This story is part of the Believe in Wonders series, from Wondercide, about rescued animals who have miraculously survived and thrived.
Brian ran a pizzeria that was his pride and joy. He worked hard to give good food to his community, and he found it very rewarding. From the first dates to group outings for friends, his pizzeria was a place where relationships and happiness thrived. And that’s what Janet loved so much about her husband – his big heart.
The coldest of days
Brian always wanted to keep the pizzeria open when he could. You never know what connections can be made with someone over a slice near the warmth of a pizza oven. Of course, he pictured himself warming human hearts when he considered whether or not to open on one brutally cold winter day in January 2014.
The night before, a snow storm had blown through and dumped a foot of snow. Not only was the ground covered, but the air temperatures that day were as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit - a brutally cold day for even the biggest winter lover. Brian debated whether it was right to open, and he ultimately decided that he should be there for his community.
A slow day
It’s no surprise that Brian opened his doors and welcomed a slow day due to the weather. But even on slow days, meaningful connections can be made. He was happily working, stepped outside between customers to throw out some trash, and he saw a tiny kitten searching for food. The sight of this tiny body, which was soaked from the snow, instantly touched Brian’s heart. He needed to bring that baby inside, and out of this brutal, wet cold. But this kitten had no intention of making it easy for Brian.
Whenever Brian reached to scoop up the kitten, his little orange body would disappear as the kitten dove into the snow. A very stressful few hours followed as Brian had to run back and forth between the trash and the service counter when customers would come. Each time he left, he was scared that he would never see the little kitten again.
Don’t give up!
Brian called his wife, Janet to tell her about his discovery. He told her about the chase, and how he was scared of what would happen if this tiny kitten stayed outside too long. He just couldn’t leave the kitten!
Of course, it was Brian’s heart that Janet loved so much, so it’s no wonder her heart is just as big. Her words were filled with encouragement and determination for him. “Don’t give up! You have to find him.” Janet had never even seen the kitten, but she wanted her family to do everything they could to help the tiny kitten. She was waiting by the phone for updates and encouragement.
The warmth of a pizza oven
Finally, late in the day, Brian was able to grab the terrified little kitten. He made a bed for the kitten inside a box and sat him next to the pizza oven. He asked his delivery assistant to find some cat food or tuna fish, whatever he could find first. He returned with a can of tuna, and the exhausted kitty ate the whole thing! Brian let him lay next to that pizza oven for the rest of the day on a bed made of kitchen towels in a tiny box. But, now what could Brian do for the kitten?
Meeting the family
There was no question about it, the kitten had to come home with Brian. It was late, and the night was dark and cold. He put the box in his truck and set off home to Janet. On the way home, the kitty started playing hide and seek again with Brian. He escaped the box and climbed all over the truck. Brian made it home safe and sound. He parked and had to spend another half an hour searching for the little guy, who was hiding behind the backseat.
Brian brought him inside, and they were greeted by Janet who was holding a small shallow round basket lined with napkins – a perfect fit for the kitty. He would spend the night in his basket bed on the heated tile floors of the bathroom. There was no need to add the stress of a curious dog, who already lived in the house.
The Vet Visit
The next day, the kitty went to the vet with his whole, new family. The vet estimated kitty to be about 4-5 weeks old, and said that, based on his condition, he was about an hour away from death when Brian found him. Also, kitty needed a piece of his ear and his paw pad removed due to frostbite. Kitty came home with the family and slept in the basket, only getting up to eat, for the next three days.
On the fourth day, kitty was up and at ‘em. Janet came home to find toilet paper strewn about the house, and she knew this kitty would be just fine. Brian and Janet would later find that they were signing on for cleaning up after his antics for the rest of his kitten days!
A name and a sister
It was clear that the kitten was home. After all they had been through together, Brian and Janet just couldn’t have it any other way. His story was rooted in the pizzeria, and his name would pay homage to that beginning. Scarpariello, the most popular sauce at the pizzeria, was the perfect name for this saucy little hide-and-seek lover. Brian and Janet had full hearts, but there was one final worry – how would Scarppy get along with the dog?!
The vet told them, “It will take about a month for the dog to get used to him.” But the vet didn’t know just how perfect he and Cassie would be together. Cassie the dog was a herding mix, and she really did need something to look after and herd. Brian told Cassie, “Be nice to kitty!” and put them in the crate together to work it out. They were instant friends, and to this day they chase each other playing at about 10 am every morning. Scarppy is just as saucy as ever, and his favorite game is to hide behind the curtains and jump out to surprise Cassie. And Cassie pushes Scarppy around with her nose to “herd” him, especially if the rest of the family can’t find him.
Scarppy has been a blessing and a wonderful addition to his family. He lives with his two human siblings (a boy and a girl), a dog sibling, two parents, and a grandfather. Every night, he travels from room to room jumping on everyone’s beds, looking for a place to snuggle up. But his most special bond is the one he has with Brian.
Scarppy is most attached, and grateful, to his dad – the one who rescued him on that cold day in January. He sits at the window waiting for Brian to come home from work, meows when Brian leaves the house, and loves to both snuggle or “rough house” with his dad, depending on his mood.
Today, Scarppy is a happy and healthy 9-year-old cat!
Hobby? Biting human toes.
Best friend? Cassie the dog.
Favorite game? Toss the sock. He like this better than any of his toys!
Distinguishing characteristics? Tiny size for an adult cat, and he's missing a piece of his ear.
Funny trick? Knocks the playing cards out of grandpa's hands when grandpa tries to play solitaire
Most active when? It's morning, and he gets zoomies, hiding around corners to stalk his best friend, Cassie.