My story is about a cat who made a great impact on my life, and who was like a guardian angel to guide me through my childhood.
I once knew the king of the forest.
Picture this: a little four-year-old girl with flowing brown hair, no cares in the world, and believing in everything and nothing. Her whole life lay ahead of her, and her
emerald eyes were filled with stars brighter than any shining in the midnight sky. She loved the world, the trees, the grass, the squirrels...and she rarely had an
unkind word for any soul save her little brother. Then one day, the girl steps outside into the cool autumn air, and among the flowing dandelions and crunching
leaves, she sees before her the most charismatic little tabby kitten...
When I met the king of the forest, he was very young. He belonged to one of our neighbors, but he spent most of his time with me. He would see me across the
street and come running with the instant recognition of a face that loved him. He would follow me around, sometimes waiting until I'd pick him up so he could crawl
purring up onto my shoulder.
I was, of course, his only weakness. The rest of the world was his to conquer. All the woods behind the house in which I grew up were filled with creatures that
knew his place in the hierarchy. He would walk right up to the meanest dog and give it a whack in the nose, a whack the dog would never forget. He challenged
and won battles with skunks and loose neighborhood dogs, regardless of physical size. I still remember the day he chased an arrogant cocker spaniel through the
parking lot in a hilarious moment that I still remember to this day.
One day, the little four-year-old girl's neighbors moved away but left their pet. The King of the Forest didn't mind. He could subside on mice and squirrels, and he
could spend his days hunting in the woods and conquering new lands in the forest. Yet, he had other things in mind. He loved the little girl. He started spending
time on her porch, waiting for her to come out to pet and love him, and he began bringing the little girl's parents offerings of dead mice in an attempt to win their
The mighty hunter eventually won over my parents. Kings always get what they want. When my family adopted him, I was about seven or eight years old. It was
one of the happiest days of my life, on almost equal ground with my wedding day. Growing up in a family of six, suddenly there was someone there who thought I
was the most special person in the world. All the pain and hurt of feeling looked over by my parents, who had to also care for my three brothers, didn't matter so
much. There was a friendly pair of green eyes around that stared at me with such love, crawled next to me at night to purr me to sleep, and comforted me when I
The King stayed at my side as I grew up, almost like a guardian angel. He slept on my belly when I had surgery to fix a broken foot and couldn't walk around. He
listened to me throughout the heartbreak of my first adolescent crush, and he was there to feel my joy the first time I really fell in love. And it was all his choice.
The week before I graduated from high school, ready to head off to foreign lands and see the world, my King of the Forest crawled behind a chair in the living room
and fell into a coma. Looking back, I should have suspected something. He had spent every night of the previous week with me. We'd known he was sick. But
I'll never forget that day when my parents picked me up early from school so I could have my last chance to say good-bye.
I once knew the king of the forest. Right now, he's roaming through the sky and chasing away the squirrels in woodlands of the clouds. And I know that when I
get there to heaven, he'll be waiting for me there.
I am 20 years old, married, and working as an Assistant Editor to a major Linux web portal. I like to do fiction and essay writing in my spare time, and I'm hoping to be a fulltime freelance writer someday. I live in rural northern California after being burned out on city life, and I'm enjoying having time to actually write.
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