Photo of Jake.

My Best Friend

Lauren Butler

© Copyright 2000 by Lauren Butler

Cat Story Logo.

I’m sure everyone knows how wonderful it feels to have something love you. The first creature that really loved me was a cat named Jake. He was born on March 26, 1999. My friend Kelly’s cat had had the kittens, and I was sleeping over Kelly’s house when I first saw them. There were four cute, little babies. I immediately fell in love with one. He was an orange kitten with white paws and a white stomach. I knew that I wanted him to be mine.

When I got home the next morning I told my parents to listen to me before they said no. I asked them if I could have a kitten for my birthday. My mother was definitely not very happy to hear this since we already had three other cats, a dog, a rabbit, three hamsters and a bird. My father, fortunately, said that he didn’t care! That was all I needed to be one of the most excited girls in the whole world! My mother told me not to get my hopes up, but on Easter morning, she finally said I could get my own kitten.

I waited and waited until the kittens could leave their mother. I knew that I wanted the orange one! I was planning on naming him Gingersnap, or Gin Gin for short. Finally, the time came when I could take home my kitten. I was just jumping up and down all day! I immediately chose the orange kitten and my new life began with a baby to take care of.

It took me forever to think of a name because he really didn’t look like a Gingersnap, or anything else! I was leafing through a James Herriot book about a week after I had gotten my kitten, and the name Jake popped out at me. Although it was a story about a dog, I just looked at the kitten sleeping in the crook of my arm and decided that his name was going to be Jake.

Jake loved everyone and everything. He became fast friends with our large dog, Honey. She’s a Labrador, Husky mix. Honey was used to chasing the cats around, but Jake just looked at her when she tried to chase him. As Jake got older he began going outside and Honey would go out with him and keep her eye on him all the time. They’d stroll across the yard together and occasionally look at one another. Jake once escaped from the fenced in backyard, and we asked Honey where her cat was, and she immediately began to paw at the fence, and we let her out and she ran right out into the middle of the road. Sure enough, Jake was sitting in the road being kissed by Honey.

Jake was a car cat. He road to New Jersey with us, and then back to Massachusetts (Our home) without a cat carrier or any medicine. He’d curl up next to the dog and just wait to get to wherever we were going. He didn’t have a care in the world.

Every night he curled up with me and we went to sleep together. I couldn’t sleep if he wasn’t there, and there was only one night that we were home that he didn’t sleep with me. He had a loud purr that could bring a smile to anyone’s face and the cutest habits. His favorite toys were marbles. He found out that he had a love for them when my sister had built a marble maze in the basement. Jake would pick up a marble in his little pink mouth and carry it upstairs. He’d walk around with it in his mouth very proudly until he came to a set of stairs. He’d flip his head up and throw the marble down the stairs. Then he’d race down and get it and repeat the process.

On January 13, 2000 Massachusetts was expecting a snowstorm at noon. My mother let Jake outside in the morning, as usual. I came down and called for him to come in, but he didn’t. It wasn’t too unusual. We just thought he was out having an adventure. Then the snow came. No one was too worried about Jake, but as the snow kept coming down harder and harder, I felt a little nervous. I went to school without knowing where Jake was.

After the school day had ended, I went outside and waited for my mother to pick me up. She told me that she still hadn’t found Jake. We put up signs, put flyers in every mailbox and called every shelter we could find. We never found Jake. On April 16, 2000, however, I got a new kitten. She was nothing like Jake. She was all black with a very different personality. I wasn’t prepared for the hurt she was going to bring along with her joy, but I’m glad that I handled it. Now Zoe, the name of my kitten, is living happily with us. She’s not as compared to Jake as she was in the beginning, but I’ve learned to accept that no cat could ever replace my love for Jake. He was one of a kind. He was my first love. I still think about him, and sometimes cry for him, but I’m glad I had the chance to know and love him. I wish he’d some home, but there’s not a large possibility that he will. He’s been gone a long time. I just hope that some other family can love him as much as my family and I did.

I'm 14 years old and have been writing poetry and stories almost all my life. I own 4 cats at the moment and a dog, a bird, a hamster and a rabbit. Jake is still missing...

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