Category Archives: Charlotte Wlodkowski

November 8 – An Unexpected Greeting

by Charlotte Wlodkowski

The end of June gave us a treat with warm mornings. Just as the sun rose early, so did we. Like most newlyweds, we were ready to purchase our first home. On one particular Saturday, we arrived before the real estate agent. Our only option was to wait in the car. After idle conversation, I began to evaluate the area that could possibly be our home address. The exterior of the homes were well-kept. This neighborhood had potential.

I spied an adult cat roaming the dead-end street. I will admit, I’m more of a cat person than a dog person. Cats are intriguing. One really needs to gain the trust of a cat to happily coexist. A dog is obedient to a fault. Cats demonstrate intellectual abilities, more so than dogs. Although you could say that cats are tame, there still lies a totally independent air about them.

As any cat loving person would do, I stepped out of the car with the intention of petting this unknown cat.  Besides, I was bored just sitting. As the cat sundered my way, he began to talk. I replied back in my language. Maybe he liked what he heard and thus came closer without hesitation. He was an average-sized, non-descriptive looking cat. I could hear purring sounds as I continued to whisper sweet nothings. It was apparent that someone cared for this cat. He was groomed and well feed. As I gently stroked his brown, soft fur, he seemed to enjoy the attention. He trusted me and I he. So as not to frighten him, I slowly lowered one knee to the pavement to be at eye level. This everyday looking cat placed one paw on my bent knee to raise his body, and with the other paw, caressed my neck. He then rubbed his cheek against my cheek as if to give me a hug and a kiss.

Though my heart was racing, I dared not move a muscle. This seemingly ordinary cat was acting with great tenderness. This feline was a stranger yet demonstrated a human quality called affection. He quickly returned to roaming the street as if his actions were normal. I was fixed with amazement in the kneeling position so I could watch as he nonchalantly strolled away.

I practically ran to the car and blurted to Ed, “Did you see what just happened?”

I didn’t think anyone would believe me unless I had an eyewitness. Ed did observe this extra ordinary action from an ordinary feline. I can be certain this affectionate expression will never be experienced again.

Writing family stories was the beginning of recognizing a new form of communication for Charlotte Wlodkowski–writing. A member of the Millvale Library Writer’s Group, it is her hope that her stories opens the hearts and mind of readers. 

September 5 – Let’s Get Physical

by Charlotte Wlodkowski

I’m talking to you! Look me in the eye when we meet, and not down at your Smartphone or your iPad, or your Kindle or whatever device you are using. If I see your eyes, then I know we are really making contact and you are interested in what I am saying.

When we are introduced, shake my hand as though you are glad to see me. A physical handshake identifies me as a real live human being whom you acknowledge.  That’s one of those ‘feel good’ things in life that I look forward to receiving every once in a while.

Oh my gosh, can you not turn up the ends of your mouth and smile? Yes, a smile is very important. It means you are happy to be wherever we are at the time. It means you seem to be happy to see me which is important from a business relationship and also a human relationship.

Speak directly to me. Not to the side of my neck. Not over my shoulder. Not to the ground. Turn your head so it sits in the middle of your neck and speak. Words will come directly to my face and thus, I will hear them. We should then have an interesting conversation no matter how short. Make your words lucid and edifying. Not just a “Hello” and “Goodbye.” Don’t speak to me in shortcut Smartphone or iPad symbols. I need honest to goodness words in order to reply correctly and keep the conversation going. If you consent, I would be happy to instruct you in the art of conversation which is a give and take of audible words.
Once these rituals are established, it will be to your benefit and mine. We will be able to share (as you would say) data and pleasantries in this new way. We may be able to perhaps open a bridge of communication and sometime in the future accomplish something terrific together.

I challenge you to put some effort into our next meeting. It may surprise you to know that I am worth the effort.

Writing family stories was the beginning of recognizing a new form of communication for Charlotte Wlodkowski–writing. A member of the Millvale Library Writer’s Group, it is her hope that her stories opens the hearts and mind of readers.