Whisper 2.31

Dear me,

The garden was such a mess! Wilting vines, overgrown garden beds! I don’t think anyone had stepped foot in it all summer!


But a little water, a little weeding, a little pruning and harvesting seemed to do the trick!

While I was tending the garden, I kept remembering a wish that Patches had way back from before I left for college.

I decided it was time we do something about it.

When I came inside from the garden, I found Patches in the kitchen.

“How about if I call the shelter,” I asked her, “and see if they have any cats to adopt?”

She clapped her hands and squealed with glee.


I could hear shouts of joy all over!

Even the gnomes were happy!

“Whiskers!” They shouted from the garden.


“Little padded paws!” They laughed from the front steps.


Two of the gnomes plopped down right on the front porch so they’d be the first to greet our newest family member, Hatbox Tea.


Hatbox–that’s the name she came with–is a lovely little calico Manx with green eyes and a mischievous personality. Needless to say, she fits right in.

I’ve never seen Patches more happy! She smiled brighter than ever and she wouldn’t stop clapping and cheering!


Hatbox’s ears twitched as she walked into the house. I think she didn’t expect such a loud welcome.


Patches, who seems to speak Cat, realized she was being a bit loud. She toned it down and sat on the love seat to watch Hatbox become acquainted with her new home and new siblings.


Zoey wasn’t sure what to make of her at first. Why is she hissing? Will she scratch?

“Now, kitty, it’s your new home,” Patches said in her softest voice. “Relax. Take it easy.”

“Mew?” said Hatbox, and next thing we knew Hatbox and Zoey were playing like they’d been litter mates!


We laughed to see how cute they were together, and when I saw how happy Zoey was, I felt my chest relax. I guess I’d been holding my breath to see if they’d get along. I knew a cat would be right for Patches, but I wondered how Zoey would take it, since he was used to be doted on as the littlest family member.

But he’s happier than ever to have a four-legged friend. Watching them together, I feel that there’s something about having somebody around who’s a little more like you that can give a happy feeling of belonging. Riley has Patches. I’ve got Bo. And now Zoey has Hatbox.

Sometimes, it takes being part of a pair to help you find where you fit in a big rambling family.




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Whisper 2.16

Hi, Shannon!

Thanks for writing. Are you sure you’re not moving here? I’d like your letter better if you said, “Puppies? I’m on my way!” But maybe you can come for a visit?

I like what you said about my brother breaking curfew: “Stupid laws were made to be followed by stupid people. Smart people invent their own rules.”

Bo sure would agree with that.

Have I told you he’s kind of a crazed maniac? He’s so weird.

I came downstairs the other night to find him cackling and saying, “My plan! My plan! It’s working! It’s working! Gather them together, the army of the ages!”


I just shook my head, just more of his craziness.

But when I went outside, I found all of the gnomes gathered together in the rain.


Mr. Snowman #1 was chuckling and humming.


And Mr. Snowman #2 seemed to be casting a spell.

They’d all gathered around to listen to the lecture given by one of the graduation gnomes I’d brought back from college with me, who seemed to be explaining the concept of half-lives.


So strange. And there was Bo inside, humming his little song.

Sometimes I forget that Bo is truly plant material. He got wilted at school the other day and missed the bus.

Patches said he just sat down on the dried grass and began doing his homework, looking parched at the edges.


I filled a bottle of water and took off to find him. By the time I got there, he was photosynthesizing.


He seemed quite chipper when we got home and immediately pulled out his homework to finish it.


I think you’d like him, Shannon, crazy as he is. He’s a daredevil like you, and everything he does, he does radically.

“Do they teach nuclear engineering at the university?” he asked the other day.

I felt proud–I mean, he’s only a sophomore in high school, and already he’s planning for college!

“What about chemical–err…. chemistry? Like toxicology?” he asked.


I told him it was a top-rate research university and that he’d be able to learn anything his heart desired.

So, Shannon, a few years, and he and Patches will be heading off to uni. I think maybe I’ll go with him. Maybe Riley will come, too. Promise me you’ll still be there, OK?

Love you. Miss you.


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