Monday, May 05, 2014

Black Cat Love: The Tail of Mr. Midnight


Mr. Midnight in the snow - FarmgirlFare.com

Do you like black cats? I've always loved them, and I know I'm not the only one. I even have a book left over from my previous life as a graphic designer called The Black Cat Made Me Buy It!, filled with antique and modern packaging and advertisements featuring black cats.

But black cats aren't so popular at animal shelters. In fact, they're by far the least likely cats to be adopted. There are various theories regarding this sad statistic, including the whole bad luck/superstitious thing. Another reason is because black cats simply don't photograph as well as lighter colored cats, which explains why there's often a surplus of black dogs at shelters too.

Mr. Midnight snuggled up in a vintage galvanized tub in the greenhouse 1 - FarmgirlFare.com

Back in the fall of 2007 we were down to just one indoor cat, so my hunky farmguy Joe suggested that I head to our local overcrowded, underfunded animal shelter and adopt a couple of new cats. And then he let me go there alone.

More below. . .

I decided I would take the two cats who had been at the shelter the longest. Topaz, who died last fall,  had been there 13 months, and Sarah, a little black and white cutie pie we call Sarah Kate and Kit Kat Kate, had been there for about eight. But a big black male cat the shelter staff had named Whiskers had been there eight months too. He was long and sleek and gorgeous, friendly but a little bit skittish.



Three cats wasn't really that many more than two, was it? Although a friend pointed out later that three cats was actually fifty percent more than two. Thankfully Joe wasn't around when she said it.

Too bad I'd only brought two cat carriers. "No problem!" said the shelter attendant, instantly producing a collapsible cardboard one she said I could have for free.

There was no information about where Whiskers had come from, and they couldn't find his paperwork because it was still in the PetSmart file. "You mean he went to the adoption center at PetSmart and nobody wanted him?" I asked.

"Oh he's been there two or three times." PetSmart is 130 miles away.

Sunny Sunday afternoon on the farm (12) - FarmgirlFare.com

Whiskers really didn't want to get in that cardboard carrier—probably because he thought he was being dragged back to PetSmart—but at one point on the way home I heard a noise coming from behind my seat and realized he was purring.

Topaz and Kit Kat settled easily into their new home, but Whiskers spent his first few weeks here hiding in a closet. When we realized he came out at night and prowled around—and that Sarah Kate actually had more impressive whiskers than he did—I renamed him Mr. Midnight. It suits him perfectly.


Mr. Midnight has a deep, rumbling purr and a high-pitched little squeak of a voice. He is graceful and friendly and has the ability to look totally comfortable anywhere. He is full of love and affection and gets along with everybody, including the dogs and even three pound, 18-year-old Molly Doodlebug, who despises everyone except me. I can't imagine this place without him.

Mr. Midnight on the hayfield fence - FarmgirlFare.com

The color of Mr. Midnight's coat may well be the reason nobody wanted to adopt him, but I like to think it's because he was just waiting to come home with me.

Our cats all have real personalities, and these personalities deserve real food. This is the third in a three-post series that's part of a campaign with BlogHer, my publishing network, and SHEBA® cat food, which helps me and over 3,000 other mostly women bloggers bring you all of our content for free. Thanks for your support!

Why do we like SHEBA® cat food?

—All SHEBA® Pates start with real beef, poultry, or seafood as the first ingredient. And every SHEBA® Cuts in Gravy and GRAVY DESIRES™ recipe is made real meat as the first ingredient after broth.

—All SHEBA® recipes are formulated without corn, wheat, soy, or gluten, and never have artificial flavors or preservatives. None of the other big mainstream wet cat food brands can say that.

—All SHEBA® seafood entrees are made with responsibly sourced seafood and fish that follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations.

As you can clearly see here, our cats love the taste of SHEBA® cat food. Your cat is guaranteed to love it, or you’ll get your money back.

Do you have a black cat or a shelter cat—or a black shelter cat? I'd love to hear their story in the comments!

© FarmgirlFare.com, efficiently run by six multi-colored cats (and a bunch of other equally spoiled critters).

This program is sponsored by SHEBA® Brand and BlogHer. I was compensated for my writing but all opinions are my own.

20 comments:

  1. My husband and I had a darling black kitty early in our relationship. She was not from a shelter, but was abandoned at 6 weeks on a friend's doorstep. We took her in and she shared our lives for 14 years. She was just 1 pound larger than Molly Doodlebug; a perpetual kitten.

    I love reading your stories of how your cats came to live with you. Once they realized they were forever free of their shelter cages, they must have felt like they arrived in paradise. :^) And I can't think of a happier life for a cat than on a farm, roaming free and hunting.

    Our current non-black kitty has to have special food for his urinary tract issues, but if he didn't, I do believe I would try Sheba canned. It may sound kind of sappy to say, but if you believe in it, Farmgirl Susan, it would be good enough for our household, too.

