24 January 2013

Today is ...

Black Cat Day....

According to the news reports, black cats may be popular with witches - but not with us apparently. Today therefore is black cat day - a day devoted to re-homing these ebony animals because there are so many of them in care. I am not sure why this is, they are just as loving as a tabby, or a ginger cat so why wouldn't they be as popular.  It could be the long held myth that they were witches familiar but why does the same applied to black dogs, and it does.

How I ended up with my three black boys....

I have two black Labradors, Murphy and Jasper, stunning lads with a lovely temperament and yet both of them came from rescue organisations.

Murphy because he was too much for his last owner to cope with (he is a very strong willed dog and you really have to be one step ahead of him, but this chunky monkey of a dog is a loving wannabe lapdog - just a shame my lap isn't that big). He came to me just a week before his first birthday, and had three previous owners.  I promised Murphy then, he would never have to have another home in his lifetime come what may I will fight tooth and nail to ensure that comes true for him.

Jasper came, partly because Murphy is bit of a lazy monkey, and I thought company for him in the shape of another dog would encourage him to do more running around. Jasper (originally called Bobby), came from Labrador Rescue and he and his brother would escape and run wild on the moors down near Penzance. Jasper is a comedian, has a permanent laugh on his face, and loves, absolutely loves his tennis ball and will do anything for a game of throw.

Neither one of them could be called cat friendly when we had them, certainly outside Jasper and Murphy would love to chase anything that moved.. preferably a cat. So getting a kitten was done with much thought.

I knew it had to be a kitten, to fit in with them, but not buying it from a backyard breeder.  I found someone who takes in semi-feral and feral cats and their kittens and then 'tames' them by patience and skill (not to mention a few bites in the process).

Piran was black with a little white bib and another white patch on his belly, he was 16 weeks old when he came, so not too young but very skittish as for the first 5 days apart from the missing food, I didn't see him. I used to come home from work, walk the dogs, and then go and sit in Piran's room and read to him from whichever book I was reading at the time.

Slowly but surely, Piran realised that I wasn't going to hurt him, nor make him do anything until he was ready and one night I woke up to noises from his room. He was sitting on the windowsill looking out, he treated me to a low growl, but let me stroke him; the growl turned to a purr and the battle was won. He quickly decided to explore upstairs, a gate was put downstairs to stop the dogs from coming up although Murphy and Piran met at bedtimes and all was well with those two.

The introduction to Jasper was a little more challenging, a greeting through the stairgate was met with snapping from the dog and a fairly skittish kitten. It was at this point in time I wondered whether I had done the right thing, I carried out with the scent transferring (a number of blankets kept swapping between the dogs and the kitten to familiarise them with the others scents).. and hoped that Piran had enough sense to know to get to safety if he were to venture downstairs.

About three weeks after he arrived, I was watching tv with the dogs when all of a sudden they rushed to the dining table upon which was a tiny little black kitten calmly washing himself and announcing he was now here to stay. Murphy was used to him so just came and sat back down by my feet and the kitten curled up on the sofa and fell asleep unaware of the very big step he had taken. Jasper was puzzled, and rather confused with the behaviour of this tiny little boy, he came over and said hello to the sleeping kitten and then also lay down and snoozed.

: tbc


Janet said...

What a wonderful story. I have one black cat, 2 black labs (brother and sister), a black terrier mix, and 2 black and white chihuahua/Maltese mix sisters. Our cats and dogs don't get along well, because we got the two labs after all the cats were grown.

A. said...

It's a lovely story. :) I'd love to have more animals but living in a flat as I do now, it wouldn't be fair.