“Later I found the fork” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday November 8, 2019
7:38am
5 minutes
Because These Failures Are My Job
Alison Luterman

I used to steal rice pudding from Mrs. Crasinski’s house. She paid me five dollars to feed her demented cat when she went to Sarnia to visit her sister and I justified the inconveniece (which, in hindsight, was minuscule) by stealing her delicious homemade rice pudding. She always had a big jar of it in her fridge. I think she served it to the ladies who would come over for Bridge on Tuesday afternoons, and to her granddaughter, Cassandra. I feel really badly often about a whole milieu of things, but at the top of the list is stealing rice pudding from this poor, lonely old lady. She never noticed I don’t think. I never ate enough to really put a dent in the big jar. I’d take a fork from the cutlery drawer and eat it with the fridge door still open, a rush of adrenaline and milky sweetness surfing through my veins. 

“to be euthanized” by Julia at Culprit Coffee


Friday February 19, 2016 at Culprit Coffee
4:37pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday February 18, 2016


Bitty and I found a little cat cat down by the lava house. Bitty’s the one who named it the lava house. I asked Rodney and he told me it was just a sewer. I like when Bitty calls things different because then we have a secret language and it feels like cookies and cream or picking out a splinter from your big toe after limping all day. Bitty picked up the cat cat first and told me she was going to take her home and I said, you mean “him” home and she said, this cat cat can be whoever she wants to be. And I said, yeah, well, I can see his thingy so maybe this one can’t. I didn’t want the cat cat until Bitty said she wanted her. Him. Ugh. But as soon as I couldn’t have him I needed him. More than I’ve ever needed anything. I needed to pretend like it could be her way, like it always is. But that was hard because it was staring to burn inside, like throwing up too much cookies and cream or getting a giant splinter lodged deep into your big toe.

“When ur cat is more” by Julia on her couch


Friday February 5, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
A meme on Facebook

I’ve been dreamin’ about Jeanie again. She’s comin’ back to haunt my sleep! Purrin’ like a pretty cat does. I think she’s tryin’ to tell me somethin’ important cause I keep on missin’ her and she keeps on comin’ back. Tonight I’m goin’ to try to ask her some very dreamy yet respectable questions. Jeanie never talks but maybe that’s cause she’s waitin’ on me to lead the way. That’s how she was when she was alive anyway. Always movin’ so slow just to let me go ahead of her. She was very chivalrous! Always waitin’ for me, lettin’ me go first. That’s real love cause cats don’t usually want to go anythin’ but fast, sept when they’re creapin’ up on prey! Oh Jeanie! Tonight in my dreams I am gonna ask you for the first time if you’re happy. You always asked me. You always made sure my answer was yes!

“I love kittens!!” by Julia at Our Town Cafe


Sunday November 22, 2015 at Our Town
3:14pm
5 minutes
from a text

Dear Diary:

I love kittens!! Mom said if I finished reading my new book that she got me (it’s called: KITTENS) and ask Auntie Genie about the responsibilities around raising an animal friend as a pet, she MIGHT, maybe, will POSSIBLY consider letting me go to the shelter (where they keep the kittens from dying before they’re old enough to take care of themselves) and learn about some of my favourite ones. When I told her that I promised I would and would make sure I was very well informed about kittens and EVERYTHING they need before I asked her to get one, she said, Now, Izzie, this is not a YES or a NO it is a MAYBE, and it is ON CONDITION. I Know I know I know already. She is “non-committal”. Just like my father was. Or at least that’s what Auntie Genie tells me. She told me that FACT when I asked her once if he left because he was allergic to me. She said, Of course not, but that would have been a better reason.

“a pair of black overalls and some scrunchies” by Sasha at UBC


Monday November 16, 2015
2:11pm
5 minutes
Julia’s diary
Age 10


Dear Diary,
We finally got a TIGGER! My Tigger came from the Round. You know the Round? Do you know things like that, Diary? I don’t know. This is my first one so I’m not exactly sure what you know and what you don’t know or if you’re just, like, me, or if you’re something else entirely! Okay. So, back to the point. Sheesh. We got my Tigger at the Round. It’s where other Tigger’s go when they lose their Mamas or their houses. We went there on Sunday, on the Sunday-before-my-birthday-party-Sunday, and we walked around and all the Tigger’s were crying! It was so sad I actually cried too. My Mama said, “Don’t cry Nelly! We’re gonna save one of these lil’ guys!” That cheered me up so I stopped. When we saw our Tigger I absolutely knew that it was ours because it looked at me like it knew me. She looked at me like she knew me. (She’s a girl Tigger.)

