"Just for tonight he can stay, but in the morning, he'll have to go. I'm sorry, sweetie; that's the rules", Packy's mother said, kissing her son on the top of his head.
"I still wish we could keep him; he's so cute!" Packy exclaimed, his eyes growing bright. "Lookit how he's taken to me! He likes me; he really likes me!"
"I can see that, son", Packy's mother said, smiling. She looked at the small bundle of black fur sleeping on the little boy's lap. Yet her heart was breaking: she knew that having a cat--any animal, really--was against the rules at the apartment complex they lived at; no, the landlord would have a duck fit if he saw the little kitten.
She wished that she could bend the rules just a little--anything to make her son smile. In his brief time on earth, he didn't know much joy--only heartbreak, only broken dreams, dashed promises. It was no wonder he has been so depressed, she thought to herself.
Why is it that whenever something good comes along it only ends up getting scattered away, like the wind, like the rest of the dreams, the promises? There was that ugly divorce that tore them to pieces, there was the ever-constant struggle of trying to pay the bills on time, working two/three jobs to try to support herself and Packy, and dealing with a cruel landlord who did all he could to make people's lives miserable.
The woman wished she could move to a better apartment complex, but she was struggling financially; due to Packy's medical problems, she could not afford to move; just about all the money that didn't go to rent went to her son's medical care.
Packy had been born with spina bifida that left his lower limbs useless and paralyzed. He could walk, but with crutches--and only for short distances--; he preferred the wheelchair; it was clunky, but it was a lot easier than struggling with the crutches.
In his eight short years on earth, he'd gone through numerous surgeries on his back and legs, and he knew the fear, pain, uncertainty of being in the hospital, not knowing what was ahead; he knew the cold, hard facts of life, and he didn't really believe in things that made him happy.
He was prone to bouts of depression; and in school, he struggled with reading/writing, which made him the butt of cruel taunts from the other kids. It was bad enough being born physically handicapped; why add learning problems to the mix?? No, life certainly wasn't fair for this little guy named Packy.
Very slowly, carefully (so as to not to wake the sleeping little bundle of fur on his lap), Packy wheeled himself into the livingroom.
He grinned broadly as he looked at the tiny kitten sleeping contentedly in his lap. How he wished he could keep him! Tears then filled his eyes when he thought of the fact that he couldn't keep the kitten; tomorrow morning the little kitten would have to go.
There was no two ways about it. Rules were rules; yet it still tore him up inside.
~End of Part Three.~