Kristin Jones English 3345 Writing Assignment # 3 October 13, 2009 Meowiors from a Feline: The Autobiography of Brick [Condensed Reader’s Digest Version] This is a true story…This is my story…My name is Bricky, and I am a cat. Now before you start saying silly things like, “how can a cat write a story?” or “what could a cat have to write about?” I urge you to have an open mind. To explain, I spent many years listening to my various caretakers speak in your language, and I am actually quite offended that no one ever bothered to learn mine. I’m guessing that people do not believe that the language of a cat is very complex or worth their time. I personally think that just because all the other felines you met weren’t as worldly as I am, doesn’t mean that some of us cats don’t have anything to offer. Quite the contrary, I believe that I have probably lived a more exciting life than some of people, and you would be wise to learn from me. As for those who do not believe that my life could be that interesting, the following story should prove otherwise. I would love to go on and tell you all the most memorable moments in whatever order they came, but I guess I should start from the beginning. I don’t remember being born, but I do have some fuzzy memories of my cat mother. I didn’t know at the time what she was; just that she provided me food. There were other cats too, ones like me, well, at least they were the same size as me, I don’t know whether the rest of them lived a life like mine, I only remember the one that Daddy took in when he took me. I remember we played a lot together the cat that Daddy called my brother and me, and we both thought Daddy was weird and scary, as big as he was. The way I felt about Daddy changed when he saved me. I had gotten my neck caught in this thing I had been playing with by the window, I thought I was gone for sure, then he came and he yelled, I heard his heavy footsteps, but I couldn’t see him because I was twisting around. I felt the thing on my neck loosen as I felt his big hands picking me up. I slept that night on his chest and we were close for a while. I still played with my brother, but he still had no interest in Daddy, and he didn’t see why I did. My brother was very mistrusting. I remember the last fun time we had, was playing in the yard, shortly before my brother got sick. We chased some butterflies together, and we both hid from a particularly ugly mutt, teasing him from under the car. I remember my brother getting sick, and Daddy was worried about him. He was worried about me too. I don’t remember much of what happened, only the morning that I found him, curled up by the window. I left him out there by himself, and went to sleep with Daddy. Normally he would get up and wake me up to play. I knew something was wrong when I woke up, and he was not in the room. Daddy was still sleeping, so I went to look for my brother, and I found him by the window. I was not quite sure at the time what happened, but he was cold, and I knew that wasn’t good. I lay down beside him and cried. I cried so loud that Daddy got up, and when he found us like that, he put my brother in a bag and carried him outside. I remember watching him walk around the house with my brother, and then he disappeared. I laid down where my brother had been, and I did not move for a while. I do not know how long I lay there, but Daddy was worried, he tried to bring me food, but I did not want to eat. He tried it with the water too, but I did not want to drink either. He tried bringing me to the food and water, he also tried to get me to use the litter box, but I just wanted to go where my brother did. I would always walk back over to the spot where I last saw him, and I just laid there. I was hoping that I would eventually die. I know now that is what I wanted. It was also what had happened to my brother, but then I didn’t know what it was, I only knew that I wanted it. Daddy finally took me somewhere that I absolutely hated. He called it the vet. I would rather call it hell. There was nothing there but a bunch of ugly mutts, and a few particularly annoying felines, who I had no interest in knowing. Then this man stuck needles in me, and talked to Daddy for a little while. I didn’t go back to my brother’s spot, but I didn’t want to be around Daddy after he put me through that. I eventually got over this, and Daddy and I had fun together after that. I remember how he taught me to fetch with my baby. At first, I was mad, I had to keep going after the thing when Daddy threw it, but then I realized that he was playing and I joined in. Fetch is still one of my favorite games. It was during this time that I learned English. At first, I thought it was just called people language, but then Daddy’s friend Edmund came over and would say things to me that I didn’t understand. I later learned this language called Spanish, and thus made the distinction between it and English. It is little people things like this, that I just don’t understand. As far as I know all cats speak cat language, so why do people not all speak a people language? It’s weird. It was