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Puppies and Kittens

Kara and Ben jump into the family van and tell their mom and dad to hurry. Today is the day of the huge Adopt-a-thon at the Lakewood Animal Shelter, and Kara and Ben want to make sure they get there early enough to adopt a cool pet. Mr. and Mrs. Holden walk out to the van and get in.

"You two certainly are in a hurry, Mrs. Holden says as her husband starts the van and pulls out of the driveway. "There will be a lot of pets at the Adopt-a-thon, so I'm sure you'll find just the right ones.

"Your mother is right," agrees Mr. Holden. "Now, let's see, Kara, you wanted a kitten right? And Ben, you want a puppy?"

"Yes," exclaim Kara and Ben.

"Well, the flyer says that there are a lot of each available, so there won't be a problem finding the right one."

"We know, Dad," replies Kara. "We just want to make sure we get the right ones for us, so we need to spend time with a lot of different kittens and puppies."

"And there is paperwork also," says Mrs. Holden as she looks at the flyer. "Oh, and an interview, so I guess it is good that we are going early."

Ben declares, "I know exactly what puppy I want."

"And what is that," asks Mrs. Holden.

"I want a golden retriever. They are really fun to play with."

"Well, we'll see," Mr. Holden says as he takes a left onto Briar Street. "Now, how far down is the animal shelter?"

"It should be right after the next stop sign. There it is, on the left," answers Mrs. Holden.

Mr. Holden pulls into a parking spot. There are a number of other families already waiting for the Adopt-a-thon to start. Kara and Ben jump out of the van and head over to the registration table to get signed in, and Mr. and Mrs. Holden follow. They sign in and answer a few questions about which types of animals they are considering adopting, and then they wait for the doors to open. After what seems like hours to Kara and Ben, the shelter opens, and people begin pouring into the building, down the hallway, and into the back room where the Adopt-a-thon is being held.

The puppies and dogs are on the left side of the room, and the cats and kittens are on the right. Kara grabs her mother's hand and heads toward the kittens. Ben looks at his dad and then runs straight for the golden retriever puppies. His dad follows him but stops and looks at some of the other puppies and dogs before finally stopping at the fenced-in area where Ben is watching some puppies play.

"Hi! Can I help you," James, one of the shelter employees, asks.

"I want one of these puppies," Ben replies.

"Okay. Let me let you in, so you can play with them. I'll be nearby, so when you make your decision, your dad can come get me."

James opens the gate, and Ben runs in. Immediately, the puppies run to him, ready to play. Mr. Holden just laughs as he watches his son play with the puppies. On the other side of the room, Kara looks closely at each kitten that is available. She chooses a few that she really likes and begins playing with them. Her mother finds a beautiful white kitten with a black nose and a patch of gray under her chin. She cuddles the kitten and takes it over to Kara who is playing with a small orange kitten.

"Oh, Mom, she's so cute. I didn't see her when I walked down the first time."

"I think she was hidden in the corner," answers her mom. "She is such a beautiful kitten. Well, you play with her and the rest of the ones you've picked, and I'll walk around and look at some of the other cats and kittens. I probably should go check on your dad and brother also."

"Okay." Kara turns and laughs at a little black kitten who is playing with a ball of yarn. The kitten stops and stares at the ball and then pounces on it. The white kitten sits next to Kara and watches. Kara rubs her fur and picks her up. The kitten nuzzles against Kara's chin and purrs. Kara puts her down, and she runs over to the black kitten and begins playing with the ball of yarn. Kara laughs as the two kittens wrestle with the ball and play with each other.

Mrs. Holden checks on Kara in the kitten section once more before heading over to the puppy area where Ben is playing with three puppies. She sees Mr. Holden and walks over to him. The two chuckle as Ben throws a ball, and all three puppies run after it and then run back to him. One puppy jumps up, and Ben falls to the ground. He rolls around on the floor as the puppy jumps all over him.

"How's Kara coming along with choosing a kitten?" Mr. Holden asks his wife.

"I think she's trying to choose between two kittens. They're both cute and playful, so I don't know which one she'll pick. I think that I'm going to get the one she doesn't choose because I like both of them."

"Well, I guess it won't hurt to have two kittens and a puppy. I'm sure we can manage."

"Good." Mrs. Holden smiles at her husband and heads back to the kitten area. "Kara, have you decided which kitten you want?"

"Yes, I want the black one. I love the little white one, but the black one is so playful. I wish I could have both."

"Well, your dad and I were talking, and we are going to get both because I like the white kitten so much. She's so sweet and calm."

"Yea! That's great! Thanks, Mom!"

"You're welcome. Now, let's get the paperwork started on these two, and then we can find out which puppy your brother has chosen."

Mrs. Holden and Kara walk to the office area to get the paperwork and are surprised to see Ben and Mr. Holden already there. "Hey, Mom," Ben exclaims. "Isn't this puppy cool? He's mine!"

"Well, he will be once we get the paperwork and interview done," Mr. Holden replies. They walk into the office together and get the forms. Kara and her mom work on the forms for the kittens while Ben and his dad do the forms for the puppy. When they finish, they head back to the office for the interview. The shelter supervisor, Mrs. Kurtz, explains that she does interviews, so everyone will adopt the right pet. She tells them about vaccinations, food, and toys and recommends a good vet to them. When she finishes, she asks them a few questions about their home, how much space they have, and why they want pets. Finally, she signs the papers and congratulates them on becoming pet owners.

Kara and Ben jump up excitedly. Ben grabs the leash for his puppy, and Kara gets the carrier for the kittens. Kara puts the kittens inside the carrier, and she and Ben get into the van for the ride home. On the way home, they talk about what they are going to name their new pets. "I know what I'm going to name my puppy, Ben says. "His name will be Bandit."

"That's a good name," replies Mr. Holden. "Kara, have you decided what you're going to name your kitten?"

 "Yes, his name is Smoky. Mom, what are you going to name the white kitten?"

 "Well, I was thinking about Snowball. What do you think?"

 "I like it," Kara exclaims.

As they pull into the driveway, Mr. Holden looks at the family's three new pets. "Well, Bandit, Smoky, and Snowball, welcome to your new home."

 Ben opens the door, and Bandit leaps out and heads straight for the backyard. Ben runs after him, and they begin a game of catch. The kittens meow happily and push against the carrier door because they want to play, too. Mr. and Mrs. Holden laugh. "It looks like our three new friends are going to like it here." 





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