Kailiani at An Island Life has started a Group Writing Project. This weeks theme is "How to..." A random winner will be drawn on July 17 and will recieve a $30 Amazon giftcard. See the link above for the guidelines to participate. Here is my entry:
Dear Janice, (our adored nanny for hire),
With all due respect, I am exceptionally grateful to you for your commitment to care and nurture our beloved cat whilst we are away. I have left you a few simple and may I say quite concise instructions of his proper care. Please read as follows:
7:02 am Scratch P. Paw or Mr. Paw as I will be referring to him for the remainder of our correspondence requests his first bowl of kit chowder to be served in a glass (please do not bother with plastic or the like as Mr. Paw is highly inconvenienced by the squeaky clamor the outer waxy layer of such bowls produce as he is feasting on his delicacies) dish, his favorite in red, slightly warmed over an open flame of due proportion and mixed delicately with a cream of goat’s milk.
7:05 am Mr. Paw may not finish his platter immediately but may savor the like as you in return may offer him a chilled concoction of bottled well water and savory lemon peel to cleanse his palate.
8:54 am Upon your return if in fact you have left the premises to parade the city streets in a mild mannerly fashion, of course, for an errand or two Mr. Paw requests to be walked. Although but slightly finicky Mr. Paw does enjoy the fresh breeze of the morning air as he is pranced about upon yonder leash through the cropped grass of our beloved neighborhood. He prefers not to allow his delicate paws to touch the rough, and decidedly uneven, surface of the commoners’ road of pavement. His pace of choice is a brisk yet expectantly gentle scamper as to not ruffle his coat of velvety fur.
9:09 am Mr. Paw will expect to be efficiently littered at this time. I do regard this is a delicate procedure, but I assure you, you will succeed in your efforts if you stay within these succinct guidelines. Place Mr. Paw within eyeing distance of his favored littering box but do not exit in haste. If he is ready upon immediate arrival you willst need offer some further assistance and perhaps a bit of coaxing with light fanning and gentle humming to summon forth his efforts. If Mr. Paw becomes agitated by your choice of tune to the point of spitting or hissing you must abort, I say ABORT child or you may receive a good lashing. Proper anesthetic is hidden under the back cupboard among various other elixirs and the like.
10:22 am Mr. Paw requires massage at this point. With scantily light fingers begin at his lower back and work your way up to the tips of his ears. Too rough and he will reciprocate in an ungentlemanly behavior. Too light, and he will speak unpleasantly until the job is done to his liking.
11:17 am Mr. Paw will take his mid-morning nap. I dare say he refuses to fluff his own pillows. You will be expected to accommodate his fickleness and fluff both the left and the right feathered pillow of his napping quarters. The center bundle is to be left untouched as too much fluffing causes an uneasy lumpiness that sets Mr. Paw into a frenzy of spats.
12:06 pm Din-din is expected on the dot. His midday meal should be proportionately halved between a moist succulent potted duck and a dry basted fish tender. The local grocery conveniently carries both delicacies. You will promptly be reimbursed for any costs you incur minus the 20 percent the grocer will demand for immediate service.
1:16 pm Mr. Paw delights in his afternoon nap. Again, you must fluff the pillows and lightly massage in the exact fashion of the aforementioned instructions. Any change of routine will cause serious consequences on your part.
3:34 pm Mr. Paw requests to be promptly woken from his nap with gentle birdsong. If your imitation of the sweet voiced swallow is lacking, you may attempt the mating song of the yellow canary. Be fore-warned that if Mr. Paw isn’t delicately woken, he will respond distastefully.
5:54 pm Supper is to be served. Mr. Paw’s evening tastes vary drastically therefore he will make his cravings known at this time. It is best if you inscribe his exact instructions on parchment and dictate them back to him before proceeding in the preparation.
7:29 pm Mr. Paw relishes his evening moonlit scamper. Leash-liberated and fancy free, Mr. Paw expects to romp and play free from the burdens of his tedious day. You are not to interfere in his play of choice.
8:59 pm Time to bed Mr. Paw. Again begin with the pillows but end with your best rendition of Over the Rainbow. If your voice is incapable of rendering the beautiful melody, Mr. Paw may fall into a fitful sleep upon which you must rock him until his restless slumber embarks on a beautiful journey of tender dreaming.
Congratulations. You’ve survived day one. Now, that you’ve perfected Mr. Paw’s proper care I expect day two will be just as fulfilling. Thanks be to you for your cordial service.
Mr. Paw’s Mother-of-Sorts
Side-Note: I left these instructions as a joke for my friend Janice who so graciously cared for Scratchy while we were on vacation. I'm so glad I had a reason to post this.