Nov 19, 2009

Black Jack

I am not a cat person. True confession. We owned a cat for 21 years, but still I could never really say that I was a cat person, for all the reasons that most non-cat people usually give. They are aloof, ungrateful, they walk on the counter tops...they don't wag their tails. When Yaz, our ancient cat died I swore--no more cats. I loved Yaz, but that was the extent of my interest in cats.

I soon had to amend that no-cat declaration. It seems when you store quantities of animal feed (especially grain) that you soon attract quantities of rodents. Cats being the obvious solution, I acquiesced to allow barn cats--strictly outside cats. Not pets, but tools, if you will.

When we developed a mice problem in the house I bent enough to allow one of the more friendly barn cats to take up occasional residence inside.

But I still didn't do cats.

Shortly before Halloween this year I was stopping at Popeyes Fried Chicken on the way home from taking a child to the doctor. (Their spicy chicken strips along with the best biscuits in the world has been a pervasive pregnancy craving.) As I sat in the drive through making my order my eyes caught a glimpse of a kitten. It was tiny and black and sat under the menu order board. I thought how that wasn't a very safe place for such a young animal--if the car traffic wasn't dangerous enough, there was the bait station of rat poison it was sitting on. Out of my mind, I told Emma to hop out and see if she could catch him--which she readily did. As she caught him a Popeyes employee came out the back door and, seeing Emma, started and said "oh! you have my kitten!" Emma assured the woman that she had no clue that the kitten belonged to anyone and would immediately put him down. "No," she was told, "he isn't really mine, I just call him that. Please, take him!"

So we did.

Scrawny, tiny and solid black the kitten came home with us. My husband thought I had lost my mind. I did as well. Named Black Jack after the town in Texas (all things on Swede farm requiring a Texas name) he spent the first week or so doing nothing but cuddling, sleeping and eating. Then he came alive. He has now doubled in size and though he will still cuddle (he and I shared my pillow last night) he has gotten well enough rested and fed to remember that he is a kitten and we are enjoying the insane antics that only baby animals display. Having heard dire stories of the fate that can befall solid black cats around Halloween, the plan was for him to stay inside until Halloween was past. It seems now that he is to stay inside, at least that is what I think the litter box signifies.

Judah calls him "Bad-ack". He also calls Kathleen (one of the other farm cats) "Caffeine" which I find particularly amusing.

I am still not a cat person. I guess I will have to call him a gnome or something. Oh no! Maybe he is a baby chupacabra!

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