Cat Who Never Cried
a sunny day in April, the Jones' calico cat gave birth to
five kittens. There were two little girl kittens who looked
just like their mother. Two little boy kittens were white
with orange spots. The third little boy kitten was different.
He had orange stripes like a tiger.
Many times a day the kittens drank their mother's milk. They
grew quickly. Soon they opened their eyes, and then they started
to crawl out of their box.
Jones family noticed that the tiger kitten was different from
the rest. when the other babies were hungry, they cried. But
the tiger kitten never cried. When the other kittens got lost
in a dark corner, they cried for their mother. But not the
tiger kitten. Even when Mr. Jones stepped on the tiger kitten's
tail by accident one day, the kitten did not cry.
the kittens were two months old, their mother took them outside
every day. All the kittens stayed in the yard, close by the
Jones' house. All except the tiger kitten. He wandered up
and down the street. He looked at the people, the houses,
and the cars. Each day he went farther.
day a big brown dog saw the tiger kitten. He chased him down
the street and around the corner. The kitten stopped at the
curb for a second. Cars were coming. But the dog was right
behind him now. He slipped between two cars and raced across
the street. He ran down that street and up another. Finally
he stopped and looked behind him. The big dog was not there.
kitten sat down to catch his breath. He washed his paws and
looked around. The street was strange. The houses were strange.
He was lost.
kittens would have cried. But not the tiger kitten. He wandered
on, trying to find his way home.
was getting dark now. The tiger kitten was tired and hungry.
Then he noticed a delicious smell coming from the next house.
was the Parker home. Mrs. Parker was frying hamburgers. Suddenly
she looked up. There, sitting on the windowsill, was a small
orange-striped kitten. He was sniffing the air. Then he leaped
down onto the kitchen floor.
cry when they are hungry. But the tiger kitten did not cry.
He just rubbed against Hrs. Parker's ankles and purred.
a cute little kitten," said Mrs. Parker. She gave him some
hamburger and a bowl of milk.
little kitten now became a member of the Parker family. They
called him Tiger. He loved Mrs. Parker, who fed him. He loved
Mr. Parker, who played with him. He even loved the Parker
baby, who sometimes pulled his tail.
hot summer months went by, and then the fall. The winter snows
came, and then the warm spring days melted them. Tiger was
a big cat now. He prowled all over the neighborhood, looking
for adventures. He had fights with other cats and narrow escapes
from dogs. But he never cried.
baby was bigger, too. He was almost ready to walk by himself.
(He could walk if somebody held his hand.) He could say "Mama"
and "Dada," and he called Tiger "Diddy."
warm spring day, Mrs. Parker put the baby out in the playpen
in the yard. Tiger curled up in a patch of sunshine next to
the playpen and went to sleep.
he woke up. Somebody was patting him -- somebody he didn't
know. It was Mary Lou, a little girl who lived in the apartment
house on the corner. Mary Lou had no one to play with.
have an idea," she said. "Why don't you and that baby come
to my house, and we'll have a tea party."
she lifted the baby out of the playpen and led him up the
street. Tiger followed right behind them.
the elevator they went, to the third floor. Mary Lou's mother
was not home. She took the baby and the cat out to the balcony
and played with them for a while. Then she heard her mother
calling from inside the apartment.
Lou, are you out there? Hurry, it's time to go visit Granny."
Mary Lou rushed in from the balcony. She was excited. Her
Granny always gave her treats when she came to visit. She
forgot all about the baby and the cat. She and her mother
left the apartment and locked the door.
sat in the sun and washed himself while the baby walked around
the railing, holding onto the bars. He looked out through
the bars. It was a long way down. He did not realize how far
the baby climbed up on Mary Lou's little chair. He leaned
out over the railing. He tried to reach out to the cars below.
They looked like toy cars.
saw the baby leaning over the railing. He knew the baby was
in danger. He knew the baby might fall. He opened his mouth
to cry. But no sound came out. He tried again. He made a tiny
squeak. The baby turned around. Tiger tried again, and a big
"Meow" came out this time. The baby was surprised. He had
never heard Tiger cry before.
Diddy," he said. He climbed down off the chair and began to
pat Tiger. But soon he climbed up on the chair again. Tiger
opened his mouth and cried even louder. He howled and yowled.
People in the street looked up. A man rushed over just as
the baby toppled over the rail. He caught the baby in his
had cried for the first time. And his meows had saved the
2013 The Silversteins