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Lorraine gets fed up when the cats in her neighborhood won’t stop following her around

Cats never stopped following Lorraine in the street. They even followed her to the park, on holiday, also to school. Lorraine got fed up, so every day she went in disguise, but the cats got super scared when they could not see her.

One year ago, Lorraine saved a cat from being run over. The saved cat told all the other cats to follow her to feel safe.

Lorraine lived in a small town called Berry Bay. She had lived there for two years. Lorraine was sad in Berry Bay because she’d had to leave all her friends behind in Midtown. She had been sad ever since.

She had her own cat called Jerry that did make her happy. One day, Jerry let all the cats in the house and all the cats saw her getting ready in her disguise, so now the cats still followed her. People laughed and stared, so Lorraine got so, so fed up she said, “You cats go away or I will call animal control!” She really loved animals and felt bad but did not know what else to do. The cats sadly went out of the house. Even Jerry left.

They went under a box. It started to rain. The cats were wet, but the cats did not care because they were so sad their hearts had flown off. The cats did not feel safe anymore, but the cats did not give up hope.

When Lorraine was asleep, all the cats went under her bed. The next day Lorraine felt bad. She got a bag of cat food and looked all around the town, but there was not a cat in sight. All the cats were still under her bed. Every day, Lorraine left cat food outside her house. The cats started to realize Lorraine still loved them, so they ate the food, and Lorraine saw that they were eating.

Lorraine’s mum said she was thinking of going back to Midtown because she did not like seeing her so sad and there was a new job in Midtown.

The cats heard and were trying to think how to keep Lorraine in Berry Bay. They were thinking of ways to make Lorraine’s mum happy so that she would not want to move again, back to Midtown. Jerry said, “We need all the street cats to set a meeting.” All the street cats came. They said they would make Lorraine stay.

“So,” Jerry said. “How can we make Lorraine’s mum the happiest lady in  the world? Tom, what do you think?”

Even Lorraine’s mum started to miss Jerry, because Grump turned out to be a destructive dog.

Tom said, “We have to put fish in her mum’s bed.”

“Good, Tom. You will get a fish too,” said Jerry.

So the next day the cats put fish in Lorraine’s mum’s bed. The mum was so mad, she grounded Lorraine for a month.

The cats met again and came up with a new plan. Jerry said, “This will make her happier than ever!”

Then the cats made her mum breakfast: bad milk, cat food rolls, and mice. The mum got so, so mad she locked Lorraine in her room for another month. Lorraine saw all the cats under her bed. She hugged Jerry but said to all the street cats, “IT WAS YOU! DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU DID? YOU LOCKED ME IN MY ROOM FOR A MONTH.” She called animal control, but they did not come. She hugged Jerry, but all the other cats went sadly away.

They went under a bench, and Tim said, “You should give up on her.”

But Bill said, “No, we need to know if she still cares.”

The next day her mum went and got a bulldog for Lorraine because she thought it might make her happy. She was so happy the bulldog did not like cats.

Guarding the Garden

“Where is the cat?” said the bulldog.

The cats were in the airport. They had small bags, and one of them had a suitcase that used to belong to Lorraine’s dolls.

Lorraine was having fun naming the bulldog. Lorraine said, “Hmm . . . I will name you Grump.”

Later, Lorraine was sad in her room. She missed Jerry, who had been missing since Grump arrived, but she did not want to say it.

Over the next few weeks, things got worse and worse. Even Lorraine’s mum started to miss Jerry, because Grump turned out to be a destructive dog. First, he tore open Lorraine’s favorite dolls, chewed her homework, and got mud all over her carpet. But then, one night Grump got into the fridge; ate lots of greasy, slimy chicken; spilled blueberry smoothies on the rug; ripped open packs of rice, honey, and her mum’s special oatmeal breakfast; and with sticky paws made tracks through the whole house and ended by snuggling into Lorraine’s mum’s bed. So Lorraine was woken up with, “WHAT HAPPENED! GRUMP! GRRRRRUUUUMP! LORRAINE!”

It took Lorraine all morning just to clean the kitchen floor. When she saw the rugs, she started to cry.

Miles away, waiting to stow away on their flight to Cape Cod, where they had heard the buildings and streets were all made out of fish, Jerry felt a sudden flash and heard Lorraine’s voice in his head saying, Please help! Come back, Jerry.

Lorraine’s mum packed up Grump in the car and took him back to his old owner, and Lorraine felt so sad she hid under her covers. A little later, when she woke up, at first she thought her mum was angry, shouting from downstairs, but then she realized she was shouting, “Oh Lorraine, how did you do it? This is amazing! Lorraine, it’s wonderful.”

When Lorraine ran downstairs, she could not believe her eyes— everything was sparkling clean, the rugs were perfect, her mum’s sheets hung to dry in the garden bright white, where there were also lots of cats sitting in the shape of a heart. The fridge was also full of fresh food: cheese, chicken, chocolate, yogurts, and fizzy drinks. All of Lorraine and her mum’s favorite things. Jerry was sitting in his favorite chair in the living room, curled up with a smile.

“I still think she would have liked that tuna I found in the airport bins,” Tim said to Bill.

“People are strange,” Bill said.

“I love you all,” Lorraine said. She was stroking them in the garden, where she had filled lots of boxes and crates with warm pillows and sheets and put out bowls full of fish, cat food, and milk. But she could not find any mice!

Annabelle Vaughan
Annabelle Vaughan, 9
Gibraltar, UK

Audrey Champness
Audrey Champness, 12
Green Cove Springs, FL