to kill a mockingbird

I love my cat. Most of the time...

By: Sarah Mowery I moved into my first single apartment this year, and it got real lonely, real fast. I needed a companion, so I decided to go to PetSmart and inquire about the adoption process.

The adorable 1 ½-year-old orange tabby I eventually came home with started off as a perpetually scared little sweetheart. She would hide under my bed for hours at a time, and when she would finally come out, it was in a panicked, spastic sprint to the next area of shelter. It was sad. But don’t worry. She’s developed into quite the sassy little warrior or, as I like to call her, the man of the house.

SCOUTI named her Scout after the main character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Because she’s a tomboy. And because she’s constantly questioning the discriminatory conventions of modern day society.

It was great having another living thing around to hang out with, but I quickly began to notice more and more little annoying habits of hers. At night while I was working on my laptop, the cat would curl up on the chair next to me and take the cutest little kitten nap you’ve ever seen. “Aw, she’s pooped from playing all day!” I thought.

Oh, how naïve I was.

As soon as I decided to go to bed, it was as if she’d been hiding 40mg of Adderall in her paw the whole time. She’d freak out and run all over the room, bouncing from desk to floor to dresser to under the bed to basically wherever I really didn’t want her to be until I would get fed up and lock her out of my bedroom. At which point she would meow in such a deafening and pathetic way that I would have no choice but to let her back in. And the cycle continued. I’ve never felt so close to understanding what it’s like to be a new parent. The toxic combination of guilt and near hatred is alarmingly real.

There are so many ups and downs to owning a pet, which I’m sure any pet owner would attest to. I love never coming home to an empty space and having a pal to play with when I’m bored. But do I ever wish she understood the concept of a time-out? Yeaaah..

I don’t want it to seem like I don’t love my little furball – I do! Almost 85% of the time! – but, like, I also would like to be able to sit back and relax, knowing that all my picture frames will stay where I put them. I would like to be able to open my refrigerator without having to wrestle Scout to the floor to prevent her from clawing her way into my milk carton. Sometimes, for her own sanity, a girl’s got to be able to walk into her apartment after a long day and find all of her books and shoes completely intact and not partially eaten. But instead, as a cat owner, one must often relinquish control and learn to live with the trace amounts of feline feces that cover the apartment in the form of litter box tracks.

The picture in this article is one of Scout after she had somehow managed to get her head stuck in an empty wine glass I had left on the counter before going out one night. I remember being so worried when I came back and didn’t see my cat waiting for me at the door as she always does. When I found her on my bed completely helpless like that, with a look on her face like, “Mom... What have I done? Help?”, I no longer cared about all the coffee mugs she’d broken or the vomit stains on my rug. I was just happy to have this adorable kitten to come home to. And relieved that she hadn’t suffocated due to my own carelessness.

I don’t know what it says about me that I stopped to take a picture before helping her out, but what can I say? I’m a Millennial. Aren’t we just the worst?

Sarah Mowery is a level 2 student at DCH and a blog intern for the DCH website. She's also a student at SMU. You can read more of her comedy stylings HERE.