Friday, 9 March 2012

I love you because... - Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No 33 - 9th March 2012

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writers' fortnightly writing challenge, started and hosted by , where participants share their own 300-400-word text - story or poem - to a given prompt or on a given theme. This time, for Friday 9th of March, Challenge No. 33, the prompt is 'I love you because...' and must be a part of the poem or story. My text is written directly for this REW-challenge. (I expanded a 100-word post for Mrs Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus.)

This is my daughter, Elisabet, who, in this photo, is very sad about Pelle the cat,
having to go. Elisabet is the model for the character Melissa.

[Photo Copyright 2011-2012 Christina Wigren]
Here is my text :

'I love you because...'

'I love you so much, Pierre!' said little seven year old Melissa to the tuxedo cat that she held in her arms.
'Hope they won't want you.'

'But Melissa, we've already talked about having five cats here.'

Surprisingly, the Jones family did want the nine-month-old kitten. He could roam their farm and still keep warm in their son's bedroom. Melissa had thought that Pierre was the one she liked least. But now that he was about to leave, he had become attractive.

Her mother said, 'Wish Pierre luck, give him a hug and then hand him over to Mr Jones'.
'Be a good cat, Pierre. I'll come and visit you soon', said Melissa kissing his furry face. Pierre was warm and soft to hold and he purred in her ear. Melissa loved him, but she could do nothing more than to let Pierre's new owner lift him from her hands.

Later that evening, Melissa fell asleep and dreamed. In her dream, she was on the farm. It was summer, not winter, last summer when the kittens were only some weeks old, fluffy and tiny. She saw Pierre with his brother and his sisters. Melissa approached Pierre and wanted to scoop him up in her arms. Pierre looked straight into Melissa's eyes, opened his mouth and said. 'Oh Melissa, you came!' He had a soft but clear voice. Melissa could not recall that Pierre could talk.

Melissa felt her limbs grow numb, and Pierre seemed to grow before her eyes. But his proportions remained the same as a kitten's. He just got bigger and bigger until she was standing looking at him eye to eye. It seemed that the whole world had grown with him. The trees and the farmhouse had also grown. She looked down and saw two white kitten paws where her hands should be. Her arms were covered in striped ginger fur! It wasn't Pierre that had grown; it was she who had skrunk and become a little kitten herself!

'Oh my!' said Pierre 'I must show you to our two-legged mummy. I hope she'll let you stay with us.

'Do you want me to stay with you, Pierre?'

'Oh yes, Melissa. Please stay. I love you. I have always loved you. Now I love you even more. I love you because you are the prettiest little kitten in the whole world.

[Text copyright 2012 Christina Wigren]
Word count according to WordCalc: 400; 'FCA', Full Critique Acceptable.

This is Pelle, the inspiration for Pierre:

[Photo Copyright 2011- 2012 Christina Wigren]

This is Anna-Mathilda, the inspiration for Melissa's new life as a cat!

[Photo Copyright 2011- 2012 Christina Wigren]

Thank you Nancy for including Elizabeth Barett Browning's wonderful poem on the RFWers blog:

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Best wishes,

This is a work of fiction inspired by the departure of our boy cat Pelle to his new forever home. Pelle is Pierre and my daughter Elisabet is Melissa. The ginger kitten that Melissa turns into is a kitten named Anna-Mathilda.

Now we only have four cats in our crowded four-room apartment. Read my 100 word version of this for my post for Mrs Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus here.

First Commenter:

Ann Thompson

Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap

Or to read other texts for Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 33, with the theme 'I love you because...', please visit this site or click on the image below or scroll farther down to the main linky.


Ann said...

What a cute little story and the pictures of the cats are great. The black and white is very handsome and the kitten is so adorable

Unknown said...

Thanks Ann! You are first commenter!

dolorah said...

OMG Anna, what a beautiful, heartwarming story. I was crying almost at the picture of your daughter, and knew I was going to be emotiionally blown away in the narrative (text).

You delivered a masterful story of childhood loss. My heart pounded for the separation. This line did it for me: "Melissa had thought that Pierre was the one she liked least. But now that he was about to leave, he had become attractive."

It is such a normal, heartfelt reaction to any loss. Nobody knows what they are losing until it is gone.

This just wrenched my heart in two. Love and devotion truly knows no bounds. The vivid imagery and intense emotion of her dream after Pierre has left is so captivating, so realistic, I felt as though I was Melissa, losing a treasured pet.

The characteriation is marvelous; the sentiment heart wrenching. Truly, well done.


