Oliver: An excerpt from Porridge: A Memoir


My first reaction when my mom told me she had a surprise was that she was sending me off to be married.

I don’t know why that’s what I thought, but it was.

While I sat in the car with her and Richie all I could imagine was meeting a teenage boy who would become my husband.

When we pulled up the tiny semi-detached house my heart nearly stopped.

After knocking the door were greeted by a tiny old lady,

Behind her hovered a tiny old man who said

“He’s just downstairs.”

A look of genuine disbelief crossed my face.


My mother instructed me to “lead the way,” so I made my way downstairs

Where I saw a living room with milky white carpets,

Two black couches

And a giant black bunny.

“He’s very friendly,” the old lady starts, “he’ll sleep on the bed with you.”

“Where is he?” The old man asked.

Then I saw a bunny run towards the couch and a grey and white cat following behind him.

My mom got me a cat.

The old woman gave us a litter box, a kitty carrier and two food dishes.

She told us that his name was Oliver and he was previously called “Bob,”

But that was a stupid name so she changed it.

While I attempted to soothe away Oliver’s motion sickness in the car, I couldn’t help but wonder how my mom would manage to get me a cat.

Of course it’s easy to go on Craigslist and search “free kitties,”

But my mom had told me her boyfriend was allergic.

So when I got home, after helping Oliver get settled I asked my mom

“Isn’t Richie allergic to cats?”

She looked down at her feet and said,

“I only told you that because I didn’t want to get one.”

I huffed, “Then why’d you get me one?”

She stared at the floor,

“Because I’d thought it would stop it from happening,” then she looked right at me,

“You’re becoming depressed.”

Porridge: A Memoir 

A memoir about life after death, and a little girl who nearly lost her life after her father lost his.

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