#RaceTheDate : Bengal Tiger

Sally was six when her father took her to the animal shelter to pick out her cat. She’d always wanted a cat, and had begged her parents for one for as long as she could remember. “They’re smaller than dogs. And they don’t bark.”

She’d tried everything she could think of. “Ruby’s cat’s named Caesar. He let’s me pet him. He has such soft fur. Mommy, he’s orange all over! He sits on Ruby’s lap, and purrs.” She’d tried to purr. “Purrrrrr. Purrrrrr.”

She’d told Santa at the mall what kind of cat she wanted. “I want a girl cat. She’ll be orange, with black and white stripes, and I’ll call her Shiva. And she’ll have a big, swishy tail. Can you find Shiva for me, for Christmas?”

The night her parents told her she could get a cat, she got so excited she couldn’t sleep. That morning, she’d brushed her hair, clipped in her favorite bow, put on her prettiest shoes, and her Sunday dress. “It’s a special day! I want to look special for the cats!”

At the shelter, they looked at all the cats. “There must be a thousand cats here, Daddy!” When they found one she liked, they’d get to sit in a little room, and visit the cat. Some cats were mean. They hissed at her. Some were sweet, and licked her fingers, and purred. None of them were just right. “Is there an orange one, with black and white stripes?”

A helper guided them to a cage. Inside was an orange cat, with black ears and paws, a white tummy, and white stripes, and it was a girl. “I LOVE her! She looks just like a Bengal Tiger!”

That was the day Sally brought Shiva home. And so the story began.

299 words.

A little story I couldn’t resist writing for Cara Michaels‘s Race The Date flash fiction challenge. Hope you enjoy it. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge this week. I find it amazing the stories people can create in 300 words or less.