This is Sophie Anne. She is the former kitten Tanya Lee raised, and her story is partially told there. Sophie was a small kitten when she appeared one day in 2011. Alone and unaccompanied, she marched right up the driveway of a local Cleveland Animal Rescuer of some 40 years experience wearing a dog collar that was too big for her. On the porch was the Rescuer’s grandson; he spotted her and yelled “Hey Grandma!”
She was promptly scooped up and checked out, bundled into a blanket and delivered to Tanya’s second lady who took one look and…the basics were related previously in Tanya’s story. Sophie was quite the lively ball of energy; and Tanya and the lady were both her favorite sources of personal entertainment. Her early days were spent racing around the apartment, chasing Tanya, and sleeping on the lady’s shoulder.
Cats in general can have as much variation in personality as people; often it is said and usually found to be true, that no two cats are alike in personality. Where Tanya is quiet, undemanding, and unassuming, even meek, Sophie is the opposite. She is confident, unapologetic, demanding, fearless and if she decides she does not like someone, she is not shy about making sure they know how much, and to what degree. In precise detail.
And life was awesome for Sophie until late one cold, dark night in the fall of 2013.
This was the night that the lady’s daughter arrived, with another cat. A boy cat, his name was William James, and Sophie took one look at William and decided she did not like the look of him one bit. William looked back at Sophie calmly, not at all repentant or impressed and politely introduced himself to Tanya who thought he was just the bees knees. Sophie regarded William with disdain; the lady’s daughter with hate and rage.
But the lady’s daughter stayed and so did the trespassing interloper cat William. Try as she might, and Sophie tried and tried and tried… she stalked him around the house, she glared, she hissed, she even tried physical violence! But William was an older gentleman, a Maine Coon, an avid hunter, with a mysterious past of his own as a stray. He was not interested in taking any guff from this she-devil. She attacked, he attacked back!
And for the first time in her life, Sophie Anne had to come to terms with… Failure. William would not be intimidated. The lady’s daughter would not take him away. The lady herself petted William and gave him bits of her dinner, and even Tanya, the sweet, comforting, adoptive mama cat looked on favorably and made fast friends of her enemy. It was betrayal at every turn! And Sophie let everyone know it.
She threw temper tantrums in the middle of the night, knocking the lady’s things off of tables, and racing around the house, especially over the lady herself as she attempted to sleep! Sometimes several times a night until the lady’s arms were laced with claw marks and the lady’s daughter became concerned about all of the scratches on the lady’s arms and legs, shoulders and neck.
And even though the lady’s daughter attempted to make overtures of friendship, Sophie absolutely refused to have anything to do with her. Instead Sophie displayed her displeasure with angry glares from across the room, hissing and running away if the lady’s daughter got too close. Sophie knew the lady’s daughter was responsible for William’s presence in her domain. The daughter finally stopped trying to make friends.
Instead, the lady’s daughter started making up stories about Sophie to entertain the lady. The lady’s daughter told the lady that Sophie was not really a cat at all. She was an alien from outer space, here on Earth to study humans. When Sophie would race around and run the lady over, scratching her and drawing blood, this was Sophie collecting blood samples.
When Sophie would angrily huff and put her back to everyone while sitting on the toilet bowl seat in the bathroom facing the wall, she was communing with the alien mother ship. When Sophie decided to change-up her angry huffing and stare at the empty television screen in the living room, she was reporting the results of her observations about the humans she was tasked with observing to her superiors.
She disliked William because she knew that he could see right through her disguise. At first Sophie pretended not to listen to what the lady’s daughter was saying about her, but she could also see the stories made the lady laugh. Little by little, Sophie would sit closer and watch the lady’s daughter tell the lady her silly made-up stories, and more and more Sophie found the stories…amusing.
Little by little, she decided the lady’s daughter was not so bad. And little by little, she came to understand that William was not inclined to beating on her unless provoked. Little by little, Sophie decided to just stop provoking him and William and Sophie did not become friends, but they at least signed a cat peace treaty, and life went on. Sophie came to terms with her failure and treat it as a life lesson; in this way she gained perspective.
And life went on. One day William stopped coming out of the lady’s daughter’s room and Sophie noticed that Tanya spent more and more time around her friend. She would go in and look at him; she knew he was sick. And then he was gone and the lady’s daughter and the lady were both sad. And more and more, Sophie would wander into the room and look around to make sure that William was still gone. And indeed, he was.
And life went on. And one day a new cat appeared; a young, timid little girl, and Sophie began to plot and scheme. But then the new cat and the lady’s daughter went away. Sophie was rather nonplussed but she still had Tanya and her lady. And the lady’s daughter would appear for a few hours every so often and do things around the house, take the lady for a few hours, come back and pet and brush her and Tanya.
And life was awesome for Sophie until late one night in January 2017. The lady got sick and went away with some strangers, and soon the lady’s daughter came and took her and Tanya to stay with her. And two other cats! One was the young, timid little girl cat, except that now she was a young, timid, big girl cat, bigger than Sophie! And the other cat was a kitten, a boy, who was quiet fascinated and sadly, completely unimpressed.
And then one night Sophie got to see her lady one more time, but the lady was too sickly and frail, could no longer care for Sophie and Tanya, and so they remained with the lady’s daughter and the other two strange cats (their stories are coming soon). Sophie has her times where she still misses her lady. Sophie has also proven to be resilient, in dealing with loss, change of circumstance, and the presence of others.
She still tries to terrorize the big, girl cat. The new boy cat has grown into a young adult who despite her best attempts to terrify him, is still fascinated, attentive, and completely unafraid of her. Sophie considers him her student. Or perhaps her minion. Or perhaps it is really the other way around.
And life is pretty good.