Posted on June 21, 2020 Posted by John Scalzi 27 Comments
Two years ago today we found this adorable little jerk in the field across from our house, demanding to be paid attention to, and also, fed. We took him in and fed him and made him part of the family. It’s not been boring since.
People ask me if he’s a good cat. I say he’s very good at being a cat. Most people get what I mean there.
It is absolutely true that we do not regret him becoming part of the family. We were glad to be able to give him a happy life, and he seems glad to be able to have it, and to be with us. It works out pretty well for everyone. Including you, since you get pictures of this ridiculously handsome feline.
I hope wherever you are, you have a truly excellent Smudgeversary.
Happy Smudgeversary. He certainly won the cat lottery when he became part of your family. Tuna and cat nip for everyone!
here at the edge of town our innie-outie companions are routinely taken by coyote, esp early mornings and evenings. gone out wandering is smudge being smudge safe?
In 20 years the only way we’ve lost a cat is to old age or other natural causes.
Yay! Happy Smudgeversary indeed! He’s grown into a very handsome boy. We need more cat pictures, Sir Scalzi. Please and thank you.
This means, for me, that I’ve been following your blog for a little over two years.
Happy Father’s Day, bud.
From our Smudgely McDammitcat to your Smudge, happy servant-acquisition day, and may they adore you appropriately for many years to come!
Yes, I am entirely grateful for pictures of Smudge! Cat pictures have been some of the brightest points in my days recently. Seanan McGuire and Nnedi Okorafor have also been hooking me up.
“In 20 years the only way we’ve lost a cat is to old age or other natural causes.”
Friend of mine lost a cat due to a car crash. The cat got frightened and ran away. They even brought back his box on the side of the road with some food, hoping he’d come back to seek refuge, but he never did, and they never knew what happened. It was a black-white, not too different from Smudge (a bit more black than white).
He and his wife got another cat, of course, but each cat is unique and irreplaceable.
We lost one indoor/outdoor cat to a car back in college, so all our cats have been indoor cats since then (except with occasional supervision when we lived far from big roads, or occasional escapes.)
Our longest-lived cat was a stray kitten my wife found in a parking lot; lived to be over 20.
If you need an overdose of continuous cat cuteness, there’s kittenacademy.com ; he fosters pregnant cats and their kittens for a local shelter.
Excuse me if this is a bit off the Smudgeversary topic here, but my wife and I are having a rather pointless discussion on whether the bowl Mini-Smudge was eating out of is heart-shaped or not. As a fellow recipient of a delightful partner who “gets” you, I am confident that you have enjoyed many such an experience with your wife.
And while I say the discussion is “pointless” the stakes are anything but. The victor will spend days and probably, if I am truly honest about this, years referring back to this moment in times of future strife and conflict of epic proportions. Such a time WILL arise. A time where a choice must be made to decide which movie to go see (or given the times we are in, stream) and the selection made by one is so clearly flawed that the very ability to judge must be called into question by the other. It is at this very moment that your response will be cited, either by the one making the selection to raise the infallibility of their judgment beyond all doubt, now and forever, or by the challenger who will use it to crush the validity of the selection into a smoke outline to be dissipated into the wind as insubstantial as their discernment abilities had always been.
Something else with which you are undoubtedly familiar, I have really spent the past few minutes writing this for no other real purpose than to amuse my wife when read it aloud to her…as I interrupt whatever productive thing my wife will be doing when I finish this.
Her laugh and smile is always more than payment enough for my effort, but we really do want to know which of us got it right.
And just so it follows a bit of the topic, we also have a cat that adopted us when it wandered up as a kitten. He is also EXCEEDINGLY good at being a cat, but one of our most affectionate…when HE decides to be.
Happy Smudeversary, and may you have many more to come.
Steve and Amy
A yummy idea:
Steve: The bowl is indeed heart-shaped and the interior has an illustration of the Powerpuff Girls.
Happy Smudgeversary! (And happy Father’s Day, too!) Hope it’s a grand day for all the household – both the 4-legged and the 2-legged members.
Smudge is a handsome and charming feline, and I love the pictures of him that you share. And my own adopted stray boycat, DammitMalcolm (all 27 bumbling pounds of him), sends Smudgeversary greetings as well!
He was an adorable kitten, and has grown to be an exceedingly handsome young cat. Happy Smudgeversary, Kitty!