“I like chocolate!” by Sasha at Caffe W


Sunday February 15, 2015
2:10pm
5 minutes
overheard at Caffe W

I don’t want that shit. It’s nasty! It’s sticky and it slides around my mouth like it thinks it knows where it’s going but it DON’T. You’ve got that look like I’ve said something wrong but really I’m just trying to practice truthfulness, like that stinky yoga teacher talks about. Everyone makes such a big deal about chocolate but I do not get it. I really don’t! Maybe it’s a woman thing. I’m not an oppressor of women, or anything so don’t get the wrong idea, I just know what women do around chocolate and I’ve never seen a man do that. It’s borderline sexually erotic. Chocolate is. For women. Are you gonna finish that burrito? I would. I mean, if you’re not going to. Are you coming to Becca’s Mad Men party on Saturday? I haven’t decided yet… I mean, I like an excuse to wear a suit and tie, but I’m allergic to cats and Becca has three. It’s like, either I take the anti-histamines and pray to the allergy gods that they work or I…

“thank you for your hate” by Julia in Piazza del Francia


Monday October 27, 2014
1:09pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I’ve received numerous letters from viewers this week and I wanted to share with you the major themes they all have in common. As you are well aware, we set the example for those at home and when those at home see you at work, they follow your actions without thinking and they do what you do. Now you may be thinking, Marlena, great stockings today, but how are we supposed to know which behaviour the viewers at home will want to emulate? How, Marlena, should we prepare ourselves for the randoms and for the sheep-like viewers? And to that I will respond with, Thank you, they’re from Barclay’s, and because you don’t know what they’ll do, you must always behave accordingly. Now the first thing I’m going to talk about is one that’s really inspired a different breed of human to participate. I am going to say this only once: WE DO NOT EAT OVER OUR CATS. Does anyone know why we don’t do this, aside from having to spend 2-3 minutes pulling the couscous from their fur while debating whether or not it can be washed off and still eaten??

“MADE IN ITALY” by Julia in her bed


Saturday October 25, 2014
3:05am
5 minutes
The back of a room spray

I’ve been feeling my roots being tugged deep down from within me. They reach reach into the ground and spread like a forrest fire on a mission. They dig and they wrap around the rocks below. They hold on tight so no one can pull them up. Not even magic can bring them to the surface, poking through the tops of the earth. I was born in this place many years ago. I know this because my heart sings when it hears the call of home. A singing heart is one thing to hope for in this life. Not all hearts sing. Some whisper. This one of mine likes a quiet hum to start it off, finishing with a lulling chant and a whoop every now and again. I was brought here once and made a promise to return. Threw my coins into the fountains, wished on bracelets and pizza crusts. It worked. I keep coming back. Like a cat through the window left open at night, crawling softly into the bed occupied by a lover.

“Let’s be honest.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday September 23, 2014
11:03pm
5 minutes
Ecoholic
Adria Vasil


Don’t get married. That’s what I’d say. You’ll sacrifice things that you’ll wish you hadn’t. You’ll sacrifice yourself, your time, your goals, what you want to have for dinner… Life is about sacrifices, I get that, but on this day-to-day basis? There are lots of things you can’t control and there are a few things you can. I bet you a million dollars that out of all the unhappy people in the world, at least eighty seven percent of them are married. Unhappily. Please don’t let this offend you. I’m grateful for you, and for Dawn, and your father helped bring the two of you into existence. But… I gave up a lot. I really did. I have regrets. I hate to say it, but I do. I regret never going to South America. I regret not eating more cheese. I regret never having a cat because of his damn allergies! I love cats! I think a cat would’ve really helped me through menopause!

“Stufo (agg) fed up (with)sick (of) ” by Julia at Il fiume in Monetelone


Wednesday September 17, 2014
4:11pm
5 minutes
Availiardi Dizionario Italiano-Inglese

After my nap I wake t the three cats in heat moaning to be let inside. I begged Mira not to feed them the very first time they showed up at our door and she refused to listen, claiming I was an insensitive product of my own eternal cynicism. I told her I had heard that cynicism would change the quality of our lives and she shook her head while pouring milk from the height of her hip into two tiny yogurt containers on the landing. Now these cats, thought I could have predicted it, are outs and we have to love them or it might, heaven forbid, breed more insensitive cynicism. I don’t love these cats. I don’t love most cats. I tried to give them a piece of my heart but in their eyes I see a great manipulation and a hunger that can’t be trusted. I think they see that in me too, even though I reluctantly feed them now and sometimes throw bits of yarn their way when I feel like attempting my good deed for the day. Mira never seems to be here anymore–always working late nights at the factory. I’m left here with these little gypsy cats more than I’d like.

Total Control by Sasha on the 99 bus


Thursday August 28, 2014
7:32pm
5 minutes
The bottle of curl keeper

I’m not exactly sure how I got here but what I do know is it smells like fish. I woke up next to a little girl, curly hair, sucking her thumb. She kept sleeping. I found the toilet in the corner of the kitchen and peed, trying to keep my legs together. I heard a voice, “You’re home!” I heard a crash. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I felt a tear trickle from one eye, to my upper lip. I licked it. The voice became a person, a woman, and she was wide and moustached. “You’re here! You’re home!” She smiled but it was more like a cat that got the cream. “This… is not my home… I don’t even know where I am…” She took my hand. She was cold. She began opening a can of tuna. She called, “Millicent! Sheldon! Bartholomew!” She tapped a fork against the can. I heard footsteps.

