4. Courage


I was sleeping when they took me. Their hands must have been cold, but I don’t remember that. All I remember is my mom crying. She couldn’t move because my siblings were asleep on her belly. She cried a bunch. Yeah… She cried.

I wish she had fought more. Tore the flesh off those human’s feet. I wish she clawed at their fat faces and hissed until their ears burst. I wish she got killed fighting for me.

The thing that bothers me the most is not the memory of the incident itself, but how I imagine she remembers it.  “They took my babies from me!” Using my pain to gain sympathy from other cats. Ugh, it makes me sick just imagining her call herself my mother. She wasn’t a mother or a mentor or martyr or-- she was a liar.  I truly believed she had love me those first few weeks. You know, it’s one thing to watch someone you love suffer, but it’s a whole other thing to watch someone you love watch you suffer…

    Not only didn’t she love me, she didn’t prepare me.  When I first moved in with my humans, I had no idea how to deal with them and them calling things all the time! How was I supposed to know they wanted me to shit and piss in the same spot every time? They only fed me once a day, but then they got mad when I’d feed myself with mice and birds. They dulled my claws and they fattened me up and they wanted all my meows to be purrs. I was alone in the house all day with nothing to do but look out the windows at the cats looking out their windows. I can’t I said these were my friends earlier…

    So of course I left to the streets!  There, I had to learn the language of the other street cats, but their language isn’t like yours where you call everything. It’s more like a feeling of not liking or disliking each other.  A sort of swimming in this sort of mutual respect for survival. Of course, I had to teach myself this language. I had to teach myself everything. How to hunt. How to groom. How to stay dry when it rains.

It’s one thing to watch someone you love suffer, but it’s nothing compared to watching someone you love watch you suffer…

All I knew was that one day, I had a mom, and the next day I was alone and in heat, and I feel like every other cat’s mother took the time to sit them down and give them some sort of initiation into cathood and I missed out cause my mom didn’t love me and now every other cat is in this stupid cat illuminati and they only share their tuna with me cause they feel sorry for me, but really they hate me just as much as my mom hated me because I was born a stupid, useless, burden on them and this world and everyone is just waiting for me to shut up, stop asking questions and get killed.

    It’s one thing to watch someone you love suffer, but it’s nothing compared to watching someone you love watch you suffer…

What I hate most is there is a small but heavy seed in my heart that loves my mommy, and wants nothing more than to hear from her that she loves me, too, and always has.  

It’s one thing to watch someone you love suffer, but it’s nothing compared to watching someone you love watch you suffer-- Especially if they have no choice.

My mom didn’t know her mom either. My grandma probably didn’t know her mom. Or her mom or her mom or her mom. We’re still here, though.  I’m here. So, I guess, in a way, we had enough to survive. I had enough to survive. My mom gave me my claws. My sharp vision. My keen hearing, my soft coat, my luscious tail, my feline, my feminine, my fun, my curiosity, my grace, my ferocity, my growl, my meow, my roar, my purr.  She didn’t give me the names of these things, but she gave me these things. That’s enough. That’s everything. She gave me everything.



Emma Speer