Stephanie Barber

Letters to Animals (#3)

Dear Cat I Want to Adopt,

I know I seem to have a bad pet record. George was, like you must be right now, sitting on a carpet tree in an animal holding pen. He was with two other cats—a Siamese and a dim looking tabby. He looked up as I came in and then stretched and walked over to visit. The teenage volunteer seemed impressed—George had not previously been so outgoing. I suppose I was charmed by the thought of magic or my own special powers but I think not. I think we just liked each other. Sometimes these things have to do with smell—even humans fall prey to such primacy. I was in a hotel in Texas when Ronnie from that Ithaca SPCA called to do a 6-month check up—see how George was getting along in his new home. I couldn’t tell her he’d been sick and died a couple months after he came to stay. I lied and said how happy we were to have each other. How he jumped up on the bed in the morning and was always good. I opened the untouched liquor fridge in the room and sat down to tell little stories about how he pawed my face and, you know, it was all pretty sordid and like time travel into a future that didn’t come (at least not to me and George). Anyway, I am hoping you do not have a heart murmur and will be happy if I ever really adopt you.


Stephanie Barber is a filmmaker, performance artist and poet. Her chapbook poems was published by Bronze Skull Press in 2006 and a DVD-collection of films and their soundtracks was released by PGP in 2008.

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