Katie Kitty was almost through packing when her mother came into her room. Mama Kitty was visibly upset.
Mama: Are you really going, Katie?
Katie: Mama, you know I am. I’ve been talking about it since I got accepted by Mid-America Animal Tech. They’re even giving me a scholarship!
Mama: But it’s so far away. I won’t see you for weeks.
Katie hugs Mama Kitty.
Katie: I know, Mama. But we can talk on the phone and Skype. And I’ll be home for holidays.
Mama: I know, but it’s not the same. I don’t understand why you can’t just stay home like your friends. They’re going to school at Feline First Academy.
Katie (patiently): They don’t teach what I want to study, remember?
Mama: Do you really want to do that? It’s going to be so difficult.
Katie: We need to have more Feral Purrfessionals. I’m going to be able to help untamed kitties get medical treatment. I won’t be a vet, but I can do a lot of the things a vet can do. I’ll be able to fix cuts and treat infections.
Mama: That does sound useful.
Katie: Remember when Mrs. Murrow had so much trouble having her kittens last year? I’ll be able to help kitties like that. And I can counsel on family planning.
Mama: Well, there are a lot of ferals around. I guess helping them is admirable work.
Katie: It really is, Mama.
Mama: But do you have to go so far?
Katie: It’s the closest place that has the training. Besides, they offered me free tuition and housing. It’s hardly going to cost anything.
Mama: That’s true. I’m proud of you being so smart. I just didn’t realize it meant you would be leaving us.
Katie: I’m not leaving you. I’m coming back for good when the training is over. That’s the point. I want to come back and help the cats I know. That’s why most of the kitties will be studying there.
Mama: But there will be a lot of different types of cats there. Some of them are probably big-city cats. They’re all spoiled and can be kind of hissy around other cats.
Katie: I suppose that’s possible. But if they want to help ferals, I think we should let them. Cities have wild cats too.
Mama: Well, be careful around them.
Katie: I will, Mama.
Mama: There are going to other kinds of animals there too. It’s open to anyone, no matter what species they are. What if they make you room with a wolf? You probably won’t survive your first night.
Katie: Mama, didn’t you read the papers they sent? They have separate buildings for each species. Girl cats room with girl cats. I’m not going to get eaten.
Mama: But you won’t be inside all the time. What if something tries to attack you?
Katie: For goodness sake, Mama! We live in a multi-species subdivision. It’s going to be like living here.
Mama: I guess so. I just don’t like the idea of you being so far from your family.
Katie: Would it help if you saw Animal Tech? Maybe you’d see it’s not so bad.
Mama: I don’t know. I don’t like cities.
Katie: The bus stops right on campus. You can come with me tomorrow so you are more comfortable with the idea.
Mama: Can I bring your sisters? I don’t want to come home by myself.
Katie: How about one sister? I don’t want to draw attention my first day there.
Mama: I suppose that will work. Maybe Charlene. She’s the biggest of us. And she knows how to fight.
Katie sighs and goes back to packing.
Next week: Mama Kitty’s trip to the city
Pictures courtesy of Google Images