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Ode to an Old Kitty

#Keepitalive, #Sundaysnapshot, #Lens-ArtistsPhotoChallenge#111

These two challenges dovetail to give me the opportunity to talk about an “everyday” “loveable inconvenience” who takes up an enormous amount of my time.

Younger Scardy Boy day dreaming of the gopher he saw digging in our yard.

These are both new challenges for me as a participant. Many of you know about the Lens-Artists who took over after the WordPress Photo Challenge stopped. Their theme this week is Everyday Things.

You may not have heard of Sunday Snapshot, hosted by Sadje at Keeping It Alive. Her prompt today is, “Is it all right to tolerate inconvenience because it’s caused by a loved and familiar thing, object or person?




Haiku Marsha Ingrao
Younger Scardy Boy – 2013

Scardy Boy is one of those everyday things/beings who we love more now than we did when he was a cute feral kitty nineteen years ago when we moved into our house. After years of living outdoors and keeping our property free of other cats, mice, gophers and rattlesnakes, Scardy retired.  This is a picture of him hard at work protecting us from intruders.

Scardy Kitty is comfortable on our old park bench. 2013.

His eyes are bad; he can’t hear. His teeth and fur are falling out. His voice barely makes a squeak. He has had more lives than ten cats. He ran away during the earthquake last year when it rolled up onto his porch. He was gone for five days. We saw him stumbling, nearly falling every few steps across the yard and didn’t think he would make it through the night. He’s persistent.

“He looks freaky,” Vince says. What he doesn’t say anymore is “I’m allergic to cats.”

Scardy’s schedule is precise. After eating breakfast, he ambles out to the field, rolls in the the dirt to get rid of imaginary fleas,(he gets flea medicine) and saunters back to sleep for a few hours in the deck chairs or under the steps.

two black cats on chairs
Moji prefers eating and preening to adventures. Moji and Scardy stay at home and practice social distancing. March, 2020.

At about 10:30 or 11:00, he crawls up the steps, sits down, and utters a wordless meow to ask if he can come in. In the past year we started letting him come in when it is 100 or more degrees outside, or 30 degrees, or raining, or the air is dusty, or he asks to come in. After a treat of chicken or hamburger, he either falls asleep in a corner or follows us around like a puppy.

Scardy politely stands when you come into the room, especially if you might have some food.

Eventually, whether he’s ready or not, I carry his bony little body outside to go to bed in his cage. He can still jump on his table to eat a bite of cat food, but mostly it’s nap time inside or out. Our two year old kitties take turns butting heads or licking him, but they do a terrible job of grooming him. Nothing works well. I brush him, pull out hair by the tufts, even vacuum him. He still looks like something the cat dragged in. 

See the tuft that fell out when he stood?

In January we debated about whether to have cancer surgery on his nose or put him down. I had cancer last year, and I would not have wanted Vince to put me down, so surgery it was. Our vet agreed that his vitals looked good, and why shouldn’t a good cat like Scardy have a few more months to enjoy a good meal and a cat nap.

Dr. Haggard, our vet should get a job as a plastic surgeon. He did a fabulous job, don’t you think? Did you know that cats that have white hair are more likely to get skin cancer than those with black?

Scardy Boy age 19 August 23, 2020

My answer to Sadje is that it is more than all right to tolerate inconvenience because it’s caused by a loved and familiar thing, object or person.

These aren’t fabulous photos for a photo challenge, but they do meet the themes. Check out the other responses on their blogs.

Related Post

How Four Strangers from Around the World Coordinate a Weekly Photo Challenge Interview #7 Lens-Artists, Tina, Patti, Ann-Christine, and Amy

If you know of someone who hosts a writing or photo challenge and would like to participate in my interview series on challenge hosts, feel free to email me at This is a new email address for me dedicated to bloggy things.

33 replies »

  1. Some cats have that special for you. Scary sounds like one. Kato was one of kind. He was extremely smart. He was special cause he walked on a lead. He probably knew everyone the complex and we were too dumb to realize it. He knew at least a week before us dumb humans knew there was a bobcat living near garages. Probably my life a couple of times. He would jump on my stomach in the middle of the night. Later I learned that I was stopping breathing several times at night. he didn’t like what he wasn’t hearing woke me up. He stopped after I started using oxygen for the apnea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so welcome to the challenge! And your sweetie – yes, we do all that we can for our loyal furry friends! They are depending on us and our kindness . Hopefully Scardy will stay with you for a while yet – cats do get old. Sending a pat from me and puffs from my dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve managed to pack a 10×10 storage space already :/ Hans is working on various parts of the house that need TLC, painting, etc. Now I’m prepping for school which starts next week, online of course. I read a bunch of blog posts yesterday to catch up 🙂

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        • I can’t believe you are going to teach during all this. Online might be easier, than going into class every few days. Are you going to continue after you move? Probably no reason not to, right? We move Cindy into the Cabana tomorrow. No more guest house. So glad we got together when we did! Our repair issues are still in limbo waiting for insurance approval to move ahead but we are doing great. Have a great hump day and rest of your week.

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          • Yeah, I need to teach this last semester. Luckily I have a way to teach both classes online due to the past videos recorded of the classes. I hope to teach in the Spokane area. I loved your cabana, Marsha! It is such a cool space. Did the repairs/insurance issues postpone your move? Our contractor is about to break ground on our property as soon as the permits get approved. We will be up there to see some of it in action in mid-September!

            Liked by 1 person

          • How exciting. The time is going so fast. You’ll be living there before you know it. It would be great if you could teach there. I don’t know how you get it all done! Teaching, blogging, having fun, traveling, moving! You are an impressive bundle of energy. Yes, the insurance issues have set us back and we don’t even know for how long. Maybe it’s for the best. We are taking it in stride.

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  3. What a wonderful tribute to your cat, who certainly has more than 9 lives. You’ve given him a wonderful retirement and have let him age gracefully. And…welcome to the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post about ol’ Scardy. Our Siddy cat has had an eye surgically removed and had a very expensive battery of treatments a couple years ago, resulting in a full recovery. She’s around 19, as well, and sprightly as ever with her one lemon eye twinkling away. Give Scardy Boy a pat from an old swamp toad, please. Cheers. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish Scardy was as sprightly, but he isn’t. He amazes us when he wakes up to say hi for another day. I’ve never had a cat love so much, though, so I hate to lose him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ardent hugs, my friend. Siddy was also feral, or partly so. Took years to assimilate her. She sleeps a lot, and looks just like a corpse. Then the scarecrow suddenly springs from the dead and is a flurry of love again. She’s deeply sweet…so I understand what you mean… Hugs. Thinking of you.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marsha – first of all, welcome to the challenge, so happy to have you with us!! Secondly, oh my your cat definitely has 9 lives and is fortunate to have found you when he did. Good for you for loving him and making sure his final years are happy ones. Lovely images of a well-loved kitty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. He’s been a part of the household every day. When he was feral, I would sit on the steps in the middle of the night (hot flashes). He would come to me as if it was a big secret that I couldn’t tell all the other cats, and climb into my lap so I could pet him. During the day, he would have nothing to do with me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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