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ANDY



By: Carol Colbert





Copyright 2017 by Carol Colbert


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form without written permission from the author, except for brief quoted passages for review purposes.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or collective memories of people she has known in general, put together to form various single characters, and thus, resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, unless explicitly noted, are entirely coincidental. That said, Andy was a very real, very special, Cat.



This book is dedicated to the sweetest kitty, my “nephew cat,” Andy.


To Liliana, who gave me the name and character of JIMMY and to Dominic who suggested what role Jimmy play in the story.


To Diane, the friend who made it possible for my sister to adopt Andy.




Cover by: coils@coverkick.com







Chapter 1


Snickers




Andy stood half hidden behind the hedge, watching his entire family being carried off. He was very intelligent for a nine week old and right now his instincts told him to try and stay out of sight. At first there was a lot of excitement, a lot of people each carrying a box or a piece of furniture, but then the vehicles left and he was all alone.


The little light gray kitten was curious and had taken the opportunity to explore the outdoors when he found the front door open. The air felt fresh and Andy was having a good time, right up to when his little paw came down and found no cement. He tumbled down the two remaining stairs and then ran behind the shrub to lick his sore paw. Little Andy then found himself being lifted up and carried off, away from the only home he had ever known, away from his family.


“Where did you find that?” Fred asked his wife.


“Bobby found him by the neighbor’s porch. I think they moved and this little fellow got left behind.” Vera answered.


“You’re not thinking of keeping it, are you?”


“Well, yeah. We have been promising Bobby a pet, and he seems to really like this little kitten.”


“He is so small, I hope you and Bobby know how to take care of it. One scratch and it is out of here, you understand?” Fred said.


Vera picked up the little kitten and took a good look at it. “I guess you are ours now. What shall we call you?”


“Mew, Andy.


“I guess I should let Bobby name you, since he is the one who found you. I just hope you don’t have fleas.”


Vera found a cardboard box and folded an old towel in it. She placed the gray and white kitten with the beautiful green eyes into the makeshift bed. Vera then carried the box into her son’s bedroom.


“Did dad say I can keep him?” Bobby asked, his eyes as wide as the cat’s.


“For now, but Bobby, you have to be careful with him. I don’t know how old he is, but he looks very young, maybe too young to be away from his mother. Don’t roughhouse with him, he might get hurt. What are you going to name him?”


Bobby picked up the small kitten and said “I love you already, and I love snickers candy, so I name you Snickers. Do you like your name?”


“Mew.” No, thank you, my name is Andy.


“We can go out and get what he needs tomorrow. For tonight I’ll borrow some cat food and litter from Mrs. Bogs next door. Remember, Bobby, don’t play with him too much at first. Snickers has to get used to living here with us. He is probably missing his mother and the other kittens he was born with.”


“Why did they leave without him?” Bobby asked his mother while petting Snickers. “Why were they so mean?”


“I don’t know, Bobby. Maybe Snickers got out and they didn’t notice that he wasn’t with the others.” Vera said.


“Can Snickers sleep with me tonight, mom?”


“Oh no, you might roll over on top of him. He is much too small. Give him a couple of months to grow bigger before you let him on your bed.”


“O.K., I guess he could fall off and that is a long way to fall.”


“He couldn’t even get back up the porch steps at his house. I wish I had a phone number for that family so I could call them and let them know they left this little boy behind.”


“Oh please don’t, mom, they might come back and get him!”


“I don’t think that will happen. I’m going to go next door and borrow some cat food from Mrs. Bogs now. You finish your homework, you don’t want to give your father any reason to threaten to give Snickers away.”


“I will. How come Mrs. Bogs has that stuff? Did she get a cat too? Maybe her cat and Snickers can play together.”


“Mrs. Bogs does not have a cat, but her daughter does and when she comes to visit she brings it. Mrs. Bogs keeps all that stuff at her house to make it easier for her daughter to visit her.”


Mrs. Bogs said that she was happy to give Snickers food and litter and even had a litter box he could have. “Every little boy needs a pet, teaches him responsibility.”


“Bobby is only five, but I think it will be good for him too.”


“What did Bobby name the kitten?”


“He named him Snickers. He is gray and white.”


“I like that name for a kitten. Let me know if you need anything else for Snickers before you can get to the store. You said he is from that family who moved out across from you? I wish I had known they had a litter, I would have asked them for one of the kittens myself.” Mrs. Bogs said.


