My Dear Mamá Cat:
I hope this finds you and sister Jasmine well settled after the unseemly roust from our home in the alley behind the Taco Shop. Much has happened to me since then and I wanted to apprise of you my situation, sad as it is.
First — to put your mind at ease — I am well. And as well treated as a prisoner can be. When I was first abducted (they call it “rescued”; I call it “kitnapped”), I was shuffled from human habitat to human habitat. They took me to a place of white coats where they tortured me, probed me in private places and poked needles in me. Then they took me to the home of the human I will call “The Pink One.” I was feeling low and near despair, but in one final protest I gave them my most frightening glower and cried out. I was shocked at her response. “He’s adorable!” she cried. “I must have him!” And so my fate was sealed.
She dubbed me Sweet William the Lionhearted, and I was buoyed briefly that she seemed to recognize my princely pedigree. But no, she persists in calling me “Billy.” Or worse, “Billy Boy.” Worst of all is when she scoops me up and in her high squeaky voice says, “A thousand kisses! I need a thousand kitty kisses every day!” Do you wonder why escape is ever on my mind, Mamá ?
Besides The Pink One there is a dog who lives here. She is large and unkempt and old, but quite harmless. I admit I tease her sometimes, just to ease my interminable boredom. Then she lets loose a sharp bark and TPO yells at her. I find it all quite entertaining. There is also some evidence there was once a cat here before me. Did she die in mysterious circumstances? Of a broken spirit? Or did she escape? Nobody is talking.
After those first days of withdrawal behind the dryer, my despair lifted somewhat and I began my plan to escape. I continue the training you began, Mamá. I bathe daily. My blacks are shiny and glossy, my whites spotless. I can now jump and leap great distances and from great heights; I am fastidious about keeping my claws sharpened — there are several pieces of furniture that work well. She has tried to seduce me with catnip to use the cardboard provided, but I know a trap when I see it. She also helpfully provided “toys” that I can adapt to training tools. I have shredded most of them. At night while The Pink One sleeps I practice my fast sprints. I can now get from one end of the house to the other in 1.37 seconds, fast enough to evade the coyote or catch a small mouse.
I am ever on the lookout for escape routes. The house is full of doors and I believe I have now checked them all. Alas, all turned out to be closets. One was the garage which is cold and dark. There is a glass door to outside and Dog is allowed — even encouraged! — to go out. I do my best to get out when it is opened, but The Pink One is surprisingly quick on her feet when it comes to stopping me. Still, I have managed a few times and it is all practice for my final escape.
I miss you, Mamá, and Jasmine, too. I miss the alley where we were briefly so happy. I long for the smells of the dumpster and the Taco Shop, the challenge and chase after small rodents and lizards. Send help, I implore you. I am held here against my will — a love slave.
Rosemary Rawson is the author of Coming of Age (SRP, 2014).
Coming of Age by Rosemary Rawson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.