Vader, Ms Bean, Olivia, Maybach…
Who will be saved next?
Morning sun beams crawled gingerly through the slightly opened curtains. Maybach was snoring next to me. Ms Bean has her eyes closed, but, knowing her sly nature, she was pretending to be asleep. Vader was rustling with old newspapers… hmm… like always… a hurry-scurry creature…
I was in high spirits and desperately wanted to go outside, for a walk, to enjoy the morning freshness of a summer day. But my best friend Oksana was still in the arms of Morpheus and I decided not to disturb her so early this Sunday morning.
I love her more than anyone else in the whole world, and, I am sure, I am her greatest love, too.
Do I remember my childhood? Rather not. But I am glad that I don’t. Or I choose not to?
Constant wintriness and starvation. The sun wasn’t a frequent guest in my grimy barred cage. Its concrete floor was covered with wet cardboards decaying in the corners. Two metal bowls, one with water and another with slimy substance, were offered twice a day. I was in the shelter for dogs: unwanted, unbeloved, unvalued… thrown away to the streets to die.
And one bleak morning I saw her… her warm caring eyes… I was staring back at her begging with all my heart to save me. My whole body was begging. My tail got crazy: left, right, left, right… up and down and then left and right.
When at last Oksana (it was my saviour’s name) put on a luxurious red collar on my neck, I believed that I was rescued. I could not describe how happy and ecstatic I was at that moment. I tried to show her how grateful I was. I was jumping as high as I could but my skinny body was too weakened. I tried to lick her hand in order to thank her. My heart was pounding and wanted to jump out of my chest.
Oksana’s home was warm, clean and full of delicious smells. She invited me to the kitchen where I saw a huge bowl full of mouth-watering food. I rushed to it and started eating hungrily, desperately… It was too amazing to be true. It was a dream. I thought I would wake up and everything would disappear and I would find myself in the cold cage again. But nothing disappeared; neither food nor Oksana with her soft comforting hands. After three hours of eating, I realised at last that everything was real…
When I came to decision to stop eating, I started exploring my new home. I wasn’t the only pet in there.
Firstly, I was introduced to a weird creature: Vader (he was named after Polish death metal band) who was the first four-legged friend brought by Oksana to her cosy flat. His appearance was scary, even terrifying: grumpy wild eyes shifting restlessly searching for the next victim, and awfully hairy body with a mohawk on his head. Later I got to know him better, and he turned to be the kindest “monster” I have ever met: just excessively fluffy Guinea pig. What surprised me the most, he didn’t mind to stay in his cage most of the time: rustling and fussing around it. He was trying to hide from his invisible enemies who, according to him, were just waiting for a perfect moment to finish him off. Brutal from the outside, yellow-belly inwardly. I promised him to spy on his “invisible enemies” and alert him if need be. Frankly speaking, I wasn’t surprised he had agreed as my voice was piercingly alarming which could wake up a dead. So, he accepted my friendship but remained recluse most of the time.
As soon as he told me his story, I wasn’t surprised that he hardly trusted anyone, especially people.
His previous owners bought him in a pet shop and he stayed with them for about 6 months. Then, the fluffy toy became a burden to them. He didn’t experience hunger or coldness like me, but he experienced what was much worse than that: winter in a human’s heart. Their decision was to leave him in a wild forest what would end miserably.
A friend of Oksana’s friend brought this news late in the evening. Immediately, without any hesitation, Oksana rushed to rescue him from a certain death: she took a taxi and, in an hour, she brought a trembling hairy ball home. It took him some time to start trusting anyone again.
Getting back to my first day in Oksana’s, I got this strange feeling to be spied on. And in her bedroom, under the bed, in the darkness I noticed two flashing round buttons… I was not a coward, probably, a little bit at that moment; therefore, I started a very loud conversation with whoever was hiding there. Just in case… to raise the alarm: Oksana’s life might be in danger. I felt deeply responsible for her safeness and well-being now.
“Ms Bean,” said a colourful animal. “I am a cat, and you are a dog, as I see.” She continued in a haughty tone examining me from head to toe. “What is your name?”
“My name? I don’t know…” I whispered sadly.
“You should have one,” insisted Ms Bean. “Let’s call Oksana and she will come up with one.”
At that moment Oksana entered the room, sat on the bed and touched us both gently.
“Olivia? Olive, for short? What do you think, Ms Bean? Will it suit her?”
Some light warm feeling started growing inside me… “I have a name!!! It is amazing!” I screamed with excitement as loud as I could.
By the way, soon I would understand that my excitements should be a little bit rarer and not so loud. But sometimes I can’t help…
The same day Ms Bean told me her story; she seemed to be very proud of it.
Ms Bean’s story (told by herself)
“I was born to be free; I was born to be a fighter; I was born homeless. I don’t remember my mom but I do remember my brothers and sisters: I had been taking care of them for a long time. I didn’t like my street life, but I didn’t have a choice. It was not in my nature to beg people to take me home. I was a proud independent tigress.
I am not joking or showing off: cat’s genome is 95.6% tiger.
One cold November afternoon, I was having a rest considering my next stage of life near a random block of flats: I changed my places of living very often because of my restless soul looking for new adventures, new challenges, new experiences. Then I saw her… no, I sensed her, her despair and sorrow.
We – cats – are highly sensitive: humans and cats have identical part in their brains that are responsible for emotions. But we can sense deeper.
It was her birthday, but she didn’t seem happy; however, I noticed a slight smile on her face.
At this moment I felt that I could do a good deed. I knew I could save her.
Later, she shared her secret with me: recently she had got divorced and become a single mum with a beautiful daughter to bring up alone.
So, I followed her to her flat and brought a beam of light into her life. That’s why she called me Ms Beam, first. But with a course of time, I became Ms Bean because of my uncontrollable gassy nature.
This way I found my home; she found a shoulder to cry on, a soul mate, her personal life saviour.”
So, we started living together, a big happy family: Vader, Ms Bean, Oksana, her daughter and me, Olivia.
My best pastime was our morning and evening walks when Oksana belonged only to me. I was the happiest dog in the whole world. I met some amiable friends, but my favourite one was Richie. He lived in the same block of flats and was at my age: we were two crazy teenagers who became real friends. Luckily, Oksana was not a jealous type; she was glad that I made a friend.
But very soon I noticed that he spent more time outside than inside and without his owner. He didn’t complain but I saw a deep sorrow in his eyes. Then his collar disappeared from his neck: he was betrayed. We still played together but he didn’t want to talk about it. Oksana brought him food regularly: we do not leave our friends in trouble.
Ms Bean revealed Richie’s secret. It still remains a mystery for me how she has found out without going outside or talking to Richie. She will never let the cat out of the bag.
Richie’s owner got married and had a baby; therefore, Richie became unwanted - the third wheel.
During one evening walks, while darkness was embracing the world and the street lights were on, a terrible accident happened: Richie was hit by a car… he was just crossing a road because he saw us… The driver checked on him but drove away quickly. We hurried towards him. He was alive but his leg was broken. We had the only choice to bring him home; otherwise, he would die.
In an hour, he was already in a vet clinic: he needed an operation. Oksana didn’t have this money, but the world was full of kind-hearted people.
Maybach became a new family member… Yeah Maybach… He needed to start a new happy life and forget his past. New name, new home, new life… It was difficult: he was scared of any sudden loud sounds and was shaking most of the time. I was supporting him as much as I could, but he needed some time to recover. And the time is the best doctor.
Time passed… Maybach is like a brother for me now. But the question is: who will be saved next?