Yesterday was Black Cat Appreciation Day or, as Blackie knows it, just another day. She got fed her favourite food and had cat treats sprinkled in front of her. She meowed imperiously from the bathroom and got fresh cold water poured into her nowhere near empty bowl. She rolled onto her back and mrowfed for belly rubs. She got her head skritched and her back stroked. When she got sleepy she napped on my bed or the bench. When she got curious she “hid” in the cardboard box or on a kitchen chair. Life’s good for Blackie.
We need to go back to 2007 to when the kids and I had flown to British Columbia for two weeks to celebrate my sister’s wedding and attend my grandfather’s memorial service. It was a wonderful family gathering of almost thirty people and we came home in good spirits to find a rather distraught cat sitter and a skeletal orange tabby.
“He just wouldn’t eat,” she explained, brushing back tears.
I made an emergency trip to the vet where tests showed our cat Pumpkin had cancer. He was euthanized the next day.
Two months later we were ready to welcome a new rescue into our home and knew just where to go. A friend volunteered with an animal rescue that worked out of PetSmart and offered to go in with us. We quickly fell in love with a three year old grey tabby and set to filling out adoption papers. That’s where we ran into problems. We lived in a high rise with a balcony and even though we lived on the third floor, the owner of the shelter was positive he was going to get out, leap over the chest high concrete wall and plummet to his death. She eventually turned us down.
So we went to the Humane Society. I told the volunteer that we wanted an older cat and she started leading us to the back past all the younger cats. Kait and Colin immediately pointed out a young kitten named Pete. I immediately pointed out that his eyes were both crusty and weeping. That sounded unnecessarily expensive to me.
The lady was waiting for us by the older cats when Kait said, “Mom! Look! This cat’s licking me!”
She giggled as I turned to look at an adolescent cat cheerfully licking Kait’s fingers. Kait bent down and the cat licked her nose. More giggles ensued.
The volunteer started walking toward us. “The older cats are all down there,” she said with a touch of impatience in her voice. She looked over at the cat we were clustered around and the impatience disappeared.
“Oh! You’re looking at one of our black cats! Let me get her out for you! Her name’s Blackie and she’s nine months old. She’s had all her shots and is spayed…”
She continued her speil while we oohed and aahed over the kitten. Soon the paperwork was signed, the fees were paid, and she was ours. We already had Angel at that point and the two of them settled in well together, they still get along.
That was a long time ago. Blackie’s going to be 14 years old in December. We picked Christmas Eve to be her birthday figuring that Christmas Day would be too busy. She’s lived in three different apartments and has had two health scares. One turned out to be her teeth and the other is a mystery, she just stopped eating for several weeks. She’s going a bit senile and sometimes misjudges the edge of the litter box and pees on the floor but otherwise she’s fine.
She has brought me so much joy and companionship over the last 13 years. I hope we have many more years together! You’re amazing Blackie Boo!