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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on April 22, 2010


I’d always hated cats.
They seemed like such dirty, wild, flea-infested creatures, armed with piercing claws, and vocals just as sharp. What strange and masochistic personality it took to love one of those things was hard to fathom. They hunted small creatures, and sadistically taunted them for their own amusement. They possessed such spirit of manipulation, which always served to remind me of the two evil Siamese casts I watched on “Lady and the Tramp” as a child. Truly such animals must have been demon spawn.

And yet, I somehow survived the moodiness of our family cat, who arrived when I was well into my teen years. I tolerated her, and I assume she tolerated me. Most attempts at physical affection were quickly rebuffed with claws and hissing – and the cat was rather aggressively opposed as well.

And so imagine my surprise when my roommates brought a surprise cat home one evening. A little refuse from the animal shelter. He was orange, timid, and had some kind of nasty nasal infection. But I tolerated him as well, as he acclimated to the new environment.

His was an awkward transition – not entirely sure who we were or how to relate to us. I wondered where he had come from – who had not wanted this placid creature enough to abandon him at some shelter. His big pale-green eyes seemed to grow less wild and frightened as the weeks went on, and he got over his infection. He drank from the water faucets, and the roomies said that was weird. But he didn’t care. He was thirsty, and so he went after what he needed.

“I’ve decided to move out,” my roommate announced one week, unexpectedly. It wasn’t our fault. She was sorry. And she said she wouldn’t mind taking the cat back to the shelter for us. Somehow, when those words were uttered, I found a wall of opposition jumping up inside of me, and I didn’t know where it came from.


No, who can give a creature a home and then remove him for such a reason? He trusted us. I saw it, I felt it in his occasional purrs, and in the way he would follow me around in the morning, eager to share in my routine. He became that annoying little brother that everyone says they want to get rid of, but really, truly, deep down inside, they love to death and would stand up to anything that tried to hurt him.

Nothing is unlovable unless you allow it to become so. My little pumpkin helped me to understand this fact, and that’s why he’ll always be mine. Perhaps neither of us are exactly what the other expected, and yet, perhaps this is also why we’ve both learned so much about trust.

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