Today is a very special day in the Condellberry household — Miles turns 10! It was just under four years ago, when Miles was six and I was eight months pregnant with Jackson, that Miles suddenly — like over the course of a few hours — got very sick (from complications of his just-diagnosed diabetes) and almost died. But he beat the odds and survived, and we count every day with him since as a gift. We love him so much.
Those of you who have been reading the site since the beginning probably remember the wise and surprisingly philosophical advice Miles has shared in the past through his guest column, Dear Miles, but what you don’t know is that he’s been slowly, between naps and bird-watching, working on a book of columns for the last couple of years. And now it’s on its way to publication! Later this summer, you will be able to buy a copy of his first collection, tentatively titled: Dear Miles: Letters to a Cat. And in honor of Miles’ 10th birthday today, he’s sharing an excerpt from the book below:
Every time we eat in a sushi restaurant, Joel makes a big deal about how he’s switching to chopsticks for good. “I know it’s unpopular to say,” Joel announces. “But chopsticks are superior to the knife and fork. They’re simple, elegant, and efficient. I’m buying my own pair and I will use them for every meal I eat, consequences be dammed!”
But then he never does it. Joel just goes back to using a knife and fork his next meal and all his meals after that. Whenever I mention it, Joel becomes despondent, excuses himself from the table, and watches “Wheel of Fortune” with the sound off.
I wish I had ended up with my college boyfriend, Greg. I heard he’s a successful pediatric dentist living in Shaker Heights.
I eat with my head. Wendy serves my food on a little plate, I plant my face in the pile of Fancy Feast and go to town.
Sometimes I close my eyes and picture myself in an open field on a clear starry night. Other times I eat with my eyes wide open, staring directly at the food as I devour it with wild abandon.
After the feeding frenzy has subsided, I sit peacefully on the coffee table in the living room and bang out farts.
Well, I give up. I’ve tried a hundred ways to be Lynda’s friend and she just won’t have anything to do with me. I always say “Good morning!” when I pass her desk, I offer to bring back coffee whenever I go to Starbucks, and, just now, I invited her to girls’ night out. Lynda couldn’t be bothered. A flat: “Buzz off, Lorraine,” is all she muttered without even looking up from her phone. My name isn’t Lorraine. My name is Kimberly. There isn’t anyone named Lorraine in our office. I stood there confused. Then Lynda’s phone rang and she answered it like this: “Whadup bee-atch?”
Lynda is so interesting and I wish she would be my best friend.
People say cats are aloof and, man, is that the cold hard truth. Most of the time Simone acts like we’ve never even met. I try not to let it hurt my feelings but it does. I understand Simone resents sharing Wendy, especially with someone she considers to be an “unsophisticated buffoon.” But we’re the only cats in the apartment. It would be nice if we could have a normal conversation every once in a while — talk about birds, trade notes on the litter box, or make fun of the man’s girlishly high laugh.
Sometimes – almost never – Simone sits next to me on the bed and we take naps side by side. It’s nice.
Simone is very complicated and she makes me nervous.
Charlie is a district manager now but would you believe he still took the time to sign my birthday card? He wrote: “Happy birthday, Barbara!” What a pleasant surprise. On my card from five years ago Charlie wrote: “Happy B-day! Don’t have too much fun!” I still chuckle every time I read it. What a sense of humor that man has.
His wife sure was one lucky lady. Well, not so lucky, I suppose. She did get hit by a truck. But you know what I mean.
Charlie’s birthday is August 17th and you can tell too because he is such a Leo!
I am having a very good birthday.
I was adopted by Wendy when I was four months old. She thinks my birthday is May 28th, but it’s just a guess. I don’t remember much from my first four months but I remember some things, and there are times I miss my family. Some days I really miss my mom.
On my birthday, Wendy gives me an extra can of Fancy Feast and the man sneaks me a bowl of ice cream. I appreciate it. I really do.