You sighed as you walked down the empty street, holding your umbrella firmly with both hands. The sound of rain hitting fiercely against your umbrella was heard as you kept your gaze fixed on the ground. Your foot collided with a rather large puddle as you kept on walking, causing several large droplets of water to fly into the air and splatter against your raincoat.
You continued to walk down the street, past empty shops, past several alleys, across many streets. It was late, and the lamps that shone throughout several places across the street were hardly able to provide you with enough light for you to see at least ten feet in front of you.
You gasped as a strong gust of wind blew, causing your umbrella to lift high above you and bend backwards. You cursed as you regained your firm grip on it and brought it back down in front of you before you made an attempt to fix it back into place. You cursed again when you realized that it was useless. And once again, you found yourself cursing when you tried to fold it up but found that it was too out of shape for you to do so. Grumbling in annoyance, you continued with your trek home, looking for an available trashcan to toss your useless umbrella into.
Your hair was totally soaked in a matter of seconds, but you didn't care. In fact, what little protection your umbrella gave you was hardly enough to keep you dry against the pouring weather. The forecast had actually called for light showers, so you made sure to dress good enough for rainy weather. You never thought the weather would've gotten this bad.
As you continued to walk down the deserted streets, you heard a low humming noise that got louder and louder with each passing second. You paused, looking around you in confusion, before a car quickly drove past you, causing a large wall of water and mud to fly over the road and soak you right up to the bone.
"Oh, hell!" you yelled, stamping your foot on the ground in frustration as you felt a trickle of mud slide down your face and land on the collar of your raincoat. Honestly, why was life so unfair?
You continued with your walk home, several angry thoughts running through your mind. It wasn't as if your life was already hard enough. It was as if the weather was playing with you and deliberately making your day even more frustrating than it already was. You had overslept, missed the bus by just a few seconds, showed up for work over half an hour late, realized you had forgotten all of your papers at home as well as your lunch, and now this. In a word, your life sucked.
Your gaze brightened by just the smallest amount when you spotted a trashcan standing in the corner of the street, next to what seemed to be an abandoned building. You paused in front of it, grabbed your broken umbrella, and threw it inside the can, ignoring the loud clanking noise that followed.
You smirked before you brushed your hands against each other and resumed your walk home, not caring about the fact that you had no protection against the rain. You were already soaked, so it didn't matter.
However, what made you stop in your tracks was a tiny wailing noise that came from behind you. You froze in place, chest tight, heartbeat increasing, as you slowly turned your head around to look at what was behind you. You groaned in exasperation when you saw nothing. You turned your head back to the front and were about to continue walking back home before you heard that same wail, louder this time.
Instantly, you whipped around and narrowed your eyes, trying to get a glimpse of what might've been making that noise. As usual, there was nothing. Honestly, who's there?! you thought in frustration. You took a few steps back until your back was pressed against the rough, cracked wall of the abandoned building. You were silent for the next few seconds, listening as the rain pounded around you. About a minute passed until that wailing came again, a little softer this time.
You tilted your head to one side in confusion before you slowly approached the trashcan that you had carelessly tossed your damaged umbrella into. You lightly rested your hands on the rim before you unwillingly looked inside, finding it pitch-black. You continued listening intently, waiting for the wailing noise to come again. Sure enough, it did, much louder than from where you had been standing moments ago.
Slowly without hesitations, you took out your umbrella and tossed it aside, revealing a completely empty trashcan. It was too dark inside for you to see anything, but when that wailing noise came again louder than ever, you knew that something else was in there. It was too bad you couldn't see what.
As if on cue, a bright flash of lightning streaked across the sky, instantly lighting up your view. And that was when you saw it—a tiny ball of fluff. Although you were able to catch sight of what was inside the can for only a fraction of a second, you didn't mistake the ball of fluff for something else.
"H-Hello?" you asked softly, your voice echoing against the metal walls of the trashcan. In reply, you got another tiny wail.
A bit hesitantly, you extended your hands out in front of you and into the can, blindly searching the bottom for the feeling of fur. As soon as the tip of your fingers lightly brushed something soft, you heard a startled yowl and the sound of clanking as the ball of fluff drew away from you.
You sighed before you continued moving your hands against the bottom of the trashcan, searching for that furry thing. When your fingers felt the feeling of fur again, you tightly grasped it between your fingers and clung onto it despite the pitiful protests that followed. You finally lifted your hands from the trashcan and looked down, squinting to try and make out the figure of what was wriggling in your hands. Another flash of lightning occurred, causing a wail of fear to erupt from the ball of fur.
"Oh…" you murmured as soon as you caught sight of what was in your hands. It was a kitten. A very skinny kitten with matted, dirty cream colored fur, a darker brown mane, and a skinny tail just the same color as the mane. You never really had a fondness for cats. In fact, as soon as you realized what you were holding, you cringed in disgust. That thing was probably crawling with fleas, and you were touching it.
But as soon as another flash of lightning struck and you took another look at the kitten, you felt your heart melt. It was a poor, homeless, malnourished kitten who needed someone to look after it. Despite the poor lighting, you were able to see it look up at you, its tiny blue eyes sparkling with misery. Heck, this kitten was probably a lot more miserable than you. Living in a trashcan at such a young age isn't exciting at all.
The kitten opened its mouth and let out a tiny meow, its whole body shivering with cold. It continued to gaze up at you pitifully before it raised a weak, trembling paw and began pawing at your hand.
"Aww…" you murmured as you continued to stare at the kitten, the disgust in your eyes quickly filling with pity. You pressed the kitten against your chest, gently stroking its fur. In response, it let out another tiny mew before it began pawing at your coat, looking up at you expectantly.
You met the kitten's gaze, and once you did, your eyes widened and you shook your head. "No," you said to the kitten. "I can't take care of you. My house isn't ready for a pet, and neither am I."
In response, the kitten let out one of the saddest meows you ever heard and buried its face in your coat, and you could've sworn you heard the loud, long rumble of its empty stomach.
You continued to stare down at the kitten that you were cuddling in your arms. It looked so lonely, so in need of help. It wouldn't have been nice if you had just abandoned it out on the streets when it clearly needed someone to look after it.
You let out a long sigh as you continued stroking the kitten's messy fur. "Okay," you said in defeat. "I guess I can take care of you for a few months. But once you're better, I'm taking you to an animal shelter, do you hear me?"
In response, the kitten let out a tiny mew. Still holding it gently in your arms, you walked home.
After several trips to the vet, several cans of cat food, several baths, several quarts of water, the scrawny, sick little kitty that you found in a trashcan was finally healthy. However, instead of taking him to the animal shelter, you decided to keep him when you realized how he brightened your life. You had named him Alfred, and he was very, very energetic, which often gave you enough energy to handle the day. Although you admitted that he had grown fat from the excessive amounts of food that he ate, that didn't stop you from loving him even more.
Now, every night, when you quietly drifted off to sleep with your arms wrapped around Alfred, gently stroking his soft, fluffy fur, listening to his warm purrs, you thought about how thankful you were that your umbrella had broken that night in the rain.