Item #: SCP-2643
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Containment of SCP-2643 is currently purely informational in nature. Mobile Task Force Nu-9 ("Curiosity") is monitoring its area of activity, tracking yearly movements and maintaining disinformation campaigns to limit public awareness of the anomaly. Due to the range of SCP-2643's effects, amnestic treatments are generally ineffective. In case of an affected individual posing a severe containment risk, amnestic treatments up to and including Omega-class can be approved, but only after approval by two Level 3 personnel, at least one of which must be an Ethics Committee liaison. No direct action is to be taken against low-risk subjects.
The Foundation has commissioned a children's book and cartoon featuring a cat similar to SCP-2643 in name and appearance, as well as a plot which mirrors the narrative SCP-2643 typically follows, in order to create a plausible non-anomalous source of memories associated with SCP-2643. These have been given a falsified publication history to cover the full time of SCP-2643's activity.
Description: SCP-2643 is a phenomenon that affects the memories of certain humans. Affected individuals are convinced that they cared for and extensively interacted with a stray cat for a period of their childhood. All affected individuals describe the cat in a consistent manner, and report naming it Ubaste1. The name remains consistent even among individuals who have no knowledge of Egyptian mythology, and most subjects cannot explain why they chose the name, usually claiming "it felt right".
Despite clear memories (see details below), among ████ interviewed subjects, none have been able to provide any veterinary bills, photos, or any other proof of the pet's existence. Likewise, no friends and family members have been able to corroborate the testimony of an affected individual.
Subjects first manifest symptoms between the ages of 17 and 25, and invariably report the implanted memories to refer to a period exactly ten years before they were first affected. These persons are generally from low-income households, and mostly self-describe as having had low social status and few friends during childhood.
Affected memories generally following the same basic narrative2:
- Dec. 24-27: SCP-2643 first appears around Christmas, comforting the individual after some kind of conflict, generally familial in nature.
- Dec. 28 - Jan. 31: SCP-2643 will only appear in memories regarding conflict, pain, or disappointment, consistently appearing to comfort subject in times of distress.
- Feb. 01 - May 30: SCP-2643 will appear more often, generally waiting for subject when they come home from school, or sitting outside their window in the evening. Most subjects will report spending large amounts of time speaking to SCP-2643 during this period.
- Jun. 01 - Jul. 31: SCP-2643 activity increases. Affected individuals report sneaking out of their homes to play with SCP-2643, often spending hours exploring surrounding areas.3
- Aug. 01 - Dec. 19: SCP-2643 follows affected individuals everywhere, staying close but hidden from other humans at all times.
- Dec. 20-23: SCP-2643 leaves, a year after its first appearance.
Interviews with families of affected persons reveal that most subjects have a marked difference in personality after SCP-2643 allegedly enters into their memories. Families report subjects as more confident and less prone to depression and anxiety.
SCP-2643 seems to be limited in effect to a number of small towns in the southwest USA, so far affecting a single town each year, with the effect manifesting in a new nearby location at Christmastime each year. Research indicates that SCP-2643 specifically targets individuals who lived in its area of effect in the time of affected memories, regardless of whether they are currently living in the area or not.4
Discovery: SCP-2643 was discovered after a security exploit within the ████ ██████ College's database access systems, resulting in a public dumping of authorization questions for the recovery of lost accounts. After user data was publicly posted, Amy ████, a journalist at the school paper, was reading through students' personal security questions when she realized that nearly 5% of users had answered the question "What was the name of your first pet?" with the word "Ubaste". Ms. ████ decided to write an article about the "oddly named pets", and interviewed several students, discovering that their stories of their childhood cats were nearly identical. The anomaly was brought to the Foundation's attention after Ms. ████ made a post on social media asking if the student body was playing a prank on her. A Foundation agent embedded in local law enforcement was notified and decided to investigate. The leaked forum data and Ms. ████' social media were removed, Ms. ████ and others who were aware of the anomaly were treated with amnestics, and current informational containment was implemented.
Addendum: Excerpt from interview
Interviewed: Vincent Marx (affected by SCP-2643 since 12/24/20██).
Interviewer: Dr. █████
Foreword: Mr. Marx was informed that the Foundation was interested in SCP-2643 because of its non-typical behavior. He was allowed to remain in the belief that his experiences with SCP-2643 were genuine.
80% of interview deemed irrelevant, only closing statements included. Full log is filed in central archive and available upon request.
Dr. █████: So, you feel that Ubaste had a positive influence on your life?
Marx: Oh, definitely. I am a much stronger person thanks to her.
Dr. █████: It seems this personal strength did not show much until this last year, though?
Marx: Yeah, seems so. (Marx chuckles) I guess I just couldn't figure out how to apply it. It doesn't really matter how much you know you can do if the world won't let you do it. This last Christmas though, I remembered how I felt when she first showed up, and I decided to stop wasting what she gave me. Turned my life around. For the second time, I guess.
Dr. █████: You are saying that it was hard to feel connected to what Ubaste had done for you when it was no longer there?
Marx: Yeah, I guess.
Dr. █████: And how did her departure make you feel?
Marx: Oh, I was sad of course. But overall it felt okay. As she was leaving she stopped, just for a moment, and looked back over her shoulder, and I knew I would be all right.
Dr. █████: Very well, I only have one more question for you. Why do you think Ubaste left you?
Marx: (There is a pause) I think she had done what she could for me. And I think she felt I was ready to let her go. And I'm sure that after she left me, she went right up to some other kid and changed his life, too.
Closing Statement: Mr. Marx was deemed not to be a security risk, and was released after receiving amnestics to remove all recollection of interaction with the Foundation.