My Cat, The Don

Submitted into Contest #41 in response to: Write about an animal who causes a huge problem.... view prompt



People always adored my little cat. From the next door neighbor, to my Mom's friend Mrs. Ainsworth and even my dad's grumpy boss Dr. Lancaster, no visitor ever left our house without complimenting the cat. The cat was hugely popular in my class, I sometimes wondered whether I was popular only due to it. With its big, round, sparkling blue eyes and its soft, ginger colored fur, the cat was a winner everywhere. Well, it sure did win the best pet competition we had in our neighborhood. As grandma once said, 'Who, with a human heart, could ever ignore this sober, sweet, subtle little creature, its soft melodious purring and its almost too-short whiskers'.

When people saw my cat, they usually did two things, one followed by the other. The first is adoring my cat, saying words like " Wow, what a cute little angel you have!" and " it's the most adorable cat I've ever seen." I was caught by surprise when Theo Digby, my big brother's friend acknowledged its tender beauty. Well, the thing is, Theo was a pretty serious dog-lover. He was always posting anti-feline propaganda on his social media account.

The second thing people do is asking me my cat's name and being astounded to hear that I call it 'The Don". Most people laugh at me, calling me cheeky for giving the cat such a name. Others frown, saying that they expected its name to be 'Fluffy' or 'Coco' or 'Cookie' or 'Meow' like all cuddle-able cats of the world are named. I answer them by saying that they don't know its deep secret. They laugh

Well, when I first adopted The Don, I had planned to name it Patch, which seemed like a decent name for a decent, lovable cat. I found The Don in a box on the street behind my school. My friend Brandon and I were heading back home, after a tedious day at school. We heard a faint, sweet purring and halted in our steps. Under the birch tree, a wooden box was placed, the likes of which are used in shipping. The wooden box held the cat of my dreams and nightmares. I had always wanted a pet, and now one presented itself to me. And not just a usual one. Brandon asked me if I wanted to take it home with me. The cat's eyes twinkled as they looked at me, their blue color attempting to drown me in them. What choice did I have but to take it away?

The only problem was my Mom. Mom never liked pets and no matter how much I begged, I just couldn't have one.

" Well, I can take it, but Mom will kill me if she sees it" I said to Brandon

Brandon sighed." No choice left but to hide it, James. We cannot leave the poor thing like that" he said to me.

So I sneaked it to my room and placed it in the attic. I covered it with a blanket, because it was going to be cold at night. I fished for some leftover milk in the fridge, poured it in a tray and gave it. The cat seemed the epitome of all things innocent and gentle and kind. I sat, facing the undeniable fact that I'll have to show it to Mom one day. Or she might spot it while cleaning the attic when I was at school.

" Maybe Mom will also like it. It's cute enough not to be liked" I reassured myself.

I spent the night completing my math homework. I thought to sleep a little, but the thought of a little kitty all alone in the attic bugged me. I silently opened the attic trapdoor, the ladder of which opened in my room. I carried the so-called Patch in my room and kept it close to my bed. Seeing the cat, all wrapped and snuggled up in the blue blanked, bought feelings of happiness in my heart and I fell asleep.

I awoke to the sound of the alarm. Another day at school, I thought. I was pretty anxious about math class, because our teacher Mr. Addler, was a very strict one. If anyone had incorrectly solved the assigned homework, there will be consequences. The consequences usually included writing the same answers correctly fifty or hundred times over, depending on the gravity of the mistake. I hoped I had solved them all correctly, because I was in no mood for writing practice. I went to my study table, to have a final look at my papers, when I was left shaken. Someone, or something had torn all the papers apart and some papers had scratches on them. My first thought went to Robert, my elder brother. He was always up to some mischief and we were always feuding with each other. But even Robert knew Mr. Addler and I knew he wouldn't be this desperate to trouble me. A train of thoughts ran through my mind. That is when I saw paw marks on my study table. Faint, indistinct, but they were there. I was so furious and annoyed. Why on earth did this cat had to choose these papers. It could have torn down any book in my room and I would

have been a little annoyed, yes, but I wouldn't have minded. It had to attack Mr. Addler's work. Well, there was not much I could do. The cat was sound asleep, or pretending to be, where I kept it last night. That is when I named it The Don.

Mr. Addler wasn't very happy when he found out that I hadn't done my homework. If I had shown him the left bits of paper on which I had scribbled my homework, I would have been exempted from punishment. But telling Mr. Addler about The Don was a dangerous deal. He might actually slip it to my mom on a parents-teachers meeting. I wanted to keep the Don hidden in my attic as long as possible. So I lied that I had forgotten about the homework. Which was almost funny, because no student in their right mind could ever forget about the Mr. Addler assigned him or her. Mr. Addler looked at me funny.

" I am very disappointed in you, James. I always thought you were a good boy and never expected such irresponsibility from you. Detention at my office after school hours." He said in his deep-pitched voice.

I went home more exhausted than usual after the detention, in which I had to arrange the hundreds of papers Mr. Addler had

collected from all the grades of our school.

