shit, another tribute

so back in ’93 we had a house fire. my kitten at the time died in the house fire, and her sibling who survived ran off not much longer after. i stayed upset about losing my kitten for a very long time (actually, still not completely over it.) i remember mom and dad asking if i wanted to get another cat, but i just couldn’t bring myself to have another pet.

as i remember it, and i’m probably wrong, one day, dan and mom came home from the shelter with dante and scout. they weren’t born siblings, but they were raised as siblings in our house. a few years after that they got a new kitty sibling, but our family had dante and scout from the time they were kittens.

18+ years.

half my life.

we lost dante back in august, and today we lose scout.

they came into my life shortly before leaving for college, so although dante was considered mine, and scout was considered dan’s. . . the reality is that they were mom and dad’s, though dan had a few years with them.

when i think of those 18+ years- i remember grandma calling dante a ‘little black devil’ as he tried to use his kitten claws to climb her pant leg. i remember calling home during the ice storm of ’98 (i was out galavanting with friends in california) and hearing that there was no power back home. dad was grinding coffee beans with a mortar and pestle and the cats were providing hours of entertainment as everyone watched them chase a pencil around the room.

they were the first cats that we had a laser pointer for, and if you aren’t familiar with how cats react to laser pointers, then you’ve really missed out.

they were the cats that wore our gift bows on their heads as we opened christmas presents when dan and i were home from college.

they pass in front of the computer camera and meow in the background as we hold family video chats.

i always thought that dan named her after the character from ‘to kill a mockingbird.’ you know, a little bit of an outsider, but strong in personality. i kind of remember there being a story of dan seeing one kitty trying to escape from it’s holding pen, and him being inspired by the cat’s adventurous spirit. but then again, my memory is quite fuzzy.

scout was the lone girl in the group, which made her a bit of an outsider. scout definitely had the silkiest of fur in our household. he tiger stripe pattern was really lovely.

her and dante grew tubby as they aged, and then dieted till they were back to proper cat size in the past few years.

scout had seasonal spots that she claimed in the house. the end of mom and dad’s bed, the puffy chair on the porch, the baby cradle, etc. she’d gotten so used to her cradle companions (a small assortment of stuffed animals) that for a little while she carried a couple of them around to other areas of the house so she wouldn’t be without them.

she tended to scurry past areas that weren’t ‘hers’ on her way to get food. however, with the seasonal changes, she’d proudly occupy an area she had scurried through just the day before. she didn’t seem to spend much time with dante and lump, unless there was a congregation of people about that could lavish them all with attention.

she was friendly to all visitors, but she had her favorites (two family friends, oddly enough, both named sarah).

she wasn’t as weird as lump or as annoying as dante. i’m sure dan could say much more, much better, but i’ll leave it with- she was a loving and loved sweet-faced darling.


Anonymous said...

Can I give you a hug? Thinking of all of you. This whole losing cat people is not much different from losing human people & my heart aches, too :(

teeheehee said...

I don't think I have much to add, except my memory of when we picked Scout and Dante up.

The animal shelter had been asked to notify us if they had a manx cat come through any time, some dialog involving you had come before and as I recall you were really interested in having a manx as your next cat.

When the shelter called, Mom and I went to pick up the tiniest kitten I had ever seen. It was malnourished, and had just been treated by the caretakers to the point where he was now likely to recover - he was so small he could stand on the palm of my hand and had room enough to walk around.

Scout was an impromptu decision. When we walked in to the shelter we passed some cages filled with animals, and from within one of them a clawed arm sprang out and grabbed my coat. I'm pretty sure I convinced Mom that I should be able to get a cat too, and that I wanted that one.

I did name her for the character in TKaM. I can't be sure I had all of those particular reasons in mind, although I'd like to think so. She was a rebellious cat (at first) so I wanted a name that reflected that.

Then, she got all big and depressed and lazy. I don't remember when that happened. I think she was feisty until Dante was no longer smaller than her, and it crushed her ego somewhat when she wasn't de facto top cat.

It wasn't until she was on the kidney medication and her weight dropped that I saw such a tremendous improvement in her character, like back when she was a kitten.

Thanks for sharing your story, and the pictures.