birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


Scout was looking for a family to adopt when he found us. His first family lived around the block from us and had recently adopted a black kitten, a development that sent the short-hair white Scout packing. We didn't know where he'd come from or why he'd chosen us. But once we started to feed him, he stuck to us like glue.

The black kitten grew up to be a black cat who would prowl around our yard tormenting poor Scout, who would yeowl and hiss when the black cat crossed into his territory. We'd hear them fight at night. It was an amazingly fierce mutual rejection.

Scout's first family saw Scout in our yard one day and let us know the history. They'd wondered what had happened to their cat and were glad he'd found a new family. The friction between their two cats had been a cause for concern.

When Scout died, a heart problem took him out one day on the front lawn, the black cat continued to prowl our yard. He would sit on our front porch, claiming territory that was otherwise unclaimed. He was lost without his sparring partner, a warrior without a war.

An indifferent relationship

Doll Jail