After releasing her much-loved EP ‘Tearing Ventricles’ way back in 2013, Scottish songwriter Katie Malco made her long-awaited return last year with a rollicking new single ‘Creatures’ and news that she had signed to 6131 Records. In today’s ‘My Pet’, Malco writes about her cat Morag and all that she’s brought to her life:
“I’m a big animal lover but we never had cats and dogs growing up – we did have a couple of hamsters and goldfish though (RIP Sparkle, Chestnut, Mary, Pocahontas, Eddie and Patsy). I didn’t actually decide to go out and get a cat but my brother’s wife’s family had a litter and they were going to take one of the kittens so I said I would be up for having one too. That didn’t work out unfortunately because the kitten ran away on the day I was meant to collect him! I was heartbroken (luckily he returned a day or so later). I realised that I had really wanted to look after the kitten and so I looked into adopting, which would have been my first choice but I hadn’t really made any concrete decisions throughout the process, which admittedly was a little stupid. Then it turned out a family near my mum’s place had also had a litter so I ended up having the last one. A little boy brought her downstairs when I went to collect her – he was crying because he didn’t want to give her away – and I felt like a monster. She was so tiny in his little hands. She turned her head round to look at me and she did the smallest meow I’d ever heard. The mother cat was also in the room and had become unwell from overfeeding her kittens – so they’d had to keep the last kitten in a separate room to help her recover (which I think is why my cat is a little unhinged now).
We took her home and she fell asleep on my lap straight away, it was weird. She could have fallen asleep on any of my family’s laps but she chose mine straight away. I had this overwhelming feeling of protectiveness, like I wanted to take really good care of her and give her a great life. I couldn’t come up with a name, but I started rolling off old lady names like Agnes and Betty. Then my mum suggested Morag because when I was a kid I used to read these books called Katie Morag. It just seemed to suit her down to the ground, so Morag it was!
She was a really mischievous kitten, very curious and no awareness of personal boundaries – always up in everyone’s grill, which is weird because as she’s gotten older she’s become very careful and cautious. She doesn’t let anyone stroke her straight away, it takes ages before she feels comfortable enough to allow that.
She has a massive impact on my wellbeing – she makes me laugh, she makes me feel cosy on a Sunday afternoon when we’re lazing around. When I was going through a terrible breakup she lied with me while I cried, and one time she honestly licked the salty tears from my cheeks. When she did that my tears turned to laughter. I’m not sure if she senses that something’s wrong or whether she can register a display of different human emotions, but I do think animals are generally really intuitive.
When I come in the door after being away, I always pick her up for a cuddle and she snuggles her head into mine and rubs her cheek against mine. It’s the best welcome ever. It’s tough leaving her if I have to tour or go away for any reason, even though my family come and spend time with her and feed her etc, I hate thinking about her here on her own, I know she loves company and she’s very different around other people than she is with me.
Morag has enriched my life in countless ways, I hope she’s happy living with me.”