Grade My First Writing Prompt From My Writer’s Retreat In Greece

The rumors are true, I’ve been enriching my mind and honing in on my writing skills during my time in Greece this past few days. We are on the last day of this retreat and I can’t wait to write more about the experience, but in the meantime I got to thinking about sharing some of the work I’ve done while I’ve been here. 

Our first day, we were given a few prompts, one of them being “describe an animal encounter while traveling.” Coincidentally, two days before, I had a silly interaction with a cat in France. Let me know what you think! 

Cat Tour Guide 

It’s a crisp, late summer morning on Route Cézanne overlooking Mont Sainte Victorie in the south of France. I landed 10 hours ago, slept for 3, and now I’ve decided I’m seeing the sunrise. Physically, going to see it. Shoes on, film camera out, telling myself I’m doing a great job at documenting my travels, and I totally deserve to be on this vacation. 

Out of the shadows cast by early morning light, almost as if it were rising from the decaying leaves and dirt around it, a tortoise shell cat started strolling towards me. Am I…Alice? Cheshire, is that you? He doesn’t answer, obviously. This is the real world. If he could talk, I would recognize him from tiktok. 

This pushy French Feline starts rubbing all over my legs, which fully distracts me from whatever it is I was even out here to do in the first place. I’m a mother now, my child (this cat) is my only priority. The cat starts pushing my legs, and then running ahead and meowing at me. “I’m following you!” I reassured him, which I can prove, because at this point I was recording the entire experience on my phone. 

Something’s wrong. I’m walking and following…and the cat starts waiting for me walk ahead. Almost as if he wants me to fall into some kind of trap. How am I supposed to know where we’re going? You’re the one leading me to an unknown place! You essentially pulled me into your van full of candy, and now you’re at the murder part! Don’t think I didn’t notice you try and walk through my legs earlier while I was walking down those stairs. Once is an accident, twice is on purpose. Who put you up to this? 

The cat continues to ignore me and subtly try to murder me in inconspicuous ways that make it look like an accident, when we finally reach our destination. A gorgeous, old French style roof with pink oleander cascading off the sides, sunrise in the background. Stunning. Paul Cézanne always was a romantic. The cat proceeded to roll around on the ground with joy, and I took an amazing photo on my film camera that I’m totally going to blow up for my gallery wall. Looking forward to telling this story so many times, people get sick of me.