Helping a Cat Owner
Karla. Age 11. San Pablo, California

It was a hot summer July afternoon when I was helping my dad on his silver taco truck. A hungry young couple ordered three soft tacos each. Standing behind this couple was my cousin Gigi, who ordered a super chicken burrito with sour cream and cheese, while Gigi’s mother ordered four soft tacos with no cilantro and onions for the rest of her family. Mr. Howard, who stood behind Gigi, ordered his favorite dish: Dad’s world famous super quesadilla with carne asada.

Suddenly, I noticed two Cheshire cats approaching the side of our taco truck. It was the cat and kitten of one of our frequent customers. The cat was named Goofina, and her kitten was named Tigger. Both cats seemed lost. They were like two panthers looking for their home. Their owner Jose was like a desperate lion searching for his lost cubs. I could see and hear him from a distance screaming frantically for his cats. He eventually approached our taco truck and asked us, “Sorry to bother you guys...Has anybody seen my lost cats?”

“Sorry, sir. The cats just disappeared down the road. I saw them about five minutes ago,” I replied.

I asked my dad if I could help him look for his cats.

“Sure. You can go. If anything happens, just call me”.

I threw my apron on the kitchen counter and rushed outside.

“Make sure that your phone has enough battery,” my dad yelled.

“It has enough battery, Dad, ‘’ I said this without actually seeing whether I had enough battery power.

Jose and I began to walk down San Pablo Dam Road. It’s a busy street with several shopping centers, gasoline stations, and fast food restaurants. There was really no other place for the cats to go.

After ten minutes or so, we eventually found the cats. Unfortunately, they were on the other side of the busy road sitting on the curb near a traffic light. Since there were no cars trying to cross the busy street, and no button to push for the crosswalk, the street light wouldn’t turn green, which meant we couldn’t cross the street to get the cats.

All of a sudden, I noticed Jose began to pace back and forth while grabbing his stomach. He was freaking out.

“Calm down, Jose. Calm down. Everything’s going to be ok. I’ll just call my dad for help.”

When I reached into my pocket, I got the worst feeling. My phone was dead! I never checked the battery level. I felt like crawling under a rock

“Dad’s going to kill me.”

Luckily for me and Jose, my best friend Kayla and her mom were walking by with her cell phone.

“Hey, girl. Is your phone dead? Want to use mine?”

“Yes!” I responded.

“Ok. But first let’s take some selfies,” Kayla replied.

I had a big choice to make. I could wait for Kayla to finish taking selfies, run back to the taco truck and ask my dad to pick up Jose’s cats in his car, or tell Kayla that we need the phone NOW!

“KAYLA! DO YOU SEE THOSE CATS ACROSS THE STREET? PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR PHONE BEFORE THEY GET HIT BY A CAR!” I pleaded.

“OH...Sorry,” said Kayla.

I called my dad and told him that we found the lost cats. Mr. Howard was back at the taco truck eating his quesadilla. My dad asked him if he could go pick up the cats.

When Jose and I got back to the taco truck, we saw Goofina and Tigger on a table licking cold milk from a bowl.

“Goofina! Tigger!’’ Jose ran over and hugged both of his cats. Then he turned around.

“Thank you, Karla! Thank you Mr. Howard!”

Then I turned to my dad. “Sorry, Dad, for saying that my cell….”

“You shouldn’t have lied about your phone, Karla. You’re grounded…”

It turned out that a few weeks later Goofina gave birth to six more kittens. Jose gave me and my two siblings a kitten each for my efforts. He also gave a kitten to my dad so that he could forgive me. It worked! I wasn’t grounded anymore!

Jose also gave a kitten to Kayla since she let us use her phone.

By the way, Kayla and I have taken many selfies since that crazy day with the cats. These selfies look great because we’re always holding our new kittens.

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