Buster and his sisters and brother were born in a box at the back of a garage. The three sisters were fluffy and pretty, and the brother was sleek and black.
Buster had a square head and a crooked white snip on his nose. His fur was as orange as marmalade on warm toast.
Their mother licked them clean, fed them, and looked after them so well that their cardboard box was as good a home as the comfiest cat basket. The kittens learned to open their eyes and look all around. They learned to wash their faces and paws clean with their scratchy tongues. And the mother cat kept them secret and safe.
One day, when the kittens were just old enough to walk and tumble and play, the mother cat led them out of the box to explore the world beyond the garage.
But as each tiny kitten came blinking out into its first bright sunlight, a hand grabbed it and dumped it into a sack. Themother cat yowled and the kittens meowed, but the sack was dropped into a car and the mother cat was left behind.
The car drove down a long road whilethe frightened kittens squirmed in the dark, squeezy sack. Then they felt a whoosh! as the sack was tossed from the car and a thump! as they landed on the grass beside the road.
No one saw it happen, and so no one ever knew who had done such a cruel and terrible thing.
Buster knew, but he couldn't say--except that for the rest of his life he hated purple baseball caps, going in cars, and being anywhere squeezy where he couldn't get out.
Luckily, the next person who drove down the road that day was a very different sort of person--and even more luckily, she saw the squirming sack. She didn'tknow what it was, but if it was squirming it must be alive, and if it was alive it didn't belong in a sack on the side of the road. Even though the bag squirmed so much that she was afraid it might be a snake, she stopped her car and walked slowly back while she tried to figure out what to do.
As she got closer, she heard a chorus of meowing.
The woman sprinted to the sack and ripped it open. She was furious at whoever had dumped the kittens, sad for how scared they were, and so happy that she had found them. She wanted to take them all home and give them enough love and kindness that they would never be frightened again.
But she knew that one kitten was enough for her tiny apartment, so in the end she drove straight to the Rainbow Street Animal Shelter.
Text copyright © 2011 by Wendy Orr Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Susan Boase All rights reserved.