by jp Rodriguez

Dear Miss Greenwood,

Obviously you don't know me but trust me you'll be interested in what I have to say. And please don't just skip to the end of this letter because I really want you to understand everything and I'll try to keep it on the short. All right just so you know I'll let on here it's about your cat Witherspot. What a weird name! So anyway 2O years ago I was born. My mother was an alcoholic and my father was a dog and I don't mean that metaforically either. My mother actually believed our dog Vance was my dad. Obviously she was crazy but young kids don't know much about nothing nevermind reality and insanity so until I was 7 or 8 I thought our dog was my dad too. It was kind a neat but you can probably guess it was hard too. For example dogs eat homework they don't help with it. And that dog was a right old bastard too and he used to bark and growl at me everytime when I came dam home. I asked my mom why my dad hated me and she told me dogs have a 6th sense about people and he obviously knows I'm bad news. It all changed one day when I was carrying 7 bags of groceries up the 4 flites of friggin steep stairs up to our dog hairy l bedroom apartment and I asked "why the hell can't dad help with these dam bags!" and my mom said "watch your fuckin mouth boy! Your dad can carry them fine but we're both of the opinion that you otta bloody well do it!" And then one bag ripped and everything came out and the jar of pickles broke and Vance ate them and my mother knocked me senseless and that sealed my deciding enough was enough. My fuckin dog was not my dad. My dog was just a dirty bastard dog with dirty ears and my dad was dead and so was my brother and my mother was bloody bonkers.

I tried to proove it to her she was wrong by exsplaining that dad died 5 years before we got Vance but she said that didn't matter that soles can flote around as long as god wants before he tosses them back. She said dad was a dog as a husband and so obviously God thought he should actually be a dog. And she said she knew for sure because when my human form dad use to pretend to be a dog his woof was the egzact same as Vances and they both like pickles. And I knew that bastard Vance was playing her up. I felt sorry for mom but man did I grow to hate that bastard dog more and more and he hated me even more than that! I beat him and kicked and punched him and the day he attacked me back he almost bit my dam arm off and I got 67 stitches and I told the police he was crazy and the vet put him to sleep. When we got home from the exsecution my mom did her damdest to repete the sentence on me. I was big for my age but my mother's wrists were the size of baseball bats and everything else matched that. And I couldn't hit back anyway because she was my fuckin mother AND my arm was mangulled! Some of my stitches split from me trying to protect myself but she wouldn't take me back to the doctor so now the scar is really big it feels like rubber. Like a rubber worm. And she kept on doing that for 2 years until I finely hightailed it.

Anyway I'm sorry you don't even know me and you maybe don't really need to know all this but I'm just trying to exsplain to you that I obviously really fucking hate animals all of them. You can't understand I bet even that Froyd guy wouldn't understand. Anyway now I'll tell you about your cat. I found out about him and you on some internet site and I still can't even believe it! A painter cat! It said how you sold one of his master pieces for $l5,OOO! Man! For years I've been getting by selling lifted tvs and dvd players and sometimes jewelry but that was my chance to go big time. I decided right there that this would be MY master piece. I was going to steal your cat and move up to the classy James Bond world of art thiefery! Exsept I was going to beat even that because I wasn't going to just steal a painting I was going to steal the artist! I'm sorry I don't want you to think I'm being silly and joking around. This is what I was thinking. Anyway here's some advice. Go get a dog and not a little one. It's the only security system that works. Of course if the thief doesn't like dogs he might kill it and then you'd wish you didn't have the dog because you'll be robbed anyway but also now your dog is dead. That's if you like dogs. I hated them so I would have killed it.

So anyway obviously I took your cat and you're probably happy when I tell you he's alive. I thought I'd take him and sell a couple paintings a year and retire from real stealing. I mean I grew up hating animals not people. It's not like I like being a criminal and taking peoples things like the Grinch and making them sad and angry and want to kill me if they ever meet me so I want to stop. And stealing a cat is less of a crime than anything else I've ever stolen and that would be the last time. So I took him but why haven't I tried selling a painting and got busted doing it? Well your dam Witherspot refuses to paint for me! I tried everything. I put a whole bunch of bowls of paint all around the room with canvas everywhere and newspapers on the floor but the silly priss just walks carefully around them like there quicksand or puddles and he doesn't want to get wet and then I knock them over going to the dam washroom at night. I tried taking his food away and beating him and I even took him in my dufel bag to the museum. He didn't seem to like it and he still didn't go near the paint! It kept drying up and costing me alot so after a while I gave up and kicked him out but he wasn't having it he just stood by the door! It's so weird. It may be the family craziness haunting me but I sometimes wonder if he's the reincarnation of my little brother that died before I was born come back to protect me or something. It would be nice to have someone again. You know maybe he painted to get in the news so I'd find out about him and take him and then he'd let me know it was him. I mean why didn't he just run away? Why doesn't he paint now? Now I know I obviously would've got caught if he did and I tried to sell it and maybe he knows that. And why doesn't he go away when I beat him? He just stays! And he sleeps on my bed with me while I can't sleep and he meows hello when I come home and he sleeps on my lap when I watch tv. And the weirdest thing is guess what I tried feeding him and he likes? Pickles!

So anyway I want to give him back to you because he's making me bonkers and I think he should be allowed to paint again because he must love it right? But I don't want to go to jail. I'm cool to meet and give him back if you promise you won't try to get me thrown in the slammer. He's your cat and I think you should have him back. Write me back and promise you won't call the cops. I could lie and threaten to kill him if you do but obviously I could never do that now that I know him. I'll miss him but now I'm going to get me a dog! Maybe we'll play catch! I'll try and make up for the way I was mean to Vance and maybe this dog will like me and I'll like him.

And it's killing me. What does WITHERSPOT mean anyway?



© 2007 by jp Rodriguez.

jp Rodriguez is an English-born Canadian currently living and teaching in London, England. Most of his time (not allocated to molding the 8-year old minds of future world-leaders) is spent writing, but he also makes music and paints. At the moment he is polishing up his first novel—which he hopes will someday see the light of your bed-side table.