Back when I was five and starting kindergarten, I had wished upon a star for a guinea pig. My parents had been against the idea of having pets. I recalled them saying, “We are not getting a dog or any kind of pet,” right before that moment. They’d ruined my mood and I had almost wanted to give up my flower girl role at my aunt, Katie’s, wedding back then.
Fast forward nine years later, and I neared the start of my first year of high school. I looked outside my window, and saw a cat. I didn’t know if it belonged to anyone. It could’ve been a stray. We did live in a rural part of Pennsylvania.
I turned away and sat on my bed. Ninth grade would start tomorrow.
“Michelle?” my mom called me.
“What is it?” I answered.
“Can you help me get this rat out of the kitchen?”
I paused. Then I opened the door. “Why do you need me?”
“Because I’ve got cookie dough on my hands!”
I sighed, but went downstairs anyway. I entered the kitchen. A white rat stood on the corner. It ran into the hole in the wall.
“Mom, why don’t we call the exterminator?” I asked.
“Because it’s Sunday,” my mother said.
“The rat already escaped.” I looked into the hole, seeing no sign of the critter.
“Go outside,” my mom said.
So I went out to the backyard. There was no rat. But I did see the same cat as before. It was black and white.
The cat stopped at stared at me. I smiled. But it came up to me. I turned around and went back inside.
“Michelle, did you see the rat?” my mother asked.
I shook my head.
“I guess it escaped.” My mom shrugged.
“Yeah, probably,” I said.
But there was a squeak inside the kitchen hole. I looked inside. A rodent nose stuck out. But it showed itself. It turned out not to be the rat, but… a guinea pig?
No. That couldn’t be right. I closed my eyes and shook my head. I gazed at the creature again. Yup. It was a black and white guinea pig. It came running toward me. I gasped and bolted up.
The guinea pig came out of the hole. My mom saw it and screamed.
“Mom, it’s just a guinea pig,” I said.
But the guinea pig spun. It sped up and transformed into a black and white cat. My mom yelped. “What’s going on?”
The doorbell rang. My mother answered to Mrs. Katz, our next door-neighbor.
“Have you seen Sadie?” Mrs. Katz asked. “My kitty?”
“You mean the one that turned into a guinea pig?” my mother asked.
“What?” asked Mrs. Katz. “I mean… I’ve seen it turn into a rat, but not a guinea pig.”
The cat meowed and ran up to Mrs. Katz.
“Sadie, what have you been up to?” Mrs. Katz picked her up. “I’m taking you to the vet to cure this problem.” She closed the door behind her and left.
I stood by my mom and watched Mrs. Katz carry Sadie back to her house.
“What kind of vet could cure a cat like that?” I asked my mother.
She shook her head. “Perhaps, it’s best if we don’t know.”