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The Kitten

June 2005

Stories from The Life and Times of Author, Roger Dean Kiser - Reprinted with permission.

We were standing outside Spring Park Elementary School, located in Jacksonville, Florida, waiting for the bell to ring.

"WOW! Look at that little kitty out in the road!" yelled one of the boys from the orphanage.

"He's gonna get run'd over," screamed out another.

Four of us ran as fast as we could onto Spring Park Road, trying to capture the small animal.

"What are we gonna do with it now?" asked Robert.

"We'll put it in our fort and close the lid," said another boy.

We all ran as fast as we could back over to the orphanage, which was located next door to the school. We uncovered the lid to our hidden underground fort. It was a 4 foot by 6-foot hole dug in the ground, covered by a 4 foot by 8-foot piece of plywood. Dirt and pine straw placed on top to hide it from the rest of the world. We placed the small kitten inside the fort, after giving it a can lid of water. We then replaced the top of the fort. We ran all the way back to school, and got there just in time for the bell to ring.

All day long, we talked about the kitten and what we should do with it. We knew that we could not keep the small animal. The head matron had once killed a small baby squirrel with a broom handle. We had captured it and kept in a shoebox in our dormitory until she found out.

After school, the four of us met out by the front gate of the orphanage. We stood there for about ten minutes trying to decide what to do about the kitten.

"Mother Winters is gonna kill it for sure if she finds out," said Eugene.

"Hey, it's Old Topper!" yelled one of the boys.

Old Topper was an old police officer who walked around the neighborhood every afternoon about three o'clock. Just as he was about to reach the gate, the head matron also appeared from behind us.

"Whow brought this animal in here?" she yelled as loud as she could.

She stood there holding the kitten up by the back of its neck. The four of us stiffened with fright, and said not a word. We were too afraid to speak.

We looked up at Old Topper's face and he looked down at us. He could see that we were scared to death.

"Well there's my kitty cat," said Old Topper walking toward Mrs. Winters.

He reached to take the kitten, and almost had to pry the small animal from her tight grip.

"We don't allow animals in this facility," said Mrs. Winters, as she turned and walked away at a fast pace.

"Well, it looks like I got myself a cat," said Old Topper, laughing.

"He'll make a good cat friend too," said Robert.

"Looks like a female here," said Old Topper, as he looked beneath her.

"It's a girl cat?" I asked.

"That's what she is. A girl cat," said Old Topper laughing aloud once again.

After Old Topper left, we boys went to our fort and cleaned it out really, good. We didn't allow no girls things to be in our fort.

Copyright 2005: Roger Dean Kiser

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