The Cat at the Wall
On Israel's West Bank, a cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house that has just been commandeered by two Israeli soldiers. The house seems empty, until the cat realizes that a little boy is hiding beneath the floorboards. Should she help him? After all, she's just a cat. Or is she? It turns out that this particular cat is not used to thinking about anyone but herself. She was once a regular North American girl who only had to deal with normal middle-school problems -- staying under the teachers' radar, bullying her sister and the uncool kids at school, outsmarting her clueless parents. But that was before she died and came back to life as a cat, in a place with a whole different set of rules for survival. It's not long before the boy's teacher and classmates come looking for him, and the house is suddenly surrounded by Palestinian villagers throwing rocks, and the sound of Israeli tanks approaching. Not my business, thinks the cat. And then she suddenly understands what happened to the boy's parents, and knows it's up to her to diffuse the situation. But what can a cat do?
- 2014 Deborah Ellis
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