For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages


Hailey and The Lost Kitten

Hailey was the littlest girl in her family. She was 6 years old and very pretty, with long wisps of honey blond hair and big blue eyes.


Hailey's little brother Josh was a year younger than she, but Josh was very independent and refused to be bossed around, so Hailey was left with only her toy dolls and model ponies to take care of and boss around, and this she did quite often.

Hailey’s favorite color was pink, and her favorite animals (besides ponies) were kittens. Her entire bedroom was filled with pink things, and if I didn’t know better, I would have said that the ceiling was pink as well! But her father had put his foot down on that, saying “There are so many pink things in here, I think I shall go blind due to Pink-Eye!”, so in the end she had to settle for a pink bedspread, pink curtains, a pink rug and a pink toy box.

Hailey also had a complete collection of My Pink Kitten toys, along with a pink dollhouse, a pink stove, pink roller skates and numerous pink dolls, as well as an entire collection of Your First Pony model horses (mostly pink) handed down to her by her sister Emma.

Emma had outgrown all of these toys and was now taking riding lessons on REAL ponies. These ponies were not pink, but were still very pretty shades of white, grey and brown. (You will hear more about Emma and her horse craziness later on).


Anyway, Hailey liked to take care of living things, and her dream was to become a Veterinarian (that's a doctor for animals) and take care of all the kittens, puppies and ponies that would surely someday need her help. (She drew the line at taking care of frogs, snakes or lizards, however, deciding that they would be better off handled by a boy Veterinarian, and I certainly have to agree with her on THAT.)

One lovely summer Sunday, Hailey was out in the back yard playing Tag with her sister Molly and her brother Nicholas. All the other children had outgrown this game, including little Josh, who was busily filling up squirt guns to attack the girls (and possibly Nicholas) with later on. Molly was “It”, so Hailey and Nicholas ran to hide behind the Tree House tree.

The Tree House had been built last summer by Hailey's older brothers Ethan and Matthew (with a great deal of assistance from their father). It was a very fine tree house, indeed, complete with both rope and wood ladders and room for 5, and was up high enough so that they could all look out and see the entire neighborhood.


Hailey and Nicholas could barely stop giggling as they hid behind the big tree. Molly was looking for them in the completely wrong direction! So when Hailey heard a little cry from up in the tree house, she didn’t even hesitate to look up and investigate.

“Mew!” the little voice said, “Mew, Mew!”

Well, what do you know! It was a tiny orange colored kitten and it was crying out pitifully for help. Somehow, it had climbed up the tree and was now stuck. Nicholas didn’t even hesitate, and he shimmied up the rope ladder in a heroic attempt to save the poor thing.


Unfortunately, Josh chose that exact moment to race out of his hiding spot with loaded squirt guns and began squirting both Hailey (down on the lawn) and Nicholas (up in the tree).

Well, this frightened the scared little kitten even more, and it clawed its way higher and higher up the tree. Nicholas shouted down, “Josh, knock it off!” and then “Hailey, go get Ethan!” and that is exactly what they both did.


Luckily, Ethan was in his room studying for a big history exam that he had put off doing all weekend. He was quite happy to find any excuse to get out of studying, and this certainly appeared to be an All-Out-Extreme-Emergency, so off he ran, with Hailey trailing close behind.


It took Ethan less than 4 seconds to scale up the rope, shove Nicholas (gently) out of the way, and reach up to grab the kitten. Then he slowly made his way down, carefully carrying the crying kitten in his arms.

Nicholas followed right behind him, jumped down on the ground, and when something unusual happened to catch his eye, he said, “Well, I’ll be darned, here’s a four leaf clover!”, so he reached down, plucked it off the lawn, and gave it to Hailey. “They’re supposed to be good luck”, he explained.

Ethan handed the tiny kitten to Hailey and it immediately stopped meowing. (Hailey didn’t know it yet, but she had a special way with animals).

They brought the kitten inside and placed a bowl of slightly warmed milk on the floor. As the little kitten began to eagerly lap up the milk, Mrs. Murphy walked into the kitchen and asked, “What in Heaven’s Name is THIS?”

Hailey quickly began to explain, “ Mom, this poor little kitten got stuck in our tree house and Ethan saved it and Nicholas found a four leaf clover and I want to keep it and name it Clover, PLEASE, PLEASE, OH, PLEASE !!!!” she said, all in one breath.


“Good Gravy!” said her mother, somewhat alarmed. Everyone in the kitchen was completely silent as they waited for their mother to decide what to do.


“Well, first we’ll have to put up signs and call the neighbors and the animal shelter to see if anyone has reported losing a little orange kitten.”, she said. In the meantime, she sent Ethan and Matthew down to the pet store to pick up kitten food. Then Emma and Chloe made signs and hung them up all around the neighborhood.

Mrs. Murphy called all the neighbors and the animal shelter in town, but no one had reported losing a little orange kitten.


