Heroes of 2020: My Cat—the Smartest, Best Cat. He Is Named Smarty Cat.

Mother Jones illustration; Jamilah King

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Before 2020, here’s how I would’ve described my cat, Smarty Cat: “His paws have never touched pavement.” 

And it was true: Despite being a 12-year-old rescue, Smarty Cat embodied all of the privileges of a kept kitty. He’s particular in his tastes: the afternoon sunshine must hit him just right, he will only eat food that’s slathered in gravy, and he screamed bloody murder any time he was moved from the relative stability of his normal routine. 

So when I embarked on a cross-country road trip this summer, my biggest concern was how he’d handle it all. Would he meow his way across America? Would he file for emancipation with the powers that be? Would he even survive? 

Turns out I have a really chill cat. He spent days upon days cooped up in a car and he mostly slept. He can adapt to whatever circumstances you throw at him, and he’s still not afraid to like nice things. But mostly he kept me sane and for that I am grateful.

And the description still holds: His paws still haven’t touched pavement. 

Smarty Cat on his throne.

Jamilah King

 

 

Jamilah King

Heroes and Monsters 2020

The staff of Mother Jones is highlighting the year’s heroes and monsters. Find them all here.

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