Ignore the suckage, be thankful!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

I am glad that your teacher FINALLY remembered to send me tuna! She asked that this week I discuss thankfulness. No problem! I am sure that she is thankful for me and my letters, just as you are, and just as you should be!

You humans always show that you don’t really understand thankfulness. I’ve seen your ads on television. You’re not the only one who can work a remote! The message that commercials and spokes-fools shout about is how to GET more, BE more, and whoever has MORE wins! Geez, no wonder you humans are never happy!!! Everyone tells you that you’re not happy enough!!!

You go straight from Halloween to Christmas. Thanksgiving seems to be more of a transition holiday that just lets everyone have another food-related event before the bigger Christmas holiday.

Seriously, have you ever paid attention to the conversations at the Thanksgiving table? Everyone takes all of five seconds to say what they are thankful for and then BAM! The conversation changes to planning for Christmas, or shopping for Black Friday, or even Cyber Monday! It’s all about the MORE and less about the satisfaction and thankfulness for having what you’ve got!

Now okay, I get that there’s a debate about the history of Thanksgiving and whether it is a good or bad event, but the modern spirit behind Thanksgiving is right. Families should get together more often, eat lots of turkey, and appreciate what they have. But they never really do! They’re always so busy rushing and fussing to make everything “perfect”! And instead of just enjoying the time they have they shift their focus onto the next thing to come!

Live in the moment I say!

Let me help you out baby-kittens! I am gonna teach you and your classmates how to have year-long Thanksgiving! Ask yourself if you have food. Is the answer yes? Like, if you went to bed hungry was it because you didn’t have food, or was it because you couldn’t make yourself eat that bizarre salt-brined casserole your dad made last night? (Seriously, even the dogs wouldn’t eat it!) If your clothes get dirty, do you have other clothes to war? (Don’t panic—I won’t tell anyone about your Naruto cosplay!) When you come home, do you have somewhere safe in the home? Can you leave your stuff in your room and feel okay, like no one will take it?

If you can answer yes to at least two of those you have a LOT to be thankful for! This kind of stuff seems like your “normal” but you have a lot of things other kids don’t have! Okay, so maybe it would be nice to be rich or be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, but can you maybe—just maybe—be glad for what you have now?

Yes, your parents are total dorks and yes, sometimes things are soaked in suckage, but you still have a lot of good things like those stink-bomb pest-hounds, your siblings, and ME! If you have nothing else you have the world’s most wonderful cat in your life and my sister Trixie, so you should be thankful more than one day a year. You should be thankful every second!!! You’re welcome!!!
LuLu the Yes-I-Can-Be-Bribed-With-Tuna Calico Cat

P.S. If you want to eat turkey at Thanksgiving, good luck! I have plans for it!!!