during this time I also discovered something else peculiar about people. That for some unknown reason, you leave the house all the time, and most of the time you don’t seem happy to do so. So why do people do this? If you don’t want to go, then don’t. It’s seems silly that people would make themselves do something they don’t want to do. Cats never do anything they don’t want to do, and I think you could all take a lesson from us because we are much happier for it. I mean why leave and do something you don’t want to do when you can lay around the house, sunning yourself in the window, or eating big juicy mice? Well this is something I’ve been trying to tell people for years, but even the ones who have bothered to learn my language seem to ignore my pleas to stay home. Therefore, I guess people like being miserable, I don’t know. Well, lest I digress, let’s get back to the story. Daddy and I had a great time together when he was at the house, but even though he didn’t leave often, I hated it when he did. I never knew when or even if he’d come back. He always did come back, I would always greet him at the door with plenty of kisses, and I always begged him not to leave again. Eventually things became complicated when Daddy started in with what you people call drugs. Apparently, in the people world, doing drugs is a bad thing. Cats don’t really hold a position on drugs, but then again, not many cats have the opportunity to do them, I did. Daddy would come home sometimes with lots of other people, and they would sit in the living room smoking what people call crack. At first Daddy and the rest of the people that came to the house ignored me when they were smoking crack, but I quickly got tired of that, and put a stop to it. They came in one day and this man set the drugs on the table in the living room. Big mistake. I ran, jumped up on the table, and grabbed the bag with my mouth. I ran behind the couch and laughed hysterically watching these stupid people trying to coax me out from behind the couch. They were so insistent on getting back the bag that I just had to see what all the fuss was about, so I began chewing on the bag. All of a sudden, my mouth went numb and the taste was awful! A few minutes later, I understood why everyone was yelling at me, this stuff was the shit! I felt so good for such a long time, but it eventually wore off, and I have tell you, when it did, I couldn’t have felt any worse. I thought I would die if I didn’t get more. I didn’t die, but I did get more. After that every time Daddy smoked, he would blow some to me. This was much better than eating it, I didn’t have to taste it, and the high was less intense, which wasn’t that great, but it meant the crash wasn’t as intense either, so it worked out. Things went like this for some time, but eventually I began having urges, and despite my better judgment, I gave into those urges with a male cat that had been hanging around the yard, and regretted it from the moment it began. You know you’d think that someone, anyone whether person or cat, would have told me how much that hurt! I mean I’ve seen some cats go and have two and three litters of kittens, and I think, ‘didn’t they learn the first time around? Well I did. I did it once, and never again after that. I soon felt life inside of me growing. I didn’t know then the word for my condition, I know now, I was pregnant. I also stopped taking the smoke from Daddy, he didn’t know why I stopped, and I wasn’t really sure why .I just knew I had to eat if I was having babies, and I didn’t ever eat when I was high. I had a beautiful litter of five kittens, but once I had reared them enough, Daddy took all but one away. I am not sure why Daddy left the one. Maybe he thought she wasn’t ready to live on her own, but if he had listened to me, he would have known that she was excellently trained in hunting, and all other areas of cat ability. He kept her though, and although I knew she should be on her own, I must admit, it was nice to get to spend more time with my daughter. Unfortunately, she got sick just like my brother had, and I had yet another morning where I woke up to find a family member dead. Once again, I refused to do anything, once again, I wanted to die and be with my baby, and once again, Daddy took me to hell. This time I was there longer, and when I left, I was sore, and I had these weird things on my belly that Daddy wouldn’t let me touch. The whole ordeal was maddening, because no one bothered to explain to me what was happening, but the bright side of the situation is that those awful urges went away, and it became much easier to beat the shit out of any male cats that came in the yard. Things were as they should be. After that, we left our house, and we moved a lot. Daddy started to explain more to me, and I think he began to realize that even though I can’t articulate words like people do, I understood them better and better each day. I would sometimes just think of what I wish I could say to him in English, but other times I tried to tell him in cat language. Eventually he would echo what I said in English, and I