See, I know myself. I don’t visit pet adoption web sites. I flip past the daily humane society ad in the newspaper with a picture and story about a feline who needs a home. It would be easy for me to become a Crazy Cat Lady. So I just don't go there.
Still, I'm a nice guy. I posted the cat’s picture on my neighborhood Facebook page, but whoever dumped him wanted him to stay dumped. Nobody contacted me. I considered continuing to feed him at night but not letting him into the house, even though it will be snowing here in about, oh, a couple of weeks, and winter here is hard on—if not deadly for--outdoor cats. So I looked up how to make a feral cat shelter out of a Styrofoam meat mailing container. I have one in the garage.
I considered bringing the cat to the Humane Association, but according to an article at huffpost, black cats are less than half as likely to be adopted as others, although one study debunks that idea. It's also true that some people who’ve heard that black cats have a hard time being adopted set out deliberately to adopt one. Yet every year, 6.5 million animals enter animal shelters; my stray would make that 6.5 million and one. Our local shelter takes in up to ten cats a day. The longest resident has been there a year. She’s black.
Some organizations feature “adopt a mini-panther” promotions; some don’t allow black cats to be adopted during October for fear of animal abuse. What if my stray wasn't adopted for twelve weeks until he suddenly became the perfect pet for a psycho around Halloween? How could I risk that? Like Elliot says in E.T. "He came to me."
Not all cultures revile black cats. In Japan, a woman with a black cat can expect to have many suitors. According to Scottish lore, a black cat appearing at your house leads to great wealth. That sounds dandy.
Chapter 2: Last night, I opened my door, and In Came the Stranger. I introduced him to my other cats and to Homer, my sweet, patient Golden Retriever, who, if he were human, would be that guy who lets his toddlers dance on his belly because they like playing with dad and he likes the exercise for his abs.
He was inside all night. So far, fur has not flown. Everybody remains cautious around the new guy, who is old enough to be cautious himself but young enough to adapt to a new living situation, according to my vet. A bonus for him is that I have an outdoor play cage we call the Catio. Part of the Catio completely surrounds a cat egress window. Steps climb to a tunnel, which leads to a 4X4X8 cage on the patio. The cats can come and go as they please, and I don’t have to worry about their roaming or decimating the bird population or getting run over. The Catio will be balm for a kitty used to the rough-and-tumble of outdoor life. Or, if you insist, a cat used to Freedom.
Chapter 3: He's going to my vet on Tuesday for a checkup and a snip-snip, so I’m already thinking about names. Here is a long list, but I don’t name a black cat every day, nor do I expect to name another. "Sucker" is not on the list because that's my nickname.
Which name do you like?
BC (for black Cat)
Crow or Bear
Tails (black tie and tails)
Ollie (black olive)
Ya-Ya (Egyptian for "gift")
---foreign words for "black: Preto (Portuguese), Kuro (Japanese), Siyah (Turkish)
LATER: It looks like his name will be none of the above. My son likes "Coffee Bean," Beaner for short.