The Mama

Mama gave birth to her first litter of kittens at the far end of the park. She nestled herself as far away from the playground as possible between the weeds behind the bench on the trail that led down to the woods. The air was cool, the rain fell hard, and Mama knew something was…

The Dog

I was a dog person before I was a cat person. I guess due to proximity. As a child, I didn't know many cats, but I did know my cousins' dog Lori. Lori was only a year younger than me, and I remember being significantly shocked one Christmas when I was 3 or 4 years…

The Flowers

I paced up and down the grocery flower section as if it were my life that depended on it. They had to be purple. Her favourite colour was lilac. They didn't have actual lilacs. I reached for a bouquet of tulips. Did she like tulips? Were tulips too Easter? I turned to look at the…

The Alternative

Paul and I were driving south down California's glorious coast in our rented yellow Camaro. We were on our way back to Redondo Beach from a night camping in Big Sur. I was exhausted. The night had been freezing, with a hazy mist that I hadn't expected in sunny California. We didn't bring an inflatable…

The Parking Spot

She pulled into the parking lot behind the building hoping to find a spot, but all three visitor spots were taken. She texted him, "hey, there's nowhere to park, what should I do?" A few seconds later, her phone lit up with his reply, "pull up to the front of the building, I'll come down."…

The Chickens

"Paul got chickens???" My best friend Cynthia texted me one afternoon. "Chickens?" I texted back. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. "Like, as pets?" She sent me a screen shot of Paul's instagram, the latest picture featuring five chickens outside on grass beside my estranged cat, Zart. "Chickens!" I texted back.…

The Complaints

We sat in the rickety old van we rented in Montevideo cruising along the Uruguayan highway. From the backseat, I admired the angled tree trunks with green leaves exploding far into the sky. Farms paraded past us one after the other. The sun bathed us through the windows. Throughout the ride, when she wasn’t asleep,…

The Cat

Sometimes I miss my mom. Not my feline mom, the one who gave birth to me and my litter mates beneath the deck. I only knew her for about five weeks. I barely remember her. My real mom is the one who saved me from going to the Humane Society. My dad, the one who…

The Diagnosis

I pulled into a vacant spot in the parking lot that was shaded over by a large tree. Before I left my car to enter the mall, I checked my phone. I'd almost forgotten that I'd texted my mom to see how my grandmother's neurologist appointment had gone. "It's Alzheimer's." My mom had texted back.…

The Camping Trip

Drew Nodar and Seth Grady stood up from our table to leave for hockey practice. My heart sunk. I would miss having Seth around. He said normal goodbyes to everyone, but when he got to me his eyes twinkled a little more brightly. He said, "and you. I'll see you later." Holy shit. I thought…