    Sue

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  2. I have a female jyst exactly like Mr. Midnight, she was abandoned when her owners had to move...grrrrr, dont get me
    STARTED! My stepson rescued her and brought her to us, we named her Sissy, she also has a very loud purr, is very handy
    with her paws and follows me everywhere, even to the
    bathroom...lol! She is a great companion to my other rescue cat
    Daisy, they are about the same age and get along great.
    We have four cats , all rescues, each one with a special personality and love them ALL dearly...but there is something
    Special about Sissy....she realky isnt all black but what you can see is....underneath her armpits she is white and on her tummy
    she has a pretty white spot..

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  3. I have not personally owned a black cat, but my sister and cousin have and loved them. Actually my cousin's cat, Erte, ended up having to be adopted by my sister. He was an awesome cat. My cousin said she wished she could have married him. My sister has had 2 other black cats, Baron and Perry Ellis.
    My cats, Thomas, a brown tabby, age 10 or 11, and my newest member, Emma, a calico tabby bobtail, age 1 year, are both shelter cats.
    Thank you for this lovely blog. I love seeing your cats, dogs, donkeys, etc. What a charmed life you live full of hard work and blessings.

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  4. Our black kitty showed up on Halloween one year. He was so totally black even the inside of his mouth was black. LOL, we named him Blackie of course. I said if he stayed two weeks, we would have him neutered and he did and was. He couldn't be an inside cat because he still wanted to spray in the house and probably because we had two other kitties. He was such a character, more like a dog than a cat. He loved to stand in a shallow bucket of about four inches of water and in summer he would get sunburnt and his fur would turn reddish. We had him for several years and he developed a urinary tract infection, we had it treated but he just disappeared one day and we never found him. He was a delightful cat and we still talk about him when we see a black cat around the neighborhood.

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  5. We just lost our last black kitty - we've had two, both were rescues of a different sort. One came from friends that found a kitten by their driveway (Tasha) and the other was brought over by a well-meaning neighbor (Gir). Tasha was a grump but was beautiful and loved us but hated any other cats. We had her 17 years and lost her last summer. Gir, also a girl, was equally cute, but was pretty much the best cat. She loved people, had a great personality and talked to us all the time. Unfortunately, she had cancer in her mouth, and though we had her for 8 months after the diagnosis and weren't sure if we'd even get 6 more, the (almost) 12 years we had with her was not enough. She passed away about 3 weeks ago, leaving a big hole. We loved our black kitties and I can't understand why anyone wouldn't.

    I think you exercised great restraint by only getting three cats. I would have such a hard time not walking in and going, "I'll take them all." That would be my husbands fear, as well. :) All of your kitties are adorable, and we have purchased Sheba after reading your first blog about it. I didn't realize they didn't use soy, gluten, corn, etc. So good to know! I did a lot of research into cat food when one of ours had bad urinary tract issues (crystals) and realized how terrible even "super healthy" cat food is. Cats don't need peas, carrots and skinless boneless breast meat. People do. Cats need MEAT and fat and bones - you know, mice and rabbits and such. So species-appropriate food became a priority for us.

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  6. I don't have a cat (just one very spoiled dog!!) but I do love cats, too, and I just love to read about your cats. It's really wonderful that you have given them such a great life - as Sue said above - paradise!

    As always, thank you for sharing this charming "cat tail" with us - very generous of you.

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  7. I have a huge black cat name Felix weighing 18 lbs. He acts more like a dog playing and imitating Mandy the white cock-apoo who weighs 22 lbs. Felix popped up out of a culvert on my morning walk about 9 years ago about 8 weeks old, after his brother and sister popped up out of the ditch the day before. I found homes for them, but Felix became part of the household when Princess Cat, Thayer, started mothering him.

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  8. I have one all black cat and her littler mate (a torbie) and 3 big black dogs! All black big dogs are also hard to adopt. My little black kitty is the sweetest, most cuddliest baby, but she is also super skittish. She hates the vacuum cleaner and the door bell. My work uniform is all black so you really can't tell how much pet hair is on me! I would adopt a black cat again in a heart beat!

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  9. We had a little black cat, Annie (short for Orphan Annie) that my children found up the only tree on our property at that time . She was so tiny... probably about 4 weeks, and sick, and I told the boys she probably wouldn't live. But live she did, to the age of 20! . She had cried so much up the tree that she hardly had any voice, and just squeaked.... but had a wonderful purr. She never met a dog she was afraid of. We live in the country and have had as many as 11 dogs at one time (same deal.... they were "dumped") and if a new dog saw Annie, he would come charging at her and she would just stand there and look at him. He would screech on the brakes and look around nonchalantly as if he wasn't really coming after her. And she made friends with each one and always slept with one or two. She never had any health problems after we got her healthy to begin with, and was a wonderful little girl. She has been gone a long time now, and I still miss her. I love reading about all your animals.... and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a house full of them!

