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C is for Cat

 
   
 
The sun shone brightly on this beautiful Saturday morning. Maheen didn't want to miss a second of it! She ate her breakfast of hot, golden pancakes with syrup, drank a cold glass of milk, and then put her dishes in the dishwasher. Even though she could eat more, Maheen didn't fell like eating. She was too excited about going outside. So she ran to her room and put on some comfortable clothes so that she could play and run easily out in the sun. But what exactly would she do today? Stopping to think for a moment, Maheen went to her big wooden toy box. She started searching through all the toys, looking for the answer of what she would do.
    She finally found a light blue straw basket and she got an idea. She would pretend to go on a picnic! After all, she was still a bit hungry and it was a perfect day to have a little picnic. Maheen went to ask her mother if she could go outside and pack a picnic lunch to take with her. Mother smiled, because she knew Maheen was still probably hungry. "Go for now and get an old blanket for you to sit on when you eat. I'm going to make you a surprise lunch," she said. "Oh! How neat!" Maheen exclaimed. "I just love all kinds of surprises!" And then she ran off to find a blanket like her mother had said.
    When she came back, her lunch was already neatly packed in the basket. So Maheen went outside and sat under the shade of a big, leafy tree. Part of Mother's surprise for Maheen was tuna sandwiches. As she was eating, happily looking at all the birds flying and singing in the tree, a cat suddenly jumped in front of her! Its coat had splashes of many colors-black, orange, brown, and white. It was a calico cat, and its big eyes were a glowing yellow. "What a colorful little cat! I'll call you...Chip!" Maheen gave her new friend some of her tuna sandwich. The cat gobbled it up and cried for more. Maheen noticed how small and skinny the homeless cat was. You could see its ribs. Maheen didn't have any food left to give to Chip, but she still felt sorry for him. "I'm sorry, Chip, but I ate everything form my lunch. Wait right here!" She ran inside to the kitchen, made sure no one was around, and poured some fresh milk into a bowl for the starving cat. She walked back to the tree- as quickly as possible without spilling the milk- and set the bowl in front of Chip. The cat nearly leaped off of its feet when it saw the milk. It lapped up every last drop of the milk from the bowl in a terrible hurry. Then he sat down and started licking his paws, full and content.

    Once Maheen's parents had found out about Chip, they said that she could keep him as long as she took good care of him and her grades in school didn't go down. Maheen was so happy to have a pet of her own. She held Chip, petted him behind his ears, and took him to her room. For the rest of the night, Chip remained in Maheen's lap, purring, as Maheen told him of all the things they'd do together-camping, going on adventures, running and playing outside together-there was so much fun to be had!

    In the days after, the cat and girl became as close as an animal and human could ever be. They did nearly everything together. But unfortunately, Maheen forgot her studies for school .At the end of the school semester, when report cards were given out, Maheen gasped when she saw hers. Her grades had really dropped!

    That night after getting her report card, Maheen was nervous and couldn't even swallow as her parents looked at her report card. "Well," her father said with a sigh, "We didn't expect this when we let you keep that cat. If your grades don't go back up I'm afraid we'll have to give Chip away." Maheen burst into tears. She couldn't think of giving away Chip! "Now, now, Maheen. Just work hard during and after school and then you'll have nothing to worry about," Mother said to try to comfort her.
    The next six weeks, Maheen worked very hard, because she was very behing in her studies. She had to make up for not studying during the end of the last semester. Sometimes Chip would look at her, upset, as if he were asking her, "Why aren't you playing with me like before?" Seeing Chip like this, Maheen would say, "Oh Chip, I'm sorry I've been ignoring you lately, but if I don't get good grades we'll lose each other forever!" And then a big tear would roll of her cheek and splash onto her homework.

    Soon came the last day before report cards would be given out again. Maheen gave Chip some tuna to eat before she went to bed. It reminded her of when she first saw Chip and how thin and scrawny he was. After he finished eating, he jumped into her lap. He was so beautiful and his spotted, colorful fur was soft and shiny. "Oh Chip," she sobbed, "I can't lose you! I wish there was something I could do to keep you!" She hugged him and then brushed his lovely coat of fur, as he looked around with his yellow eyes that shone like a far away light. She wiped her tears and then tried to sleep. Tomorrow would be a big day.

    The next day, 10 minutes before the end of school, Maheen's teacher stood in front of the class with a pile of report cards in her hand. As Maheen's name was called, she walked quickly to the front of the room to get her report card. Her heart started pounding as she opened up the envelope. Then a wave of happiness fell over her. She had gotten all good grades!

    When her parents saw her grades this time, they both gave her a hug. "I'm glad that you learned to be responsible about two things at once: your grades and a pet. We are very proud of you," her father said. Chip meowed in agreement

 
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