Catboy by Eric Walters

Book: Catboy by Eric Walters Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eric Walters
Tags: book, JUV002050
great books to read in my classroom and the school library. Nobody would read to succeed if these magazines were all the students had to choose from.
    According to the clock on the wall, it was just after seven in the evening. We’d been waiting for over two hours. The vet’s office had closed at five, and we’d arrived in time to see the last of the other patients and the receptionist leave for the weekend.
    I heard the door open and looked up. It was Dr. Reynolds.
    I jumped to my feet. “How is he?”
    Dr. Reynolds smiled, and I knew the answer. “He’s going to be fine,” the vet said.
    â€œCan we see him?” I asked.
    â€œOf course, but he won’t be able to see you for a while. He’s still knocked out from the medication I gave him for the surgery.”
    Dr. Reynolds explained to us that the infection had been so bad, surgery was the only way to fix Hunter’s foot.
    He led us into the back. The walls were lined with large and small cages. Some were empty but others held dogs and a few cats. We were greeted by barking, meowing, whining and whimpering. Some of the animals pushed against the bars, trying to get our attention. Others hid at the back of their cage.
    â€œHere he is,” Dr. Reynolds said and stopped in front of a small cage.
    Hunter was at the back of the cage, unconscious. Dr. Reynolds opened the cage and reached in. “The leg was badly infected. I had to open it up and drain the infection.”
    â€œWhat would have happened if you hadn’t done that?” I asked.
    â€œHe would have died. But now he’ll be fine. He just needs to be given antibiotics for the next few days and watched to make sure the infection improves.”
    â€œThat’s great. Then he can be released, right?”
    â€œReleased, as good as new,” Dr. Reynolds said.
    â€œAnd I can be there, right?” I asked.
    â€œOf course you’ll be there.”
    â€œAnd can I come here and see him before he’s released?”
    Dr. Reynolds looked confused. “I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t explain. He can’t stay here.”
    â€œHe can’t?” my mother asked.
    â€œI don’t own this practice. The doctor who does lets me use his operating and examination rooms when they’re not being used, after hours and on weekends, but I can’t keep animals here.”
    â€œBut where will he stay?” I asked.
    â€œI assumed you two could keep him.”
    I looked at my mother. Dr. Reynolds looked at her.
    â€œDo I really have a choice?” she asked.
    I threw my arms around her. “Thanks, Mom, thanks so much!”

    Hunter stared at me through the bars of the cage, which was better than glaring. We had set him on the floor of our living room.
    His cage was big. It had a place to sleep in one corner and a litter box in the other. There was also a slot where I could slip food and water in without having to open the door. If he got loose, I’d never get him back inside and somebody—him, me or both of us—would get hurt.
    â€œI’m glad you’ve finally decided to stop hissing at me,” I said.
    I kept up a running commentary around him. It seemed to have a calming effect on both of us. Although, the first day, nothing short of a tranquilizer would have calmed him. He hissed and snarled and glared nonstop. If looks could kill, I would have been dead a thousand times over.
    Day two had been better. The glares continued, but the hissing finally stopped. Thank goodness. It had really started to get to me. And when he stopped hissing, he started eating. The hunger strike had been a problem. Not because he wasn’t getting the food he needed to recover, but because he wasn’t getting the medication embedded in the food that was essential to his healing. Dr. Reynolds had told me the greatest danger was post-operative infection, and scraping around in a litter box with a newly stitched foot

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