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The Cat At The Wall

by Deborah Ellis
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On Israel's West Bank, a cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house that has just been commandeered by two Israeli soldiers. The house seems empty, until the cat realises that a little boy is hiding beneath the floorboards.

Should she help him?

After all, she's just a cat.
Or is she?

It turns out that this particular cat is not used to thinking about anyone but herself. She was once a regular North American girl who only had to deal with normal middle-school problems - staying under the teachers' radar, bullying her sister and the uncool kids, outsmarting her clueless parents. But that was before she died and came back to life as a cat, in a place with a whole different set of rules for survival.
When the little boy is discovered, the soldiers don't know what to do with him. Where are the child's parents? Why has he been left alone in the house? It is not long before his teacher and classmates come looking for him, and the house is suddenly surrounded by Palestinian villagers throwing rocks, and the sound of Israeli tanks approaching. Not my business, thinks the cat. Then she sees a photograph, and suddenly understands what happened to the boy's parents, and why they have not returned. As the soldiers begin to panic, disaster seems certain, and she knows that it is up to her to defuse the situation. But what can a cat do? What can any one creature do?

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