“Do you think she’ll come?” asked Caleb. “And will she stay? What if she thinks we are loud and pesky?”
“You are loud and pesky,” I told him. But I was worried, too. Sarah loved the sea, I could tell. Maybe she wouldn’t leave there after all to come where there were fields and grass and sky and not much else.
“What if she comes and doesn’t like our house?” Caleb asked. “I told her it was small. Maybe I shouldn’t have told her it was small.”
“Hush, Caleb. Hush.”
Caleb’s letter came soon after, with a picture of a cat drawn on the envelope.
Dear Caleb, My cat’s name is Seal because she is gray like the seals that swim offshore in Maine. She is glad that Lottie and Nick send their greetings. She likes dogs most of the time. She says their footprints are much larger than hers (which she is enclosing in return).Your house sounds lovely, even though it is far out in the country with no close neighbors. My house is tall and the shingles are gray because of the salt from the sea. There are roses nearby. Yes, I do like small rooms sometimes. Yes, I can keep a fire going at night. I do not know if I snore. Seal has never told me.Very truly yours, Sarah Elisabeth
“Did you really ask her about fires and snoring?” I asked, amazed.
“I wished to know,” Caleb said.
— Excerpt from Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
We have a new resident in our house. Well, not the actual house, but in the porch. He officially belongs to Kate, who has dutifully promised to feed, water, and clean the litter box.
While I’m not much of a cat person, I do truly enjoy watching my animal-loving daughter tote her kitten around, playing with him and sending him sailing down the slide (“He LOVED it, Mom!”). Her neck and arms are lined with scratches and she has never been happier.
Initially, I wasn’t so sure about the whole thing . . . until my book-loving heart practically burst when she suggested the name Seal, after the cat in Sarah, Plain and Tall. She knows the way to her Mama’s heart– throw something from a good book out there, and there’s no way I can say no.