Authors: Holly Webb
For more information about Holly Webb visit: www.holly-webb.com
Amy yawned and rolled over to go back to sleep. But then she stopped halfway and bounced up in bed. It was her birthday! Was it too early to go and wake up Mum and Dad? Amy grabbed her watch off the bedside table.
six. Surely that was late enough, on a birthday?
Shivering slightly in the chill
morning, she threw on her dressing gown, and hurried along the landing to her parents’ room.
“Oh! Amy… Happy Birthday…” Her dad yawned hugely. “Is it as early as it feels?”
“It’s already half-past six,” Amy replied. “Can’t we get up? Please, Mum?”
Her mum was already starting to climb out of bed. “You’d better go and get dressed.”
“OK!” Amy grinned. She dashed back to her room and started to put on her school uniform, sighing a little. It was so unfair to have to go to school on her birthday. Still, as she was up early, at least Mum might let her open some of her presents…
Amy ran down the stairs eagerly and
burst into the kitchen.
“Oh, wow!” she said, as she sat down at the table in front of a pile of birthday presents. She smiled as she saw that her mum had draped fairy lights round the window. “That looks fab!”
“Well, since you’ve got to go to school, I thought I’d try and make breakfast special.” Amy’s mum put a chocolate croissant in front of her.
Just then, Dad came into the kitchen. “I hope there’s one for me too,” he said, giving Amy a hug. “Happy Birthday!”
“Go on, open your presents,” her mum said, smiling.
Amy reached out for the nearest parcel, which was enticingly squashy.
“Oh, it’s lovely. Gran’s so clever!” she said, as she tore off the paper and shook out a purple hoodie top, with a pink satin cat stitched on to the back, and glittery stars all around.
Her mum smiled. “I told her anything with a cat on it.”
When Amy had finally unwrapped all her presents, her dad shook his head. “Do you know, anyone would think you liked cats!” he remarked, staring at the cat T-shirt, cat lunch box, kitten pencil case, and the gorgeous toy Persian cat on Amy’s lap. Her mum and dad knew how much she loved cats. But they just didn’t think she was old enough to have one as a pet, however much she begged.
“Come on, we need to get to school,” Mum pointed out. “I’ve arranged for you to go for tea at Lily’s today, Amy.”
Amy looked up in surprise. It was the first she’d heard about this.
Her dad winked. “I need a bit of extra time to sort out your surprise present from us. Didn’t you notice we haven’t given you anything yet? It’ll be
waiting for you when you get home.”
“Oh!” Amy beamed at him. That sounded really exciting…
“Do you think the surprise could be a kitten?” Amy asked Lily, for about the fifteenth time that day. The girls had finished their tea and had gone up to Lily’s room to chat.
Her best friend sighed. “I
don’t know! Did it sound like they’d changed their minds the last time you asked?”
Amy shook her head. “Mum said I wasn’t old enough to look after a pet properly. I told her you do!”
Lily smiled and stroked Stella, her big tabby cat, who was curled up on the
duvet between them. “I was lucky. Mum loves cats. I didn’t have to beg!”
“Dad could have needed the time to go and fetch a kitten.” Amy was thinking aloud. “I can’t think of anything else it would be. Oh, I just don’t know!” She leaned down so she was nose to nose with Stella, who stared back at her sleepily. “I wish you could tell me. Am I getting a kitten at last?”
Stella yawned, showing all her teeth.
“Hmmm. I’m not sure what that means.” Amy sighed. “Oh! Is that the doorbell?” she exclaimed, scrambling to her feet.
Lily frowned. “It’s rude to be so happy about going home!” She laughed at Amy’s suddenly worried face. “I’m only teasing! Go! Go on! I’ve got all my fingers crossed for you! Call and tell me if it
A few streets away, a little black kitten was sitting in a cardboard carrier, mewing sadly. She didn’t like it in here, and things didn’t smell right. She wanted to go back to her lovely home.
“Sshh, sshh, Jet.” There was a scuffling noise at the top of the box, and the kitten looked up nervously. “Let’s get you out, little one.”
The kitten pressed herself into the corner as the dark box opened up. Then she gave a squeak of relief. There was her owner!
Mrs Jones reached in and gently lifted out the little cat. She lowered herself down into an armchair and the kitten curled up on her lap.
“Can we play with Jet, Gran?” Two children had followed Mrs Jones into the room. “Please!” the little girl squealed.
“Millie, calm down!” Mrs Jones said firmly. “You’ll scare her.”
The kitten looked up at the children, both reaching out for her, and squirmed
into Mrs Jones’s cardigan.
“I just want to stroke her,” the little boy begged.
“I’m sorry, Dan. I know you both want to say hello, but she’s only just arrived, and she’s not really used to being with children. She’ll soon settle in, I’m sure, and then you can play with her all you want.”
“Don’t bother Gran, you two. You know she needs to rest and get better.” The children’s mother was standing in the doorway now. “Do you want a cup of tea or anything, Mum?”
“No, no, Sarah, thank you. I’m just going to sit here with Jet to keep me company.”
“OK. Come on, you two. Don’t forget to shut the door – you know we need to keep Jet in here for the next few days.”
The children ran off after their mum, and the kitten relaxed. This place wasn’t home, but at least Mrs Jones was here.
“Oh dear, it’s a big change, isn’t it?” The old lady tickled her under the chin. “Still, Sarah’s right. I’m better off here where she can keep an eye on me.”
But Jet wasn’t listening. She’d tensed up again, the fur on her tiny black tail bristling. Millie and Dan hadn’t shut the door properly after all, and there was another cat here. A big Siamese staring at her with round blue eyes. She mewed anxiously. Did this house already belong to another cat?
Mrs Jones looked over at the cat. “Oh, there’s Charlie. Don’t worry, Jet. He’s friendly; Sarah told me he’d be no trouble. No trouble at all.”