Cat Lady

copyright – Jennifer Pendergast


The little old lady sat on the couch.  Two cats slept on her lap. The other snuggled next to her feet.  Three flights of steps separated the old lady and her arthritic legs from the world.  But the little lady did not mind.  Meals came on wheels once a day, cabbage stew and soup, no salt.  All in all the little old lady was quite content, she waited for her son, the last of three.  He would return one day as he had promised and help her cross the gulf that were the three flights of steps.

Thanks again to Rochelle for giving us this whimsical picture prompt.  Pop over to Friday Fictioneers to read truly incredible stories inspired by this spiral staircase.

40 comments on “Cat Lady

  1. deanabo says:

    How sad she must be have to sit and wait. That must be very hard for her.

  2. claireful says:

    I wonder if, in reality he will ever come.

  3. Well done, neat tale

  4. Sandra, I’m hoping that her hopes are justified. You’re right that many older people are more or less abandoned by those who should love and care for them.


  5. Sandra says:

    The bleakness of her situation comes across really well. Nice one.

  6. I wrote of my father and I, then I read your entry. The elderly who have memories and hold to life only to see their children…. this made me teary – thank you.

  7. yepiratehere says:

    We all have our mountains…very emotional piece,thanks…

  8. Steve B says:

    Nice juxtaposition – a beautiful, bright starcase…that serves as prison bars. She refuses to see herself as trapped; merely waiting. Poignant.

  9. A lonely life, I heard the sadness very well.

  10. Dear Sandra,
    You painted a bleak , yet sweet picture. I’m hoping the son comes for her. All in all a touching piece. Well done.

  11. Only three flights of stairs, but might as well be a thousand. You give a great sense of the distance that separates her from the world.

  12. C. Patrick says:

    Hmm, I got a different take on it than the others, I guess. Maybe it was the ‘content’ part and maybe I’m too willing to believe in such. Heh. I also got out of it that she was waiting for her last son to die before she did, which did seem a bit odd…but maybe she’s an EVIL little old lady. Heh heh. Anyway, if I might suggest putting the ‘old’ in that second mention of her so that every time you refer to her it’s always “little old lady.” Nice parallelism, there.

    • Sandra says:

      Re the ‘Little old lady’ that’s how it was at first but then I went over the 100 word limit so I tried to play around with those little three words.
      An evil old lady? Lol that might work! She’ll poison him with the cabbage stew when he comes to visit. Or better yet, she turns out to be a ‘Cat Whisperer’ and orders one of the cats to gut him when he enters the door. I could actually see it going both ways.

  13. t says:

    So, am I safe to assume that that last “three flights of steps” is actually the big daddy three flights of steps, and that the son she awaited was already dead, and coming to take her “over” as well? Even if I got it wrong, it was a very nice response to the prompt.

  14. elmowrites says:

    Interesting take on the cat lady. I love her patience and faith in the son. I have a feeling he will only come when they carry her down those steps in a box.

  15. elappleby says:

    Sweet story – a bit fairytale-like. I love the idea of the gulf that separated her from the world, and the fact that she was content to wait. I didn’t see this as sad – you said she was content, so I’m assuming she was – and she had her cats and her cabbage soup after all 🙂

  16. Sad end. A son never visiting, and she sit there with her cats…

  17. Joe Owens says:

    I am sure there are so many who live a similar existence, waiting for something that will never come to pass.

  18. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Wait and hope. Where have I heard that before? Dumas? A very poignant and true to life story. Well done.



  19. annisik51 says:

    Just reading the comments. I would propose, just because somebody is old, doesn’t mean they’re nice! Would we sympathise with Hitler if his poor arthritic legs kept him from his salt? Or his sons stayed away? (I’m not a mean person, honestly)! Ann

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