Authors: Anna Wilson
Also by Anna Wilson
Coming in March 2010
Kitten Chaos (for World Book Day)
And chosen by Anna Wilson
First published 2010 by Macmillan Children’s Books
This electronic edition published 2010 by Macmillan Children’s Books
a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
Pan Macmillan, 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR
Basingstoke and Oxford
Associated companies throughout the world
ISBN 978-0-330-52110-9 in Adobe Reader format
ISBN 978-0-330-52109-3 in Adobe Digital Editions format
ISBN 978-0-330-52111-6 in Mobipocket format
Text copyright © Anna Wilson 2010
Illustrations copyright © Moira Munro 2010
Anna Wilson and Moira Munro to be identified as the author and illustrator of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
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For Lucy and Thomas,
who are very happy you’ve
come back to us, Jet!
irst of all, let me get one thing straight. My dad never liked cats. And when I say ‘never’, I mean ‘never ever’. He was
the sort of man who would hiss, spit and shout if a cat had the audacity to enter our garden.
‘Nasty creatures,’ he’d say. ‘And they dig up the bulbs and do their business everywhere.’
Not that Dad was much of a gardener, as I was constantly pointing out whenever a cat dared to use one of the plant pots on the patio as a public loo.
‘You’re not exactly into gardening, Dad, so what does it matter?’
‘It matters, Bertie, because I’m never going to get the chance to be “into gardening”, as you put it, if every time I plant so much as a single puny snowdrop, a cat comes
along and chucks the bulb over its shoulder and pees in the hole it’s left behind.’
I gave Dad my usual response to anything ridiculous that he said: I rolled my eyes. As if cats went around chucking things over their shoulders! Anyone with half an ounce of brain knew that this
kind of thing never happened.
Even someone like me, who had once been friends with a cat who talked.
Yes, OK, so now you’re thinking
the loony in the family. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong, because I
able to talk to this particular cat. Or
rather, he was able to talk to me … What I mean is, no one else seemed to be able to understand him the way I did. His name was Kaboodle and he was quite a character – and that’s
putting it mildly. From the day he catapulted into my life to the day he softly padded away, he created nothing short of chaos wherever he went.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. The thing is, Dad had always disliked cats so much that I had to come up with the brainwave of setting up a pet-sitting service, so that I could at
least look after someone else’s cat even if I wasn’t allowed one of my own. And that’s how I met Kaboodle. His owner, Fenella Pinkington (an actress and lover of all things pink)
lived opposite us and asked me to look after Kaboodle whenever she was away. In fact, Pinkella (as I called her, but only in my head – I’m not that rude) was my first ever pet-sitting
customer. And thanks to Kaboodle trying to
the only other pets I got to look after, she was pretty much my last. So I suppose you’d be forgiven for thinking that my dad must have
been right about cats all along and they were nothing but trouble.
As Kaboodle was always fond of telling me, ‘You humans will never understand the feline species.’
Even though he seemed to leave disaster in his wake, in the end Kaboodle made sure that Dad and I were much better off than when we’d first met the crafty little cat. Kaboodle turned out
to be the friend I needed while my dad was too busy stuck in his dead-end job to pay me much attention, and it has to be said that it was thanks to Kaboodle that Dad eventually landed the job of
his dreams: writing plays that actually got performed on a real, live stage!
In fact, Kaboodle and Pinkella became so much a part of our lives that when they decided to move away, Dad had been as sad as I was. Which is possibly why he didn’t immediately throw a
wobbly about Kaboodle’s leaving present: a tiny, fluffy, orange and white kitten. For me. To keep.
So that’s how Jaffa came to live with us. Pretty little Jaffa Cake: my very own marmalade cat.
When Kaboodle arrived with the tiny bundle and plonked her down on our front step I held my breath for so long I nearly stopped breathing altogether.
‘I know how much you are going to miss me,’ he drawled airily, while Dad and Pinkella exchanged their fond farewells. I couldn’t help grinning through my tears. Dear little
Kaboodle, as immodest as ever. ‘So I thought you might appreciate some company. Her name is Perdita but you will no doubt want to change that …’
She was, apart from Kaboodle, of course, the cutest, most heart-scrunchingly gorgeous kitten I had ever imagined, let alone actually
in real life. She looked up at me with her
alarmingly clear light blue eyes and frowned in a worried sort of way, as if she knew there might be a possibility of Dad telling her to get lost. Those eyes could melt icebergs, I’m telling
In fact they managed to melt something even more immovable – Dad’s heart. Before I could think of any arguments to persuade him to say ‘yes’ to me having a cat of my own,
Pinkella was cooing, ‘Isn’t it
– Kaboodle’s brought you a goodbye present!’
Dad winked at me as if to say, ‘What a loony!’ and said aloud, ‘It’s very kind of you, Fenella. Bertie’s always wanted a cat of her own. So, Bertie, what are you
going to call her?’
‘I – sorry, what was that you just said?’
‘What are you going to call the kitten Fenella’s brought you?’ Dad repeated.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or start crying again. I felt as though I could do both at once. Kaboodle had well and truly got one over on Dad. He wasn’t going to say no to the
kitten now he thought it was from Pinkella. I shot her a quick look just to make sure she wasn’t about to blow it, but she just smiled.
Could it be that I was really seeing my biggest dream come true?
I scooped up the little orange ball, whispered a quiet thank you to Kaboodle, thanked Pinkella out loud and carried the fluffy creature indoors while Dad said a final round of farewells to
The first thing I did once I was on my own with the kitten was to lift her up to my face and say softly: ‘Welcome to your new home! I hope you and I are going to be friends.’
The kitten stared back at me with those huge, crystal-clear eyes.