Squinty has always been a lovable kitty, so Elly Zupko wasn’t surprised when it started snuggling up against her pregnant belly.
“I think he liked the warmth I gave off and my big, cuddly belly,” says Zupko. “He must have known something was changing.”
Zupko rescued Squinty in 2003 after his former owners surrendered to him.
His family took him to the veterinary hospital where Zupko’s then-boyfriend worked, because they couldn’t afford the hip sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ he needed. “My boyfriend said that ‘Mango’ is the coolest cat he’s ever met.”
The cat is getting better. Its hips have completely healed and it is starting to move like a cat for its age. “He’s completely mobile, but he has to climb stairs step by step,” Zupko said.
Zupko first changed Mango’s name to Steve. She then started calling him Squinty because of the way he squinted at people, which Zupko considered his signature expression. The name Squinty remained the same and Squinty became a permanent fixture in Zupko’s life.
Squinty has been in Zupko’s life for almost 15 years. During that time, he shared the same room several times with seven different people, five other cats, and two dogs. He currently lives with her husband and Zupko, the other cat is Trova and the dog Fibber.
When Zupko’s daughter Willow was born, many advised Zupko not to let Squinty or Trova near the baby because they would ‘steal her breath,’ Zupko said. “I never worried about that myth, but I do have typical new mom worries that cats will get into the baby’s crib and disturb the baby’s sleep, or accidentally scratch them. baby. into me. Squinty really enjoys being in the kennel, because she can see through the slats and watch the dog and still feel safe.”
But when Squinty meets Willow, Zupko realizes that she has nothing to worry about. What surprised Zupko: “He really is another of our cat bullies. “I assume he will see the baby as another ‘pet’ because it is so small. I assumed he would probably be distant or indifferent to her. But it seems he recognized her as human.” Whenever Squinty gets the chance, he hugs Willow.
Squinty started lying next to Willow from the first time she put her next to me on the bed. Now not a day goes by that Squinty doesn’t snuggle up to Willow.
“When Willow wakes up in the morning, I usually take her to bed together so we can cuddle before starting the day,” says Zupko.
At times, Squinty even mirrors Willow’s sleeping position. As Willow begins to embrace Squinty, Zupko worries that this will be the end of their relationship. There is nothing like the truth.
Zupko said: ‘I liked that he was around her and wasn’t jealous of the creature that was attracting my attention. “But he is an older cat, so I am sad to think that he may not be around when Willow is older and can appreciate him more and make memories with him.”
She added: “Squinty was one of my first pets as an adult and it will always be one of my most cherished animals. “I love that Willow can be a part of his life.”