# of pages written: 7
# of literary mags submitted to: 2
People seemed to really like my “Open Letter to the Levi’s Jean Company.” I’m not sure if they liked the open letter format, or if they liked reading about jeans, but I aim to please, so today I will post an open letter, and soon I will post something about jeans. Then I will determine which one most pleased the masses.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY CAT:
My Dearest Kitty*,
I love you a lot. I love the way you stretch out on the floor with me when I’m doing yoga, and the way you snuggle in my lap, purring like a motor, when I’m on the couch reading. I love to pet you, and I apologize about that time I was stroking your fluffy belly and thought I detected a tick but it was really one of your nipples. I promise not to violate you like that again.
Anyway, I’m very impressed with you as a cat. You’ve killed two voles in the past two weeks and left them for us on our porch, which was quite thoughtful. You always win staring contests with the neighborhood cats, and despite your treks around the yard, you somehow manage to keep the pink pads of your feet soft and clean. (How do you do it? My feet get callused and dirty just from walking around the house.)
But we need to talk about how beggy you’ve gotten lately. It all started when the vet said you were a pound or two overweight. Now, I don’t want you to feel bad about that, because I think you are beautiful just the way you are. I love your tummy and the way it swaggers from side to side when you walk. You are a sassy, gorgeous cat. But, I also want you to be healthy, which is why I started measuring out your food: one third of a cup twice a day.
I know you weren’t happy about that.
And then, last week, my mom bought you that diet cat food, and I guess it must be low calorie, because you seem hungry all the time. You’re constantly meowing at me and looking towards your food dish pitifully. You come around whenever anyone is eating anything, and then you go up on your hind legs and put out your front paws in what my mom describes as “Gangnam Style Kitty.”
At first it was cute.
But on Sunday, when we were eating Chinese food on the deck, you got up on your hind legs to beg then dug your claws into the side of my thigh. And I don’t even think you like sweet and sour shrimp. You also clawed my grandpa the next morning when he was eating some toast, and he really can’t take that kind of abuse. Then yesterday, when I was eating a quesadilla, you jumped onto the table and tried to snatch it off my plate. That was unacceptable. Nobody steals Eva’s quesadilla, and I thought you knew better than that.
I guess you’re really hungry.
The thing I don’t understand is, if you’re so hungry, why don’t you catch a vole and eat that? You can obviously catch them, and my mom says once last year she watched you eat and entire vole – bones and all. So this is something that is definitely in your power. I guess it’s easier to beg for food from me than to go out into the yard and catch your own. Maybe this is a matter of motivation.
Kitty, I know it’s hard to motivate yourself. Especially when you have this hope that there might be an easier way. I’m always thinking, gosh, wouldn’t it be great if someone just handed me a job where I got to write daily blogs about whatever I wanted and get paid for them? But you know what, Kitty, that’s probably not going to happen, no matter how much I beg the universe. So I have to find my own ways to write every day and still make a living. I have to motivate myself to get up early every morning and work on my novel even though no one is paying me to do so. In the same way, Kitty, no one’s going to give you an extra scoop of food. You might have to go out into the yard and find some food on your own.
And, speaking of finding things, I used to think that by this time in my life I’d have found my own family and house and career, and written a best-selling novel. But I don’t have any of those things. And you know what, Kitty, I’m OK with that. Sometimes we have to be satisfied with what we have. Oh, yes, Kitty, you’re right, I am hungry for these things, but it’s not always bad to feel hungry. It keeps you motivated. I’m sure if I get a family, house, career, and novel, I will become hungry for other things. In life, we are never completely satiated.
My darling Kitty, I understand why you beg. We all beg from life. Please, give us what we want! And that’s fine. Because sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the oil. But sometimes we have to go out and hunt for the things we want. At the same time, we need to get comfortable with our hunger, because that’s a feeling that will never really go away.
I hope this makes sense to you. I know these are deep thoughts, but you are a very clever cat. Maybe, if you are very good today, I will give you the leftover milk from my cereal bowl.
*I know this sounds like an Anne Frank diary entry, but in fact, this is an actual letter to an actual cat.