Cat’s Cradle: A Sample Descriptive Essay
October 30, 2015
By Skylar Shirlen
Description is a tool utilized in the most basic and in-depth writing courses. The ability to “show and not tell,” is an important asset in writing. Here I use a Flâneur essay as an appropriate exercise in description.
A black cat crept up a driveway in the pristine Twin lakes neighborhood. The cat seemed to be weary of my presence. Its gray eyes pierced into my skin, making it burn and tingle with questions. The neighborhood was quiet at six in the afternoon. Nothing moved but the wind. Nothing barked but the dogs. Nothing chirped but the birds. Still yet, I only aw the black cat. The dogs were hidden behind backyard fences and the birds hid in the bushes. Their language was foreign to an outsider, which they seemed to not kindly welcome.
The prestigious Twin Lakes neighborhood was beautiful, in face maybe even too perfect. Large two-story houses with manicured lawns, lined with picket fences surrounded the streets. It was as if I had fallen into the newest issue of Home and Garden magazine. Comparatively, no house was alike. Each house seemed to construct a different personality, with its make-up and bodily structure. The houses’ colors ranged from the typical white and brick to the eccentric pink, blue, and yellow. It was nothing like the suburban neighborhoods one often hears about, where each house is like the next. They all appeared to be unique and upscale. I wondered what kind of person lives in this type of neighborhood. It looked as if no one was out but me. I scanned the area for signs of life, but all I saw was a lonely at whose eyes seemed to watch my every move. It was as if everything and everyone else were hiding from me; watching me behind closed doors. Otherwise, the neighborhood came across as hollow and dead.
Upon first arrival to the neighborhood, there were signs posted that said “Neighborhood Watch” and “Dog Watch: Beware.” These people were clearly concerned about the security of their homes. Understandably, they live only a short drive from the large crime ridden city center where alarms and sirens fill the night. Yet, these people are far enough away to disappear into the woods. Certainly, paranoia had not breached their minds. A violation of their homes would not allow them to feel safe, maybe causing them to move away from their beautifully manicured homes with the perfect location next the grassy family friendly Twin Lakes Park. The unspoiled would become the spoiled with a security breach.
Just as the black cat questioned my intentions, I began to question its motives. The cat was at home and at peace. With an unknown outsider, like myself, entering its world everything could change. It’s friends, family, food, and favorite toy could be taken away from her if I made one wrong move. If I was devious enough to smash a car window the cat’s world might end, as she knew it. The comfort of her life was being challenged by my presence. She, nor I, wanted to create any shift in the universe to threaten the peace that encompassed this sliver of the planet. As I continued down the street, I looked back at the black cat three times. She was still watching my every move, warning me of things to come and things that we both thought would be better kept outside the Twin Lakes cradle of comfort for this protective cat.