It was dark when I got to my friend’s house. As I was getting out of the car, I heard a cat meowing loudly. I figured it must be her outside kitty that I haven’t met yet. I ‘meowed’ back and out of the darkness a beautiful black cat came trotting.
It came right over to us, meowing happily. It then followed us to the porch.
When my friend opened the door I asked if it was Marley. She said… “No, that’s not Marley.”
She’d never seen the cat before and it was just frantic for attention. It was sleek and shiny in the porch light and in good shape and healthy looking. It was perhaps a little on the light side as far as weight, but certainly didn’t have the appearance of an unkempt stray. She and her daughter went out on the porch and petted it and it was super friendly and even loved her three year old daughter! A lot of cats give kids a fairly wide berth.
My friend had never seen the cat and didn’t recognize it as one that belonged to anybody in the neighborhood. If I hadn’t been on my way somewhere else, I think I could have easily been convinced to add cat number four to Leaky Creek.
There was just something really special about this cat.
I told my friend about how John had a special place in his heart for black cats.
There was Salem- who decided that Ann’s house was a good place to live. He was a very cool cat who sadly got hit and killed when he was crossing the street to make his rounds at his other houses. Gotta love “neighborhood cats” but the streets are dangerous.
You always hear about firehouse dogs. Well, Spook was a firehouse cat at Annapolis Fire Department. My understanding was that somebody had dumped off some strays. John and a friend on his shift took a liking to the cats. Somewhere along the way, I believe something happened and it got down to just Spook. John asked me about bringing him home. I said, sure.
I think John was concerned about getting him in the cat carrier and possibly about how he’d adjust to life with our other cats. John had a tendency to be very empathetic when it came to cats- me I’d pick up a cat and move it if it was in the way. John would snap his fingers and gently talk, and coax the cat to move. John also hated to see the cats stressed. I did too, but sometimes there are life events that necessitate stress, but result in the better good- like a trip to the vet. We were so happy when we found Dr. Charles Foster and he agreed to come to the house for vaccinations.
Getting back to Spook… John told me that one of the other platoons wasn’t as fond of the cat. They did something. John never did tell me what exactly they did or what happened. He protected me from things like that. Whatever happened, I believe caused some setbacks in the taming process. One morning John came home and told me that Spook was dead. He’d been hit by a car, too.
So, black cats were very special to John.
I went to leave and there was the black cat waiting on the porch. I petted it and it enthusiastically meowed and rubbed around my legs. It then followed me to the jeep. I almost thought it was going to jump in.
If I hadn’t been headed elsewhere, I would have been very tempted to bring him home… a friendly black cat who loves kids… never a bad thing to have! Of course, he very well may have his/her own family and I’d want to make sure that wasn’t the case first! So, we’ll see what the future holds.
I drove away, I had a smile on my face… thinking of John, Salem, and Spook. I’m sure Salem and Spook are getting their share of pets from John now.