Guest Star: Ode to (Odd) Black Cats

Hi everyone,

Please find below a guest story by Dana:

Black cats are simply wonderful. Maybe it’s their slinky self-assuredness, their mini-Panther facade or perhaps because they match my decor so well, but I’ve had a lucky streak of fabulous black-furred felines under my various roofs. They became my adoptive choice once I heard that black cats are often the last to be rescued from shelters.

Over a course of 30+ years, the previous members of my dark cat crew were Babs, Moe, Boscoe, Kirra and J. Poindexter Kitty (aka Dex). The current duo is three-year old Bug and four-year old Tink (no, I can’t seem to use normal names). If you saw these two together, you’d assume they were littermates – but they actually come from different states.

Tink was a feral cat found somewhere in Placerville, CA and taken to a shelter in South Lake Tahoe, CA, where I glommed onto her. She was not too happy with any of it – as none of this cage + human stuff matched up with her previous lifestyle. She was assumed to be about nine months old when I adopted her. While she’ll never be a lap cat and just barely tolerates the little bit of holding I insist upon, she’s so very sweet, loves being petted and brushed, and tends to stay near me a lot.

Tink being adventurous in the back yard

Then there’s Bug, aka Miss Bossy Pants. She, too, was found wandering the streets at a young age. In her case, eight months old and pregnant in Carson City, NV…once found, she was fostered until birthing and weaning her babies. I came across her at the Humane Society about three days after her placement there. Notations on the door of her kennel said best to be in a one-cat home, due to post-partum blah blah blah. I decided to see if she and Tink would work out.

Bug really skinny, right after I brought her home

Ohmygosh. While Tink had stayed mainly in my closet (with food/water/litter) for about three weeks upon adoption, Bug lasted in that safe zone about a half-hour. She needed to get out and see the rest of her space, which I put down – with thanks – to the fostering chapter of her life. She insisted immediately that Tink be her pal and playmate and they were off. It’s a daily ritual for them to clean each other, race through the house with Kitty Rips and crash out nestled together for nap time.

Tink on the same chair, looking aggressive – but it’s actually a yawn

At night, Bug sleeps nestled against my hip, and greets me in the morning by crawling on my chest to purr, knead, lick, while Tink guards the foot of the bed and enjoys some brief pets. Different cats, different agendas. I tell friends it’s like living with two Ukrainian exchange students (or Greek: insert any language you have difficulty with). We get along very well, but I can’t understand a word they say, and vice-versa. But we all manage together under the same roof quite amiably and try nicely to figure out what one another is asking.

I figure that in a few years we’ll have it all figured out. In the meantime, while I don’t exactly have the lap cats I rather miss, my current beautiful felines are off the streets and living an amazing life. And I continue to work on my foreign language skills…Here’s to black cats!

Side note: I learned from a friend that a nice well-to-do lady in town goes to the nearby animal shelters a couple times a year and pays the adoption fees of any black cats on site. While I can’t afford that level of generosity, I always pay for a 2nd black cat adoption when I am adopting, and try to go at least once a year to a local shelter and do the same.

Bug being sneaky, wanting to go on my trip with me…

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