It’s October 27, Black Cat Day which began in the U.K. by Cat Protection in 2011 to promote black cat adoption. It’s always been a happy holiday which we’ve supported and blogged about since 2011. One day never felt like enough so we created Black Cat Awareness Month.
It’s especially meaningful this year. That’s not why we’re blue on Black Cat day. It’s been a great joy to see black cat love spread far and wide.
But October 27 will always have a double meaning for me. I’m feeling 50 shades of blue on Black Cat Day.
I could have never predicted a happy holiday would turn into a sad one. My mom’s birthday is October 27 and every year I’d send her a birthday card with cats or photos of my cats. Last year, I was crazy busy preparing to launch my book Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images and forgot. I planned to send her flowers last minute but called her just after midnight to wish her a happy birthday. She was in the hospital, floating in and out of consciousness. The nurse held the phone up to her ear. Mom’s eyes fluttered a moment but she was unable to speak. A few hours later she died, on her birthday, on Black Cat Day.
The two events will be forever entwined. Tribute to my cat lady mom.
Mom adored cats and is who I get my feline qualities from. My dad loved cats too but that’s another story. I’d like to think of mom swanning about heaven, drinking cocktails by the pool flanked by her favorites kitties. Losing a parent is never easy. I expected to grieve of course, but the last year took me to the deepest and darkest crevices of my soul. I grieved my father more deeply and longer, but my mother’s death awakened me in unexpected ways. A veil was ripped off and I saw her for who she really was.
It sparked a year-long deep self-inquiry using new and old tools from my therapist roots. I’ve dug bone deep into who I really am, and how can I of service. Only my laptop and a handful of people have any clue. A mourning and loss far beyond my mother’s death paved the way for a new path. It may not include cats or not in the ways I’ve devoted 24/7 of my life to.
My mother would have loved this graphic. She loved witchy woo woo being a red-loving Scorpio. I picked up the Cat Guru oracle cards from Chronicle Books at the Book Expo months ago and unboxed them recently. They cat gurus are a bizarre assortment from literary, mythic, historic and a few currently alive.
These are the October and November pet holidays from our calendar. They contain all my favorite ones of the year. November will be a slam dunk for Clyde since he’s senior, black, former shelter cat with diabetes.
I don’t mean to be cryptic. I plan to keep blogging at least once a week but it’s a vulnerable, transitional time and there isn’t more I can share. The self-inquiry link explains the type of work I’m doing although not with them. The deep study and inner work is taking most of my time.
I don’t have much energy to fund raise for the Spay Bay hurricane GoFundMe I created. It’s up to others to step up now. I’m grateful for every cent collected but oh some of the private messages shone a laser focus into humanity. They made me laugh, scratch my head or cry. The public ones were cool too. The low-cost spay/neuter clinic director has had spotty WIFI and let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road back to normal.
What’s clear is how many of us are navigating invisible catastrophes. We are a country deeply divided and hurting, even if a hurricane didn’t destroy our home. We are a planet sorely in need of everything: healing, resources, love, understanding, creativity, peace, sanity and balance. It never ceases to amaze me how the kindest, most generous folks aren’t rich.
The funniest example came this week, when I on a lark, posted a “Buy Me A Coffee” on personal Facebook page from my blog. A friend who had no clue what it was, bought me three coffees. It amounted to a donation of $9.00. The amount didn’t matter. What matters is she took action. She pulled a NIKE. She just did it. Maybe not a huge amount but a big amount for her and I love her for it. I explained after the fact that running a blog is expensive. There are no sponsors I feel like working with lately. I haven’t wanted to place ads. Given that no one else has bought me a coffee, I may have to bite the bullet. Another friend said, fuck it, monetize, every site is covered in ads anyway. And that is the world we live in.
What would you do? Happy Black Cat Day wherever in the world you live. Do post pics of your black beauties at our sorely neglected Facebook page If anyone wants to take over as admin at our BlackCatsTellAll Facebook page, message or email me info @catwisdom101.com
Layla (no cats wrote, edited, shed or shat on any of these words but Clyde will take all the credit).