This was submitted by Bailey the cat two days ago. Bailey's human dad, R- is a member of my Depression Support Group.
I never thought kitties could write, but after I read the story by Holly, I figured I would give it a shot.
My name is Bailey. I'm ten years old and I live in New Jersey. I'm gray and white. I want to tell you about my brother, my Daddy, and me.
I don't remember much from before Mommy and Daddy brought me home from the shelter. I was happy to go with them because I didn't like being in a cage. The trouble started when I got home. There was another baby kitty there, this one named Jackson. He told me I was going to be his brother. Then he ate all my food. Later on we wrestled, and then he ate all my food again. That went on for about ... well, it's still pretty much going on today. He's over 20 pounds and I'm only 7 pounds, so we don't wrestle much anymore.
Daddy never liked cats before Jackson and I came to live with him. After that, he loved cats. He even went to volunteer at the local shelter. He set up all their computer and networking systems, and even bottle-fed baby kitties who were smaller than even me! Every time he went to the shelter, there was one kitty who would go crazy jumping up and down, and he only did this for Daddy. That kitty was named Claude, and he was born in the shelter. His mommy was in a nearby cage. He drooled constantly and was very big. Also he was very clumsy. Nobody wanted to adopt him, but he and Daddy became good friends at the shelter. Daddy wanted to take him home but Mommy said that two cats was enough for a small apartment. Jackson and I agreed. Daddy used to use his lunch hour at work to drive to visit Claudie and play with him. Then he would drive back to work, hungry and drenched with drool and covered in cat hair. Then he would go back to visit him after work. When he came home, Mommy would accuse him of being with Claude again, and Daddy used to try to say he was out with another woman instead so Mommy wouldn't get so mad! Daddy promised Claudie he would find him a home, and called everyone he knew. But nobody would take him, so Daddy brought him home anyway. He became my brother too. Next time I will tell you about the time that Claudie farted, and he was so suprised that he jumped 3 feet in the air!
Then Mommy's tummy got big (like Jackson's) and we heard there was going to be a new addition to the family! We were so excited. I was hoping for a girl cat, but instead it was a little monster who only wanted to drink milk and pull our tails. Jackson swiped at it, and I ran away, but Claudie didn't care if his tail got pulled. Once the tail-pulling stopped, Mommy's tummy got big again. This time I was hoping for a boy cat, but we got another monster, just like the first. This one also chased me and tried to pull my tail.
Now, I have to tell you, I've always been a scaredy cat. For the first 10 years of my life, I never went outside except in a kitty-carry to go to the vet (not fun). I hide when people come over. I lived in a closet for most of my life, nestled up in sweaters and coming out at night to eat. Later I lived in a dirty basement, and one time I hid under the insulation in the attic for 4 days. Boy did they send out the search parties!
One day, Claudie got sick. They took him to the doctor but we never saw him again. When Daddy came home, he was crying. He cried for 4 whole days, and didn't eat or go to work. I guess he was really sad. He cried a lot for a whole month. He still cries sometimes when he sees a picture of Claudie. Come to think of it, he's always been sad a lot. He cries sometimes for no reason at all. We kitties don't think about things when they're gone. I guess people do.
Well, here's the part I really wanted to tell you about. About 2 months ago, I decided to go outside. I don't know why. It was a little strange at first, but now I spend most of my time outside. Me, who spent 8 years in the hall closet. A few days ago, there was nobody to let me out, so I took a running start and leaped at the screen door. It tore away from the frame and I got out! Mommy and Daddy were pretty mad though - I don't think I'll do that again. I run and chase bunnies but I let them go. I sneak under the fence and go exploring. Everyone says it's really amazing the way I changed. I guess I'm just not scared anymore.
It's hard to change, but I'm much happier now. I guess it's really hard for some people to change. But I think if I can stop being scared, then maybe my Daddy can too.
Bailey is a newly syndicated columnist and professional outdoorsman in Central New Jersey.
I am an writer struggling with bipolar 1. I have been an entertainment writer and blogger, and worked for a news agency as a fact checker and biographer, as well as a writer. Currently I share my home with a cat, a striped tabby named Holly.