Happy Smudgeversary to Smudge and all Scalzis, bipedal and quadripedal! My cat Bella sends her regards!
Come on, Steve, ‘fess up. Who won?
Smudge grew from a cute kitten to a beautiful cat. Smudge chose well.
He is indeed a feline of distinction . . . Happy Smudgeversary to you all!
Happy Smudgeversary! That top picture reminds me of one I have of our youngest when she was a kitten (albeit our picture is about eight years old). Here’s to a ton more Smudgeversaries!
–Love, Flynn and Floyd, the Russian Blues Brothers
If he had green eyes I would not be able to tell him from our Scruluce. Scruluce, pronounced screw loose, barged his way into out house after getting hurt and recovering somewhere.
He is also very good at being a cat. Love him anyway, and it beats any news about that big orange thing that keeps barging into my consciousness.
In celebration of SmudgeDay, here is a story about a very bad cat that happened only yesterday.
Don’t worry — it’s a happy story.
I’m looking out my living room window when down the sidewalk comes a man taking his dog and two kids for a walk (well, I assume they’re his — he might’ve been renting them, for all I know). Suddenly a cat strikes out from under a bush, runs along the foursome in the street and ducks under a car ahead of them.
I know that cat (it’s a distinctive-looking beast). Paula says she’s encountered it often when she goes on walks. Sometimes it’s followed her almost back to our house, presumably looking for a handout.
As the foursome pass the car, the cat scoots out from under it and trots down the street next to them, keeping abreast with their brisk walking and occasionally looking up at them. Yes, trots. Not scampering nor pacing nor running, a usual cat gait. It’s a definite trot. Then it spies a something-or-other in a nearby yard and scampers off to investigate that.
The foursome moves on. Another house-yard length and the small child turns and waves its arms towards the cat, who comes running up and starts trotting next to them again.
Maybe this is an ordinary cat game, like when it tries to follow Paula home for food. Or maybe it was just heading that way to begin with and got amused by the traveling entourage.
The group reaches the end of the street, about a hundred meters down, circles around, and heads back up on the sidewalk on the other side of the street.
The cat is still with them. Still trotting alongside, except when it decides to dart off under a parked car or to explore a yard. But always coming back to the pack, sometimes on its own and sometimes when the little kid waves or runs toward it. This continues until I lose sight of them a block up the street.
I’ve never seen a cat go for walk like this. Sure, I’ve seen cats on leashes. Not the same thing! This cat is doing a really bad job of acting like a cat.
I have three hypotheses, listed in order of increasing likelihood (because entertainment-value = likelihood).
— This is a cat that was raised with a puppy and not with other cats, maybe even by a dog.
— This is a transdog who hasn’t physically transitioned. In which case, you go, dawg!
— This is an alien spy sent to scope us out before the invasion fleet, who loaded the wrong personality module for their disguise. In which case, given the demonstrated level of competence, I’m not too worried about the invasion.
Other hypotheses cheerfully entertained.
– pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
— Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com
— Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com
I miss my cats, but yours is cute (even if it seems he needs training from the older Scamperbeasts),
Congratulations on your anniversary; at least something worked out well this year.
I’ve had cats of my own and neighbor cats who would come for walks or come out to say hi. So for some cats, it’s a thing they do. i had one cat, one time, who went on the whole mile long dog walk! So now I circle back around the block to let the cat drop off and save his dignity, while the dogs and I go on. Honestly, the pace and distance are not cat-friendly. My mother said that a cat she had as a girl used to go for walks with her, on their farm. It would walk out to the mailbox with her, probably an eighth to a quarter mile. i think some cats want to be included that way. I rejoice in the Smudgeversary and recommend the notable cat photographer to my friends.
I live in Reston Virginia and there’s a local cat that, when her person takes the dog and kids out for a walk, follows them. Very uncatlike. Supposedly there’s another cat in the vicinity that follows its person around but I haven’t seen it.
I like the Invasion by Incompetent Aliens idea. Someone should turn that into a story.
20 years and only lost to natural causes! Wow. When we lived in Tucson, we lost SIX. Then we wised up & stopped letting them out (which they HATE!). Coyotes.
Compared notes with a neighbor. His solution: EXTRA BIG & EXTRA SMART cats.
SMART: they would crawl up in the undercarriage of his truck (we are/were both field geologists), where the coyotes couldn’t get them!