Since it is Friday the 13th, I wanted to dispel any superstitions about black cats. Just look at these pictures and read and see what you think.
Several years ago after my second son and his wife moved from a house to a smaller apartment. D told me of the problems they faced caring for four pets: an anxious German Shepard, a chihuahua diva, a senile incontinent cat and Nori, an almost one year old black kitten. They named her Nori, after the black algae wrap used to make sushi.
I offered to take Nori, as I had been considering a feline companion since my husband’s death; and asked, if that would help. I was excited when he said yes! (I knew from previous visits to their home that Nori was a perfect fit for me.)
A sick, black kitten
A little over 10 years ago this month, they adopted Nori from a rescue site. See picture below of this blue eyed baby, with feline herpes. Feline Herpes is a common respiratory virus of feral cats, which can cause matting of the eyes and sneezing. Untreated it can lead to blindness and respiratory infections. With a daily immunity booster and their good care she was in good health.
When I first saw Nori I was impressed with her friendliness, curiosity and playfulness. Since I never owned a cat, I had no idea what I was in for until she came to my home. Also I added an “e” to slightly change her name to Norie.
First thing I learned about cats was that female cats are almost always in heat unless they are fixed or pregnant and may be out of heat for only brief periods of time. They seem so needy and behave quite peculiarly when in heat. It is a biological drive which they have no control over.
So as soon as possible she was spayed. She adopted amazingly well to the cone around her neck that prevented her from licking the dissolvable postoperative sutures on her belly.
It isn’t easy jumping up on a counter when you have to adjust for a round thing bigger than your head around your neck! Eating and drinking was a new experience also but she adjusted beautifully.
Curiosity killed the cat?
Norie has an amazing curiosity. In my old home she would jump up on the counter top, then to the top of the refrigerator and then up on the top of the cabinets around my kitchen.
I noticed her care as she wove between the side-lying baskets and through their handles to sit on the cabinets’ top surfaces. She would then perch above me and watch as I loaded the dishwasher or cooked. She seemed to find me as fascinating as I found her to be.
Straws and plastic things
Her eyes light up and she silently meows or gives a little squeak when she sees a straw. I was told that she pulled straws out of cups left on the counter at night. I found that that behavior continued. She was later found stashing straws under the refrigerator along with bottle caps, a shiny stone, bread bag ties and anything long and plastic.
I saw her reaching under the fridge 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 for her to chase but later couldn’t find them because she stashed them in various places.
She loves for me to blow bubbles and watches with wonder as they float down but then pounces on one just right for popping.
Soaking up sunshine
Sunshine is a sleeping pill for her. Lying in a sunbeam can put her to sleep quickly.
Norie the huntress
Windows with a view to the outdoors where birds, squirrels and lizards live add a lot of fun to her life. She is always the huntress. I have seen her catch and eat silverfish, a cricket, a spider and other bugs.
She has several times been delighted to bring in a live lizard from the garage and more recently from the screened in porch. The poor lizard usually had lost its tail while trying to escape. Norie doesn’t eat them, she just wants to hunt and play with them.
At our old home the garage, was full of boxes, which served as her 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, safer, and more personal view of the lizards, birds and bugs.
Norie communicates without a word.
Norie decides how much petting she gets. She sometimes comes to me and purrs or just sits there staring at me. So I pick her up to pet her 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 after the signal, she puts her paw on my hand and pushes it down. If I don’t respect her request she lunges at my hand and nips me to stop me. She did warn me.
If she wants a treat she goes to the cabinet door below the one with the treats and partially opens the cabinet door which springs shut quickly with a bang because of the spring mechanism. She has been known to do this repeatedly until I 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. When I can’t figure out by deduction what she wants (food, outside on the porch, treat, or petting) I ask her to show me what she wants and follow her to the cabinet door, the porch door or the door to the hallway of our condominium building. She leads me to her desired destination with a very determined gait and a periodic glance back at me to be sure she hasn’t lost me.
She is having a long and interesting life and certainly making my life richer and more fun! Stay tuned for a drug reaction, and feline asthma onset; and more pictures! So what do you think? Are black cats bad luck?