Black cat is school’s unofficial crossing guard
Stormy, a 17-year-old feline, has long been a fixture at the Killybrooke Lane and Stonefield Street corner in Costa Mesa.
COSTA MESA – A small black cat with a patch of white fur on its chest walks up to crossing guard Barbara Scalla at the Killybrooke Elementary School parking lot.
Seventeen-year-old Stormy waits as Scalla gets her folding chair, hat, stop sign, and yellow crossing guard jacket.
Then the odd couple makes their way across the street to take up their post at Killybrooke Lane and Stonefield Street. There, they work the 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. shift.
Stormy greets the children and lets them pet her. Scalla walks the students across the street.
Scalla and the cat have had this routine for about four years, making Stormy the unofficial mascot of Killybrooke and Stonefield.
"She brings happiness," Rachel Keane, a sixth-grader who has been crossing at that corner since kindergarten, said this morning. "She is probably the fun of this whole corner."
Stormy is well paid for her work.
"She knows I am going to feed her so she comes up to me and meows," said Scalla, 69, of Huntington Beach, about their ritual. "I say, ‘Just a minute. Let me get my jacket on’ and she just sits there and waits."
Stormy has been a fixture at the corner long before she began her routine with Scalla, but previous crossing guards were not as accepting. When Scalla began at the corner, she welcomed the feline companionship.
At first, Stormy would jump in her chair and go to sleep.
"But now she jumps in my lap,” said Scalla, who has two cats of her own.
Stormy lives with her owners Melanie and John Whittaker at their home on Killybrooke and Stonefield. The cat has always been a mixture of curious and friendly, they said.
Melanie Whittaker said Stormy used to follow her when she worked at Killybrooke Elementary in the school office and as a teacher’s aide.
"I’d be in the office or whatever and I can remember she walked into the third grade class one time and into the office one time and I had to say, ‘Come on Stormy. Let’s go home,” said Whittaker, 53.
The Whittakers also have a 3-year-old Shitsu named Missy that likes to sleep on the same blanket as Stormy.
Son Steve Whittaker, 26, realized his cat’s popularity in high school when friends from different high schools would mention Stormy. Students who had gone to Killybrooke Elementary remembered the cat and word of the friendly feline spread.
"She is like a little celebrity," he said. "I guess my cat is officially a celebrity."
I hope yall liked this story and the pics!! Just had to post it for all my cat loving friends!! But for all of you dog lovers….
My guard dogs!!! Probably looking for Stormy!!!
Hope you’re having a peaceful week!
PS: My wife’s company had GREAT tickets, including dinner, for tonight’s Lakers – Nuggets game tonight and…… THEY SOLD THEM!!!!!!!!! Why in the world a Fortune 500 would do that to make a few bucks is beyond me!! It’s game 5 and the series is tied 2 to 2. I would have loved to have gone!! GRRRRRR!!!!!!