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  10. Carol 5/6/14

    I adopted my black cat, who I named Theo, exactly 2 years ago in June. My intention was to bring home 1 kitten with me from the foster home, but I couldn't help falling in love with a little black ball of soft fur who cautiously sniffed at my shoelaces as I sat on the floor. So Theo and Rosie, a little grey cutie, came home with me that day, and a brother/sister bond immediately developed between them. They are not from the same litter, but they spend their time grooming each other and playing "catch me if you can" every afternoon. Theo's black fur is extremely soft and seems to glisten as he naps in the sun's rays streaming in through the window. He also has the tiniest hint of white fur on his chest, almost like he couldn't decide if he should be a tuxedo cat or not. My favorite feature of Theo hasn't changed from when he was a kitten - his face is so black that I often times can't tell when he's looking at me, unless he opens up his beautiful golden eyes. He's handsome to look at, but his personality is what melts my heart. He loves to have his belly rubbed, and he purrs so deeply that I can hear AND feel his body vibrating. There's no sound in the world quite like it!

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  11. I'm loving all these wonderful cat stories. Thank you so much, everybody! :)

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  12. we love black cats! currently we have two... at one point we had four. my old lady cats lived to be 18 and 20 years old and i loved them every single day of their good and long lives. yay black cats!
    ps i'm absolutely mad for your 4 hour baguettes.. i make them all the time.

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  13. Thanks Susan for such a great post; yes, sadly blacked cats are discriminated against. Some people are so stupid to believe in such superstition. I have two cats one of them is black and I look after another 15 cats, two of them are black. My black kitty Luna Bruni (sister to Carla Bruni, haha) is so affectionate, gentle, funny, brave, and just oozing cuteness and loveliness. She steals any hairband or ring I leave a round and hide it in her basket; she listens to my commands, though she can be a bit stubborn. She is just amazing and also the other two black cats I look after. The only thing I noticed is black female cats are more prone to ear mites and attract ticks like no other cats!! I wonder why!

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  14. I have two black cats: Kenny G (a Bombay) adopted from Animal Rescue Montreal and Peanut (a Tuxedo) who turned up on our property as a kitten. My Blackey, who died at age 15.5 two years ago, was my first black cat. I love black cats.

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  15. Mr. Midnight is so handsome!

    We lost our black kitty, Taltos, to chronic renal failure two years ago at just shy of 18 years of age. I went to the adopt-a-thon looking for an older kitten to be a friend to my teen kitten, Sambuca. The rescue group told my then-boyfriend (now husband) a long, sad tale about how 'Squeakers' had been with the group for months, but they had been afraid to adopt a black cat out around Halloween. I could tell that he was only about 8 weeks old, but Mark had never had cats and he pleaded with me to take him. I did and he turned out to be one of the smartest cats I have ever met. He could open doors (and would let the dogs in when we wanted them outside). He liked to sit in the bathtub and 'sing'. He was completely unflappable no matter what happened - if a strange dog ran up to him, he would just fall over, which ended any attempt at chasing. And one time, after being sprayed with water for sleeping in the kitchen cabinets, he uttered what sounded exactly like, 'son of a b*tch!" I still miss that cat.

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  16. I also love black cats. I have a black tux named Small Horse (now 7 years old), adopted as a kitten with his grey brother, Xaxxon. When I adopted my two guys, I didn't know that black cats are often overlooked for adoption, but now that I know, black cats will receive first consideration when I adopt.

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  17. We once had a black cat. Poor thing wandered up as a kitten after some kind of horrible accident. His face was injured. He was missing one eye and horribly thin. My husband thought it best to end things for the little guy, but my children and I convinced him to give us one week! ;-) Of course the sweet kitten gained weight and healed. We named him Hobo. Once he was healthy, we let Hobo come and go in the house as he pleased. Well, he visited our neighbor just down the street who had several cats and she kept him! (I know, right?) When she would let him out, Hobo would visit us. So part of the time he was ours and part of the time he was hers. 'Seems appropriate for a Hobo, don't you think? -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  18. I miss my country life, but am carried back through your lovely charming stories. Hurrah for you and Hunky Farmguy Joe for opening up your hearts and home to three shelter cats. Quite interesting that black cats are more likely to be overlooked for adoption. Humans are a strange lot believing in silly superstitions regarding black cats.

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  19. All my cats are shelter cats, a Maine coon mix female she runs the house her name is Sadie, are oldest a black manx named Boo, Sugar Bear a tiger cat who truly was human and last but not least Harley, a sleek black maybe a little Siamese sweetheart. I love my shelter babies,they are the best.

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  20. We have a rescue that showed up at our home just last fall right before Thanksgiving. We named him Titus. He reminds us of Toothless of How to Train Your Dragon. :) All personality wrapped up in a very cute black furbaby minus the wings. (but don't tell him that.... lol)

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