Meet Our New Cat Wisdom Feline Muse, Clyde

black_cat_magazine_mondays with merlin

Today is a very special edition of Mondays With Merlin. Two years ago, I was an ASPCA spokescat for Senior Pet Month and this year, I’m delighted to introduce our new Cat Wisdom 101 feline muse, Clyde. He arrived on Saturday evening and we’re sharing about his first 24 hours at our home.

ASPCA Adopt a Senior Pet Twitter chat-#seniorpets

 Clyde is none other than the cat Layla fell for a month ago at our friend’s blog Animal Shelter Volunteer


Clyde was adopted with his sibling at PAWS Pet Animal Welfare Society (one of our favorite shelters) as kitten and enjoyed a good life until two years ago. His fursib died, he started having early symptoms of CKD and his elderly mom was in decline. Fast forward to two months ago when his mom moved to an assisted living facility and sadly she couldn’t bring him there.

The death or health issues of elderly pet owners is a common reason for shelter surrenders. Family members are often unable to re-home the cat and a no-kill shelter is the next best option. Thankfully PAWS welcomed Clyde back. After the vet diagnosed  CKD and suggested a prescription diet, Clyde could not be in a cage-free room but caged. The odds of a black cat turning 17 in January with CKD getting adopted were slim to none. Layla was too busy (when is she not?) to consider adopting him but shared an adoption PSA on social media.

There were no takers. The thought of Clyde, the dear older gentleman  living caged for the rest of his life in a windowless room, gnawed at Layla and she called the shelter. Ellen, the lovely adoption coordinator gave more details about his medical records and his need for sub-q fluids twice weekly. Oh boy, we know that scenario only too well. I went from once weekly to eventually twice daily over 5 years of CKD. It’s a serious commitment. Layla and my dad bounced the idea and agreed to go for it but the shelter wanted an all clear from the vet to rule out any URI.

Then everything life as we know it piled up and another week went by. The presidential election happened, the country fell into a tailspin of anger and gloom and Layla wondered if she had too much on her plate (don’t we all?). It’s far too easy not to take action and not rock the boat.

On Saturday,  my dad says to my mom, “Are we doing this or not? We don’t have to take Clyde but we won’t know for sure until we see him in person.” And so, a few minutes later they grabbed a carrier and headed to PAWS in Norwalk, Connecticut. Unlike the detailed prep setting up a safe room for our Radish in June, 2015 Layla did nothing this time. We have every possible item twenty cats could want or need. She didn’t want to overthink it or jinx it. Being a mellow older cat, she thought he’d like to stay up with her on the cozy third floor. Frankly, she was jittery about even fostering a cat. It’s only been six months since I exited to the great beyond. We communicated and I gave her the Muse Green Light. Go for it if it feels right.

 Foster Cat Clyde’s First 24 hours Outside A Shelter.

It was not love at first sight but more like…


Lady…what took you so long?


Cats, by the way know way more than we ever let on. Kevin and Tracey our shelter volunteer friends turned up and they showed Layla some other cats including a black mini-panther named Bunny who had been at the shelter for five years! Good thing it was past closing time at the shelter and no time for extra paperwork or the folks would have taken Bunny too. Oh boy. There is no cure for crazy cat lovers. Bunny is bonded with Mindy, another black beauty. Wouldn’t it be grand if someone adopted the pair? Miracles do happen and Christmas is coming. I’m keeping my paws crossed. They are both seniors but half the age of Clyde so spring chickens in my book.Check out Mindy and her beau, the soulful BUNNY

Ellen was about to get Clyde into the carrier and he resisted. Instead another cat, Max, a spirited tabby, age 15 from the same room bounded into the carrier. He’s on heart meds and prescription food and needs to be caged. Cat with different dietary needs can’t be housed in a communal cage-free space. Max was so eager to leave he slipped out the door into the corridor. What a character! My dad is smitten with him and wanted to foster him too. I say, one cat at a time.


