The Writer's Cramp 7/16/21 W/C 393
July 16th - Remembrance Day
Mandy’s room was a mess. When was the last time she’d cleaned it?
“Get in here, little girl. You have a real mess here. Time to shovel this stuff out.”
“Mom! Come on. I have to go to Pam’s today.” Mandy stomped her little feet and whined.
There were toys, clothes, food wrappers, plates, cups, all matter of junk all over her room. How had this happened?
“Tough luck, tootsie. You made this mess. You will clean it up.”
She whined some more, then half-heartedly started. After an hour, with no headway, I intervened.
“Tell you what, let’s work together. No job is too big if you do it in small bits. You get a garbage bag. I’ll get the vacuum.”
We got along fine until we came to the dresser. All the drawers were pulled out, clothes every which way.
“Really, Mandy? Why is this dresser looking like this?”
“I leave the drawers open so Misty can sleep in them.”
Misty is her cat, a lovely tortoiseshell, which is now watching us from the newly made bed.
“Well we don’t leave drawers open, we close them. So take out all the clothes, refold them all, put them back in, close the drawers.”
My child dutifully did the chore until I heard, “Mom? What do I do with them?”
Inside one of the drawers were two petrified kittens. Under a pile of shirts, curled up and dried up. How long had they been there?
“Oh, good grief! Are those real?” I grabbed some paper towels, removed the remains, started to put them in a garbage bag.
“Wait! We have to bury them. They were Misty’s babies. We just can’t throw them away. They have to have a ceremony,” stated Mandy with all the sincerity of a ten-year-old.
As I scrubbed out the drawer with disinfectant, I decided that first, no more kittens in drawers. Misty is going to the vet today to be fixed. Second, Mandy needs to clean her room every day. Third, petrified kittens should probably be buried for the sake of a ten-year old’s peace of mind.
They are buried in the backyard near the maple tree. Mandy marked the spot with a big rock. She claims that July 16th every year is to now to be the remembrance day of those lost babies.