it is the cat who keeps people

scully & me

What can I say about this cat?

She drools when she’s happy. Runs in fear from the vacuum. Runs around in excitement if you pretend to chase her. Loves having the top of her head scratched. Hates being shooed from your lap. Scully

lap kitty

It’s been a little over nine years since I found her, half-starved and great with kitten, in a Post Office parking lot on a hot August day. I had just recently gone through the difficult process of rehoming our dog, a Dalmatian I had raised from puppyhood and loved for the seven or so years it took me to realize he was just too much dog for our little laidback family. We had always had a lot of pets (see: the name of this blog) but for the time being we weren’t really looking to add any more.

Scully's homecoming

Yet there she was.

I was the only one there that day who crossed the parking lot to see her. She stopped her crying long enough to weave in and out of my legs, purring happily as I reached down to pick her up, and sat contentedly in my arms as I quickly ascertained three things: I could feel every bone in her little body, it wasn’t fat that made her belly so round, and there was no way I was leaving her here. She starting crying again once I put her in the backseat, cried the entire car ride home, cried in the background as I called home and asked mom to bring out a cat carrier. She was more talkative that first day than she’s been any day since then. During that first week she was with us, she’d fall asleep in our arms if we cradled her belly in our hands. She didn’t want to escape. She didn’t want to run. She just wanted comfort.

Scully hardly makes a peep now. I guess she said what she needed to say.

Kittens

Motherhood was not intuitive for her; about a week after the kittens were born I journalled, “They’ve now all started using their back legs to stand up on, and lil’ Miss #2 (gray tabby) walked herself right out of the nest today and onto the tile floor. She started crying so Scully came over and they had a little conversation. Baby would mew, Scully would meow, Baby would mew louder. I don’t think Scully realized that she’d have to pick the kitten up and put her back, so I did, to baby’s protests.” By far her favorite thing about the kittens was when they were finally large enough to be playmates (she used to try, when they were barely walking, to initiate wrestling sessions. It usually resulted in a screaming kitten and a confused but bored-looking Scully.) The vet estimated she was just a kitten herself when she got pregnant, maybe seven or eight months old, and so we arbitrarily assigned her a birthday in January.

Today is Scully’s 10th-ish birthday.

Scuggles

We’ve been together now for nearly 10 years, this ridiculous girl and me.

ScullykinsShe has the face of a grump and the soul of a teddy bear.

Scullyface

She gets excited about everything.

Scully joy

Like baskets…

…and computer mice…

…and making the bed.

Scully in the bed

She’ll come running if I call her name and always manages to be in her spot right by the door when I come home. When we’re snuggling she’ll often reach out to touch her paw to my cheek or chin, and I confessed to Hannah that I wasn’t sure if I should break her of the habit, since not everyone appreciates having a kitty paw right near the kisser. She scoffed and said, “Seriously, Em. How could any person with a soul ever get mad at Scully?”

Scullywully

¬†And it’s true: even the most cat-averse people have been known to melt in her affection. They giggle at her perpetually-grumpy expressions, and coo over her rabbity-soft fur. She’s not pushy or demanding. She just loves everyone and assumes they’ll love her back.

They usually do.

ScullygirlYou can keep a dog, but it is the cat who keeps people. – George Mike