Friday, November 18, 2011

Ode to Black Cat

This cat who's slowly making me his . . .  A glossy creature, black as shadows on a moonless night.  A beguiling fellow, he is by turns aloof and tender, watchful and remote, then curling at my feet. 

Last night he brought his lady friend to visit.  He proudly led the way to his new-found trove of food and warmth, coaxing her along.  A shy thing, she hung back, afraid to enter. He murmured softly, nuzzling her ear, until she darted through to safety behind a chair.  I left her alone, just put out two dishes and a bowl of water and then retired to the sofa to watch in silence. 

The Prince of Midnight is not normally inclined to share, growling low in his throat and occasionally charging at neighboring cats who venture near.  But this night he turned all his charm toward his sole invited guest.  He rolled and wriggled, batting gently in the air, blinking his sloe green eyes at her.

She gradually succumbed, and together they ate, first from one dish, then the other. 

Some years ago I worked in a small town in the mountains and stayed in an efficiency apartment on the bank of the Pigeon River. I gradually made friends with a couple of the feral cats who haunted the area. One stayed for thirteen years. Black Cat, her offspring, stayed for two years before feline aids took him. His lady friend, whom I called PK (for Pretty Kitty) came with him often but remained shy of people. She learned her name and came for food, but she could never relax if I shut the door and she was closed in my apartment. She never returned after Black Cat died. If I find a picture of them, I'll post it. I miss those slinking, shadowy creatures who stayed near but never close.


Polly said...

Our cat is semi-feral but loves to be rubbed on his cheeks. He takes a long time to warm up to anyone and is sweet when he does. He never puts out his claws unless something scares him. But affection is always on his terms, when he wants it. He's an outdoor cat but comes inside when he wants to. Again, it's all about what he wants. We accommodate him.

Irene Black said...

We love black cats. Ford's favorite was 'Ponce,' we got from the pound to keep down vermin in the barn. It wasn't long until he was an outdoo/indoor cat still did his barn duty. He would follow Ford to the barn, but insisted on sitting on his shoulder to return to the house.

Ellis Vidler said...

Cats are so interesting and determined. None live with us now, and I miss them except for the birds they killed. Still, I bet the black snake who raids the nests wouldn't be so brave if we still had cats. Ours were always fierce hunters.

I know Joey, and he does occasionally make an appearance when I'm around. Maybe he's getting used to me.

Nash, it's unusual to have one ride on your shoulder. I had one that liked to ride in the car, but that's as far as she got.

Irene Black said...

Animals of any strip consider my husband their own personal property.First date I ever had with Ford my dog landed in his lap and was his from then on.
Pounce developed that habit when he was a kitten. He would drape himself around Ford's neck as Ford worked the garden.
It's actually amazing to watch a strange animal go right to him. Friends shake their heads. That's how we acquired the three than now occupy the sofa.

Ellis Vidler said...

Lucky Ford! You have a good man there. Most animals like me but not that much. I'm the one that likes them first. I have a real weakness for strays.

GJB said...

Yesterday evening our black cat, Murphy died. Murphy was the consummate lap-cat right to the end. He came to sit on my lap while I was working at the computer. A tremor when though his body and he was gone. There were no previous signs of any health problems. I am sad and yet glad that I held him at the moment of his last breath. He was a stray that my daughter and son-in-law took in. When our cat of 18 years died, they offered us Murphy. He was with us for 10-years. We estimate that he was about 16 years old. When we came home from work he would greet us and go though a special routine that had evolved over the years. If we left and came back he would probably go through the routine again. Many, many Murphy stories - he is going to be missed.

Ellis Vidler said...

GLB, I'm so sorry Murphy is gone but glad you were with him. Cats can be so special and such good friends. Our Fitzhugh attacked a peeping Tom, but he was the sweetest cat to us. Share some of your Murphy stories. They're always welcome.