My time that summer, (my trip to Baltimore not withstanding) was mostly spent living in the wild. All those weeks living free inspired me to share my experiences, culminating in my popular (and on going) "tell all" books series chronicling my life experiences as various animals. At first they only alluded to my sexual experiences, focusing more on other aspects of life as different creatures.
Later as my connection to humanity lessened, I ceased to care, and began to talk openly about all aspects of my life as various animals, the level of detail in my books rising to that of erotica in those areas, although I still covered the other aspects of their lives in equal clarity.
But I'm getting ahead of myself again. Those first few books were hailed as resounding successes, Thrusting me into the lime light as a unique and acclaimed author.It wouldn't be until later, when my loss of humanity bled through into my works being more truthful about the breathtaking variety of pleasure to be found enjoying sex in various animal forms, that problems would arise.
Blue Skies and Cold Winds, the life of a Osprey. It was my first and shortest book, released shortly before college resumed, and one that made me (at the time) popular with bird watchers everywhere and convinced me to write others in the series.
Howling at the Moon and Running Free, the life of a wolf, was my second novella and only slightly longer than the first. It proved extremely popular among wild life activists, not so much among game hunters. It also was the book where in I referenced my past experience with the alley dogs, and my parents discovered my time with them when I ran away from home wasn't so Chaste. (The explicit "tell all" second edition didn't get published until a few years later. Oddly enough the explicit one sold better than the first one, yet I got vilified for it, go figure.)
In response to these revelations shortly before Thankgiving my mother called me a "furvert" and gave me an earful of her opinions on my lack of morality, my father quietly expressing his disappointment at how I had chosen to live, but otherwise offering little comment before my mother yanked the phone back from him.
My mother made it clear I was too much of a "bitch" (in the female dog sense of the word) to return home. Ever. At the time it hurt, but other events would happen in the future that would make that small pain of familial rejection pale by comparison.
However, all that took place in the background of college courses and my on going relationship with Ellen, which I'd be remiss in not covering as well, even if only briefly.
Ellen returned from San Fran in mid September. On our first night together, Ellen confessed having made love to a friend over the summer. It was someone Ellen had known for a few years, with whom she had spent a lot of time, and for whom she cared a great deal. They'd helped each other in the past, and grown closer. but were still just friends.
It was weird... Ellen was confessing, but she was almost thanking me for helping her to open up more, to reach this place where she could respond to her friend. It slowly dawned on me, I'd stopped her from hiding.
After several minutes of thought I felt a degree of understanding, and was actually happy for her coming out of her shell some, and lightly referenced some of the more outstanding times I had as an animal over the summer.
It was tricky expressing that I was secure in my sexuality, and enjoyed my sexual freedom as an animal since it was liberating in a way human society prevented. I wound up telling her about a street dog I spent the night with over the summer, an old friend from when I ran away, so I knew how it felt to reconnect with someone after a long time apart, but how it was nothing more serious than a few (dozen) nights of gratification and enjoyment. She was squicked by my admission, but I think given my complete acceptance of her own summers escapade, she chose not to make as big a deal on it as she otherwise would have.
Mostly I just carried on with Ellen as if nothing bad had happened, which in my mind, nothing had.
I also noticed right away something had changed: Ellen's mode of dress had gotten less dowdy. She wasn't flashing girls like I regularly did, but her skirts and blouses hid her less, and showed her off more. I did compliment Ellen on her more risqué manner of dress, but didn't go out of my way to make a big deal of it, lest I make her too self conscious.
David went to MIT so he and Sarah didn't hang anymore. Talking to Sarah, it was clear she had a lot of affection for him, but they just didn't "fit." Still, I suspected the casual relationship of theirs would continue in the coming years.
Ellen gave me a present that year right before she flew home for Christmas. It was her own nightshirt, oversize, wide collared. Following the theme established by Sarah's Powerpuff Girls and Ellen's Josie and the Pussycats, My shirt featured Godzilla and the gang, from some super-lame 70s cartoon where some gang of kids solved crimes and Godzilla was their Scooby.
I got her a simple silver chain necklace, with a pearl I caught myself pearl diving as a seal off the coast. She seemed to like it, but I never saw her wearing it again after that holiday, so I guess it wasn't as special to her as it was to me, or maybe she lost it. The thing is, I never dared to ask, and now it's too late to do so anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.
That was the first Christmas I spent away from home. I'd like to say I spent it with Ellen's family, or hung out with Sarah, but the truth is I ran off to the state park and spent the holiday chasing mice with a pair of foxes, living in their den and generally, experiencing winter in a way I'd never thought possible. As it was I nearly missed the restart of college after vacation and barely noticed, let alone cared.
The news broke in January of 2012 that breakout singer "
I recall seeing Ellen's reaction to the news, she shook her
head and shed a tear, muttering, "Oh, Kat..." I realized then
It seemed insignificant to me at the time, but nearly a decade later I’d recall that footage in a chance meeting at a party, a chance meeting that would change the course of my life in ways I could scarcely imagine.
Ellen began an internship at a small production studio then after Christmas. It was only a few hours a week, but she was super excited. I saw less of her, after that, becoming focused on my own paleontology studies, the offer of a future internship at the museum of natural history reminding me I had a career of my own to worry about, even if the wild kept intruding.
That January 27th when I turned eighteen, Ellen took me out for dinner, my favorite place, a little sushi bar down near the docks. She wore a lovely cocktail dress, and flashed me at the table, letting me see she was commando too, and shaved. Then they brought out a cake after dinner, and Ellen sang me happy birthday like Marilyn Monroe.
It was naughty and touching all at the same time, likely the best birthday bash I'd had, or have had since, come to think of it.
Ellen's Birthday was in March and she turned 21. Sarah turned 21 the month before and they totally scored some beer and they drank it... Except they both clearly hated it kept basically just daring each other to finish.
I keep remembering how they took sips and made faces. Funniest part is years later, Ellen drank a favorite Japanese import and Sarah fell in love with Guinness. Go figure, there's just no accounting for taste.
I suppose I might as well mention it here, I don't drink. Well not to the point of inebriation anyway. (Except once when I took home a bottle of scotch, and got plastered after screwing up things with my closest friends, but that's another story all together.) You could say I'm scared of being a mean drunk like my uncle who was arrested for beating up a neighbor when I was little.
I still stick to a single glass of wine at dinner now and then, or a very watered down mixed drink. Once in a while I have nightmares of being drunk and turning into a polar bear and rampaging through a neighborhood of Elvis look a-likes. Trust me, if that's not enough to swear you off drinking to excess, nothing is.
Ellen flew home for the summer. Sarah remained, and earned her Bachelor's in Accounting after three round-the-year years of study. She planed to begin her Master's program in the fall.
Me? I ran through the wilds again as a wolf, swam in the ocean as a dolphin, and had scarcely more than a handful of conversations with humans that entire summer. The strangest part was I didn't miss them, humanity that is. I think it was around that time I stopped thinking of human civilization as "home" and began in some small ways to forget what it even meant to be human.