“I know they didn’t leave this one behind on purpose, but it worked out for us. Thank you so much for all this stuff, I will replace the food and litter, he really is such a cutie.” Vera said. “Bobby said he found him at the foot of the porch steps and Bobby watched him from our porch for a time before he went over and got him.”


“I remember seeing a pregnant cat over there several weeks ago. Snickers is probably from that litter. I’d say he is probably about eight weeks or so. You should take him to the vet and let them check him out. He should be getting a distemper shot.” Mrs. Bogs said.


“So soon? Isn’t he too young?”


“Oh no, my sister works for a pet store and I remember her saying that they make sure to tell people to get a distemper shot at about eight weeks and I think a rabies shot at about twelve weeks is needed too. I don’t know much about it, but I think that is what I heard.”


“Sounds expensive.” Vera said. “Fred will go through the roof!”


“Well, yeah, pets are expensive, but they are so worth it and I don’t think you want him to get sick, do you?”


“I think I should have put more thought into this before I told Bobby he could keep the cat.”


“My sister might be able to get a discount for you as far as his shots go and take what litter and food you need for now. I hope you do keep him.” Mrs. Bogs said. “If you can’t keep him, talk to me before you give him to anyone else, I might take him in myself.”


“Thanks, I’d better get back and feed Snickers.”


“Snickers is a cute name. Good luck and here is my sister’s card, call her and she should be able to answer any questions you have and tell her we are neighbors and mention the shot discount. I’m sure she won’t mind.”


Andy looked up at the little boy. “Meow.” I am hungry.


Bobby petted Andy’s head. “You are my kitty cat now, Snickers. I will take good care of you.”


“Meow.” Feed me something.


Vera walked into Bobby’s bedroom and picked Andy up.


“Mew, Mew” Take me home. I am hungry.

Vera took the cat into the kitchen and set him down in front of the cat food and water. “Here, little one, eat.”


Andy looked up at the lady. He thought she was taking him home to his mommy. Andy felt sad, but soon the need for food overcame his need to protest and he ate all of the food put before him and drank the water. He wondered how long he would be staying here with the little boy and his mother and father. It was much better than being outside, trying without luck to get back up the porch steps, but he missed his family.


Bobby came and picked Andy up and took him back to his bedroom. Andy spit up a bit of food. His little tummy was full and Bobby had squeezed him too tight. Bobby put him into the cardboard makeshift bed and Andy fell fast asleep. He dreamed of his mommy and brothers and sisters. He wondered how long it would be before they missed him and came back for him. He also wondered why this family did not know his name wasn’t Snickers.


Chapter 2


The White Cat




The weeks went by quickly and Andy grew stronger. He was able to jump up on the couch now and he spent the majority of his days in the window, watching his old house for any signs of his family returning. He liked Bobby and Bobby’s mother, but they were not his family. Fred didn’t care for him much and so Andy tried his best to stay out of his way.


Andy watched a lot of television with the family and his knowledge of the world around him grew. On rare occasions Vera and Bobby would take him next door to visit when Mrs. Bog’s daughter came to town. Andy liked those visits because she would bring her cat, Noodle with her.


Andy liked Noodle. She was the only feline that Andy had the chance to be around since his family moved away. Noodle told Andy that her owner had taken her to a cat doctor and had an implant called a microchip placed under her skin. Andy could not imagine what that was or why someone would do that to a cat. When Noodle told him that it was because no matter where Noodle went, if someone found her and took her to any cat doctor that they would know where to take her back home to. Noodle told Andy that was a good thing, but Andy didn’t think so. One of these days when he grew up, he knew that he wanted to go look for his true family. He liked Bobby, but he wasn’t his real family.


Andy tried to explain to Noodle that he had been taken to a cat doctor and as far as he knew, no microchip had been involved. Noodle tried to explain to her friend about needles and vaccinations. Andy realized there was much that he did not understand and much to learn.


Noodle told Andy that no matter how long he spent at the window looking at his old house that his family would never come back. This made Andy both angry and sad. Noodle also told him that it was considered normal for cats to be given to several families and that many never saw their sisters and brothers again.


Andy was heartbroken. He spent the next few days to himself, curled into a ball behind the couch. Fred said that if he were sick that he would have to go because he was not going to pay another penny out of his pocket for that ‘darn cat’.


