Suzy lives in San Francisco and was adopted last June by her parents Alissa and Ian. She’s approximately two years old, an especially floofy orange tabby with perfectly lined, bright yellow-green eyes that would make makeup artists jealous. Despite all of her floof, however, Suzy is not much for cuddles. A few seconds’ embrace is all she will allow, and will begin to bat at your face (no claws) with a fluffy little paw should her clock run out.
Once upon a time, Alissa and Ian tell me, Suzy was a teen mom, having birthed a litter of kittens when she was possibly just six months old. They made a backstory for her, that she was living on the docks, a rough and tumble girl who’s now queen of the castle. Almost like Brandy of “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” fame, the 1972 hit by Looking Glass but, you know, a cat.
Suzy is curious, full of “meeps” instead of “meows,” little gurgles in her throat that Alissa and Ian imagine ask questions like, who is this stranger and what is her bright pink rolling box? (Answers: me; my suitcase) What’s inside the small black box she holds in her human paws, and why does it she keep pointing it at me? (My camera, to take pictures of you, darling!) In the time I spend with Suzy, she bats not just my face but my camera and the fringe falling from the edges of my cutoffs.
Suzy’s home is littered with toys like a furry black mouse, a treat maze she gets to play with every morning, and a bobble toy that will give her treats if she knocks them out just the right way. Alissa has also taught Suzy to touch her nose against a target and to high-five, which she now does with expert precision. Yet with all of her curiosity, Suzy is mostly interested in the snacks that accompany such tasks. That, and naps. She lounges in her cat tree or on the table, all the effort she can muster placed into a single, teeth-baring yawn.
Sometimes Suzy gets “zoomy,” as Alissa says, darting around the apartment in bursts. This has happened on more than one occasion when she and Ian are out, leaving them to come home to something knocked over that hadn’t been before. Knowing full well this could happen at any time, they have resolved to leave the apartment saying “Okay Suzy, be neutral!” knowing full well that asking her to be good is just too much to ask. Perhaps accordingly, when I wake up that morning a pair of my underwear has mysteriously been removed from my suitcase, my water glass a little emptier than it had been, droplets flung about the coffee table. A fluffy orange culprit sits innocently nearby.
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