“I don’t want to find myself” by Julia at her kitchen table


Saturday August 16, 2014
4:57pm
5 minutes
a poem by Mary Oliver

I don’t want to find myself with a head full of dandruff and coffee stained teeth. I told myself I wouldn’t start drinking coffee, but then I got addicted. Not to the drink, but to the mugs! God, I feel so stupid. So stupid to get tricked by the mass marketing scheme of cute and quirky coffee mugs! I’m not even joking when I tell you that one of mine has a picture of a cat balancing on a coffee bean with a caption underneath that says “If I can do it, so can you.” It doesn’t even make sense! I guess if you really tear it open, dissect the crap out of it it could. If this cat is balancing on a coffee bean, symbolizing, what? That he or she is being kept up by the coffee alone? Sure, fine, okay, I can understand that. But why does a cat need to get anything done in the first place? Why is a cat balancing on anything at all? It’s hardly realistic. If you replaced a cat with a person, then I’d get the sentiment. And then to be honest, I really wouldn’t need the caption. It sort of says it all: getting things done by staying on the coffee. Fine. Okay. That’s clearer. I just don’t want to find myself one day showing off my coffee cup collection while I neglect to maintain my scalp.

“No, that was so wide!” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday, July 19, 2014
5:39pm
5 minutes
overheard a Grand Beach


No! It was this big, Mama! It was really this huge! Franklin, stop it! That’s how big it was! I’m the one that held it so you don’t even know! FRANKLIN SHUT UP! I’m telling Mama. MAMA! FRANKLIN! Mama! Franklin is saying that I didn’t know how big the kitten was! That is was smaller! It was a Maine Coon cat! That’s what Aunty said! A Maine Coon! They’re the size of a dog! Even when they’re babies! That’s the truth. Mama? Listen to me! I’m talking to you! Can we can a Maine Coon? Papa won’t even notice that it’s not a dog. He won’t sneeze or have itchy eyes or anything.

“Real slow. Real good.” by Julia on the 506 going east


Tuesday, December 31, 2013
5:16pm
5 minutes
from Phil’s Original BBQ storefront

I guess I musta been dreamin’ real good cause I didn’t even notice the small child meowing outside my window. Usually I’m very sensitive to children. And I guess cats. So I guess both of em. Wouldn’t let that sound go unnoticed if I were more awake. I’ve been dreamin’ with every bone in my body for about a week now. I know it’s new cause before I wasn’t remembering anythin’ vivid or nothin’ and lately it’s been just like movie after movie after movie. Musta been somethin’ I ate or drank or smoked. The only thing I’ve had consistent all week was jerky and that ol’ stuff never hurt me none before. Maybe it’s my jaw. Been slammin’ it back and forth in my sleep, prolly convincin’ my brain that I’d gone and experienced one helluva trauma. I read once that your body carries those moments better than your brain can.

“STORE AWAY FROM HEAT SOURCES” by Julia at her desk


Saturday November 9, 2013
1:45am
5 minutes
from the side of a box

How can I stop all the jumbling? It’s a serious question. It’s exactly what my mind feels right this very moment. It’s terribly overwhelming. I never thought having this affliction would actually end up a burden. It’s a sincerely difficult time right now. I had no idea it would all turn out this way. But I realize, I can’t even do it on my own. I cannot take care of anything while my brain is functioning at such a low level. It’s a wake up call about being alone forever, or taking in too many stray cats one night because the world isn’t a safe place after all. I just need a prescription to end this brain fiddling.

“at the door” by Julia at Ka Chi


Thursday, July 11, 2013 at Ka Chi
7:36pm
5 minutes
Blue Moon Girls postcard

There was a cat with a broken leg begging to get into my house. I told him to fuck off and to stop being such a creep. It’s not his house–the cat’s house is literally anywhere with moderate warmth and humans. Maybe he’d be wrong about me anyway, so I don’t feel bad. He’d come seeking refuge and some love and I just don’t have any of that to give right now. Not enough for a persistent cat, at least. Another day I saw the same pathetic cat begging for a hand out on the corner of my street and I looked at him and just said, “Get a job.” you know? Am I supposed to spend my hard earned money on baby mice and like tuna for this thing? I never a had a cat. I don’t know what they eat but I bet it’s expensive. Especially if they have a broken leg, just limping everywhere trying to tug on someone’s heart strings long enough to be pet and scratched. He’s there every day at my door. I think about letting him in and then the phone rings and I forget about that.

“Saving the” by Julia on the 506 going west


Thursday, May 23, 2013
2:12am
5 minutes
An overheard conversation at Gabby’s

Saving the cat from the high tree in the front yard proved to be a real difficult feat. Ajax, the cat, was not afraid of heights or how to get down, but he was, I’m afraid to report, 100% dead when the rescuers made their way up to him. How did he lodge himself so high? How did he stay up there even while deceased? Amber was the most upset by it all…not so much that Ajax was dead, but because he didn’t even say goodbye. Why did he want to be so far away from her before he left for good? Amber stood beneath the tree before the rescuers brought him down, crying her big fat 5 year old tears and demanding an explanation. Ajax was never difficult when he kept himself on the ground; right where he belonged. Amber’s mother tried to explain that cats don’t like to have their loved ones around when they die. That was a nice thing Ajax did, she tried to say.