Regis the Cat: A Story for Children

For Hannah.

Once upon a time, there was a black cat named Regis. Regis had rough fur, and his fur had some jaggers in it, because Regis didn’t have a family to live with.

Regis tried hard to be happy in spite of the fact that he didn’t have anyone to live with. Usually he had enough to eat, but sometimes he went hungry.

Regis didn’t understand why people avoided him, or why they often crossed to the other side of the street when they saw him coming. But they did.

One day, Regis was walking along his usual route when he came upon a little boy who didn’t cross the street to avoid him. The boy’s name was Jeffrey.

Jeffrey smiled at Regis and scooped him up off the street. Regis was a little surprised, but when Jeffrey petted his back, Regis was happy.

Just then, the boy’s mother, whose name was Frieda, ran over to Jeffrey. “Put him down!” she said. “But why?” asked Jeffrey. “Because he’s a black cat, and black cats are bad luck,” said Frieda.

Jeffrey set Regis back on the ground. “Be good, kitty!” said Jeffrey. And then Jeffrey and Frieda walked away. Regis was sad.

Now Regis understood. Black cats are bad luck. Regis was bad luck. He didn’t know that before. And knowing that he was bad luck made him even sadder.

He walked past a barber shop. A man hurried to get out the door and past him before Regis could cross his path.

Regis meowed. He hoped the man might pet him, but the man looked scared and rushed off.

In his hurry to avoid Regis, the man almost walked in front of a bus. “Oh no,” thought Regis. “Maybe I am bad luck.”

Regis kept going. He didn’t even look which way he was going, and a lady nearly tripped over him. She gasped.

“Oh no!” she said. “A black cat!” She walked quickly down the street. She didn’t see the ladder until she walked under it.

A can of paint fell down and splattered all over her. She turned to Regis. “Bad kitty!” she said.

Regis decided that everyone was right about him. He really was bad luck! He ran out of town as fast as he could.

When he saw some children playing, he went the other way, because he liked children and didn’t want them to have his bad luck.

He ran and ran and ran until he was all the way out of town. He slid between two boards in a fence.

He wasn’t looking where he was going, and he stepped on a thorn. It hurt, and he meowed loudly.

“What’s that?” An old woman named Edith was standing a few feet away holding a white cane.

Regis saw her, and he tried to be quieter, but Edith heard him just the same. “Kitty?” she said.

She got closer to him. He wished he could warn her. He wished that he could tell her that he was bad luck. But it was too late.

Her hands reached down. She scooped him up. “Poor kitty,” she said.

She petted his fur. Regis tried hard not to like it, but he couldn’t help himself. She felt his neck.

Regis’s paw still hurt, so he cried out again. Edith ran her hand all along his body until her hand found the thorn.

She gently pulled it out. And Regis felt much better.

He hopped down out of her arms. He didn’t want this kind lady to have bad luck after all that she had done to help him.

“Kitty?” she said. “You don’t have a collar. Do you have a home?”

Regis meowed.

“Would you like to stay with me?” she asked. “My children are all grown up and live far, far away from me, and I could use a friend.”

Regis was confused. No one had ever wanted him before.

“Please,” said Edith. And Regis came back to her. He rubbed against her leg, and she scooped him up.

When she walked up the sidewalk, she nearly tripped over a rake. “Silly rake,” she laughed.

Regis was surprised. He knew that it was his fault, but she carried him into her house anyway.

It was so warm inside that Regis could hardly believe it. Edith gave him a bath and cleaned the jaggers out of his fur. He didn’t like the water, but he liked how clean he felt when she took him out of the tub.

She held him on her lap while she knitted. In the days and weeks that followed, Regis felt safer and happier with Edith.

Soon Regis realized the truth. The old woman was blind, so she couldn’t see his black fur. And that was why she didn’t know that he was bad luck.

And Regis was happier than he had ever been in his life.

But one day, Edith’s son Wilson came to visit. He saw Regis curled up on the floor by her feet.

“That’s a black cat, mother!” he told her. “Why do you have him in your house?”

“Silly boy,” Edith said. “It doesn’t matter what color his fur is. He’s my friend. And he’s the best luck I’ve had in a long time.”

And Regis was happier than he had ever been in his life.

The End.

About David M. Schell






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