This story was written over 35 years ago by a very smart 5-year-old bi-racial little girl I had in therapy. Her parents were getting divorced and were in the process of going through the courts to determine where she was going to live, as her father had taken a job in California and her mother was staying here in Massachusetts. The themes she was able to capture in this story reminded me of how fragile and scared the children of divorce feel when the parents are caught up in the painful process of dividing up their lives. This case was one of my motivations for getting trained to do Family Mediation. A non-adversarial approach to divorce in which the parents negotiate the terms of the separation agreement made so much more sense than having a judge decide for a family what is in the best interest of the parents and children.
The Fuzzy Cat
Once upon a time there was a sad little cat. He was black, with a white diamond under his chin and white paws. He was a handsome cat.
There was a lady on the street and he rubbed his fur on her leg. (That was how he tried to say “Hello”.) She yelled, “Get away you dirty little cat. You will rip my stockings.”
The cat went away more sad than before. He was starting to feel hungry. How he wished he still lived with his family. Everything was happy back then. The father always gave him scraps off his plate and the mother liked the little cat to jump into her lap so she could gently pet his fur.
The little cat went for a walk and saw a family of cats. She thought, “I wish and wish that I had magic powers so that when I wanted something I could make it happen.” Just then a Fairy appeared with flowers on her side and said, “Your wish will come true.”
The little cat said, “I wish I could play with the littlest cat.” The Papa cat became stern and said, “No, we must go home or we will be late for dinner.” The mother cat said, “I think we should let them play.”
The little cat felt suddenly very sad because she did not know who would win the argument, the mother cat or the father cat. The littlest cat said, “I will be the Judge. I choose Mommy.” The little fuzzy cat asked the Papa cat, “Are you poor?” The Papa cat said, “When cats walk around on the street it means they are homeless, so of course we are poor.”
(This is the accompanying picture; drawn by the 5-year-old)