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