couldn’t have been more pleased. Yet, while he comprehended what I was saying, his own attempts at speaking to me in my language always failed. I would ask him for tuna, and he would tell me it’s sunny in London. It isn’t his fault really, I guess. Cat language is simple and complex at the same time. The is only one syllable in the entire language, “Meow,” but the language actually has more to do with the way the syllable is said, and a lot to do with non-verbal accompaniments, so while a person may be able to understand cat language, they would have a difficult time speaking it. Besides, let’s face it, even cats can’t write in our own language, without the pronunciation, and the non-verbal communication, every word in our language reads the same. Still, it irks me that more people don’t at least take the time to try to comprehend cat language, even if they can’t speak it themselves. Once when we moved, Daddy explained that we would be moving to a place that was called Orlando Florida and that it was far away. I knew we currently lived in Smyrna Georgia, but neither of those classifications meant anything to me. I still have a tenuous grasp of location, but I have a better understanding of it than I did then. Even with this knowledge however, I do not like getting in cars, and I do not like moving! The cars move in such a weird way and make so much noise, that I don’t see how it could be safe, and I am never sure how long the trip takes or whether when the car stops and we get out if we will be at the place that I call hell. Nothing happened on the trip, and when we arrived we lived somewhere that was much warmer, and we didn’t go to hell for a while so that was something for which to be thankful. We moved around a good bit in this new place, often the places we lived had other people in them too, and that was something I didn’t like much. The other people would usually chase me into Daddy’s room when he wasn’t there. Sometimes they would try to hit or kick me. I didn’t take to that well. I would get them later sitting up on top of the fridge or a shelf. If they were going to try to ambush me, I wanted them to see what it was like, especially since I have an advantage, I have claws. The last place we lived in Orlando Florida was probably the worst. There were many people there all the time, especially those women people. I didn’t like many people besides Daddy, and especially not the women people, I hated them more then the men people. There was one in particular; they called her Star. She didn’t like me, I could tell, and when she tried to wake Daddy up one night, I showed her how much I didn’t like her by scratching her up pretty good. I didn’t like most of the women there anyways, they dressed differently than other women I had seen previously, and they were loud, especially when there where men in their rooms, and there were usually many men going into the rooms and coming out every day. It all seemed weird and somehow wrong. Daddy smoked a lot of crack at this time, and by default, I did too. We finally left that terrible place, and then we lived on the streets. Daddy was sad about this a lot, and he apologized to me a lot, but other than the fact that I didn’t eat as much during this time, I was just fine with being outside, it was better than being with those women. Eventually we moved back to Georgia. First we lived with people that Daddy called his parents, then we moved around from place to place, and each new location was the size of just one room, but that was good because that meant we didn’t have other people living with us. The last place that Daddy and I stayed together at the time did have other people in it, but it wasn’t so bad because we hardly ever saw them, I just had to hear them a lot. We lived in the bottom of the place, which Daddy called the basement, and they lived on top, which Daddy called the main house. After that, the worst thing in the world happened. Daddy took me somewhere else, where I thought we would both be living, but he left! At first I thought that he was just doing whatever it is he does when he’s not at home, but after a while I realized he was gone, and for all I knew it was for good. I was sad most of the time, and I didn’t really get along with the people in this new place, but at least I got to spend a lot of time outside. I caught some of the best rabbits, mice, and other small animals during this time; I ate until I was full every day and still had leftovers. The people weren’t too happy that I was leaving half-eaten bodies everywhere, but they didn’t really give a shit about me, so I couldn’t have cared less about what they thought. When Daddy did finally come back, he had a woman with him. I was so mad at him for leaving, that I decided instead to jump into the arms of the woman, whom he called Kristin. I jumped up, gave her a hug, and showered her with kisses. She seemed stunned so I figured that Daddy told her of my dislike of women, and the look on Daddy’s face was priceless! It was definitely the right way to express to him my dissatisfaction with the situation. That time they didn’t take me