In honor of Black Cat Appreciation Day, August 17, I am sharing several blogs about my black, Norie.
I am one of the growing number of people who admire and love black cats. (I love all cats but am partial to black ones).
Norie belonged to my second son and his wife when Norie was a kitten. I asked if I could have her when they had a lot of pets in a small home and needed some help. I wanted a pet and knew from previous visits that Nori was a perfect fit for me.
They got Norie when she was a blue eyed baby at a rescue site. She had cat herpes, common to feral cats, which causes matting of the eyes. If not treated early the herpes, quite different from the human one, can lead to blindness if not treated.
My son and his wife medicated her, cared for her and she became healthy. Their elderly cat, Pepper, allowed her to follow her and was a surrogate mother. Soon Norie, (named for the black algae used around sushi) showed a great sense of curiosity about everything. She watched her humans as they carried out their day to day routines.
When I saw her first I was impressed with her friendliness and playfulness. When they gave her to me, I found her to have some very entertaining behaviors. I had never been owned by a cat, so I had no idea what I was in for until she joined me in my home. I added an e to her name for some reason and she became Norie.
First I did not know that female cats are almost always in heat unless they are pregnant and may be out of heat for only brief periods of time. They seem so needy and behave quite peculiarly as is their way when in heat. It is a biological drive in the females and certainly appears to be in the males, which they have no control over.
So as soon as possible I got her fixed. She recovered after a week of wearing the “cone” around her neck, prescribed by her veterinarian. The cone protects the surgical wound until it heals. I was amazed at how resilient Norie was at adapting to this collar. She had to learn how to jump up on a counter without catching the collar’s edge on the counter’s edge, causing her to fall. She figured that out in two or three tries.
Then there was the issue of eating and drinking. The front edge of the cone precluded her mouth reaching the water if approached in the normal way. She figured out to lower the cone’s edge and reach over it to get to the water. Dry food was a bit easier. She scooped up some with the collar, tilted her head back and the food came right to her mouth. Smart cat!
The hardest thing was how to go about grooming and cleaning herself with that thing on! I don’t recall how she managed this but she did. Soon life resumed normalcy for her and our lives got even better.
Norie has an amazing curiosity. In my old home she would climb up on the refrigerator and then up on the top of the cabinets around my kitchen. I noticed the care she took to walk between things without knocking them down. She would then perch above me and watch as I loaded the dish washer or cooked. She seemed to find me as fascinating as I found her to be.
Norie can sleep pretty much anywhere. But at night she loves to sleep behind or between my knees, in a little circle. Imagine my surprise when I found out that cats snore!
Hoarding is one of Norie’s hobbies. Her eyes light up and she silently meows or gives a little squeak when she sees a straw. In the past she has pulled straws out of cups left on the counter at night. Then she stuffs them under the refrigerator along with bottle caps, a shiny stone, bread bag ties and anything long and plastic. I saw her reaching under the frig once and assumed she was trying to reach something so I “helped” her. She pushed it right back under the refrigerator.
I bought ping pong balls, which ended up hidden in various places that I couldn’t find. She loves for me to blow bubbles for her and watches with wonder as they float down but then suddenly will pounce on one just right for popping.
Sunshine is like a sleeping pill for her. Lying in the sun coming through a window or door can put her out quickly.
Windows with a view to the outdoors where birds, squirrels and lizards live add a lot to her life.
At our old home another hobby was to stay in the garage, which was full of boxes. It was her box jungle! She would climb on things and even sleep out there sometimes during the day. Now she enjoys our screened in porch and a closer and more personal view of the lizards, birds and bugs.
She is always the huntress. I have seen her catch and eat silverfish, a cricket, a spider and other bugs. She was delighted to bring in a lizard from the garage and even found one on our new screened in porch. Both of them were missing their tails. She didn’t eat them, she just wanted to play with them.
Norie is one cat who decides how much petting she gets. She will come to me when I am on the couch and purr or just sit there staring at me. I pick her up and she purrs quite loudly. But then after a few minutes of rubbing her nose and stroking her black hair, she starts twitching her tail quickly. I put her down because I know she is overstimulated. I pay attention to her “stop it!” signs. If I try to pet her when she is on the table or couch beside me when she wants me to stop she puts her paw on my hand and pushes it down. I listen to her and stop.
Norie enjoys chasing the laser light, ping pong balls, trying to catch pulled strings, and ribbons. She loves to hide under table cloths, blankets and wait for me to find her unless she falls asleep.
If she wants a treat she goes to the cabinet door below the one with the treats and partially opens the door, which shuts quickly with a bang because of the spring mechanism. She does this repeatedly until I leave the room or give her a treat!
She also has the most peculiar way of communicating. Sometimes she looks at me and moves her mouth like she is meowing but no sound comes out. I am still trying to figure out what she is saying. I ask her what she wants. I tell her to show me and I follow her to the cabinet door, the porch door or the door to the hallway of our condominium building.
The hallway and stairs at the end of the hall provide her with a little indoor exercise. But she also loves to sit at the top of the stairs and listen to our neighbors’ television or one elderly couple’s loud discussions because one of them is very hard of hearing. I stay with her when she is in the hall because I want to be sure she doesn’t get into someone’s place to explore.
She is having a long and interesting life. Stay tuned for new friend, Sister, a drug reaction, and feline asthma onset; and more pictures!