“Would you like to grab a bite to eat?”
“Sure, why not?”
Most people would think it was odd for a twelve-year-old to hang out with their best friend’s psychotherapist, let alone be on a first name basis with said psychotherapist, but to Mr. Cat, Jean-Guillaume was indispensable. He had proven to be incredibly helpful and had often provided valuable insights and advice. One of the best suggestions he had given to Mr. Cat was to switch from traditional schooling to online school. It wasn’t that he was doing badly in school per se; he had always been a straight A student, but the absence of rigid structure, imposing authority figures, or classmates in online school had allowed the young feline to flourish and further improved his academic performance. Another perk of doing school online was having a more flexible schedule, which is why he was eating lunch after a game of squash on Thursday afternoon instead of sitting in class - he could just finish his assignments later in the day.
“So how has online school been working out for you?”
“Pretty good. I hate it less than regular school. And your therapy sessions?”
“Kaeloo has been calling me more often than usual this week,” sighed Jean-Guillaume. Mr. Cat unconsciously touched his hand to a rather large bruise on his cheek.
“I’m assuming that’s from the incident with the bananas and the flamethrower?”
“No, that would be this one,” he said, pointing to a bandage on his arm.
“The bruise is from the thing that happened on Tuesday.”
“You seem to have been giving her more grief than usual,” the therapist joked. Then he paused for a moment, a thought having occurred to him.
“Is this your way of coping with something?”
“No,” denied Mr. Cat, but Jean-Guillaume saw how his eyes darted to the left and he defensively crossed his arms.
“You know, you could always come to my office for a therapy session or two if things get out of hand in your life,” he offered. Mr. Cat snorted and a mirthless laugh escaped his mouth.
“Froggy would hang, draw, and quarter me if she ever found out.”
Before he could stop himself, he muttered something else under his breath.
“Wouldn’t be the first time she’s screwed me over.”
Instantly, an expression of horror developed on his face as he realized what he’d said.
“N-no, I- th-that’s-” he began, but the doctor stopped him.
“I take it you and Kaeloo have been having problems?”
Mr. Cat sighed defeatedly.
“There have been a few... incidents in the past. I wouldn’t say it was anything too serious -”
“Messieurs, here is your food,” interrupted a waiter, placing two trays on their table. Mr. Cat immediately grabbed his burger and took a large bite out of it. Jean-Guillaume seized the opportunity to speak.
“It still seems like you’re a little hung up on those events. Why don’t you talk it out with her?”
“I don’t exactly feel like it,” Mr. Cat explained through a mouthful of food.
“Besides, some of these things were so long ago I don’t even remember when they happened.”
Jean-Guillaume rubbed his chin, deep in thought.
“Have you ever considered therapeutic letter writing?”
Mr. Cat was well-versed in psychology and somewhat aware of different forms of psychotherapy, but there were some things even he didn’t know about.
“I’m afraid I don’t know what that is. Care to explain?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“In order to get closure about these past incidents, you should write a letter to Kaeloo describing how her actions made you feel. Or several letters, depending on how many incidents there were. This exercise will give you some form of closure and help you move on,” the doctor explained helpfully.
“But I just told you that I didn’t want to talk to her about it!” Mr. Cat reminded him.
“You don’t have to actually send the letters to her. It’s more of a way to coherently organize your thoughts and feelings for your own benefit,” he elaborated.
“I’ll think about it,” Mr. Cat said before taking a sip of his soda.
Mr. Cat lay in bed, trying to read a book. Key word, “trying”. He couldn’t stop thinking about what Jean-Guillaume had said earlier. Realizing that he had been re-reading the same page for the last fifteen minutes, Mr. Cat tossed the book aside and pulled out his diary. He had been writing in it since the day he first arrived in Smileyland, when Kaeloo gave it to him as a welcome present. Flipping through the pages, he noticed that there were quite a few occasions where Kaeloo had, for lack of a better term, “screwed him over”. He started to feel anger boil up inside him, but paused when he thought of the events of the day.
After his rendez-vous with Jean-Guillaume - or as he told Kaeloo, his “karate class” - he returned home and was greeted warmly by the rest of the main four. Then, they all played a fun game. Of course, the game ended with Kaeloo beating Mr. Cat up, but she took the time to bandage him up with love and care and nobody had any hard feelings towards each other. Then, after he finished up his lessons, the main four had a nice family dinner where Kaeloo had made some of Mr. Cat’s favorite foods, including sausages, as a surprise for him. After Stumpy and Quack Quack’s bedtime story, he and Kaeloo sat in the living room with cake and hot chocolate and casually conversed about their lives and joked around with each other.
Mr. Cat sighed to himself. There was no way he could be angry with her for a few minor things she did in the past, and he definitely couldn’t randomly bring them up now when nothing was wrong between them. Besides, how could he blatantly accuse her of being an asshole when he was so much worse than her and she still managed to put up with him every day? But Jean-Guillaume was right. Mr. Cat definitely needed some form of closure. Well, the next day was a holiday after all, so staying up late wouldn’t have any serious consequences - maybe an earful from Kaeloo about the importance of a proper sleep schedule, but that was about it. Mr. Cat pulled out an empty notebook and a pen and wrote down the date of the first problematic incident in the corner of the first page.
“Dear Kaeloo...” he began.