Over the years, when I’ve been teaching grade eight or nine, I’ve printed off The Cat Years by Sid Burns to leave in the waiting area at Parent Teacher conference time. Parents come up to me, clutching the paper and asking, “Is this true? Will it end?” They thank me profusely for giving them this lovely little metaphorical piece that puts adolescence into such clear view. It gives them hope that their adolescent child will grow out of the surly insolence and anti-parent behaviors that cause them so much distress. I generally tell them that they can expect their dog back sometime in grade 10, and they leave with hope in their breasts. Hope provides the power to endure. Enjoy the piece by clicking the link above.