Letters From Lockdown 29: Alyssa-Caroline Burnette

(To my rescue kitten Emerson)

Dear Emerson, 

I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be quarantined with you! Sometimes I look at you and I’m so overwhelmed by how far you’ve come already, beautiful girl. It seems like yesterday, you were this fragile kitten that could fit in the palm of my hand, this little ball of fluff who has been so close to death so many times already. And sometimes– like when you follow me to the bathroom every single time and rest your paw on my foot to make sure I’m okay– I get a little teary, thinking about what my world would be like without you in it. How sad would I still be if a splotchy little kitten hadn’t wrapped around my neck at the shelter and refused to let me go? How many times would I have cried alone if you weren’t here to patiently sit with me every time? How many moments of laughter would I have missed? (Because, let’s be honest, at best, Araminta tolerates me).

Because the thing is, Emerson, I’ve only known you for six months and you’ve already brought me more joy than I’ve ever known with any other pet. I think it’s because you’re a survivor, just like me. I see it in your fragile beauty and your determination to hit life at full speed, even though it’s already hurt you so much. I see it in the knowing way you eye my every tearful moment and anxious tremble, as if you know what I’m going through on a level that transcends words. I see it in the way that you– like me– jump at every loud noise and every harsh word, as if you’re already expecting the worst because you’ve lived it. But you keep going. You keep exploring. You keep pouncing on me at 3am out of nowhere and licking me awake when I sleep in because you just want so much to make sure I’m okay. Araminta has apparently evolved beyond any need for my attention, but you keep sitting beside me every day while I write, your eyes following my every stroke of the keyboard, your purr radiating support. 

You keep me going, little floof. You’re my reminder that laughter isn’t cancelled. Companionship isn’t cancelled, even if we can’t leave the house right now. Because thanks to you and your quirky personality, I’ve made so many new friends! People love seeing your little floofy face and hearing about what you get up to; you’ve given us an excuse to bond over floof stories during a scary time. Thanks to our mutual love of cats, I’ve connected with people I might never have met under other circumstances. And because you bring so much to the world, I know that as long as we’re together, we’re going to be okay. So, what I’m really trying to say is, thank you, Emerson, for existing. Thank you for being my friend for quarantine and for life. 

All my love for always,


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