Last night I found a note from Elissa in my letter box. The envelope was linen parchment paper, embossed with an E and a pink flamingo on the back. Across the middle was written “To My Beloved Mother.” A photo of Elissa fell from the envelope onto my desk. In front of a backdrop of the ocean, her black head posed to one side, white paws folded under her chin, arms rested on a beach ball. Her ears perked, but her eyes pleaded. Violets meandered nilly-willy around the border of the envelope and the note inside matched. It was folded, but before opening it, I needed to gather my thoughts. To my recollection, Elissa was buried under the weeping willow tree in our side yard. How daunting to receive a letter from a pet so many years gone. I paused to consider this, then began to read.
Did you know I’ve thought of you as mother? From the day you brought me home from Sarah’s, you loved me. Sarah tried, but she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and I went for days licking up bits of water she’d drip on the kitchen floor before she’d remember to fill my milk bowl. But you, dear mom, you cared. Except for you, not one of my families understood my needs. Thus, this letter.
I’m still alive. I know you think I’m fertilizing the grass under the willow tree, but the fact is, you were only my eighth life. You’d have been my ninth if you hadn’t found me in Sarah’s closet when she passed. I certainly would have extinguished from lack of nourishment. But, find me you did, and cared for me wonderfully until Mr. Carson ( I will not and never will call him Dad! ) was too tired to empty my litter box ... and after all those times you nagged him. I ended Life 8 inhaling toxic waste fumes.
For my ninth life, I’ve retired here in Palm Beach. I was going to send you a postcard, Wish You Were Here and all that, but decided the little pink flamingo would do. Letters are more my style. This is my Last Life, so I am inspired to write things one should take into consideration when caring for felines. We have feelings that shouldn’t be ignored. I hope you will attempt to get these helpful hints published in a magazine. My suggestion would be “Cat Fancy”, which is widely read. Well, here goes:
OUR OWN SPOT
We don’t enjoy being thrown into bed with small children. We are quiet. They are noisy.
We are cuddly. They cuddle us inside their pillow-case. Consider this trendy new product, the Kitty High-Rise. Included is bedding, lined litter box with ventilation, ( extremely important ... as I can vouch ) and a nail-salon with scratching post. It features four walls and a door for cats to get in and to keep children out. Extra storage is provided for kitty accessories.
Don’t expect to keep us from clawing furniture if you place the scratching post where we can’t find it.
Place it on top of the kitchen counter or the computer keyboard.
Spray it with catnip.
Place it near the litter box
Place where you think it “ looks good and blends with the decor”.
Panasonic Pet Scam
Your local Target carries them.
Sadly, cats, too, are neglected by Nanny.
( $10 off coupon in the March issue of “Cat Fancy.”)
UrineOff and UrineFinder
I was surrendered to a shelter in my second life because of urinary tract infections. A “ flare-up” brought on puddles. Had my family used the above product:
Shelter .. Not necessary
Untimely entrance into my third life: not so much
The Pet Rescue Sign
Why are there signs to rescue children in a car or a bedroom, but none for pets, I ask myself? This neat-o promotional offer comes with two window decals and a yard sign complete with balloons for Pet alert.
That about does it. I trust that you, dear mother, will take care of this so that I might finish my lives
I have helped someone, someway, somehow.
I closed the letter, dried my eyes and took a walk to the side yard. The grass was brown under the willow tree, there were no daisies. I imagined a sun-tanned Elissa, dining on tuna salad in a Florida restaurant and paying the “Seniors Early Bird” discount.
Cat Fancy is an actual magazine for cat lovers. It has a column by a Vet named Elissa called “Elissa’s Essentials.” I was leafing through the magazine and got my title from the column.
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