Facebook Memories have reminded me that Scout came to live here a year ago last week. Most people refer to “getting a pet” but it’s more accurate to say he adopted me.
I wanted a cat and had planned to eventually find one that needed a home when I was more settled. I didn’t want a kitten because they require much attention and parenting. Rescuing an older cat seemed more logical for my schedule.
However, when this scrawny little baby darted out into traffic and back into my waiting arms, he essentially chose me. Once he was safely tucked under my chin, I couldn’t very well turn the little guy loose in the street again. Kittens were abundant at that time and black cats struggle to find homes and to survive in a world that is both superstitious and mean.
So I brought home this little kitten with cruddy eyes and an insatiable appetite (seriously, he was always hungry), determined to give him the best life possible.
The vet took one look at at his bony frame and announced that he would never be a large cat.
A year later, he is a sleek 15.5 pound house panther. A hunter of skinks, window stalker of birds and menace to ankles everywhere, he has grown up to be a smart, healthy and happy little boy.
His favorite place is still under my chin even though he can only cram a small portion of his body under there.
He maintains the playfulness of a kitten but has the rules of an old man – rules about where he will drink water, what food he’ll eat (he prefers beef over anything else) and where he’s willing to sit. In case you’re wondering, he will sit next to me in a chair but not on me because he’s not a lap cat, thank you very much.
Today my house is littered with cat toys, empty paper bags and treasures liberated from the bathroom trash can. He will sing the song of his people an hour before I need to get up because he is lonely and wants to be held.
Despite these inconveniences, my efforts to give him a good life pale in comparison to all the ways he’s made mine better. I’m grateful that he chose me.