"I was born in Washington, D.C. in May of 1987. Of course, I don't remember that, nor do I remember
my cat mother or my brothers and sisters. They are only shadowy dreams to me.
My first memory is of being alone in a garden. There was a jungle of grass, and other plants towering over
me. I was so tiny, all I could do was cry in my loudest voice, "Meooow! Help! Mother, where are you?"
For the first eight years of my life, I lived in Washington, D.C. in an old two-story brick townhouse on
Capitol Hill. I know the house was old because sometimes a lady leading a group of tourists with an umbrella would stand outside
and talk about Abraham Lincoln and such. I didn't know who that was, but my mother says it meant our house was very old (probably
built before the Civil War, around 1860.)
Our house was a happy home, and it seemed as if it had always been happy, for there were no dark shadows
or spirits lurking there, only sunny ones...
After dinner, it was time to play. I would run from room to room, and when my legs got longer, up and down
the stairs like a maniac..."
I will never forget the day I woke up to my mother's scream. Theo had caught a little mouse, which had come
through the hole in the floor and he was throwing it through the air. My mom didn't want him to kill it or eat it; so, she
took it from him in a paper and tried to stuff the half-dead mouse back down through the hole.
Mom and I began a new kind of communication - a language beyond words. It went like this: I would tap her
twice with my tail, and she would respond in kind with her fingers... Later we would go up to six or more taps. In time, when
I felt better I would sometimes play with her and make her wait for my answer. Just when she though I had not gotten it, I
would give her the exact number she had give me, back again."
copyright (c)2008 Michelle Russell