The Soft and the Stickery -Twice Rescued

by Susan G Holland

  • The Perfect Studio Muse.
  • Rescued the first time by an apartment dweller whose roommate couldn’t learn to love her. (With reason, likely.)
  • Rescued next by me — a bereaved cat-lover needing some living creature to fill a gaping cat-shaped hole ripped in the fabric of her life after suddenly losing my long-time feline friend and muse, KCQ.
  • But was this going to work out?

The cat was beautiful, and to boot, a Hemingway cat, with the special feature of extra toes WITH CLAWS on her front feet. Softer than any cat that came before her, and remote, as rescue cats often are. Big decision, and we were scrutinized very thoroughly by the young man who was trying to find the exact fit for this neurotic young cat.

We (my daughter and I) passed muster, I think, because as we described KCQ, my sorely missed cat who disappeared out the window one night and never came back the young man recognized that we were used to a partly feral creature who had very similar characteristics as this sleek, young female silph: i.e., very shy of strangers, and instantly hissy when feeling trapped, quick to puff up and show teeth , and very very stickery when lashing out at well-intended gestures.

I think the gentle young man who picked the cat up in his arms with such obvious affection, knew it would take veteran feral-cat aficionados to learn to adore his gray cat with a hint of calico. He wept when he said goodbye to her, and apologized to her for not being able to give her the kind of life he had intended to. My daughter and I shed tears too.

The cat meowed all the way to our house in the car carrier case. A finger through the opening to pat the head was of some help, but not for long.

Soft and Stickery

Fast forward two years. This cat is still shy of strangers. And will reach out with those stickers if someone comes too close too fast. But I can quietly come close, put my face in the curl of velvet fur when she is sleeping and hear a purr kick in as she shifts but doesn’t bother opening her eyes. She has learned that I am just part of her pride.

But she is a warrior and a fine fencer when we are playing with a string, or a laser, or a catnip toy; she becomes wild and fierce and wily and quick. All those stickers, and she knows how to use them.

Soft and stickery. Beloved studio muse.

Susan G Holland


Originally published at cowbird.com by ©Susan Holland