Carol Collett

Life as I know it

Validation, Kindles, and Contests

In October 2009, totally on a whim, I entered a short story contest. The prize was  Kindle 2. I really wanted a Kindle and couldn’t justify the $260 price tag. (Wow, has the price come down since then-paid $199 for my Kindle Fire last year.) On the last day of the contest I sat down at the computer and wrote the story that ultimately won the contest. The contest hosting blog is now defunct, but I still have that Kindle. Even though I have a newer Kindle version now, I can’t bear to part with that old Kindle 2. It serves as some kind of validation of my writing.

The title of the contest was Cats Write Good and Stuff. To enter, I had to write a short story from the point of view of a cat writing the story.

Here’s my entry as I submitted it then. (Took all my willpower not to do a little editing…)

I don’t have much time, so pay attention. I can feel myself growing weaker by the hour, but I want to leave this warning for the rest of you.

The humans call me OC, short for Orange Cat. So little imagination.

So how did I come to be in this sorry state of affairs? Quite simply, I was hungry. The humans with whom I traded small rodents for Cat Chow seemed friendly enough. They squealed with gift I left on the mat outside their door. Out of reverence and honor, they refused to tough my gifts with their bare hands, but instead, they scooped each rodent onto a small, mobile altar and took it inside.

I had so hoped the might share an occasional mouse with me, but the poor dears must have been starved as they never even offered me a bite of rodent. But they did often leave small bowls of Cat Chow outside for me. While it was tasty enough, I longed for the taste of warm, fresh blood.

One day they did not collect the mouse I gifted. I sat in the tall grass watching for the alpha female to come outside, see the gift, squeal and, well, you understand. But she did not. Nor did the smaller, more active humans come outside.

The next day the mouse still lay outside the door. Thus followed the week. I soon realized that in my zeal to provide for my charges, I had woefully over hunted my territory. With winter coming on, I knew the mouse population would remain depleted until spring.

I decided to follow a large fellow, white with light brown patches, home to his humans’ abode. He was friendly enough, but not very bright. His humans also traded Cat Chow for rodents. To my delight, they didn’t question my presence. In short, they sucked me in.

So here I find myself on my last night replaying in my mind the path to this point in my life. Booger, my large, not so bright friend, sits with me, though he is not trapped in a small, single roomed prison as I am. No, he sits outside my cell trying to convince me I will survive this ordeal, this trip to the sadist known as “The Vet.” I know I will never be the same. Booger tells me The Vet will stick needles into me to inject stinging liquid into my bloodstream. He tells me too, The Vet will give me drugs to produce sleep so he can remove my…my…my cajones. Oh, I do not think I can survive the night just thinking of it. Oh, how will I live in such an unholy state?

But I will finish my sad tale now. Take this as a warning. Do not let the humans trick you. They look weak and innocent. But they are vile tricksters.

Run, my friends. Run far away.

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