This is a revised cached post. Some images may be different and some comments omitted.
We’re celebrating the wonder, joy and magic of all black cats this month (feral or not). National Black Cat Day is October 27 but one day is hardly enough. We’re creating National Black Cat Month and will lobby for a formal holiday in 2016. Stay tuned. It’s going to tie in with our big news later this month.
Do you have a black cat or have any true, black cat stories you’d like to share in a guest post? Please email me right away at email@example.com for chance to be featured. If there is enough interest, I’ll turn the best stories into a book with 100% of the earnings to help black cats. My inbox is stuffed so it may be a few days before I respond.
I’ve always said our Cat Wisdom 101 readers are exceptional. They’re more savvy, more passionate and do tons to help cats, which thrills us. Many of you do cat rescue, TNR, fostering, volunteer at shelters or care for feral colonies. One of our readers, Ellen, casually told me about Punchy, a 17-yr-old feral black cat and patriarch of a colony she managed to gradually stem the population via TNR from 30 down to 3! Now that’s a story I told her and I wanted to learn more. Punchy defies the myth about feral cats not living long. He’s a character and in no mood to be photographed. Ellen said, “Punchy was in a mood once I got him out of the straw in the garden and it took some doing to get him to look at me without getting all silly. He is semi-feral in that he will allow a petting but only when he wants and he wanted no part of a camera shoved in his face. “
Ellen knows that old boy well and thought he’d like to share his story. I did a little photo-editing but hope next time, Punchy is more co-operative. Nah, I don’t think he’ll be doing selfies any time soon.
True Confessions of a Feral Black Cat
By Punchie with assistance from Ellen and edited by Layla
My name, they say is Punchy, at least that is what the humans who I choose to reside with call me. It is time for me to write my mémoires. I am an old cat you see … 17 human years, perhaps more, since I was born a feral so no human years honestly apply.
I can feel in my bones, that my time grows near, although I have to admit, it has been a heck of a ride. I am now thin, and slow, and sunshine, a bit of food and water are my main pleasures. I will also admit a grudging fondness for the human man who makes bonfires on cool evenings and scratches my ears. But it wasn’t always like this, this easy, outdoor life.
As I mentioned, my Mother (bless her soul) was feral, my Father, well I never knew him, but my Mother said I looked just like him. He was a jet black cat with just a small patch of white. I never met him, but he was my idol.
I grew up on the streets, doing what I could to survive, There were times along the way, when I had noticed some of those upright, non-hairy things I learned were called humans, put out food, fresh water and sometimes tasty leftovers, I didnt have much use for these hairless creatures, except for their occasional meal.
My life as I grew up turned into nights of love, of fights, of being on the prowl. I was a sleek mini panther, full of vigor, full of myself and of course full of love for the ladies. I spent many a night howling both in pleasure and when a bigger male was around, howling in pain. I was a much larger cat in my younger days you see, but, there was always someone larger.
I remember one fight in particular,,,, it was of course over a lady cat — those gals always got me in trouble. She chirred at me, but showed her love to him, his back was turned, I pounced. There was fur everywhere, he had the paws of a boxer. He got my ear something terrible, along with some deep bites. I just wanted to lay down, and the closest place was a pesky human house who always had the food and water. Taking it easy for just a bit sounded good until I recuperated enough to leave again. It’s the way of the wild, for better or worse.
I noticed at the human house when I arrived one day, some of the lady loves I had previously known, and surprisingly there were black cats like me as well as others. This was all fine and good, I was a big boy, I took the food I wanted, found a spot to hide, and stayed away from the other cats and especially the humans. I stayed around the food, the water, and one day there was a cat trap. I had evaded the trap many times, but this evening, the smell of sardines drew me in, I should have known better because the very next day, off to the painful place I went.
It was a place called “the vets office” and at age 8 or 9, I was finally neutered!
In a few weeks, I found the ladies less interesting, but still didn’t care for the humans, I would run and hide every chance I got. I also noticed the humans had a fondness for this trap and I would see all sorts of cats go in and then come back smelling funny from the V E T, and oftentimes overheard they had found a forever home whatever that meant. All a forever home meant to me was one less cat at the food dish.
The years passed by… glorious springs, lovely summers, crisp autumns and cold hard winters. I made friends with the colony cats and grew fond of many. I still miss Mr Jeeves, also a black cat, he was like a son to me, and I often thought he was. I miss Lightning, Beaner, GiGi , and oh so many others who went to the Bridge before me. The humans cried over each and every one, as some they had to help cross the Bridge. I hope, they miss me when my time comes.
I will never belong to a human, and I never thought much about whether a black cat was lucky or not, but, I have decided we are lucky. I have decided too, although I don’t live inside with the humans, I know what a forever home is and I know love. It has taken a long time to admit this, but I like these people ( okay, maybe even love) and I have decided when I cross the Bridge, I shall meet them when they arrive. I shall again be the mini-panther I was in my youth and when they bend over to pet me, and this black cat will purr.
I know you don’t need any reminders about how amazing black cats are but they remain the most overlooked for adoption. Spread the word and share or PIN our black cats (shelter and other).