Tuesday, September 01, 2009

things my mother saved, part 1

I am sorting a box of things my mother saved from my childhood: paper dolls I created, a tissue-paper flower, two bound books enclosing my preschool art, among many other things.

I found a story I wrote on her old Kaypro II computer, which she bought in 1981. "Clark, the First Cat" covers two printed pages, dot-matrix, with the remnants of the perforated margins where the printer feeding side bits were removed (whatever you call them).

Keep in mind, I was 10 or 11. I have changed nothing:

Clark, the First Cat

When I was only 2, my mother got a call in the middle of the night from a friend, who had found a cat. She had found an 8 month old cat, and she wanted to know if we wanted him. My mother thought that I would like a cat. So that night my mother’s friend brought the cat over.

In the morning I woke up to see a cat looming over me (at the time, I didn’t know what a cat was). When I screamed, my mother came running, as the cat jumped off of my bed. My mother told me that her friend brought him over during the night. She asked me what I wanted to call him. I said I wanted to call him Nicholas, but my mother said we should call him Clark. So Clark it was.

Over the next few days Clark got used to the apartment and us, and we got used to him.

About two weeks later whenever I left the apartment Clark would run up the hallway and leap onto my back, dig his claws into my shoulders, bite my neck and pull my hair.

One day when my mother came home she said that she was going to get Clark fixed and maybe he would calm down. My mother left and came back half an hour later.

For a week Clark didn’t jump on me, but then he started again!

When I was three and a half we got another cat called Dorothy. Dorothy was only a kitten but Clark liked her right away. He liked her so much that he only payed her attention and he didn’t jump on my any more.

So that is how we stopped Clark jumping on me.


I love the suggestion that my mother scooped Clark up, and got him neutered in a mere half hour. That can't be right.

I now know she wanted to name him Clark because her father was a clerk. But that is another story.

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