I smuggled her home in a basket. The girl said I was saving her from drowning.

In my bedroom she emerged: little more than a kitten, silky black but for one white star.

I called her Magic.

Outside, the family cat growled.

I confessed to my animal-loving parents. They wouldn’t mind.

“We can’t keep her,” said Dad.

Days later, I overheard him: “So sad. Full of kittens. They put her down. Couldn’t re-home them all.”

Oh Magic, all these years later I remember your trusting eyes and know that by rescuing you, in the end, I betrayed you.


Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

This is a true story. Many years have passed but it still makes me sad. Prompted to write it down by this week’s Thin Spiral Notebook prompt.

7 thoughts on “Contraband

    1. I know it broke mine too. It was so long ago but I felt so awful. I know my Dad was upset too but I suppose he just had to take it to the rescue place and hope they’d do the right thing. Nowadays there might be more choices of places to take it. Goodness knows what I was thinking when I smuggled her home. I can remember suddenly realising I couldn’t hide a cat in my room and wondering what to do next, hoping it would all work out somehow.

    1. Yes it’s a hard thing. The problem is people not neutering their animals and not realising the outcome. Our family cat was from a rescue centre and she was very nervous because of maltreatment by previous owner. She was lovely but needed a lot of love.

  1. My son rescued a momma cat, and her five newborn kittens. We eventually found homes for four of the the babies, and ended up keeping mom and one of the kittens. I can’t seem to say, “no” to any animals in need. I call our house “The Island of Misfit Toys.” We’re up to two dogs, and three cats.

    1. I don’t know why the answer was “no” although I can guess and it may have been partly due to the nervousness of the family cat. A few years later, a kitten appeared in our garage and we did take him in. The household cat tolerated his boisterous ways and was almost fond of him.

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