with them, but not too long after, the people Daddy calls his parents came and took me in one of those awful cars, and I lived with them for some time. While I lived there the girl they that lived named Angel became quite attached to me, but she lost interest often, for some other unknown, and by the way she acted, pressing matters. She did however spend a lot of time talking into that weird thing that people call a phone. I always see people holding it up to their ears while they talk to themselves, and while she talked to herself, she would pet me. I often enjoyed this because she would do it for hours, and who was I to complain, I mean what else did I have to do? Daddy finally came back, and he and that woman he calls Kristin began living in the other house that was right behind Daddy’s parents’ house. Daddy told me that Kristin was Mommy to me, and while I normally didn’t like any women, she seemed all right. I spent a lot of time with Mommy, she’d pet me for hours, and then she’d let me outside to hunt. When I came back in the house would always smell so fresh, and if I didn’t catch anything she’d give me a can of tuna, yeah life was great. Then there was Tigger and the girls. A girl that Daddy said was my sister Erin moved in with another cat that she called Tigger. I didn’t mind Erin so much, but at the time, I was doing everything I could to get that cat out of my house, and I also let everyone know how unhappy I was. I was so unhappy in fact that instead of using my litter box, I pooped in Daddy’s shoe. For some reason they still didn’t get rid of Tigger, but they finally let her out of Erin’s room. The first few times that stupid cat tried to play with me, I showed her that I don’t play with other cats. I knew she was just a kid, but she would have to learn the ways of the world sooner or later, so if you think about it, I was just helping her. When Mommy lived with us, Daddy wasn’t smoking crack all the time, which was unusual, but he would every once and a while. He would go in the bathroom while Mommy was asleep, but one night, he forgot to let me in, I called so loud at the door that it woke Mommy up and she was mad! She began pounding on the door and shouting through it too, but I tried to tell her that if Daddy wasn’t letting me in there, he wasn’t gonna let her in there either. She got very upset when he finally came out, and she began hitting him, he began yelling, and next thing I knew, Daddy’s storming out of the house breaking everything, and tried as I might, I couldn’t find any crack in the bathroom. After that, Daddy didn’t smoke crack in the house, but every once and a while he wouldn’t come home some nights, and Mommy would yell, cry, and talk to herself with that phone thing by her ear, and she would always say that he was out smoking crack, and when he came back, he looked like he had. I wasn’t very happy with him either, but that’s because he wasn’t sharing. During this time, another peculiar thing happened. I realized that Mommy was pregnant. I noticed she ate a lot, but it wasn’t until her belly started to stick out that I knew what was going on. I really liked it when she got big, because I could lie in the most comfortable position on her belly and I never wanted to move. I was happy with our time together, until her babies started to move. I could feel them in there, pushing their little legs against her belly, and while it was weird to feel it in your own belly, it was even stranger to feel it through someone else’s. I often wondered how big her litter would be, but I steered clear of the belly until she gave birth after that. When Mommy was ready to have her litter, she and Daddy were gone for a few days, and when they came back, she had no babies! I stayed with her because I was sure she felt sad, but most of the time she would just push me away. A few days later, they left and came back with only one baby. I wasn’t sure that any of her babies survived, but apparently, there was one. I just keep wondering how many died. I wasn’t sure how to react to the baby, I couldn’t pick it up, and I didn’t want to be too close to it, plus it was weird that Daddy didn’t try to eat it. I became very jealous of the time the baby spent with Mommy, but I grew to care for it too. Like the time that boy from a house over decided to come in our house. He knocked on the door, but Mommy was in the bathroom, and she either didn’t hear it, or couldn’t come to the door, so the boy walked in. I had been laying under the big thing that rocked back and forth that the baby was in, and when he came in, I attacked him. I knew the boy, but no one was just going to come into my house, and mess with Mommy’s baby, I made sure of that. I didn’t even really like it when people would get too close to the baby, even if Mommy or Daddy were right there, but I could tolerate that, I couldn’t tolerate anyone coming near the baby alone. Mommy came running in there and first she got mad, but she apologized and explained to the boy why I attacked him, and he promised her that he would never just walk in, then he apologized to me, the kid was all right. As