Bobby’s fascination with his little pet was replaced by something called T-Ball. Andy would hear Vera and Bobby talking about taking him to practice and play T-Ball. This left Andy home all alone for hours at a time some days. Andy was bored except for one day when Bobby left the television on by mistake. Andy watched a show about all kinds of animals and how mean some people could be to them. Fred yelled at him sometimes, and even yelled at Vera and Bobby, but at least he had never hit Andy or kicked him. Still, Andy knew that his days there were numbered. He felt strong and he was ready to see what the rest of the world had to offer.


That night Andy made sure to eat all of the dinner and snacks that Vera put out for him. He then went to the door and waited for someone to open it so he could run out. The next morning Andy was still there by the door. He gave up and went into the kitchen in search for breakfast.


Andy heard a sound that he had heard many times before and had never given any attention to. This time Andy noticed that after he heard the noise, that a human would go to the door and open it. Andy ran back into the living room, but the door was being closed again.


“Was that the doorbell?” Vera called out to her husband.


Doorbell


“Yeah, it was the mailman, you got a package from somewhere or other. I hope you’re not ordering a bunch of junk we don’t need.” Fred answered.


Andy now had a word to put with the sound. Doorbell. Andy realized that he didn’t have to stay by the door all day and night. He could just run to it when he heard the doorbell and run out when the door was opened. He was happy that he had at least the start of a plan. What he would do once he got on the other side of the door he didn’t know yet.


Andy went back to the window and looked out. He had to decide which way to run when he was able to get out of the door. It was then that Andy saw the white cat.


Meow, Meow, Meow! Hello! My name is Andy!


The white cat kept walking and did not turn around. Andy jumped down from the window ceil and ran to another window and jumped up, just in time to see the white cat turn the corner.


Unfortunately, or fortunately given how it turned out for Andy, when Andy had jumped up into the second window, his tail hit Fred’s beer bottle and knocked it to the floor. Andy hadn’t noticed, so intent was he on getting the white cat’s attention.


“What the heck? Stupid cat!” Fred yelled. He picked Andy up by the scruff of his neck and opened the door and tossed little Andy out the very door that Andy had been wishing would open.


Andy was so surprised to find himself outside, that when he hit the ground he ran into the bushes to hide. He wasn’t really hurt, but it took him a moment to realize what had happened. He was afraid Fred would come after him and take him back inside the house, so Andy scooted as far into the bushes as he could until the door shut and the threat was gone.


Andy couldn’t believe his luck! Here he was outside and he didn’t even have to wait for a doorbell. Vera could not have a microchip put in him, he was free!



Chapter 3


Kenny Rogers and Happy Doorbells




Andy waited another minute and then, after taking a sneak peek at the front door of the house, he took off running in the direction that he had seen the white cat walking.


Andy did not see the white cat. He was standing on the cement trying to decide what to do next when he heard a loud doorbell and saw a big truck coming right at him. Andy jumped and ran onto the grass. His little heart was beating so fast. He would have liked to have taken one more look at his old house, but now Andy thought it best that he just keep moving.


Andy walked down several streets until he noticed that the houses looked differently. They were bigger and none of them had grass in front or back. There was more cement here, but there was also a river across the street from where he was. Andy realized that he needed to know much more about everything if he were going to find his real owner.


It started to rain and Andy found shelter under a bench. He didn’t like being wet and he was starting to get hungry. He saw no sign of the white cat.


“Oh look, mom, a kitten! Can we keep him?” Andy heard a child’s voice say. A woman and her little girl were now sitting on the bench that he had been hiding under.


“No, honey. We have to get on the bus and you can’t take a cat on a bus. Besides, he probably belongs to someone and they would miss him if we took him.” The mother said to the child.


“Can I give him some of my cookie?”


Meow, yes, please.


“Just a little bit, he looks very young and we don’t want to make him sick.” The mother said. The little girl gave Andy some of her cookie and petted him on the head. Andy was grateful. The little girl picked him up and sat him on her lap and fed him the rest of her cookie. The little girl’s lap was warm and Andy was protected from the rain from the umbrella the little girl was holding. He was sad when they put him down and got into a big bus.


It stopped raining and Andy decided to continue his journey. He walked until it got dark and more people were walking around. Andy found an alley and a dark corner where he could rest.


Andy fell asleep. He had been asleep for several hours when he heard loud doorbells and they were different somehow than he had heard at Bobby’s house. He lifted his head and listened. Andy had never heard the type of sounds he was listening to. His tail started to wag back and forth and he felt happy.


