In the deep dark forests of Portland Oregon, was a black cat named Shadow. Shadow was an ordinary cat with green eyes and tiny little paws and pointed ears, but with his black fur, nobody wanted him because they thought he was unlucky. In his first few lives, he tried to get people to see he was just like every other cat but found that people stayed away from him or even occasionally tried to hurt him. So he spent his days in the woods, only going into the town at night to dig for scraps. Every once in awhile though, Shadow had the bravery to go into the town during the day to try to find someone who wasn’t like the rest. Today was one of those days.
The sun was high as Shadow strolled out of the forest and so were his hopes. He hadn’t gone into town for quite a while, his last trip had been a disaster involving a catfight and someone chasing after him with a broom. He could still feel the other cats claws on him whenever he recalled the memory. When he got to the town he was immediately greeted by the buzz of markets and the street cats of the town. As he meandered through the streets, he suddenly noticed a small girl he hadn’t seen before. She had blonde hair and green eyes just like him and was wearing a cute little pink dress. Shadow started to go up to her when another cat stopped him.

“Stay away from that one,” he hissed “she’s mine and nobody wants you anyway.”

Shadow assumed he was right, no human or cat had taken any sort of interest in him other than while trying to stay as far away as possible so why had he even dared to hope that this little girl would be different?
With a new sadness, Shadow started his trip back into the lonely forest where he could nap in peace and despair. As he crossed the line of trees that marked the start of the forest, however, he heard a noise. He stopped dead in his tracks, “could that cat from the town be following me?” he thought worried. It wouldn’t be the first time but as he turned around, he saw that it was the girl in the pink dress. “What is she doing out here so far from the town?” he thought. She couldn’t be more than about five and yet she was all on her own following him.
“Here kitty kitty kitty,” she called
Shadow was astounded, nobody had ever called for him. But he was starting to worry for the little girl. It was starting to get dark out and the little girl was very far from home so Shadow decided to try to get her to where he had lived for his many years. He quickly meowed at her and started walking towards his home and he noticed, gratefully, that she was following behind him rubbing her eyes. As he approached the softer grass next to the stream where he resided, the little girl started yawning. Shadow started pawing at the ground, trying to make a place where she could comfortably rest for the night and he laid down to try to demonstrate that this was a safe place. Soon the little girl was curled up next to him, holding him like she would hold a stuffed animal.
Shadow barely breathed that night, not bothering to sleep in fear he would disturb the girl. So he lay awake until the little girl started to stir with the sun. He knew the girl would need to be home soon so he brought her to the stream to drink then started off back into the town with the little girl in tow. Soon they were back at the market where the girl started to become more familiar. She started walking towards the neighborhood and soon found her house where her poor mother was asleep, waiting on the porch swing with a blanket spread across her legs.
“Mommy!” the girl cried waking her mother
“Delilah is that you?” she answered as she gradually became more awake “You had me worried sick! Don’t you ever run off like that again!”
As they shared a warm embrace, Shadow felt happy for the first time in a while. As he started to walk away, Delilah’s mother finally seemed to notice him.
“Delilah, whose cat is this?” she asked
“Mommy that’s nobody’s cat,” she explained “He’s the one that helped me come back home. Can we keep him, can we keep him!?”
As Delilah’s mother reluctantly agreed, Shadow’s heart soared. He had finally found a loving home!
“I’m gonna name you Oliver,” announced Delilah “just like your green eyes.”
So Oliver with a new name and new family walked into the house with his new owner where he would spend the rest of his days happily ever after.

The End