The most important object I have is something that may be significant to only me, and perhaps the person that gave it to me. I had known Maya since our families were neighbors in Egypt and we were both toddlers. Though, I remember not wanting to play with her, preferring to play football with my boy friends and swimming as often as possible, she always seemed to be around. She was nine months younger than me, so as we grew the age difference seemed to increase, not diminish. By the time we reached seven years of age, I thought Maya was nothing but a big pain in my neck, and I just wanted her to let me be to play with my other friends. But, because our families were so close, there was no way that Maya was going away.
For my seventh birthday, my parents bought me a kitten. It was an Egyptian Mao and I decided to call it “Bubu.” Bubu was my very first pet and I played with him all the time. I had a plastic ball with a tiny bell inside of it which I used to spend hours rolling to him, to which he would hit it back to me. Though there were most likely better things for a seven-year-old to be doing with his time, I thoroughly enjoyed constantly playing with Bubu. While my other friends who were boys would sometimes give me a hard time for constantly playing with my new cat, Maya was the only one that seemed to love him as much as I did. The only unfortunate thing when Maya played with Bubu and I was that she always wanted to make him were feminine clothes or otherwise girly things. Still, she liked him very much and I began to appreciate Maya far more than I did before. However, I still found her quite annoying on most occasions and preferred to play sports with my other friends.
I had Bubu for ten years, and as I grew into adulthood, he was always there for me. It seemed after every achievement in school or in my personal life, I would come home and he would be there to greet me with a smile, if cats actually smile. He was always ready to play, and even though my life became busier and I had less time to play, I still made it a point to play with him as often as possible. Maya and I also saw each other less and less as we got older, especially after her parent and her moved out of Cairo. However, I would still see her on occasion when she and her family visited the city, and she always asked about Bubu. She would still play with him every time she came over and it always made me feel good. I remember thinking at one point that out of all the friends I had known for years and years, even though I almost always denied that she was a friend and preferred to look at her as an annoying neighbor, or kid sister, she was one of my best friends.
One night when I was seventeen, Bubu got out and never came back home. I looked for hours all night long, and continued to look for days. I asked everyone in our neighborhood, but nobody had seen him. I was heartbroken. Almost a week after Bubu went missing, I was still very sad. It was around this time when Maya came over because she had heard through her mother about Bubu. She was so nice and amazing to me, and cried because he was gone. She made me feel better just by being there. We went for a walk, talked about Bubu and life and what we planned on doing after finishing our educations, and when we got back to my house, she gave me the object that I still find most important to this day. Maya found a piece of paper and used it to make an origami cat on which she wrote “Bubu.”
I still have the little origami cat that Maya gave. Sometimes, I take it out of the box I keep it in, with some of my old pictures and other things, just to remember my youth and my passage into adulthood. It reminds me of my first and favorite pet, but it also reminds me of the value of a good friend. While I do not see Maya as often as I did when I was a child, I still keep in good contact with her through the internet and by telephone. She is married and happy and I wish her the best in everything she does. And, now whenever I come across the little cat she gave me, I no longer remember how sad I was when Bubu disappeared, but how much I appreciate good friends.