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.
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.
so we found a turkey for under $20. we didn't know how we'd deal with it, but brought it anyway. we made a makeshift stuffing from bread, beer, apples, and ginger-ale. we rubbed it with onion dip (left over from the burgers the night before). then we grilled it. and yes. . . it was impressive.