Rascal and Me.
Napping on the sofa, circa 1979
Rascal was my first ever cat. Ever since I can remember, Rascal was there. I think I was about two when she showed up. According to my parents, she just showed up on their porch - pregnant - and refused to leave. After a few days, they relented, took her in and adopted her. She had her kittens, and then stuck around for the next 20+ years. She died when I was a junior in college... so she was with us through my whole entire upbringing.
She loved sitting in the sun, all curled up in a little ball. I remember that after she died, I would see a black sweater or towel on the sofa and briefly mistake it for Rascal. So bittersweet.
Another thing she loved was cantaloupe. I don't recall when we figured this out, but she used to love to lick out the inside of the cantaloupe after I was done eating it. She would stick her whole head inside and lick it dry. To this day, every time I have a cantaloupe shell sitting around, I think of Rascal and wish that she were still here to enjoy it with me.