He Returns at Last

A short story about the love between children and animals

A.B. - Mindful Words To Inspire
4 min readJun 1, 2021
Photo by Amy Chen on Unsplash

“It’s just not Teddy,” said Caitlin, blankly staring at the orange tabby with big and hopeful eyes at the local PetSmart shelter.

“I know, sweetie. But would you like to feed him at least?” Joanna, Caitlin’s mom, asked, breathing out the heavy musky air of the small compartment where six cats waited for adoption.

“Ok,” Caitlin replied with a tiny smile, giving him a can of tuna in his fish-shaped bowl.

Joanna understood why Caitlin felt sad that her black cat Teddy had passed away. He was a few years older than Caitlin. He had practically raised her, she’d tease. But it had been over a year since his tiny heart had given up, and her 10-year-old daughter still wasn’t on good terms with death. “It isn’t fair,” was all Caitlin had said over three months. She had refused to play with her friends. It was hard to make her eat. Joanna had to usher her to the doctor’s office, concerned her daughter would become malnourished and underweight.

Joanna thought the grieving process had ended after six months past Teddy’s death. Caitlin’s life seemed to come back to her. Joanna’s best friend Carla had given Caitlin a stuffed animal that looked exactly like Teddy, with the same shade of green in his eyes, according to his young…

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A.B. - Mindful Words To Inspire

English Teacher, Meditation Enthusiast, Writer, Lover of Inspiring Stories and Flashfiction. Visit her blog at https://mindfulwordstoinspire.wordpress.com/