An hour later, Hailey was curled up on the living room couch, and in her arms, wrapped in a pink doll blanket, was the kitten, now officially named Clover. It was snuggled up tight to Hailey, purring loudly, and rhythmically kneading the blanket with its little orange paws. The kitten had decided that Hailey was its new mother.

Just then their father walked in, and everyone had to explain what happened all over again. Dr. Murphy shook his head and smiled and said, “Oh, for goodness sake, here's another little mouth to feed!” But he had a soft spot in his heart for Hailey, as he did for all his children. He realized it was only fair that she keep the kitten if no one claimed it (especially since Josh had JUST gotten Pepper, his new puppy.)

“I hope you’re not going to dress that thing up in pink doll clothes”, said Nicholas disgustedly, but Hailey ignored this sarcastic comment and just smiled and glowed in contentment. She was well on her way to a rewarding future of rescuing many other animals in her life, but Clover, the little orange kitten, was her very first.

  Hailey and The Lost Kitten by Susan Knight
Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved


Assistance - (ah-SISS-tens) To help.

Disgustedly - (diss-GUSS-ted-lee) If you see something that makes you go "Eeeuuuuwww, yuck! That is so gross. That stuff is so totally dumb. And that is so stupid." that's a pretty good way of explaining the feeling of disgust. So when you read the part in the story where it said “I hope you’re not going to dress that thing up in pink doll clothes”, said Nicholas disgustedly, you understood that Nicholas thinks this would be a really dopey, stupid and totally yucky idea. Then again, boys often don't appreciate how cute kittens can be when they're dressed up. Actually.....I don't think cats do either.

Hesitate - (hez-a-tate) To wait for just a moment before doing something. Hailey didn't hesitate to look up, so that means she looked up right away.

Independent - (in-dee-PEN-dent) To do something without help from anybody else.

Investigate - (in-VES-tigg-ate) To look at or study something very carefully, in order to try to learn much more about it.

Kneading -(NEED-ing) Kneading as used in this story is when a cat stretches its front paws out and gently presses down, first with one paw and then the other, over and over again. It's the same movement newborn kittens make when they're snuggled up to their mom nursing. Some kittens grow up and still make this movement. It's a sign of contentment (happiness). People sometimes refer to this movement as “making bread” as that's what the motion looks like (in order to make bread, the dough must first be squashed again and again, which is called kneading.) Most cats tend to pick something soft and fluffy to knead, like a pillow or a blanket or a towel, and at times will even suck on the fabric the same way a toddler might suck on a thumb or a pacifier.

Numerous - (NEW-mer-us) Several, many, lots, a whole bunch.

Pink Eye - (The childrens Dad was just kidding around with his comment.) Pink Eye is actually a real thing, though. The medical name for Pink Eye is Conjunctivitis (conn-junk-tiv-eye-tiss). Its the most common eye problem kids can have. Symptoms are inflammation (that means redness in the white part of the eye), and itching, and it also causes a bunch of yucky stuff to collect in the eyes.

Rhythmically - (rith-mick-call-lee) Doing the same thing again and again. If you were to march around the room, or in a parade, with your steps going one-two, one-two, left-right, left-right, you would be marching rhythmically. There are all sorts of different rhythms, of course, one-two-three-FOUR, one-two-three-FOUR, or ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three (and lots more). But in this story the kitten is using a one-two, left-right sort of rhythm while its tiny front paws are kneading the little pink blanket.

Sarcastic - (sarr-KAS-tick) To say something in a way that might be thought of as funny and mean at the same time. Sometimes a sarcastic comment can be used to hurt somebody's feelings, which is not a nice thing to do. Sometimes being sarcastic (being a rude smart-mouth) is a way to make your feelings known about something you disapprove of. It's not very polite. Hailey's brother thinks it's really dumb to dress cats up in doll clothes, so he made a sarcastic comment.

Shimmied - (shimm-mee) There are a couple of meanings for this word. Back in the 1920's there was a dance known as the Shimmy, where you shook your shoulders and your hips to the beat of the music, and if you were out late, dancing up a storm, you could have said that you Shimmied all night. But the regular meaning of the word shimmy is to wiggle or wobble a bit, to moving quickly, but a little unevenly. So in this story, when Nicholas tried to rescue the kitten, he didn't take the time to run for the wooden steps, he grabbed the rope ladder right next to him, which tended to sway back and forth, wiggling and wobbling while he was trying to climb it quickly, so you could say he shimmied up the rope ladder.

Veterinarian - (vet-trin-AIR-ee-an) A Vetrinarian is a doctor who takes care of animals instead of people.

About the Author: Susan Knight holds a B.S. from The University of Connecticut and an M.S. from Western Connecticut State University. After working in the Clinical Research field for many years, she recently left the corporate world to open her own Pet Care business. She also does volunteer work for a local animal shelter and in her spare time enjoys writing humorous short stories for adults as well as fun short stories for children. She lives in Danbury, Connecticut with her two cats, Oreo and Mystic. You may contact Susan Knight at:
This author has more wonderful stories online. Find them listed next to her name in the Author section.

Interim Illustrations: Courtesy of Bedtime Story


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