PJ stood in the hallway with his thumb in his mouth.
“PJ,” said Mother. “What are you doing?”
“I can’t sleep,” said PJ, rubbing his eyes. “I miss Mr. Jammies.”
Mr. Jammies was a stray cat that PJ’s Mother had felt sorry for and had taken in. PJ fell in love with Mr. Jammies the very second he laid eyes on him and Mr. Jammies followed PJ everywhere he went. Just that morning, Mother had left the back door open, while she was bringing the groceries in and Mr. Jammies snuck out the door. Both Mother and PJ called Mr. Jammies over and over again but he did not come back. Mother even set a dish of food outside for him but he hadn’t touched it since the last time she looked outside, which was only about a half an hour ago.
“Oh dear!” exclaimed Mother. “I thought that’s what was bothering you. Mr. Jammies is a big cat and sometimes big cats go away for a few days. He might come back.”
A glint of hope appeared in PJ’s eyes.
“I hope he does come back,” said PJ. “I love Mr. Jammies.”
“I know you do PJ,” said Mother. “And I know that Mr. Jammies loves you.”
“Well if he loved me then why did he leave?” asked PJ.
“PJ,” said Mother, patting the cushion on the couch. “Come sit here beside me.”
PJ climbed up on the couch beside his Mother.
“Mr. Jammies was a stray cat when he first showed up on our doorstep,” said Mother.
“So,” said PJ.
“Well,” said Mother. “Mr. Jammies had a whole other life before the one he had with us.”
“You mean someone else might have loved Mr. Jammies before me,” said PJ.
“Yes,” said Mother. “He probably had a whole other family that cared for him. He probably even had a whole other name.”
“Gee,” said PJ. “You mean he had a different name.”
“Yes,” said Mother. “He probably did.”
“I wonder what his other name is,” said PJ.
“I don’t have a clue,” said Mother. “It could be anything.”
“Maybe it was Fluffy,” said PJ.
“Maybe,” said Mother. “Maybe it was. He is a fluffy cat, isn’t he?”
“Yes,” said PJ. “He sure is fluffy. Maybe his name is Pumpkin.”
“Why?” asked Mother.
“Well,” said PJ. “Because of his big round tummy and also because he is almost the same colour as a pumpkin.”
“That is true,” said Mother.
“It doesn’t matter what his name is,” said PJ. “He’ll always be Mr. Jammies to me.”
“That is the cutest name,” said Mother.
“Yeah,” said PJ bashfully. “I named him that because he felt so soft, just like my softest jammies.”
“I know,” said Mother. “That wasn’t the only reason that you named him Mr. Jammies.”
“What are you talking about?” asked PJ, with a confused look on his face.
“Well,” said Mother. “The very first night he slept in the house, he curled up on your bed and…”
“Oh!” laughed PJ. “That’s the night he fell asleep on my jammies!”
“That’s right,” said Mother. “You had to get another pair of pajamas on because Mr. Jammies wouldn’t move.”
“That was funny,” said PJ.
“Yes,” said Mother. “It was. Mr. Jammies is a pretty neat cat.”
“Mommy,” said PJ. “You don’t think that Mr. Jammies is dead, do you?”
“Oh dear!” exclaimed Mother. “No, I don’t think that he’s dead, PJ.”
“Oh good,” said PJ. “My friend Billy said that if a cat runs away from home, then he is either dead or he’s doing something bad.”
“I think I know what the ‘doing something bad’ is,” said Mother. “And, now to come to think of it, he very well could be doing that.”
“What is the ‘something bad’?” asked PJ.
“Well son,” said Mother. “Mr. Jammies could be out starting a family of his own.”
“Oh gross!” exclaimed PJ.
“It’s a part of life,” said Mother.
“Well,” said PJ. “How are we going to figure out what Mr. Jammies is doing?”
“Give it a couple of days,” said Mother. “We should know in a couple of days.”
“Okay,” said PJ.
PJ went to bed and eventually he did get to sleep. A few days went by and there was still no sign of Mr. Jammies.
“Mom,” said PJ, one night after supper. “I wonder where Mr. Jammies is.”
“I really don’t know,” said Mother.
Just before PJ went upstairs to have his bath, PJ heard something scratching at the front door. Mother heard it too and got up and checked. To PJ’s delight, Mr. Jammies came into the house and went straight for his food bowl.
“Mr. Jammies!” exclaimed PJ, happily. “I’m so glad you are back!”
“Meow!” purred Mr. Jammies.
A few weeks later, a neighbour came over to PJ’s house, with a basket in his hand.
“And what do you have here?” asked Mother.
“Kittens!” exclaimed PJ, poking his nose into the basket. “Oh, and look! There is one kitten that looks just like Mr. Jammies!”
“Interesting!” exclaimed Mother.
PJ picked up the furry little orange kitten in his hand.
“Hello Baby Jammies,” said PJ.
“Meow!” exclaimed the little kitten.
“I’m assuming that you are giving these kittens away,” said Mother.
“Yes,” said the neighbour, pointing to Mr. Jammies, who was all curled up underneath the kitchen chair. “And I’m assuming that you would like this little orange one that looks strikingly familiar to your big orange cat, over there!”
“Yes,” said Mother. “We’ll take the orange one.”
That night Mr. Jammies and Baby Jammies curled up on PJ’s bed, right on top of a brand new pair of jammies that were at the foot of PJ’s bed.