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  • Writer's pictureRae Elliott Williams

How Ginger Became Beasty - Installment 1

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

The next 4 installments will tell the story of a wet kitty who made her way in the world and ended up finding a home where she could rule the roost.

Still Just Ginger – Installment 1

A rain drop plopped down right in the middle of my forehead, I could feel it winding it’s way through the hair on the my face slowly making it’s way towards my little upturned nose. This wasn’t my first rain, I knew that those drops would increase in frequency and force and would no longer trickle towards my nose but run like a river and I would need to tuck my face under my furry siblings if I was going to keep myself from drowning in it. We were all shivering, none of us had eaten for nearly 2 full days. Our mother had left us under these bushes in a small impression in the dirt but had not returned. She had moved us here only a couple of days before she disappeared. It was quieter then our last home but not nearly as warm or protected from these frequent rain storms we were getting.

I don’t think I was actually the largest of my siblings but I looked it because I had longer fur then the rest of them and if I puffed myself up they all assumed I was the largest and therefore the leader. I like being the leader. But when it rained my fur would not puff up and I looked as small and helpless as they did. Helpless was not something I was willing to settle for.

One of my siblings, he was more nervous then the rest of us, he fretted about nearly everything. And this new rain storm was no exception. I could hear him start whining even though he was at the bottom of the pile of us and I was at the top. It started as whimpers then increased to all out screeching. He was certainly earning his name of Nervous Nelly. I could hear one of my sisters, Pretty, trying to calm him. Personally I had lost patience with him and was just trying to ignore him.

We were going to have to venture out of this hole soon and I was debating if now was the time. The constant footsteps of humans that normally stomped past our hiding place had quieted as it often did when it rained. The only other time it quieted was at night. I knew that would be the best time to sneak out and take stock of our options but I was still a bit afraid of the dark. I was only 6 weeks old.

I squirmed off of the top of the pile of siblings, wiggling my ginger colored tail out last. “Where are you going Ginger?” One of my brothers hissed, he looked a lot like me but his coat was not quite as long. He didn’t whine but he was a gloomy guy, always predicting the direst of circumstances. We called him Sunny, he didn’t realize it was sarcasm.

“We need to find mother, or food, we’ll freeze to death if we don’t, now is the best time to venture out. It’s still light out and there aren’t many humans on the street. I’ll be back.”

“Well I’m coming with you.” Sunny grumbled.

“Me too.” Purred Strips, one of my grey sisters.

“I’m in.” The other grey sister who we called Stripes said.

“No it’s raining out there, and mother said to stay hidden.” My whiny brother whined.

“It’s raining in here too.” Pretty pointed out.

“And mother is probably gone for good.” Sunny cheerily added.

Well I guess we were all going. By the time I peeked out from under the bushes she had hid us in, all 5 of my tiger stripped siblings were peering out from similar hiding spots. We could see that across the slick and wet road was a building, behind it was a large metal box and coming from that box was the smell of food. Not good food but edible food. As a car zoomed pass we all ducked down instinctively.

“We can’t go out there, we’ll get squished for sure!” Nelly fretted.

“Squished or frozen? What does it matter?” Sunny offered.

“Geez boys you’re such downers.” This from my most colorful sister, Pretty.

Sunny and I are orange, ginger colored our mom said, she called us twins and said we looked just like our father. She thought me particularly special since most orange tigers are boys. Nelly and two of my sisters are grey tigers. But Pretty, she is a fun mix of orange, black, white and grey. I was a bit envious about all her colors, but I consoled myself with the fact that I had nice long fur and hers was short and close to her body making her look smaller then I.

I looked up and down the street, I didn’t see any lights. There were plenty of puddles in the road but I felt sure I could zip around them and avoid getting more drenched then I was.

“I’m going for it guys.” I said. I didn’t wait for them to try to talk me out of it, I just ran, out of the bushes, off the curb, into the wet street right towards the metal box. When I got there I ducked down under it and turned to see 4 of them right behind me. Nelly of course was still fretting and hiding in the bushes. We could see his eyes peering out.

I left my siblings to keep watch over him while I tried to find a way into this food box. That is when I made my first mistake. I never even looked, I just crawled out from under it to look up and plan my route and there stood a human. Looking right back down at me. She dropped her bag and fell to her knees. I could see my siblings quietly backing up, hiding themselves further under the box.

My second mistake was that I didn’t bolt right back under the box and out of reach. I was afraid if I did, this human would look under it and discover my brother and sisters. I might be bossy but I’m not mean and wished my siblings no harm. The human gently lifted me up and that is when I made my third mistake. I saw Nelly finally making a break for it, heading right towards us and I looked right at him. She, the human turned too and watched as he ran right across the road. He hit a pot hole and momentarily disappeared into the puddle before springing out again and making a final dash under the metal box. Now she knew there were more of us, I had inadvertently betrayed my siblings.

As I said I’m a bully for sure but I would never have put them at peril on purpose.

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