The Stray

To say we were #skint that summer was an understatement. My mom was working part time at Arby’s while my brother and I were knock-kneed dirty kids that spent our time fighting over the stray cat that hung around on the apartment porch. My brother was allergic, and I was in love. He threw rocks to chase the stray away. I chased the stray to bathe her in flea covered cuddles.

Fleas didn’t bother me. I was always covered in bites and bruises. We trampled the bushes in every skinny strip of land that wasn’t paved. Danced with chiggers, ticks, and ants.

The love between a stray, black cat, and a poor kid, who was too much time for any human, is one that stays with you. 

It stays with you through the drunk days of college, the bill collecting days of early adulthood, it pushes you right through to the moment you’re in your late thirties and realize things aren’t so skint anymore.

It may be that all of my dreams haven’t come true, and other people sneer at my idea of success because to them I’ve not made it. I have no legacy, no ladder, or fans cheering my name. But I have a warm home and a dog on my lap that gets fed every day, and I know where I came from. I remember being a stray. Every. Single. Day.

-Audrey

#VSS365 Writing Prompt->Skint

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