Andy looked towards a door that opened and the doorbells got louder. He inched closer to it. He was anxious to know what these new and happy doorbells were and where they were coming from.


The door opened again and without thinking much about it, Andy ran in. It was dark inside, but very loud. Before his eyes could adjust to the darkness, he found himself being picked up.


“Where did you come from, little one?” A young woman’s voice asked him.


Meow, my name is Andy and I like your doorbells.


The lady carried Andy into another room. The doorbells were not as loud in this room. The girl put him down and told him that she would be right back.


Andy looked around. There was no big box with pictures on it, only a table with drawers in it and a couple of chairs. Before he could explore further the girl came back. She put a bowl of water on the floor and some kind of food. Andy looked at the girl.


Meow, yowl, and thank you.


The young lady watched the little gray cat eat and she wondered how long he had been on his own on the streets. She wondered if her boss would mind that she brought him into the back room.


“I don’t know what brought you to this country bar, fellow. I hope the music isn’t too loud for your little ears.”


Meow – music?


The girl started to sing and Andy thought it was a beautiful way to talk. He started to meow and his tail began its wagging again. He liked this music and he liked this girl. Andy figured there was much to learn here and he wanted to stay for a while.


“What is your name, little one?” The girl asked.


Meow, Andy!


“I think I will call you Kenny, or maybe it should be Dolly?” The girl laughed and started singing again. “I have to get back to work. You can stay here until I get off work, but I don’t think my dog would like it if I brought you home with me.” The girl said.


Andy knew what dogs were and how big some of them got, but he knew nothing of the danger one might bring his way. He saw a pencil on the floor and started playing with it, batting it this way and that. He chased his tail for a moment and jumped around the room. Andy might not have realized it, but he was dancing in time to the music. He was truly happy.


By the end of the night Andy was tired and wanted to see what was outside of the room that he had been in for hours. The music had changed all night, but Andy liked to listen to each song as it came on. He did not know what it meant to know when to hold them and know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know when to run, but he found himself remembering the words.


This time when the door opened the girl was not alone. “But why can’t the cat stay?”


“You know why, Julie, we serve food and drinks here, we can’t have an animal running around.”


“But he is not running around, look, he is as good as gold.”


“I see, but how long before he needs a litter box?”


“Oh.”


“Yeah, time to go little kitty, wish we could keep you, but we can’t afford to get busted over you.” The man said as he picked Andy up. Andy figured his life was about to change again. Even though he loved what he now knew to be music, and liked the young lady who fed him and took him in, he knew he had much to explore outside of the room.


Andy found himself back outside in the alley. The door to the bar closing and the music silent. It was dark and Andy saw a bench that looked like the one the lady and her little girl had been at earlier. Andy walked over to it and spent a few minutes looking around and waiting, but no one else came.


Disappointed, Andy found another alley corner and fell asleep.


Chapter 4


Snowball and Jaxs



It took Andy a moment to figure out where he was when he opened his eyes the next morning. He stretched and looked around. Andy was hungry and didn’t know which way to walk next. He was just about to lay back down to think about that when he saw a white tail.


Andy ran to the corner of the building. “Meow – hey, wait, white cat, can I talk to you?”


Andy was surprised when he turned the corner and saw the white cat sitting there waiting for him to catch up.


“Meow, were you talking to me?”


“Yes. My name is Andy and I am looking for my true owner.”


“My name is Snowball, but I don’t know where your true owner is. Do you live around here?”


“I don’t know, I have been walking for about a day. I saw you walk past my window.” Andy said.


Snowball looked around at the buildings. “What window?”


“The window in Bobby’s house. I saw you walk by and I have been looking for you.” Andy said.


“I don’t know anyone named Bobby. Why were you looking for me?”


“Because I saw you walk by, and, well, I haven’t seen another cat in months, not since my family moved and left me and Bobby found me.”


Snowball looked at Andy and seemed to make a decision. “You can come with me, I am hungry and need to eat something, but I can’t promise you that we will find your true owner or anything.”


“Thank you, I am hungry too.” Andy said, very thankful to have found a friend.


“Well, come on then, keep up. I will show you the ropes.”


“What are the ropes?” Andy asked.


“It is just an expression, don’t you know anything?” Snowball asked, lifting her head up and sniffing as if she were smelling something that had gone bad.


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