Our One Year Anniversary

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.

From A Scare To Happy Days

Scout and I had a scare a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful spring evening and I had opened the window for him to enjoy the fresh air and bird song. It’s hard to tell what happened but he somehow pushed the screen loose and tumbled out the window.

I heard it happen and was able to get to him pretty quickly. He was sitting on the ground right where he had landed, looking dazed and confused.

I live in a rural area, surrounded by woods, but the road is busy. Any direction he could run would be dangerous for a cat that has been inside since he was a tiny tot.

He’s fine but we’re both a bit traumatized. I avoid opening any windows and he avoids sitting in that one in particular!

We made a little trip Saturday to the Humane Society in a neighboring county. They were micro chipping pets in a clinic for just $25. So Scout now has a tiny chip in the back of his neck that connects him to some important information including my name and phone number.

If we’re ever separated and he’s taken to a shelter or vet, they’ll check him for a chip and be able to return him to me. He has a nice collar and ID tag but pets are pretty good at slipping collars.

I tell you all that to tell you this.

If you ever find a stray animal, take it somewhere to have it checked for a chip. There could be someone out there desperate to find their pet and that chip is their lifeline to being reunited.

So Scout made new friends at the Humane Society. They told him he was a beautiful boy, he enjoyed chin scratches, and he even got a treat. On the trip home, he napped with his mousie and was ready to help with chores when we got back.

He’s pictured above supervising the changing of bed sheets. His quality control inspection slowed down the process but I didn’t have the heart to make him move. He rolled around in those dirty sheets for a few minutes before taking a cat nap.

We were both home together and all was right with the world.

Bite Someone

This is not my cat and I didn’t make this graphic. It was passed around on Facebook last year, origins unknown. Nonetheless, it sums up his attitude most days.

I’m starting to think of little Scout as a tiny terrorist. His favorite thing to do right now is to walk in front of my computer. When I move him, he bites me.

It’s great.

But when he’s sleepy, he’s the sweetest little cat you’ll ever meet. If only he would stay that way!

When The Birds Spy Back

2My current work space sits next to a large window overlooking Scout’s bird feeder. He sits in the window watching birdies for much of the day. I enjoy the birdsong and natural light.

This pair has been visiting the feeder every day but I looked up once to catch them in this pose. I grabbed the camera and snapped this picture. A few moments later, one of them caught me spying and stared right back at my camera.

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Some birds fly off with even the slightest movement from my side of the window. This little one had no fear. Me we all face the day as bravely as this little House Finch!