Dec 7, 2010
Orange cat and the greedy child.
The town where I grew up I think had only one orphanage. At least that I knew of, only I did not know that "that building" was an orphanage. As a child, I never really though of orphans, or it never really clicked that there really were real kids just like me who did not have parents. Who lived in a building with a bunch of kids and never ever got to go home to their mother and father, nor had any Birthday parties or New Year's feasts. Orphanage was really something that characters from Charles Dickens' novels lived in sometimes.
Next to our school was a special other school called the internat. Internat is a school for orphans, very poor kids or kids who's parents are unable to care for them, or disabled kids. Back in the day, thought, we really didn't know exactly what that meant. We actually were pretty scared of the kids from that school, even thought I don't think we have even met anyone. They kept to themselves, even though our schools were separated just by a large yard.
I think in our minds we assumed that the kids in that school were either young criminals or there "was something wrong" with them. Yay for education about those less fortunate than us!
Anyway, I still recall this shameful incident to this day. One time my school was doing a toy drive to give to the kids in the internat. In my defense we grew up not having as many toys as kids do these days. I spent longs time picking out what to bring, and my mother finally chose the big orange stuffed cat. She said that I have not played with it for a long time, and for God's sake - I was in 2nd grade. Begrudgingly, I brought the cat to school and put it in the pile of toys. All the while, I felt terrible, thinking - how on earth is my poor cat going to live without me? To have some kid I don't know tug on it and break it?
At the end of the day, I creeped to the pile of donation toys and...stole the cat back. I hid it in my close, because I was ashamed of this. But I was happy that I had my cat back.
I don't recall playing with that cat after that or what happened to that stupid toy. I just wish that I could go back in time, and give that little greedy girl a good talking to. So that I could pick my most favorite toy or several, and bring them over to that school with my own hands.
I guess the cat will always remind me to explain these things to my son so that he doesn't have to regret an act of greed or ignorance later on.
*The cat at the beginning of this entry is not the actual cat. I have no idea where that cat is right now, most likely in a garbage somewhere.