Molly's world has changed a lot since she was born here at grandpa's house 16 years ago. I was 31 years old when I made this photograph in April, 2007. I'd known her half my life. When she was born, grandpa and grandma had more than 20 cats. Over time some died, others were given away, and a few just ran off. My family took one of Molly's sisters when I was a teenager and that cat's son was still living at my parents house, aged 13, when I made this photograph.
For many years Molly was grandpa's only cat, but shortly before my grandma died they took in a stray they named Mittens. Molly and Mittens have never gotten along, though they rarely fight now. When grandma died in 2002, Molly looked around the house for days trying to find her.
Some people have said Molly is evil, that she worked for the devil. She certainly had a nasty reputation in her younger days. She is known to have killed two rattlesnakes as well as thousands of mice, moles, chipmunks, rabbits, and other small animals. During warm summer days she would often kill five or six mice a day, leaving their bodies in a pile under the old metal chairs next to the house. When grandpa got a large dog, Molly was so overcome with hate and jealousy that she used grandpa's bed as a bathroom. The dog was kept in a cage at night, until the day Molly jumped on the cage, reached in the bars, and clawed the dog's face up. After the dog returned home from the vet with stitches in his nose, grandpa got rid of the cage, but Molly's reign of terror against the dog continued. One of the last things she did before I moved to New Mexico in June, 2006 was to steal the dog's new bed.
When I met my son's mother in 1996, Molly instantly hated her. The cat would attack her every time we visited my grandparents. Our relationship ended badly, and I can't help but think Molly tried to warn me. I've never seen her hate anyone so much. So I don't care if she worked for Satan, she's my kitty and I love her.
Old age seems to have taken its toll on old Molly. The day I made this photo during my visit to Indiana in April, 2007, the dog stole some meat from Molly. She let him live. Grandpa says she's retired now. She's nice to the dog, and rarely kills mice anymore. She mostly sleeps.
Update: Molly died on April 23, 2010 at the age of 19. She had outlived Grandpa by one year and four months.