Having taken lunch, headed straight to the attic. The Don was there, licking its fur, meow-ing at me. It gave me a suspicious look. I knew it had more to it that it let on.

The next trouble came a little alter than the first one, and The Don, with all his trouble making, exposed himself to the world.

I had already guessed that The Don was not home-trained or anything, so to keep myself and him out of harm's way, I kept him secluded as possible. I even avoided going outside for activities other than school, so I could keep an eye on him. But that sneaky little devil had managed to make a show of himself when I was away at school.

A friend of my mom was visiting her with her kids. She had just been to Brazil, and was telling Mom everything about their trip. Her little daughter was roaming around the house with my little sister Katy. In the midst of their conversation, my mom heard a scream. The little girl had a scratch on her cheek, which was bleeding. My mom spotted the cat, thinking that it had come inside when the door was left open. It went away, to the attic. The little cat kept saying over and over that a cat had hit her, but her mother excused us by saying the Katy and her had fought and it was Katy's revenge. Of course Katy had seen what had happened, but she, always a cat lover, blamed herself rather than a poor ol' kitten. That friend of mom never visited us again.

I found out about that incident when mom found out about The Don. All mothers have to visit ever part of the house once in a while, and it was my Mom’s turn to take a trip to the attic. I can only imagine her surprise when she saw the same stowaway kitten she saw on the day of her friend’s visit. The attic only opened in my room, so she figured out that I must be the one hiding it.

I came home from school late than usual. Brandon and I were finishing our work together, so I had gone to his place.

I entered our house to find Mom waiting for me, The Don in her hands.

“You better explain yourself, young man”. She said, quite patiently.

“Mom” I started “I found this cat all hungry and abandoned in a carton box. I didn’t know what to do. Well, you have raised us kids to be gentle to all things, even living creatures. So, I just couldn’t help bringing him home” I was grounded for a month.

Well, it took a while to convince Mom. But at last we came to agree to some conditions. If I were to keep The Don, he’ll have to behave nicely and I’ll have to take care of him, feed him and clear up his waste. I agreed. That is when I found out about the little girl incident. I couldn’t just imagine how The Don managed to open the attic trapdoor (Katy couldn’t do it) and climb all the way from my bedroom upstairs to the living room. When alone with The Don, I looked at him inquiringly. His eyes started giving me the chills. He was the personification of the devil himself. He just pretended to be cute and cuddly and all that, but deep inside, he had a little secret. But I couldn’t just dump it. The Don trusted me, and thought of me as his benefactor, even though he did anything but land me in trouble. So, I decided to trust it, hoping against hope that the cat would improve over time and learn to live with us humans.  Little did I know that I was in big trouble trusting this cat.

The Don, when introduced to the people of our house, instantly earned their love and affection. I was relieved, knowing The Don could have a place in our house. I took him to Brandon’s house when he had a party, and he became so popular in school.


My Mom prided herself in her old family heirlooms, ornaments, utensils and jewelry of all sorts, passed down from her great-great-grandmother to her. She always took good care of them and obsessed over them when anything was wrong. Katy once accidently broke the really old teacup and Mom didn’t speak to her for a week. She finally said she forgave her because she was just a child (Katy was 5-years old at that time). But the crown jewel of her collection was those sparkling emerald earrings, worth a million pounds or more. It was a family tradition to pass them down and it started over a century ago. We kids were not even allowed to look at them for more than a few minutes, lest we should break them or something.

One morning, in the summer holidays, I woke up to the sound of people talking. I went downstairs to see Mom in a worried, startled state. I had never seen her like that before. Dad sat with his fingers on his temple, He himself was worried too. I wondered what had happened. Then Katy, like all tattletale little kids of her age, came to me and whispered in my ear.

“The earrings are gone”

The whole family turned the house over, searching for the earrings. There wasn’t a place we left behind, including the attic. The earrings weren’t anywhere. Mom got worried. Three days since their absence, she became angry and agitated at almost anything. Dad decided to the police of a possible theft.

The police came over to my house, searched it completely and made some investigations with each member of the family, where had we last seen them, did we hear something suspicious the night they went missing, had someone left the door or the window open. All sorts of questions that lead them nowhere. Us kids, having only seen investigations on TV, were quite enjoying ourselves.


The police officers found some paw prints in the backyard, below the window that lead to the room where Mom kept her heirlooms. The paw prints were traced back to the very cupboard where Mom kept the jewelry. Everyone was astounded. I went to the attic and found The Don missing. He had been there the night before and magically disappeared, as though he knew that the police were coming the very morning. He was the devil himself. We didn’t have a cat burglar in our house, we literally had a cat burgling our house.

The police searched for The Don for a week, with no results. the cat wasn’t anywhere to be found. It’s also difficult to find a cat.  The police gave up searching and I was grounded. FOR A YEAR. I had no idea where The Don had hid the earrings when he was right in front of our eyes, when we were ransacking the house. The cat was surely possessed. A year later, I learnt about people training cats to burgle houses. The Don may not have been possessed at all. He may have been expertly trained.

May 13, 2020 11:15

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