I’ve had cats my whole life, beginning with one my mom had in LA who ran away because I was born. I really have never not lived with cats, except for during college and then right after. I once got a rabbit from a woman in Union Square thinking that it’d fill the void of not having a cat, but it didn’t work out. Flash forward to 2012 when I had been out of school for a year. The guy I was dating at the time knew I needed a cat in my life, and we actively started looking at the rescue options near my apartment in Prospect Heights. One day, I was getting my nails done at one of my old go-to salons in the East Village, when he called me and told me to head quickly to an ASPCA truck that was parked on the street a few blocks away. When I got there, Sophie, born Selina Kyle (Catwoman’s real name), was curled up on a hot pink blanket with two little yellow mouse toys by her side. I had always wanted a long-haired fluffy cat, but something about the way teeny, short-to-medium haired Sophie was looking up at me with her bright green eyes really drew me in, and I adopted her on the spot. I took a cab back with her over the Manhattan bridge and let her loose in my small apartment. She hid under the bed for what seemed like days, but then began to take over.The early kitten years with Soph were a riot. One night I heard rustling in the middle of the night and, to my horror, Sophie was climbing up the dresses hanging on my clothing rack. She would swing from dress to dress like Tarzan, leaving little holes in her path of destruction. It was such a weird/bizarre thing to watch that I almost didn’t mind my shredded outfits. Happily, she grew out of that phase. Another ridiculous part of her kitten-hood that I remember fondly was her fascination with ice. I used to pour myself a drink, turn around, and then see her spinning the ice cubes with her paws.She’s always been pretty good, but with streaks of evil that I still find adorable. Her favorite place to chill has always been in a basket. I’ve had to upgrade and upsize the baskets over the years, but Sophie’s favorite ritual is to sit in a basket and stare out a window. Her first basket was a box that housed a camera I got as a gift. Then, as she grew, she took over a basket my aunt gave me in which to store nice napkins/linens. Now, she has an even bigger basket that rests on a big window ledge overlooking a tree-lined street where she watches the day go by.Sophie Anne has been there for me through some really tough times. When I went through a bad breakup and was suddenly living alone, she was my source of comfort. I’d come home from work knowing that I had hours of cuddling with her ahead of me. When I found out my mom was struggling with some scary health issues, I would hold Sophie even tighter at night. I used to ascend the stairs to my Crown Heights walkup, and I could hear her squeaky meows start as I approached the door. When I met my fiancé, I told him off the bat that I lived with a cat and loved all cats. He let me know he was more of a dog person, but was open-minded. One of my biggest joys has been watching Jason and Sophie fall in love. They’re best friends. He told me that Sophie has single-handedly changed his opinion of cats, so I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.One day, Jason and I were having one of those life chats that can get pretty intense, when he pointed at Sophie and told me to look at her mouth. I thought he was just trying to change the subject, so I shrugged it off and kept going forward with what we had been talking about. When he told me I really needed to look at her, I saw that one of her teeth was sticking out of her mouth horizontally. He touched it and it was clearly hanging on by a thread. We went to an emergency vet appointment the next morning where I was told Sophie needed immediate dental surgery. When I picked her up that night, the vet took me aside and told me Sophie was only left with four teeth.
Since then, Sophie has been thriving. She eats just as much as she always has (which is a lot). Her tongue gets stuck out of her mouth sometimes because of her new dental situation… an incredibly photogenic side effect. We have a million names for Sophie. Literally every time we see a funny word, that becomes our name for Sophie for the day. We were watching Chef’s Table the other night and they were talking about “chewy gizzards,” so today we called Sophie “Chewy Gizzard.” “Mango Chunk” is another recent favorite name for her. She brings us all the happiness. We are in the midst of planning our wedding and entering a new chapter. I love that Sophie has been a constant in my life for 6 years and it’s so nice to know she’s joining me in this next phase of my life. I like to say that I need Sophie and Sophie kneads me.
Emily Gaynor is the editorial director at Milk Makeup. She has worked in the beauty industry the past 9 or so years. She went to NYU and began interning at Teen Vogue during college. She worked as an editor at Lucky Magazine, Glamour Magazine, and Teen Vogue Magazine. She was born in LA and then grew up in Dallas and Indianapolis. When she’s not working, she loves to go to see live music, frolic in Brooklyn, walk around museums, experience new NYC restaurants, and hang with Jason and Sophie.