the Baby, whom they called Junior, grew bigger, things between Daddy and Mommy became worse. They were always fighting, and Mommy was always sad, except when she was playing or talking to the baby. I began to notice something else about people at this time; people take care of their children a very long time after they are old enough to be on their own. Then again, judging by how well this child was able to take care of itself, maybe Mommy did need to attend to it for a bit longer. Mommy didn’t spend as much time with me after she had her baby, and while Erin didn’t mess with me too much, Daddy had another girl he called my sister Christian move in with us. She used to live in the house with the other girl, named Angel, and Chris’s Parents, but for some reason, Daddy wanted her to live with us. I however, did not feel the same way. When I had lived in the other house, she used to do terrible things to me, and she hadn’t changed any when she moved in with us. She would put me in pillowcases and swing me around, and generally just do things to annoy or upset me. Once she covered me with this white stuff called baby powder, and another time she cut off one side of my whiskers. Mommy would get really mad, and Christian would tell her that she didn’t do these things, but Mommy was smart, Mommy knew better. Aside from trying to avoid Christian on a daily basis, I did have a friend to occupy me, which came in the form of an unlikely companion, Tigger. I was able to tolerate the cat at first, but even when Mommy was getting extremely big with the babies in her belly, I still wasn’t fond of Tigger. It wasn’t until Mommy had less time for me, and Christian began torturing me, that I started to warm up to the kitten. She was very small when she came to live with us, and apparently, she had been with Erin for a good bit of time before that, so I assume that she had been taken from her cat mother too early. Of course, the average feline with any sense in their head could figure that out by the way Tigger acted. She wasn’t very good at keeping up with personal hygiene, she had a very little grasp of cat language and no comprehension of English, she was socially awkward, and she couldn’t hunt to save her life. I began paying attention to Tigger because even though I had told her countless times to leave me the hell alone she would just follow me around and watch me. I began noticing that she wasn’t very good at anything, and when I asked her if she was too stupid to know how to do certain things the right way, she would just look at me and tell me she didn’t know. At last, I gave up, and I decided to take her on as a surrogate baby. I taught her how to speak fluently in cat language, English, and I also taught her some basic Spanish. I taught her how to hunt, and advised her on the dangers of dogs and other cats, especially the male ones. I also spent a great deal of time teaching her the importance of meticulous grooming, because if there is one thing I cannot stand, it is a dirty cat. I even schooled her in manners and cat etiquette. I became very fond of Tigger during this time, and even indulged in some kitten play with her, mostly to teach her how to hunt and avoid predators of course. Daddy had finally reached a point where he upset his parents, and we had to move. Mommy’s baby was walking and talking some at this point, and I remember because he seemed particularly restless on the long car trip to our new location Clarksburg West Virginia, and I didn’t blame him, I was restless too. I hated it when we first moved, because Daddy wasn’t with us, and we were in a house with a dog! I couldn’t believe that Mommy would even allow that mutt to be in the same house with me, it was terrible! I didn’t really like it there it got so cold outside. When Daddy showed up, we moved again. It was nice at first because, I thought that everyone else would move here with Daddy, but I joyfully realized that Christian wouldn’t be living with us, and almost instantly realized that while that was good, I wasn’t happy with the fact that Erin and Tigger did not accompany Daddy either. Erin I wasn’t so upset about, but I was distraught over losing Tigger. I still wonder what ever happened to her. Shortly after we moved into the new house, Daddy began leaving again, and He and Mommy fought constantly. One night there were flashing lights outside, and I could hear Daddy arguing with some men who were yelling at him to put his hands up where they could see them. Daddy had left the front door open, and when I went to go see what was going on, three men all dressed the same came into the house and went into Mommy and Daddy’s room, where Mommy was sleeping. I watched as the men yelled for her to get up, and she awoke, full of fear and surprise. That lasted for only a few seconds before she asked them what he had done now. She went outside and around the corner of the building that was falling apart, and into the parking lot of the store behind the house. I followed her and watched. She yelled and told him it was over, and she went back to the house. I didn’t see Daddy for a long time