I got my first babysitting job at 13. Two kids ages 8 and 6 — old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but young enough to see me as an authority figure, so I thought.

The evening started off perfectly; we played a board game, and I read them a story. I was surprised by how well behaved they were. They asked if they could play in their rooms before bed, and I said, “Sure, go ahead.” I stayed in the family room and did homework.

About 30 minutes later, I saw their cat — completely hairless. The kids shaved off all its fur! I panicked.

I sorely regretted not watching them like a hawk, and felt duped by their good behavior earlier, which obviously was just an act. How would I explain this to their parents?

Before I had a chance to find these kids, the parents returned. They thanked me for doing a good job and paid me. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them what happened. I accepted the money and left as fast as I could, sure that my parents would receive an angry phone call before I even got home. I was convinced my babysitting days were over.

Days passed without any contact from the parents. Later, I learned there is a breed of hairless cat called a Sphynx. They had recently bought one.

Katherine Jenkins,


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