Tragedy struck. And I never had a reason to smile after that funeral.
Or talk to anyone other than I had to. I'd rather sit in my room and re-read my Nancy Drew and Box Car Children books.
Until my Dad brought home a puppy from a farmer down the road - last of the litter. Dad got this dog to cheer me up, and give me someone to be with me while he was at work. Because I hadn't smiled or hardly talked since the funeral
Me and my pup were a lot alike. All alone. Blond hair. So I named her Kat.
Dad thought it was my odd sense of humor. You see, my name is Kathleen, they cally me Cathy. And I always wanted a sister. Adults explain it as an "alter-ego". What do they know - really?
When Kat started talking to me inside my mind, we got to know each other best. And soon I smiled - but just to her. There was still some things unexplained about of how my mother died. And those still made me sad.
Until Kat told me she'd help me solve that mystery...
Dad brought a puppy home today. Of course I fell in love with it right off.
Who couldn't when it just wants to climb right up and slobber wet kisses all over my face and hands.
But I didn't smile. I felt better, but not that much.
I just sat on the floor with her and watched her figure-out the house. Dad had brought the leftover playthings from her former home. She was the last of the litter, and her own mom had died soon after giving birth. The rest of that litter were black labs, like their mom. She was golden. The color of my own strawberry blond hair.
When I told my Dad I was going to name her Kat, I said it in my usual flat voice. The one I'd had since the funeral. The one that went along without smiling.
It made sense to me. We were both blond. We'd both lost our mom's. My whole name was Kathleen. And maybe this cute little dog could keep me company.
"Are you serious?" Dad was smiling at me, but when my reaction didn't change, he nodded. "OK, 'Kat' it is." He pulled out a bag with water- and food-dishes for her and put them by me. And a bag of puppy food to go along.
Then patted my head. "You can put these wherever you think is best. But I'd suggest the kitchen where we can clean up after her more easily."
Another big bag had a brand new dog bed. Just her size, plus some she could grow into. When Dad put this on the living room floor, Kat walked right over to it, walked around inside it and sniffed, then laid down. Her head went on her paws. I just watched her from where I was kneeling on the carpet.
"Well, I hope this is temporary."
I raised my eyebrow at this voice in my head. It was coming from Kat.
"What do you think? I'd prefer to be in your room. Don't worry, I know enough to do my business outside."
I just nodded at Kat. My Dad was still looking at me, curious about my reaction. So he hadn't heard Kat at all.
"Of course not. Adults lose their ability to talk with their minds when they get too old. Unless they practice all the time. But that's OK."
Kat sat up and looked directly at me. "Well?"
I thought back, "Well, what?"
"Aren't you going to show me your room?"
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