Tanya saw another kitten and ran up to her.
“Want to play?” Tanya asked.
“Okay. What’s your name?”
“Tanya. What’s yours?”
“I’m Belle. Do you want to play hide and seek?”
“That would be fun. But what is hide and seek.”
“First, you run away and hide while I count to ten. Then I come and look for you.”
“When I find you, it’s my turn to hide. You count to ten while I find a place.”
Tanya thought that sounded like fun.
Soon it was dark, and Belle went into her house. Tonya didn’t have a house. She lived with her mother and two sisters and a brother. Because they didn’t have a house, Mom took them to stay in a lot of different places. She moved often because human beings chased her away.
“Scat,” they yelled. “Find another place.”
When Belle went inside, Tanya went home, or to the place her family was staying. It was underneath a dumpster in the mall. But no one was there.
Tanya was cold and lost and very, very frightened. The sidewalks were covered with snow and ice. Her whiskers were frozen, and her paws hurt. She didn’t know where to go. She
Tanya didn’t know what to do. She looked and looked, from one end of the mall to the other.
The longer she looked, the colder the night became. Soon Tanya was shivering. She wanted to snuggle with her brothers and sister.
She sat down and cried.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” someone said.
Tanya looked up to see a cat beside her.
“Are you okay?” the cat asked.
“I can’t find my mom,” Tanya said, “and I’m very, very cold.”
“Come with me,” the cat said. “My name is Tabby, and I have four kittens at home. They are about the same age as you.”
“But I have to find my mom.”
“Let’s wait till tomorrow, sweetheart. It’s too cold for anyone to be walking around now.”
Tabby led Tanya inside a big house. A saucer of milk and a dish of food sat on the kitchen floor. Tanya was hungry. She looked at Tabby.
“Go ahead,” Tabby said.
Tanya ate and drank as fast as she could.
She wasn’t cold anymore, and she was full. But she missed her mom.
It was late and soon she fell asleep.
The next day Tanya and Tabby, along with the kittens, looked all over the mall for Tanya’s mom. They couldn’t find her.
Tanya started to cry.
“You can live with us,” Tabby said. She smiled at Tanya. “It isn’t like being with your mom. But we’ll love you, just like your mom does. You will be part of our family.”
As time went by, Tanya though less often about her own family. She missed them, but she loved her new family too. And they loved her. Tanya was no longer sad.