During the first week of my life, I was given a black kitten. My parents named him Zeke, and that cat was mine through and through for nearly 18 years. I was devastated when he passed away.
It was nearly 3 years later, out and living on my own, that I went down to the local shelter with the intention of adopting a black kitten. But instead, I met Winnie, a 3 year old former barn cat. This cat stole everyone's heart and had been in the shelter for months, even when other kitties were being euthanized due to a lack of room for all the strays.
I took Winnie home, renamed him Zeke, Jr. and Junior became his name. I had him for 17 years, and he died at the age of 20. I did not expect the grief that hit me when that cat passed away. I had grieved over other pets before; our wonderful Shepard, Ginger; our sweet, but weird Sarah cat, but nothing prepared me for Junior. Plenty of people advised that I go out and rescue another cat ASAP, and I tried, I did look. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It didn't feel right, I just wasn't ready.
In June of 2014, my sister's cat had a whole troop of wee black kittens. Of course, we had to visit, but I did not go with the intention of bringing one home. So there we are, watching what might be one of the sweetest moments of my life, a group of tiny black kittens, running and jumping around the kitchen floor. I love all cats, but the soft spot I have for black cats obviously started very early into my childhood. I feel connected to them, the black ones, all of them. It is one of the few things in my life I truly feel a connection to.
None of the little black kittens really stood out to me, and so I thought that this was not the day that I would fill that gap in my life, and I began to feel very sad about it. Then, one of the wee ones broke away from his brothers and sisters, wandered over to where I was standing, a good 7 feet away, and the little stinker curled up on my foot, and started napping there. I held my breath, bent down and scooped him up into the palm of my hand and placed him under my chin. He snuggled in even closer, and purred.
We drove straight from my sister's place in the country to the city 30 minutes away, to have a quick stop at the vet and get everything we needed to raise our new kitten.
Sooty is definitely known as my cat in our household. He regularly seeks out my lap, and will not take no for an answer. If I'm not around, he will sometimes snuggle up on my husband, but it is usually on his favourite chair in corner of the upstairs sitting room that you can find him.
I'm sharing this post at Viewing Nature with Eileen for Saturday's Critters.