Since older cats are harder to adopt out, PAWS has an amazing new Pension Plan for Senior Cats (12 and up). Talk about a win win! Senior cats are the best kept secret. We are seasoned and mellow (usually) and very appreciative being loved again after shelter life. Cats are living longer than ever, many into their 20s like me! Anyway, isn’t 16 the new 6?


If anyone is iffy about any plan, there is always fostering. Every shelter has their own program and the PAWS shelter program is generous and the best solution for Clyde. A forever foster I’d call it.

You never know what a shelter cat is really like until they are outside the shelter environment. Some hate car rides, others don’t mind. Clyde meowed for the first time but in a gentlemanly and not annoying way. Layla carried him straight up to the third floor not expecting to see any cats but, Odin who can sniff out an intruder from miles away, takes one look at the carrier and knew it was Clyde. He sniffed the air and turned away.

The shelter said Clyde is a litter kicker and prefers a covered litter box and gave them his. It looked really small but at least it was familiar. None of us have ever liked a covered box and Clyde has the  option to use to go topless or not.

Clyde settled in almost instantly and he smelled around detecting my presence. Sometimes it can be threatening to introduce to new cat to a home of a deceased cat. Layla wrote a useful article with tips about introducing shelter cats to a new home. It turns out Clyde is quite the night owl like Layla and they stayed up late snug and purring in bed.

Some time early in the morning Clyde escaped from the third floor and went to hide in Layla’s office and met the other cats without incident. By evening Clyde had settled in and watched TV all evening on the couch beside Layla, on top of a heating pad.

This beats a cage any day.


Domino loved making biscuits on top of dad as per usual. Odin, always the climber, perched high shelf aerie and Nou Nou made friendly overtures to Clyde. Layla brought in a water fountain into the living room and Clyde went nuts for it drinking every 20 minutes. A bit worrisome but kidney cats do drink a lot. He carefully observed the scene and the inter-cat dynamics. Naturally there were cat conversations the human weren’t privy too but no Introductions aren’t supposed to be this easy. I’d say it was as if I’d switched bodies with Clyde, it was that comfortable. I

After the news, Layla carried me upstairs for Clyde’s first day on the job as a lap cat muse and I’ll give him, full marks for excellence. It turns out Clyde is quite the night owl like Layla and they stayed up late snug and purring in bed. I


Layla likes writing in bed on the third floor and Clyde was very helpful with editing and research.  A feline muse doesn’t have to be paws-on but it helps. Layla missed having a lap cat and undercover sleeping companion. It’s too soon to say what others skills, interests or stories Clyde has to offer but I’ll be coaching him best I can. As the oldest cat in the household, he has assumed the mantle of patriarch and my guess is he’ll be friendly to the cats but prefer human companionship.


And Clyde makes his (very brief) video debut with purring. I must say he does have the black velvet magic about him.

See you next Monday when I may have another surprise for you! Checkout our Instagram feed or thumbnails in our sidebar for other images not shared here. Ditto at our Black Cats Tell All Facebook Page.

Love always,


Our approved Amazon affiliate link Purrfect Cat Supplies because cats always need treats.

81 thoughts on “Meet Our New Cat Wisdom Feline Muse, Clyde”

  1. dood…..a most happee gotcha day two ewe with de best oh fishez comin yur way…we iz all buzzed happee ya finded yur for everz with mom layla & de crew….thiz thanx bee giving will be one ta rememburr; oh, N speekin of, due KNOT eat any BURD…..ewe iz one handsum dood, we iz veree glad ta meet ewe

    YAY !!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    { one cat never leaves; without sending another } ~~~~~ ♥

  2. Welcome Clyde, you sure are a handsome fellow! There is a poem, and I cant find it that kinda explains how a pets heart works that one of their desires is that their human fills their heart again with love and that is their legacy. It’s something like that anyway….

    Merlin I am glad you approve, and filled your human’s hearts with such love that they can help another. Seniors are pretty special for sure.

    Purrs to you!

