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star 20/20

tumbling star
talk to me
answer the questions
that I’ve asked
shooting star
call to me
take me into
your loving grasp
falling star
cry with me
help me take
the pain away
sparking star
sing to me
tell me everything
will be okay

I wrote this 20 years ago when I was 20 years old.

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A Cat Story, Part 1

For Audrey

A Cat Story, Part 1

You would not believe what happened to me. I can’t even believe it, except that I know it did.

It started on a Tuesday when I got home from school. As usual I had to do chores and homework and I never even got a chance to play any video games. When I ask my mom she says, “Maybe tomorrow,” but it never happens.

I was staring at my math problems when Peaches jumped up onto the chair next to me.

“Meow,” Peaches likes to say.

So I scratched his little head and meowed right back at him.

“Finish your homework!” my mother snapped, and that’s when I made an important decision.

When dinner was done and I cleaned my face— because I always seem to have to clean my face— I went to find Peaches.

He was sleeping on my bed, which happens to be one of his most favorite spots to sleep. It’s one of my most favorite spots, too.

That’s when I snuggled him into my arms and he purred and purred, and I asked him, very seriously, “Will you turn me into a cat? Please, Peaches, please?”

All he answered with was, “Meow,” and more purrs, so I figured that was that.

The next morning, though, I woke up to the sound of my sister opening drawers trying to find something to wear. She saw me looking at her and smiled, reached out her hand and scratched my head.

“Stop it!” I yelled, and that’s when I realized.

It wasn’t a yell at all, it was a MEOW!

I looked at my hands and they weren’t hands at all. They were paws! Real paws covered in orange fur!

“What is going on!” I screamed, but it came out as a HOWL.

I jumped out of bed and landed with a THUMP on the floor. It wasn’t that far down the night before!

“Silly Peaches, what are you doing?” my sister said, and so I did the only thing I could think of doing. I ran right under the bed.

My sister left our room and I was not prepared for what came next. Out of my bed sat up ME!

I hid under the bed and watched myself stretch. I watched confusion come over my face. I watched as the human me screamed and fell out of bed onto the floor.

I was looking at myself. Or myself was looking at me. I don’t know! But there I was under the bed and she stared at me, eyes big and wide.

“Caaaaaiiiiitlyn,” my mom called. I knew I should listen but what could I tell her in my crazy cat voice? We just laid there staring at each other while my mom called and called.

“Get ready for school, Caitlyn! What are you doing on the floor?” She stood in the doorway but the Caitlyn that wasn’t Caitlyn just looked up at her.

“Mrrrreeeooooo,” the Not Caitlyn said.

“No time for sillies. Get dressed!” and she stormed out of the room.

Oh no, I thought to myself. What am I going to do now? Here I am, in Peaches cat body, and Peaches is in ME! He didn’t even seem able to stand up right. He kept scratching and mrowing and falling to the floor.

I did the best I could with my paws and mouth. I pulled a dress off a hanger and brought it to Peaches to wear. I think I only got a few scratches in it, but that was okay. He tried to put the dress on but I don’t think he was used to hands. My mom came back and put the dress over his head, helped him with his shoes and the three of them left for school.

That was when I got a little bit scared. I had never been home alone before and the house felt big.

What do cats do all day, anyway?