Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gratitude Interlude - A Letter to A Stranger

While I'm delving into Anderson's Chapter Five over FORM in writing - it's very dense and something that I struggle with as a teacher, providing guidance, models, and suggestion without proscription.  I'm not in a place to connect it to my writing prompt today, so I won't try.

Instead, I'll go after today's TeachersWrite! prompt with gusto.  Today's guest author, Amy Ludwig VanderWater, (who has a terrific webpage for sharing Writer's Notebook ideas), reminded us all that gratitude has an important place in our life as writers.  It helps us reflect on life.  It also leads to interesting memoir. Her suggestion to write a letter of gratitude to someone anonymous was really creative.  Here's mine:

Dear Anonymous Rescuers -

Eleven years ago, you heard the pitiful, insistent, SOGGY meow coming from under your bushes and didn't ignore it.  Instead, you found a scared tiger-striped tomcat hiding from the evil water falling from he sky.  You took him in and called the Humane Society, who found that he'd been abandoned, defenseless, with no front claws.  After you dropped him off, they nursed him back to health and transferred him to the Chicago Area Cat Rescue, who took one look at his handsome red and grey fur and named him...Dino.  Yes, Dino.

This wasn't your fault, dear rescuers, but perhaps an oversight by the kind people from CACR who didn't know him very well.  Perhaps they saw how intelligent and charming he was and nicknamed him after Dean Martin?  No, I didn't think so either.  Obviously someone with a Flintstones fetish named him.  But worry not!  Our boy waited for nine whole months with that ridiculous name until I came searching for him.

When I met him, he was one amongst so many in that tiny room of cages at PetSmart, waiting for the right family to come along.  Two other people were there that day, cooing over kittens and fluffy fur, but I knew the real test - the true tell of who was meant to be mine - The Squirrel Call.  I stood at the center of the room and let loose the flurry of tongue clicks that had been the call for our family's cats for as long as I have lived.  While every cat (and human) there perked up their ears and looked, only Our Boy, Dino ANGUS, tried to get to me: pawing at the bars and rubbing himself frantically against them as if to say, "Here! I'm RIGHT HERE!"

I took him home that day, found out his proper name - how can you mistake a Scottish king for a purple dinosaur? - and introduced him to our catless home.  He promptly thanked me for the jailbreak and set about winning over my husband, who was not eager to welcome his very first pet to our home.  Within a week, Angus had staked his claim on my husband as HIS person.  He is polite and affectionate to me, but seeks the brotherhood of my husband's company over mine, given the choice.

In time, he accepted a second cat into his kingdom, Foxxy, who became my cat and the thorn in Angus's side.

Your kindness rescued her as well, from a life as a half-blind feral alley cat, and brought her to be the fluffy queen to his king.  

Your kindness has extended to rescuing other cats that have become part of our extended family, when my niece and nephews adopted the sister and brother, Buster and Heather, who now rule over their kingdom.  

Your willingness to stop and take the time to coax out a scared king from beneath the bushes, dripping with rain, makes you a hero.  I only regret that he had to suffer the slings and arrows of fortune before he met you.  Thank you - you brought my little Scottish king to our home.  For over ten years, he's been the best friend a family could have, and it is all due to your kindness.  You have brought love to our home, and that is a gift without price.



1 comment:

  1. I have a number of rescued cats in and around my home. I love how personal your letter is. We all love our pets. They make a house, a home. Thanks for sharing.