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in praise of little black cats

Twitter took a break from trending offensive bollocks today to tell me that it is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Great! I shared this with colleague R who told me about mystery cat.

Mystery cat won't come into the house, so colleague R lined a cracked chimenera with straw to keep him warm when the nights drew in. Mystery cat (as is only right and proper when a human has Put Effort In) ignored this right up until this week when it was cold enough that a straw-lined chimenera looked v. comfy k thx.

This reminded me of Lol, whose youth, excessive friendliness and intactness had made me think he was another doomed towpath stray. But then he romped up in a shiny new collar and a name tag saying Lol, looking sheeny and gleamy and pleased as punch, charming the boaties and the morning commuters. He was on the towpath this morning, looking moist and a little crestfallen (probably having fallen off something) but a little fuss and he perked right up.

Of course the iconic doomed teenage stray black cat was Amy Winehouse of Rymers Lane. She would scoot around the back garden at insane speed, alternating between crazed affection and hissing standoffishness. She was always tottering across roads and pissing off the bigger cats; she had a home but preferred the street.

The two black cats on my street now are much more easy-going types. Usher is a long-legged lazy handsome cat much given to rolling in the gutter and dissing the other cats; Barack Obama regularly passes through our back garden, an elegant sort with shiny green eyes. Harley has a major kitten crush on him and will bite him on the bum if he lets her (he won't).

Then there was Jimmy Carr, a young tom whose wandering brought him through the garden from time to time, but he's not been by in a while. Harley liked him and would chase him round the big garden behind ours, but Teasel wasn't impressed. Doomshadow, though, Teasel liked Doomshadow, a massive cloud of black fur with two glaring eyes like boiling pits of hellfire. Evidence suggested that he was quite an affectionate cat, despite his terrifying appearance.

Teasel is our own black cat, and obviously the best. He has an amazing tail, and fluffy black bloomers, and is purring next to me as I type.


( 11 worms — Feed the birds )
27th Oct, 2011 22:51 (UTC)
I saw Doomshadow a couple of days ago when I went to the newsagent to pick up my paper. He was lurking in a garden on Mayfair Road.
29th Oct, 2011 08:16 (UTC)
Doomshadow ftw
He (or she) is an excellent cat
28th Oct, 2011 07:30 (UTC)
I've lived with three all-blacks, Boris, Oberon, and Mogadon, every one a winner.
Shelters seem to find them difficult to place, due to superstition,but they are brilliant, sophisticated cats. :)

Edited at 2011-10-28 07:30 (UTC)
29th Oct, 2011 08:19 (UTC)
and Harley was pretty firm about being mine
I do find it odd that shelters find them difficult to place, I would have thought the standard tabbies were the hardest. I was very drawn to a fluffy black kitten with slightly ginger tips when I visited the shelter, but he was pretty firm about being Not Mine. They decide too.
28th Oct, 2011 07:38 (UTC)
Ah, memories of Jimmy, the mostly black cat with a ragged ear, scarred face and a tread that shook the nighttime gardens of 1978 West London. Most adults were scared of him because he would growl like a dog if they tried to stroke him. But he never scratched us kids, even when we tied a scarf around his neck to make him into a pretty superhero.
29th Oct, 2011 08:21 (UTC)
jimmy the hero
ah-hahahaha what a softie! Thanks for the story :)

28th Oct, 2011 08:33 (UTC)
We had two black cats when I was growing up. Thomasina (Tammy) - an excellent huntress with the rolling shouldered padding walk of a miniature black panther. And her daughter Kitty who was so in love with my brother that she hid under the shed when ever any body came to look at the kittens free to a good home. Kitty who skittered like a kitten throughout her life. Who we also called Stoopid, even though she wasn't. She had the biggest miaow and the biggest purr of any cat I've ever met.

My brother now has a black tom-cat with ginger highlights called cookie with a tail like a squizzel. I've not met cookie yet but pictures on teh internet suggest he is a fine black cat too!

ETAThis post made an excellent start to Friday. I feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Edited at 2011-10-28 08:35 (UTC)
29th Oct, 2011 08:22 (UTC)
it's been lovely reading the comments too
So many excellent black cats in the world!
29th Oct, 2011 13:57 (UTC)
I can't believe I missed this day! Cassie and Charlie could have been getting a whole extra amount of worship! They will have to have it late :)

Edited at 2011-10-29 13:57 (UTC)
2nd Nov, 2011 06:10 (UTC)
Great post! I want to see a follow up to this topic

4th Nov, 2011 09:26 (UTC)
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

( 11 worms — Feed the birds )