CATS IN THE DRAWER
One of the most popular “stories from life” in the anthology A Certain Kind of Freedom: Stories and Poems from The Writer’s Drawer is Mina Sepehri’s “All the Cats in the World.” The Writer’s Drawer, from which the anthology derives, is an intercultural, literary website for writers of all genres and levels, and the book captures some of the best and most interesting material from it (until mid-September 2013). The idea of the “stories from life” section of the anthology is to bring a taste of other lands and cultures to readers. Mina is from Iran and through the cats she affectionately describes in her story, we learn about her life in that country during the period of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), and in particular her relationship with her beloved father. One of the strongest scenes in the story is a description of a Shi’ite ceremony where Muslim believers mourn the death in battle of the Prophet’s grandson Iman Hussein ibn Ali, one thousand years ago. Naturally, there is a cat involved, a black one – which some would interpret as a bad omen. But when Mina’s father is killed in battle shortly afterwards, she and her aunts do not blame the kitten: she was just a portent that it was time for him to depart this world. Now, whenever Mina listens to a cat purr, she can hear her father laughing.
While Mina’s tale is the only cat story in the book, it is not the only one at the website. Only recently, Patricia Roy sent a fur-raising story about her cat to The Writer’s Drawer and Indie and Proud Short Story Competition. It turns out that what Patricia’s cat had swallowed in the night was not a piece of Christmas tinsel, but something much more lethal. Both Maggie the cat and Patricia had to endure several painful and anxious weeks until the former recovered.
My own childhood was also “peopled” by cats. One of them, a tabby, was not allowed wander the house (or outside) at night and was shut in the garage till morning. One night, my parents returned from an evening out and accidentally ran over a tabby cat in the driveway. They reported the accident to us in the morning and while we were upset, we were consoled by the fact that our tabby (I think his name was Tabby) was in the garage. Much to our – and particularly my horror – however, when we opened the garage door, out stalked a strange cat, albeit a tabby, but not our beloved one. Our own tabby had been run over and lay dead in the driveway!
But back to The Writer’s Drawer, where there is a wealth of human interest and other stories there, like the two I outlined above. Visit the website and maybe even purchase a copy of the anthology, which is available both in kindle and print form. The deadline, incidentally, for the next anthology is September 15, 2014. All writing posted at The Writer’s Drawer since the deadline for the last anthology will be considered for selection.
The Writer’s Drawer – http://www.thewritersdrawer.net/
A Certain Kind of Freedom: Stories and Poems from The Writer’s Drawer – http://www.amazon.com/Certain-Kind-Freedom-Stories-Writers/dp/1492890316 and other online bookstores
The Writer’s Drawer on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thewritersdrawer
The Writer’s Drawer on Twitter – https://twitter.com/beryl_belsky
Check out the other INDIE AND PROUD author page on my website.