Today, August 17, 2012, is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Up until I adopted a black cat in September of last year, I had no idea that there was any issue with black cats. But apparently many people don’t like them, or think they bring bad luck. I learned this when my mother sent me an article a few weeks after I adopted my baby that talked about how black cats are even less likely to be adopted than most. It never even occurred to me.
My avatar is a cat. My cat, actually. He’s a beautiful, cuddly, loving, all-black 6 year old domestic short hair, who is terrified of everyone and everything. Except me. He’s the sweetest little boy in the world, and I love him to pieces. When I finally got to adopt him, he had been living in the shelter for 9 months, except for a brief stint where a family took him home and he hid under their bed and wouldn’t come out. They returned him to the shelter, to wait for another “forever home”. I chronicle our adoption story in this post (My Cat is my Hero), and if you haven’t read it already, it’s one of my favorite pieces, and definitely worth a read. When I met Midnight (the shelter named him and I decided to keep it, as unimaginative as it is, it suits him), he was alone in the shelter, terrified of everyone and everything. I wanted to adopt a cat who was between 2 and 6 years old (older, but not so old that they would be likely to pass away at the end of my thesis), but was open to pretty much anything. I wanted to be able to give a loving kitty their forever home. I found Midnight online, and met him in the shelter. I went to the shelter 3 or 4 times before I got up the courage to ask to actually interact with him or any of the other kitties there. The shelter staff were shocked when I asked to meet him, and told me they didn’t think he’d respond – he was terrified of everything they said. But I asked anyway, and I’m so glad I did. Because when I entered his area, he was scared, but he didn’t run. And within minutes, he was nuzzling, purring, and begging to be petted. Everyone was shocked. And my kitty had chosen me. I like to say that Midnight is an Autistic kitty. We were meant for each other He has extremely high anxiety, desperate need for routine, and finds socialization, except with me, extremely stressful, and loves with all his heart. You can often find him under my bed or under the couch, hiding from something or other. But when I’m around, he’s comfortable enough to come out and explore his surroundings. We sleep cuddled together every night, and I nearly always fall asleep to his purrs. He is my kitty and I am his human. I love him with all my heart.
And so today, on Black Cat Appreciation Day, I wanted to take a minute to tell our story, and share that even when you look a little bit different, or act a little bit strange, there is still a place for you in this world, and people who will love you, just how you are. And that’s what Black Cat Appreciation Day means to me. I love you, Midnight! I’m so glad I get to be your Forever Home.
Sadly, this was the only good picture I have of my kitty. Perhaps more pictures will come later, when I’m back home, cuddling my little fuzz-ball.