This essay prompt was to write a story about animals and people. That was easy for me–I have two awesome kittens here in Beijing. This essay is my personal favorite.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Kaochuanr won’t be able to come home with me. Unless somebody can help me watch him for summer, he’s staying in China to make it on his own. Ask around.
Feel Like Eating Kitten Burgers?
I have been in China for ten months already. Since I landed in Pudong Airport in Shanghai, I have been with my friend Scott. Even though in Shanghai’s ECNU we were not roommates, we were still classmates.
We studied at Shanghai for six weeks, and after finals we decided to take a two week trip to Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan Province. When we finally got to Beijing, we made it just in time to catch the beginning of Fall semester, and thus had no time to our own separate housing, so we had to live together again. Due to constantly being together, we have become like brothers, and just like brothers, we tend to argue a lot. Since we were not classmates in Beijing, we originally tried our hardest to hang out with our own new classmates, however as soon as we both got home, the squabbling started. We talked about this problem for a while, and finally realized that this finding new friends idea would not solve the problem. We thought long and hard for a better solution, and finally figured out the perfect solution–we would get kittens.
We found a Chinese friend to take us to a street where they sold animals for pets. Before I came to China, I used to hear about the terrible conditions that animals are forced to live in, but after arriving at that street and seeing it with my own eyes, I found out that terrible does not even come close to describing their plight. I had never seen such sad, pitiful animals. We quickly started going through the stalls to find the most healthy looking kittens. We picked up and turned their too-small-for-bird cages around to check them for signs of life (and in some cases death). After finding the two most healthy-looking ones, we high-tailed it out of there. As we were leaving, I promised myself that I would never go back to a place like that.
Scott and I carried the kittens home, and the whole way they looked terrified. As soon as we arrived home and let them go, they flew across the room and under the couch. Besides eating, peeing, and pooping, they spent three days under that couch without making a sound, just watching us two big strangers. But Scott and I were not discouraged–we spent a lot of time whispering to them, steadily getting them comfortable with us. After a week, they even let us hold them.
A while later, Scott and I brought home some 考羊肉串儿 (kao yang rou chuanr), or roasted lamb skewers for dinner. While we watched a movie and ate, one of the kittens sat watching us, sneakily stole one of our skewers, and holding it between his two tiny paws, imitated us eating it. After seeing how much he loved eating lamb skewers, we decide to name him “烤串儿(Kao Chuar)“. Our other kitten was since the day we got him always really cool, no matter how terribly we bullied him he would take it happily purring away. For this reason we decided to name him “哥们儿（Gemer)”, or “Dude”.
One day Kao Chuar’s eye got infected. Even though it eventually got a little better, he never fully recovered, so his depth perception is pretty bad. Even though he’s a gimped kitten, he still manages to make it a point to wreak havoc around the house every day.
Thanks to Kao Chuar and his partner in crime Gemer, Scott and my friendship took a great leap forward. We are getting ready to head back to America soon, but we have already prepared to take the kittens back with us. Our biggest worry, honestly, is whether or not Kao Chuar will approve of American lamb skewers.