Chapter One – School Reopens
Snowball and Goldie were two kittens or you might say—Cattins because they liked to act much older than they were. Snowball had pure white fur with a little grey on the tip of his tail while Goldie was of golden-ginger colour. They lived in Mew Sienna, a little town beside the Purrhy Lake on top of the tallest hillock. Their house was one of the tallest ones in the vicinity, a full seven feet in height. Each floor was three and a half feet tall. They were brothers-in-arms most of the time, unless there was a serious cause for disagreement. Today was a special day, as it was the first day of school after summer vacation.
They were going to fifth grade! It sure was exciting!
They jumped out of their comfortable hanging baskets in the second-floor room and ran into the bathroom to brush, bathe, and get ready. Soon they heard their mother holler out from below.
“Fish pancakes coming up on the table. Hurry now Snowball and Goldie before they get cold!”
They jumped over each other, slid down the railing, sailed through the air, and landed on the cushioned chairs at the breakfast table.
“WHEE!” they said happily, their eyes dancing.
This did not surprise Niamy, their mother, at all. These two jovial kittens had always been full of energy.
“You have only ten minutes to make it to the bus stop. You don’t want to be late on the first day now, do you?”
“Mom, I cannot wait to get to school—to meet my friends again,” said Goldie, as he scooped up the fish’s tail that was protruding out of the pancake and gulped it down.
“Me too,” said Snowball, washing down a piece with a large glass of bat-flavoured milk. “I need to teach Hisky a lesson for pushing me off the bus on the last day.” Hisky was the biggest and meanest grey kitdent in the whole of Mew Sienna. Everybody addressed kittens studying in school as kitdents.
Soon they had finished breakfast and were off, swinging their school bags on their backs.
To reach the bus stop, they had to walk down along the winding path to the base of the hillock—next to the Tunnel Garden. They passed several houses as they made it to the base.
The other kittens had already assembled. Goldie and Snowball saw five of them. Three of them were familiar while two kindergartners appeared to be new.
The two new kittens both had white fur with brown spots. They had cute, bushy tails and looked around nervously. Their parents stood by their side holding their paws.
Kindergartners are so cute, thought Snowball.
These kittens are adorable, thought Goldie. He remembered the time when Snowball and he were also kindergartners. They had come a long way from then.
Amongst those familiar to them, there was Mawny, a female black-and-white second grader. She would cry at the drop of a paw. She smiled shyly when she saw them. There was Ruffoo, a seventh-grader who never brushed his brown fur, and there was Clawcia, their classmate and friend, who always stood up for all her friends. She was a maroon-coloured cat with short, silken fur.
They greeted each other excitedly, swishing their tails around; glad to meet after a long summer break.
“Where did you both go for your vacation?” asked Clawcia.
“Oh, we went to visit our grandparents at Pausful Isle,” said Snowball. “We had so much fun. They thoroughly pampered us.”
“We ate and played a lot,” said Goldie. “What about you?”
“I went to the Grand Cat Land with my parents, aunt, uncle and cousins! It’s the most wonderful place!” she said. “There are so many activities, so many sights and scenes that you will never get bored. I went on the highest and fastest roller coaster. It was scary at first, but once I got used to it, it was a wonderful experience.”
All the kittens had interesting stories to narrate about their vacations.
Some of them had travelled outside the county, and others had stayed back. A few of them had visiting relatives over, while the others had visited their relatives. Some of them had had an adventurous time, and the others had slumbered peacefully. There were different stories from different families.
The honking and rumbling of an approaching vehicle disturbed their chatting and meowing. It was their school bus. The humongous bus looked like a large mouse and had three floors, two-and-a-half feet tall each, with velvet seats on vertical stands, of which the kittens had occupied around half. The driver of the bus sat on the nose of the mouse; his assistants sat in one ear each and called out to the kitdents. Billy, their friend with buck teeth and blue-black fur waved happily at them from his second-floor seat, his bushy tail following suit.
“Hey there, Snow and Gold! I am so glad to see you!” he hollered from the window.
They waved back at him and shinnied up into the bus using the long, side posts to make their way into seats next to their friends. These buses did not have stairs. Instead, they had scratching posts on the side that served a dual purpose: they helped the kittens sharpen their claws and allowed them to climb the bus. The two kindergartners’ parents assisted them into seats at the lowest level. Clawcia, Snowball and Goldie found seats near Billy and starting chatting nineteen to the dozen.
“It is so nice to meet you, Billy! I have missed talking to you. What did you do during your vacation? Did you attend advanced violin lessons as you mentioned you would?” asked Goldie.
“Billy will definitely represent our school during the next Kitaganza event,” said Snowball.
Kitaganza was the biennial music and art extravaganza in Mew Sienna, with participation from over twenty prestigious schools in the county. Billy could play three different instruments: the keyboard, the violin, and the acoustic guitar. He also liked to sing.
“I did not go anywhere. I stayed back at Mew Sienna as I had to assist my father on the poultry farm. The business was booming, and besides, Dad did not have the extra money this time,” shrugged Billy.
“Oh, don’t worry, Billy. You will soon attend violin lessons. If your father doesn’t give you the money, we will find a way,” said Clawcia.
“You folks are the best, and I appreciate your offer to help, but I don’t want to borrow anything from you right now. I will let you know when the time comes,” said Billy.
They continued chatting about other topics, mainly related to the fun times they had spent together in the fourth-grade class.
The bus stopped after a while at the last stop, and a large group of kittens jumped onto the second floor. There was a huge uproar where they sat, and a few of the kittens immediately emptied the surrounding seats. It was Hisky, Gattino, Mewtiony, and many other juniors. They were all part of one gang. Many other kittens sat close-by and looked at them nervously. Drawing out his claws, Hisky growled and hissed at them all. Continued…
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