Cat for Cole – Mickey Collins

“We should get a cat for Cole,” said Brad to Alice. “A pet would do him some good.”

Alice looked to Brad from behind her “#1 Mom” coffee cup. She pulled the muffin he was about to grab away from him. “Remember what the doctor said?”

Brad’s face fell, but he nodded. Alice returned to catching up on the latest headlines on her phone. Brad counted the seconds in his head, waiting for Alice to return to his question, but she didn’t. He weighed his options as if deciding whether to drop an atom bomb or not. During these weekend mornings, she was usually in the best mood. To bring it up later would only be dragging it on, and Alice hated that. He pushed his luck again. “Anyway,” he began.

“Anyway,” Alice cut him off. She didn’t take her eyes off her phone as she tore pieces from the blueberry muffin. “A cat would mean more work for me. Who would have to take care of it? To clean up its messes? To feed it and clean its poop? Certainly not a 4 year-old boy. And definitely not you who’s always either at work or in front of the TV.”

“Cole needs a friend. He would learn responsibility in time. A cat would teach him compassion and about living things.”

Alice chewed on her muffin. “What about a fish?”

“Can we compromise on a catfish?”

Alice let out a laugh. She couldn’t help herself when it came to his dumb sense of humor. “Maybe a goldfish.”

“What do you think, I’m made of money?”

Alice laughed louder now. She set her phone down as Cole made his way into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “Hi honey, ready for breakfast?”

Cole gave a slow nod. He hopped up onto the chair next to Brad as Alice got up to make him cereal.

“Hey pal,” said Brad. He tousled Cole’s sandy brown hair. “Do you want to go to the pet store today?”

Cole’s eyes opened wide as he nodded vigorously.

“What do you think about a goldfish?” asked Brad.

Cole shook his head.

“Well, what kind of fish would you want?” asked Alice as she set the bowl of cereal down in front of Cole.

Cole didn’t have to think very long. “I want a spider!”

Brad and Alice looked at each other in surprise. In unison they said, “No.”

“I want a spider!” said Cole.

“What about a cat?” asked Alice. “You can name him Spider.”

Cole gave the matter serious thought before replying, “Ok.”

Brad gave Alice a sly smile. She rolled her eyes at him.

Mickey rights wrongs. Mickey wrongs rites. Mickey writes words, sometimes wrong words but he tries to get it write.

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