“Deer family, 

I’ve made the tuff choys to leev. It hurts me more than you nowe. I’ve been wandering the streets the past few nites. The days are so hot and I can’t swet, but the cool evening air helps me think.  

I just can’t live like this any more. I’ve been steeling from the people who love me the most to support my habit. I’m sure you have notised things missing from the hows. I’ve made so many angry lately. Everyone around me has scars from the pain I’ve caused them.  

I don’t have any motivacion to make a real life for myself. You’ve seen me sleep all day. I stay out all nite and never call to tell you were I am or when I’ll be home. I nowe you worry about me. But the only thowt in my mind is my next fix.  

You don’t diserve to be treated that way. And I don’t know were I’m going, but at least I will leev you in pees.” 

I sat there dumbfounded. The memories flooded back to me and suddenly they all made sense. I thought we had saved her once the adoption was final. It seemed like her messed up past would have no impact on her future. Sure, she had some problems adjusting. She picked fights around the neighborhood, lashed out at others who got too close. She kept us up at night wondering where she was, but doesn’t every teenager do that?  

Even though our friends had warned us that those put up for adoption often have behavioral problems that come out later. When we saw her sad eyes, my husband I just couldn’t leave her in that situation. Her mom had left - no warning, no explanation, no concern for her care. In her mother’s absence, her twin brother was fatally attacked by a dog. The volunteer foster mom told us the story. We started the paperwork the same day to become her legal guardians.  

It was clear that she loved us as her family. When she was home, she was loving and playful. In the evening she’d curl up and put her face in my hair, just like she did when she was little. On good days, she would bring us elastic bands to shoot across the room and she would run to find them.  

But it was the bad days that were hard on everyone. She couldn’t control herself. She’d drink milk left at the breakfast table, steal ham from the sandwich left on the counter, gorge herself at the dog bowl. Cookies, bread, even an unguarded café latte wasn't safe. I knew she had a problem when we found a chunk missing from the lemon cheesecake I made for my husband’s birthday. Then, there would be the telltale retching which followed. After purging she always threw up, usually on my favorite rug.  

Now, I sat at my computer wondering how my cat had managed to type out this letter to me. She loves to walk across the keyboard, but who knew that she understood English? She certainly never showed signs of comprehending what we said to her all these years. I appreciated her attempt to apologize for stealing and being generally ungrateful. But I also knew that she would be back in the morning, hungry and strung out from whatever she’s been doing all night. 

Flea - Character Portfolio: 

  • Small domestic cat, 

  • Black and white fur, 

  • Black dot on white face, 

  • Adopted from pet rescue, 

  • Steals food from everyone in the house and neighborhood, 

  • Loves to suck my hair and knead my neck, 

  • Aims to eat as much as possible, 

  • Vomits often, 

  • Fetches hair bands flung across the room, 

  • Howls when she wants to play, 

  • Sleeps all day, 

  • Prowls all night, 

  • Fights with other cats and dogs that pass. 

Content Marathon

Assignment #3, Character Development

See assignment #1 , assignment #2 and assignment #4 from the Content Marathon.

More about the author: Hannah Werntz.