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My Kitten

I had a kitten named Aya. Daddy gave her to me shortly after he and mommy got divorced. Aya was the most adorable cat I have ever known. She followed me wherever I went, and when I went to bed at night she would cuddle up in my arms and rub her furry little head over my cheeks.

I still remembered the day when Aya was hit by a car. She was running across the road towards me when a dusty van roared by and sent her flying through the air.

I carried Aya's broken body home in my arms, her bloody little head dangling like a grotesque red flower at my side. When daddy asked me what happened I wept horribly and collapsed into his arms.

But daddy only smiled and told me it was okay. He said that Aya was not dead, just tired and injured. And who knows? Maybe she would be alright again after a good night's sleep.

I looked at Aya. The van had run right over her, leaving her body barely recognizable. But daddy had never lied to me, and with mommy now gone he was the only one I had left. Besides, it made sense to me. I had seen many heroes in movies and stories who were seemingly killed by some bad people, only to revive shortly afterwards--so why not my Aya?

So we carried Aya into the garden, placed her amid the greenest patch of grass and prayed silently for God to make her well again.

As I lay in bed that night, I heard daddy's footsteps downstairs, followed by the noise of plastic bags and a tiny squeak as the front door was opened.

I ran into the garden the first thing next morning, only to find the grass patch where Aya had been lying the day before empty except for a blackened puddle of blood. Daddy came up to me and stroked my hair gently.

"Aya had left early this morning, honey." He said. "Don't worry, she's perfectly fine."

"Why?" I asked. "Why won't she stay with us?"

"Because she had grown up--all kittens must leave their homes after they grow up, shouldn't they?" He planted a kiss on my forehead.

Tears flew down my cheeks as I threw my arms around daddy's waist. I believed him, for he was daddy. If he said Aya was well, then she was.

I was crying only because I didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye to my pet.

Daddy smiled and told me to wait a moment while he went upstairs for my dress. He came back a minute later, missed a step while descending the stairs, and rolled loudly down them.

That was a few days ago.

Daddy lay motionless amid the greenest patch of grass, his head dangling at a grotesque angle. Dried blood had drawn a red line down his chin, and his eyes were like ping-pong balls.

But I was not worried. I had faith in daddy. He had taught me what to do, and it had worked on Aya.

I sat down beside him, and prayed for God to make daddy well again.

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