    1. Thanks Tamago and yes, it’s a burden of worry lifted. The alternative was not good. We’re purring for Max. Clyde is going to require much medical care and taking another cat is not possible today.

  3. Awww I’m so happy for sweet, gentle Clyde! His former mom must be very releaved that he is now in a wonderful home, happy and purring 🙂
    I hope Max will find home very soon as well.

    1. Thanks Tamago and yes, it’s a burden of worry lifted. The alternative was not good. We’re purring for Max. Clyde is going to require much medical care and taking another cat is not possible today.

  4. As Mama to a senior mancat I am smitten with, I can see why you were so drawn to Clyde. Concatulations! I felt the same uncertainty after Ms. Phoebe my lap cat muse went to the Bridge, about when was the right time to adopt. Five months later she made sure I saw the photo of an overlooked and misunderstood, abuse survivor fellow Tortie ladycat on Facebook. I could not get her photo out of my mind and made arrangements JUST to meet her. At the cattery all the caged cats and kittens looked out at me, except the one I was looking for. I found her at the end of a row, way back deep in the kennel hiding and curled up defensively on a blanket.
    When the rescue volunteer and a few others attempted to reach in and coax her out for me to visit, she either clawed or bit them or both. I told them to let her stay where she was and I would reach in to pet her. Everyone waited with nervousness, warning me to be careful. Upon reaching in gently and slowly, admittedly I was ready to retract my arm in a split second if necessary, I allowed her to sniff my hand and attempted to stroke her head and then waited. There was no hissing, growling, claws out or teeth chomping me, she accepted me entirely and rubbed her face against my hand. As you told Layla dear Merlin, Phoebe had told me I would know when I met the cat I was supposed to be with, it would feel right. Meeting this terrified tortie felt right. Now two years later, that same tortie that everyone misunderstood is a much different cat: my muse, my joy Clove.
    We are so happy for your family and thankful to you sweet Merlin for sending Clyde to Layla and Dad, helping them to help another kitty in need by working your kitty angel magic as my Phoebe did for me and Clove.

  5. This is great news. It is wonderful that you gave Clyde a forever home and made him your new Cat Wisdom 101 feline muse. It sounds like he did an excellent job of being a feline lap cat muse.

  6. Oh what a handsome boy. Kinda reminds me of my precious Tempest. Thanks for giving him a second chance – or third chance.

  7. I am so happy for Clyde, this is such a beautiful story. I love how you really practice what you preach Layla and you always do the right thing. I am so glad that he eased right into the family without a problem. XO

  8. We’re overjoyed to hear that the transition was so seamless. Amazing and wonderful. We love our friend Clyde, and it’s abundantly clear he was mean to be there with you. Thank you for opening your hearts and home. Much love to you all.

  9. Clyde! Beautiful, wonderful, velvety black beauty. Merlin dear you do know how to pick your follow up Muse.
    We hope that the folks will go back to retrieve Max and Bunny too!
    The Paws Pension Plan is the BOMB!!!!
    Concats to you all and we look foward to seeing more of Clyde in the near future!
    FYI Clyde was our person’s Father’s given name.
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo & the Angels >^..^^..^<~

  10. Such a wonderful post. Clyde is such a gentleman, and so gorgeous. Black cats are special, and you’ve made Clyde even more special.

    We have to get Mao checked again; it’s been a few months. We give him serum and prescription food.

    You are such a great person, Layla, and a wonderful, wonderful cat mom.

    <3 <3 <3

  11. Clyde is a wonderful cat and I’m so happy he’s out of PAWS and into the heart of your family. That’s the best, shortest, and easiest intro I’ve ever read about!
    It’s so wrenching to read that Max tried to go home with you.
    He’s one of my favorites at the shelter.
    Thank you!

    1. Maggie, it was a weirdly easy intro. It’s as if they knew Clyde was the elder statesman like Merlin. I’m glad to hear that Max is a favorite and would like to learn more about him. He’s quite the character!

  12. Senior cats make wonderful companions and are as sweet, smart, loving, and lovable as all other cats. I am so happy for Clyde!

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