Where are you, Mr. Cat?

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Short Short Stories!
Another in the series of Robert. This is another episode while Robert is at the Woodward Boys School.

Submitted: January 03, 2019

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Submitted: January 03, 2019

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Where are you, Mr. Cat?

 

On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Cat was not waiting for me on the steps behind the kitchen.  This was the third day that he had not shown up in the afternoon.  Today felt different, more troubling.  Perhaps it was the grey clouds overhead.

“Mr. Robinson, do you think that something has happened to him?” I asked when Mr. Robinson poked his head out to say hello as he always did.

“It’s not the first time that that cat has disappeared for a few days.  Might have found himself a lady friend.”  Mr. Robinson chuckled.

“I miss him.”

“If it starts raining, you come into the kitchen to finish your studies.” Mr. Robinson paused before returning to the kitchen.

“Mr. Robinson, can I ask you something?”

“Ask away.”  Mr. Robinson sat on the step next to me.  “I’m all ears.”

“How do you find someone?”

“That is quite the question.”  Mr. Robinson scratched his chin like he was thinking.  “Who are you trying to find?”

“My cousin, Sue.”  I paused, “I don’t know exactly where she lives now.  I stayed with her when I was seven.”

I was interrupted as a few rain drops splattered on the steps.  I quickly gathered my books and stuffed them back inside my backpack.  Mr. Robinson opened the kitchen door and we went inside.

There was a small table next to the kitchen door and I dropped by backpack on the floor next to the table before sitting.  Mr. Robinson took a jug of apple juice from the refrigerator and two glasses from the counter.  I waited until he had poured the juice and sat next to me before continuing.

“I guess I should tell you what I’m thinking.”

“That might help.”

“You know that I’m going to be fourteen in a few weeks.  And, when I’m fourteen, I get to say where I want to stay.”

Mr. Robinson took a sip from his glass of juice and set the glass back on the table without saying anything.

“I’ve decided that I will say that I want to stay with my cousin Sue, but I don’t know where she is now.  I need to find her before I can say anything.”

We sat quietly for what felt like a very long time.  Mr. Robinson seemed to be thinking, trying to decide what to do next.  I wasn’t sure how much more I needed to tell him. 

“You know, Robert.  If I were going to start looking, I would start where your cousin last lived but you probably already thought of that.”

“Yeah.  I remember what the small house looked like, but I don’t remember the address.  I was seven when my Grandma took me away.”

“Maybe you could ask your Grandma where your cousin is?”

Lightning flashed outside, and a crack of thunder rattled the windows.  The rain pelted against the windows.

“Mr. Robinson, my Grandma would never let me live with my cousin if she knew that is what I wanted to do.  My mom wouldn’t either.  That is why I have to wait until I’m old enough to say where I want to stay.”

Mr. Robinson’s face tightened.  I knew that he didn’t know about my family and the ongoing battle.  The family feud with me as the ball getting batted back and forth as Grandma and Mom would try to keep me away from the each other.  Cousin Sue wasn’t really a cousin but an old friend of my Dad, so Grandma exploded when she learned that Mom had let me live with Cousin Sue.  For the next few years, I never stayed anywhere for long before either Grandma or Mom would either have me live with them or send to live with someone else.  I lived out of a suitcase, I never knew when I would move again.  I never knew why either.

“I see.”  Mr. Robinson broke the silence. 

I turned when I heard a low growl coming from outside the door.  Mr. Cat sat on the small porch, a wet mess of matted fur.

“Where have you been, Mr. Cat?” I asked as I picked him up.

 


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