saw a man walking his Labrador Retriever. Upon seeing the smaller animals, the Dog barked and tried to chase after the Cats when Timber leaped at the Lab, his back claws clinging to the top of his head.

“Timber!” Penguin gasped.

“Run, Penguin! I’ll catch up to you! Just run!”

Penguin ran to the street. Timber jumped off and ran the opposite way behind the Dog’s owner and crossed the other street.

A car drove through the street just as the two Cats crossed the street.

“That was too close…” said Penguin as they walked down a suburb street.

“There’s a playground…” started Timber. “We can rest under the equipment.”

Timber and Penguin saw a family in their front yard having a funeral for a pet Cat.

Timber turned to his ward and nudged him over.

“Go over to that family. They’ll take care of you!” said the Tabby.

“Are you sure?” Penguin asked.

“They need a Cat, and you need a family. You’ll be safe and happy with them!”

“But what about you?” asked the black and white Cat.

“Didn’t I tell you earlier? I’m bigger, stronger, and tougher than you. I can find a home of my own all by myself!” reassured Timber.

Penguin looked at the family, then at Timber, then at the family again, and then toddled across the street to the household mourning a beloved pet.

“Aww, look! He’s so cute!” said the little girl.

“Where did he come from?” said the Mom.

“He looks just like Holstein!” said the Dad.

“Can we keep him??” asked the little girl.

“Sure, honey!” said the mom.


The family brought the kitten inside with them. Timber smiled and continued exploring the town.

“He’s gonna be okay…I’m gonna be okay…”

The orange Tabby decided to take shelter under the dumpster of a burger joint parking lot. A bright light temporarily blinded him. When Timber focused, he saw a teenage boy in a uniform holding his phone-the source of the bright light-in one hand, and an unsold slab of grilled burger meat in the other.

“Psst! Hey, Kitty! You want some nom-noms?” asked the boy, setting down his phone and crumbling the burger.

His stomach rumbling, Timber ate pieces of the crumbled burger until he was full. The teenager then offered his hand to sniff. Upon smelling that this boy was a good person, the orange Cat rubbed against the worker’s leg.

“I like you too!” started the boy. “Then it’s settled! I’m taking you home with me after my shift!”

July 14, 2023 03:06

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