“The Yellow Cat”, or, “Young Bearica was Cripplingly Pretentious”

Oh boy, do I have a treat for you.

A few weeks ago, while rifling through a drawer of old papers, I discovered a story I wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of 1998.

As it happens, Bearica Quinn was always interested in cats, and cat-related daytime melodramas. Behold. (Readers: this is how you know I love and trust you– please, keep the ridicule to a minimum. I now channel my need for romantic stories toward wine-fueled Golden Girls marathons.)

The Yellow Cat

The Yellow Cat walked tentatively along the beach. It smelled the fresh sea air with a touch of storm included. It felt the shells beneath his sensitive paws. It cried out in pain as a crab discovered his toes treading over him. “I never should have left my home,” the yellow cat thought. He shuddered as the first pelting raindrop hit his already-chilled back.


“I wish I had a cat,” the girl thought. She looked out into the grey stormy skies. A clap of thunder sounded. She sat on her window seat to finish her sampler. It read in flowery letters, “Ashle”. Eventually it was going to read, “Ashley”. It was to have a border of posies surrounding it. The girl sighed. She threw it down in frustration.

“I hate being a lady!” she cried.

Her tearful voice echoed through the huge Victorian house by the sea. Tears ran down her powdered face. Rivers ran over her cheeks and she had stripes over powder and stripes of skin showing. She looked out the window again. She saw a fuzzy yellow shape walking by the water. She blinked unbelievingly. Rubbing her eyes, she focused on the fuzzy yellow shape.

It became a cat.


Ashley tiptoed through the house. She peeked into the kitchen. She saw Martha, her housekeeper, dicing up tomatoes for dinner.

“I hope Mommy and Daddy are still at their party,” she thought, crossing her fingers. She padded out of the house. As she stepped outside she felt a gust of air hit her,  billowing out her pale blue hoop skirts. Ashley ran out to the frothing ocean. She saw the yellow cat struggling against the storm.

“Here kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty,” she whispered, waggling her slim fingers seductively. The cat’s ears, which were plastered to its head by the rain and wind perked up immediately. It came closer still and sniffed her fingers. It suddenly purred happily and rubbed up against her. She smiled and picked it up. “I have a cat!” she cried happily, skipping toward the smokehouse.


“Have you grown another stomach?” asked Martha suspiciously as Ashley politely asked for another helping of the creamy clam chowder.

“No, no Martha,” said her mother, Venice, laughing. “She must be going through a growth spurt!”

Her father laughed uproariously.

Martha gave a tight smile as she dipped a ladle of clam chowder into Ashley’s glass bowl. She took tiny, tiny bites of it. Ashley already had a plan on how to feed the yellow cat, who’d she’d named Searchlight. She always took two servings at dinner, the first for her, the second for Searchlight. The second she’d eat very slowly, until everyone was gone from the heavy wooden table. She’d found a waterproof bag in the kitchen. Once everyone had left from the table, she emptied her second serving into it. Then she’d call, “I’m going for my evening walk!” as Martha forced her always to get fresh air. She’d walk out to the smokehouse and empty the second helping into Searchlight’s bowl, play with him, and leave. Now she performed this risky act and left the rambling mansion by the sea…



(photo of an unrelated Yellow Cat courtesy of Suzanne)


About bearicaquinn

Smallish, smushy in the sad parts, certainly destined for cat-lady-dom. Enjoys boats, bikes, black coffee, pug faces, sourdough bread, the morning when you have slept long enough, beards, mountainsides, art, rooftops, etc. Will continue to live in things that are interestingly shaped. So octopus.
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7 Responses to “The Yellow Cat”, or, “Young Bearica was Cripplingly Pretentious”

  1. Christie says:

    “She sat on her window seat to finish her sampler. It read in flowery letters, “Ashle”. Eventually it was going to read, “Ashley”. ” HA.

    This story cannot be ridiculed, with the exception of the above comment. I’m pretty impressed. Stories I wrote in my AP Lit class weren’t a fraction as good as this.

  2. Roy says:

    “I hate being a lady!” love it.

  3. Kristin says:

    10 year old Erica was a profound writer. When you are famous, this will be collected in your juvenilia.

    Also – I am impressed by your 10-year-old sense of plot. Most of my stories from the same period are really, really extensive descriptions of houses and parties. Now that I am thinking about it, most of my poems now are just semi-extensive descriptions of houses and parties. But, ha! I have tricked everyone. Poems don’t need plots!

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