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  • Christina Fotinelli

Dear Pete,

Sandra loves Pete but Pete is allergic to cats. The one thing Sandra loves more than her grandma’s pearls, her flute medals and certainly more than Pete is Constance, her cat. They tried sprays, patches, candles and even coating Pete in cat repellent nothing worked. The moment Pete and Constance are in each other’s orbit Pete swells up and gasps for air. Constance, regal and proud, regards Pete with disdain. Her look says, this snivelling human specimen is pathetic. Being made to live with him would be a joke, having him as my master a farce. Pete, eyes watering and nose streaming with snot, counters with fantasies of executing the four-legged terror that is destroying his chance at love.   

Dear Pete,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this ….blah, blah, blah. No one wants a Dear John Letter but you’re getting one. I choose Constance. You’re a good man and I imagine we may have been happy but Constance makes for a better companion in many ways.

It’s not because you clip your toenails in the living room or that you never met a kitchen cupboard door that you could close. Nor is it because you hog the covers or put the juice carton back in the fridge when there is only one sip left. I could get past so many of your irritating habits but Constance fulfills more of my needs.

Constance is low-maintenance, inexpensive to feed, quiet, independent and does not need constant reminding to tend to her personal hygiene. She also purrs in her sleep which I much prefer to your nocturnal flatulence. She also takes up minimal space and keeps the house pest-free. And I don't just mean rodents, if you get my drift.

She Speaks to the Dead and Fixes the Plumbing

You pride yourself on being a good handyman. I'll be kind and say you're competent with a wrench but you make a huge mess and I get stuck racing to Home Depot and spending a fortune on jumbo packs of tools and paraphernalia that you'll only use once.

While only last week, Constance had an extremely cathartic conversation with my Granny Millie and cleared the air after Granny's fateful slip on Constance's catnip. Then, like magic, the annoying rattle in the toilet pipes disappeared. And it didn't cost a penny!

Sixth Sense, Nine Lives, One Mistress

In evolutionary terms, Constance has you beat by miles, Pete. You can't intuit when we need groceries. Constance can smell an earthquake. She can see in the dark, can sense when my hernia flares up and is so finely attuned to me she knows when I need a cuddle or need to be left alone. A skill you've struggled to master despite my direct verbal clues.

To be honest, if this were a proper feud, Darwin style, only the fit survive, etc. it would not end in your favor. Constance would be the victor. I'd be the spoils. And you Pete, would have been vanquished by a mildly lethargic, 4.2kg brown-patched American Ringtail tabby.

My Constance, she doesn't stray, she's loyal and she knows who her mistress is.

If you haven't grasped the nuance, I'll elaborate. When you went to the pharmacy for your allergy meds you forgot your phone. Dim-witted as you are you haven't muted banner notifications so I saw your correspondence with SweetKittyi72, DogLovinGall and MissPurrrrrrrrrr.

See if I was stupid and you had nine lives, like Constance does, you could spin me some nonsense story about these ladies being experts in frontlines of feline allergies. But I'm not and you don't, so good-bye Pete. Don't let the cat's litter box hit you on the head on your way out. In other words, duck 'cause I've got good aim!

Constance's Cat-Mama 4-ever (aka Sandra)

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