Unknown said...

Dear Sweet Donna,

Thank you for your kind words. I had a really bad day yesterday and it helped me a lot to read your comments.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my daughter for being so open with me about her feelings. I write down what she says and then translate them into English. She kisses the kittens passionately on their mouths and tells them how much she loves them/or hates them. I heard her once say that she was going to marry one of the boy cats.

I don't correct her. Time will correct her. Children grow and change and leave behind all kinds of crazy notions, if they are allowed to keep them within the framework of play.

I have been reading Murray B. Peppard's biography of the Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Paths Through the Forest about their lives and work; and what folk or fairy tales really are. A true fairy tale is almost impossible to write today, because it is so innocent and without ironi or sarcasm and based on beliefs that don't fit into the modern, urbane, sophisticated world in which we live.

I have some ideas about writing about creatures that I would like to share with you, but I'll put that in an email.

Now I know to whom I would like to send a manuscript, if I ever get one finished.

Hope you are well and happy!


JANU said...

Cute story. We were feeding a stray cat. It gave birth to 3 kittens and we were looking after the mom and the kids...they were not allowed in. But, some stray dogs took away one of the kittens. Then we started letting them stay in the house only at, well they all occupy the house. said...

Awh so sweet and heart-rending. Your poor daughter I can so empathise. At least Pierre wasn't put to sleep as I first feared.

Talei said...

Ah, thats so cute. I love the imagination of a child with their pets, actually with anything really. Have a lovely weekend. ;)

The Poet said...

My dear Anna,
My wife is a lover of cats & was in tears after reading your story. It reminds me of when she was coming here to the US & had to leave behind her Delilah who she had shared her life with for 16 years. I'm a dog lover myself, but you have to admit, some cats are cute. Wonderful, heartfelt story of love. Another fine entry from you. Thanks for sharing.

My Darling Bride

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Anna,

Lovely, lovely, lovely! There's nothing touches the heart more than a child torn from a pet they've come to love... ;)


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Ann
I was reminded of my own children and their cats in your story. You've captured the emotion that is so vivid in children and often lost in adults. I had a dog as a child that had to go when my brother developed allergies to dog dander. Oh, my heart broke in two.

I love Elizabeth Barret Browning. Her poem captures love like no other. Did you know she wrote that a number of years after they were married while visiting Venus where she stood on the hotel balcony and watched the boats. So many of us allow trials and tribulations to tarnish our love. But Elizabeth didn't. He was one lucky man.

Adura Ojo said...

Anna, yours is a lovely heartwarming story of unconditional love. I've often felt that love for pets is as pure as you can get. When it's between pets and children - two innocent angelic beings, it's the best ever and you capture that so well in your story.

Have a lovely weekend, Anna.

Tanya. said...

Such a sad picture of you daughter...and such a wonderful story. xx

Denise Covey said...

Congratulations Anna on a superb story full of true, childlike, pure emotion. I'm always a sucker for fiction based on fact. You made this even more heart wrenching by adding pictures. Your small apartment must be crowded with love. I have just one tiny dog in my city apartment but they are a lot more needy than cats! Still, life would be so much poorer without my Foxy Lady!

Thanks for a wonderful story. Love the dream sequence BTW!


J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Anna, it's good to be back in the challenge.

Like your story. It reminds me of a fairytale what wit the changes that came over Melissa. The welcome from Pierre is like one of those scenes where the prince is reunited with his princess.

Kiru Taye said...

This is so cute, Anna. You write such beautiful stories with animals.

The Poet said...

Hello Anna.
I'm back for a second reading. This story stirs up so many memories and emotions...not just for me being a former pet owner, but it reminds me of all the sacrifices my wife made to join me in the US.
Love the quote too. Sounds like a song. This was a real nice entry. Thanks for sharing.

(BTW, I've sent you a message in FB)

Laura said...

Hi Lovely Anna -
I'm sorry that I came late to you - what a lovely story! Very quirky and beautifully written, and a real heart warmer.
Laura x

Tess Julia said...

What a sweet story! I've been recently converted into a cat lover too by our new family member Willow. He picked us out on a visit to the local shelter by pulling out all the stops on his charm. And it worked!

Tess Julia said...

Oh, sorry! Forgot to mention I left you some awards on my blog:)

Scheherazade said...

I love your cat story and that unhappy photo of your daughter. Makes me miss my cat, Che, a big 17-lb Chartreux who died over a year ago. Thanks for stopping by to read my flash.


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