after that. Mommy was sad for a while, and she began calling the baby Christopher instead of Junior. She was gone a lot, said she was going to school, but I never understood then why she had to leave to learn, I could’ve taught her everything she needed to know, didn’t she know that? After some time a man, that Mommy called Josh, moved in and Christopher began calling him Daddy, so I guessed I was supposed to call him that too. At first I didn’t like the idea, because he wasn’t mine or Christopher’s Daddy, and Mommy was supposed to be with our Daddy not this guy, but Daddy never showed back up, and the guy wasn’t really all that bad. Mommy didn’t fight as much with him as she had with Daddy, and Christopher seemed to really like him, but he didn’t smoke crack like Daddy, and I was really starting to get fed up with the fact that no one was getting me high. In due time I got over not being able to get high, and I just took life as it came. Mommy, Christopher, and new Daddy were hardly ever at home, and even when they were, they usually seemed too busy to pay me much attention. Christopher began trying to be nice to me, but I mostly avoided him, because he didn’t realize things like pulling on my tail hurts, and that I don’t really liked being carried around with my butt dragging the ground. Christopher started getting older. One day, Mommy and new Daddy went away for a little while, and everyone said they did something called getting married. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but everyone seemed happy. We moved again, this time to a place called Los Angeles California, and the first place we lived in was pretty bad. It was small and cluttered most of the time, plus Mommy and new Daddy seemed just as busy all the time. It’s a lot warmer here then it was in Clarksburg West Virginia, but there were many cars at the last place we lived, and not much to hunt. After some time had passed, Mommy and new Daddy were happy one night, they were running around screaming, and they had a big dinner. They stayed up late that night drinking funny colored water that bubbled when I smelled it, and they fell asleep together on the couch. They were still busy for a little longer, but then we moved again. I had seen Mommy going over a drawing of the rooms of this new house, but I didn’t know then what she was doing. The house, which is the same one I live in now, is much bigger than most of the other places I’ve lived, and Mommy keeps saying how happy she is with the way it looks. I like it too, there are many places to hide, and a lot of the stuff in the house looks like it is outside instead of in. The only thing I don’t like about the house is that it talks to the people, and I can’t really figure out how a house can talk. I like it here though. Mommy had another baby, a girl, and shortly after, her and new Daddy brought home another little girl, but Mommy wasn’t pregnant this time, and the little girl doesn’t look anything like Mommy or new Daddy so I wonder if she was a stray. The girls aren’t too bad, and the woman that cleans the house and watches the children is nice, I like spending time with her. I get a lot of tuna and other cat food cans that they call gourmet, but I call it delicious. I have a pretty collar and pretty much get whatever I want. Mommy and new Daddy sometimes leave for long periods, sometimes together, and sometimes not, but they both spend a lot more time at the house, and they both seem a lot happier. Maybe they are learning from me. Daddy is also back now. I go to stay with him sometimes, and Christopher does too. I still don’t like cars, but if I’m going to see Daddy, I don’t mind. Although, Mommy does take me to hell a lot more than she used to. She tells me it’s good for me, but I think she’s lying. Daddy doesn’t smoke crack anymore, and he has a new Mommy too, and another little girl, which I guess is new Mommy’s. At first, I kind of thought Daddy was stupid for quitting crack, but he explained to me how much better all of our lives are, and I had to admit that he was right. I also have a friend, another cat named Pixie, who looks a good bit like me, and I have been teaching her the ways of the cat, including hunting, which is great here. Our yard is so big, and there are so many things to hunt, sometimes I just watch rabbits hop around in the yard because I couldn’t possibly eat another. Sometimes I read. I actually began doing this when Mommy was in school. I would look at the books while she read, and I figured out what it was. I also learned to write with the computer recently, and I learned how to hide the files so Mommy wouldn’t become suspicious. I have gotten very old though, and I know that I don’t have much longer before I’ll die, but at least I can spend my last days with the people I love, and I enjoy so many luxuries, that I often don’t believe the life I led before was even real. I am just glad that I have had the chance to experience many things unlike other cats, and I feel stronger and wiser for it. I’ve truly had a great and very fulfilling life, and I wouldn’t have wanted to live, any other way.