I thoroughly enjoy books written in first person because I love connecting with characters who tell a story in their own words. Like many active readers, I connect so strongly with a character that I literally feel as if I’m walking by their side, experiencing every moment with them. It’s very dream-like/movie-like. As a good/expert reader in my classroom, I try to verbalize these images/thoughts when I read aloud so I can model what goes on in the mind of good readers. Usually, my students snicker and think I’m totally whacked. I fully admit to being weird. I really do. And here is the next weird part: because I usually think in terms of other characters’ point of view, I constantly wonder what my cat is thinking. Oh to hear her inner monologue.
Many of us who have pets wonder this I’m sure of it. But today, as I walked my cat around the yard after school, her face overflowed with pure elation. The leaves crunched beneath her tiny paws, her claws sunk in to tree bark, the birds twittered overhead, and I gazed from afar. What do you smell? Do you really want to catch those birds? Could you if you put your mind to it and gave 110%? After being cooped up all day in a house, I wanted her to bask in the afternoon sun and breathe the fresh air. I would suffer the zesty autumn afternoon air because I, too, had been confined in a windowless room. Near the end of our outing, she trotted over to the shade garden. There, a pile of medium sized boulders makes a perfect kitty perch. She found the one smooth, flat rock and sat there. My mind wandered again….isn’t that stone cold on your bottom? Do you keep track of all the birds you’ve seen so far today? Aren’t your paws cold now?
Alas, I will never know what my cat thinks. As long as there is a happy look on her face or a peppy meow greeting me every day, I’ll take it as a good sign and take each moment to connect with my pet.