Rosebud sends her letter to all kids & grownups explaining how she became a bully, losing her nine lives as a result. She wants you to read her story to learn what Rosebud learned on her magical journey and how Rosebud turned over a new leaf, becoming a heroine kitty, loving, kind and caring.
Joan de Bruin
Joan de Bruin
Dear Cats & Human Creatures,
Mama told us the story of our family’s beginning. How a mean creature, called a human, wearing black shoes, flung her into a gunny sack and threw her into the river, trying to drown her. She was pregnant with me, Rosebud, my twin sisters, Rosie and Posie, and my brother, Foxy.
“I struggled,” Mama cried, “tearing frantically at the sack with my claws and teeth. It finally gave way. It ripped, leaving a jagged hole. I managed to scramble out and grab onto a tree branch floating by. I crawled onto the branch, scared, cold and wet, my fur dripping with water. When the branch came close to shore, I jumped onto the muddy bank. As you can see we all made it. You were born by that river.”
We listened to the frightening story, our eyes as big as saucers, learning how close we’d come to not being born.
“Not long after you were born,” Mama continued, “another human creature saw us, a small girl wearing little pink shoes. Your baby kitten eyes weren’t even open yet. She went away and returned with a brown cardboard box.
“Rosebud, she rubbed her face against your check and told you to not be afraid. Then she gently placed each of you on a soft towel in the box. I nervously followed her to a street with lots of houses. Then little pink shoes, darling Amy, stopped in front of a two-story house with a big back yard. Our new home. She handed the box to a tall, plump human, Miss Sharon, wearing shiny red shoes.”
Mama mewed. “I don’t remember human names all that well but I discovered an important secret about shoe colors. The shoe color, each human chooses, can tell you a lot about that person. The tall, plump human, who wears shiny red shoes, feeds us, changes our sandbox, and loves us. She’s nice. But, her kids, Billy and Bobby, who wear dirty-white shoes and play nasty tricks on baby cats, aren’t nice.”
I didn’t understand what Mama meant. What does the color of a human’s shoes have to do with who they are? That is, until one afternoon. Shiny red shoes was in the garden picking a bunch of pretty yellow flowers. While she was looking the other way, dirty-white shoes sneaked into the house. They grabbed my twin sisters and little brother and dropped them into a bathtub of cold water. They ran off, giggling and I yowled for Mama.
Mama came a running and fished Rosy, Posy, and Foxy out of the water by the scruff of their necks. She hid them in the garden behind the house, licking them dry with her tongue. “Bad dirty-white shoes,” she hissed. “Mean!”
Then, on the Fourth of July, dirty white shoes lit my tail afire with a firecracker. Shiny red shoes put the fire out and made dirty-white shoes sit in a corner. That was the day I admitted to myself Mama was right. Shiny red shoes and little pink shoes are safe, but dirty-white shoes are not safe, and black shoes will toss you in the river. As for the other shoe colors, who knows what nasty tricks they’re up to. When I see them coming I hide under Ms. Sharon’s bed until they’re gone.
I’m keeping my letter in a shoe box under my cat bed so if I disappear and turn up floating in the river, the cat-police will interview the human wearing black shoes. And, if another firecracker goes off in my face, the cat-police will track down dirty-white shoes. As you can see, I’m prepared. But, to cover any bases I missed, I decided to become the wildest, biggest, cat-bully in the neighborhood. That way, no cat or human will ever dare hurt me.
Yours Truly, Rosebud
Rosebud The Cat Who Lost Her Nine Lives is pending publication.