Feline-Human Bond

A 4th of July Birthday Wish from Kizmet to America

Kizmet is using my head as a pillow. He lives for these happy moments and so do I.

Kizmet is an “I’m happy if I can be sleeping on my beloved human’s head,” kind of cat. Politics is not his thing to pontificate, nor as his human, is it mine. However, with today the 4th of July, 248 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it’s hard not to think of politics as America ponders its future.  Today is also Kizmet’s 12th birthday and the only wish he has, is the same one I have: regardless of where you stand, or what your beliefs are, we hope we can come together as a race, with compassion, empathy, tolerance, and fairness.

Happy 12th Birthday, Kizmet!

Take care everyone, and be safe. And don’t forget,  the 4th of July can be a rough, scary, and dangerous time for our feline friends. Please visit here for my previous post on how to keep our cats safe and secure during the 4th of July festivities and the hot, summer days.

Kizmet from November, 2012. This was a few days after we adopted him from Pet Supermarket (he had been found, abandoned on the side of the road as a kitten).

 

Celebrating 15 Years with Mia, Peanut, Rolz, and Zeuss at Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles

Happy 15th birthday to Mia, Peanut, Rolz, and Zeuss!

It’s the “kittens” 15th birthday! That’s a biggie! I’m happy and excited for them, but it’s also a bittersweet happiness, as this darn clock of life keeps moving ahead, seemingly at a quicker pace the older I get. I want it to slow down so I can spend more time with them, not less! Fifteen years ago, but it almost seems like yesterday… I will never forget the day they were born. Before that, Dan and I were on pins and needles, waiting for their birth. We could hardly wait to “meet” our newest feline house members and we doted (some might say, obsessively so) on Mama Zoey day and night in anticipation of their arrival. Read more

Peach Fuzz – 2024 Pantone Color of the Year and Why it’s Connected to Cats and Your Health

Beautiful Jazmine in all her peach fuzz glory.

The Pantone Color Institute named its 2024 color of the year, PANTONE 13-1023 “Peach Fuzz,” declaring our need for compassion and human connection in the year ahead. It’s a velvety and soothing tone meant to represent “our desire to nurture ourselves and others” and “whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul.” For Jazmine, our feline diva cloaked in luxurious peachy, fuzzy fur, the announcement was met with some dismay, because to her, every year should be the year of Peach Fuzz. Truth is, she has a valid point. The correlation between the power of peach fuzz and feline fur to enrich one’s mind, body, and soul is a strong one indeed, and one that should not be overlooked. Read more

Dear Senior Cat – a Poem by Deborah Barnes

November is Adopt a Senior Pet month, and with five of our seven cats officially seniors, it’s hard not to dwell on their age. International Cat Care states, “Feline ages and life stages have been redefined. Cats are elderly once they reach 11 years, with senior cats defined as those aged between 11 and 14 and geriatric cats 15 years and upwards.”

That means my Zoey, who was just a tiny kitten a mere fraction of a minute ago in my mind, is now geriatric at 15 years of age. It’s tough to wrap my head around the notion, as she looks and acts as young as ever. Age is but a number to her. Her most recent checkup came back with great results, and she’s as spry, alert, and overly vocal as ever. The only thing the vet recommended was some B-12 to help support her metabolic processes, and thankfully, she happily eats her Cobalequin chewable tablets with no fuss. Her eyes remain bright and clear, and her fur is as soft as silk, too, with no grooming issues. Read more

Sharing the Love for National Black Cat Day!

Today is National Black Cat Day and in honor of these glorious creatures, I thought I’d share a bit about the black cats who have been a part of my life. First was Tosha. Tosha was found on the side of the road one evening, on a very dark and cold night in Upstate New York. It was 1981 and it was on the way home from an evening out with my then-husband, Bill, when we spotted her.

We barely saw her, so it must have been the glare of her eyes that caught our attention. She was tiny, shivering, covered in mud, and riddled with fleas. Naturally, we brought her home. We gave her a bath, fed her, and the rest was history. She became part of our family which at the time included an Old English Sheepdog, Murphy, and three cats: Friday, Scrubby, and Meagan.

Tosha’s first picture!

Playing with a ring from a milk jug.

Wow, I’m really dating myself! Look at this ancient TV!

Christmas, 1981. Tosha had only been with us a short while, and I’d already subjected her to wearing a bow!

Tosha was incredibly sweet. She got along with the other cats and her favorite thing was to lie on top of my back when I was stretched out on the couch. Back then, we didn’t snap zillions of photos like we do today so the images I have of her are limited. Social media didn’t exist, blogs didn’t exist, and the quality of photos certainly didn’t exist as you witness in the scanned photos I’ve shared.

Lying on the couch with Tosha on my back!

1984 prior to giving birth to my first son…the calm before the storm!

The majority of her photos were taken prior to 1984. 1984 was the year my first son, Chris, was born, and 1989 was the year my second son, Joe, was born. Photos shifted to primarily being about them. Back then, it was customary to take lots of photos of your kids, have the film developed, make extra copies, and mail pictures of your kids to your relatives. Not like today where at the touch of your phone or computer photos are instantly sent to those you love, including those of your cats, who are family members, too!

1989. Lying on the couch with my son, Chris. I was pregnant at the time with who would be my second son, Joe. Tosha is on top of me, as usual!

1994. The last photo I have of Tosha. You can tell we lived in Florida based on the tropical furniture.

Tosha went through several moves in New York with us, and then ultimately to Florida in 1994 where I live now. She passed peacefully in 1996 and I was without a black cat from then, until the early morning of Friday, November 8, 2019, the morning I discovered a black kitten outside my garage door. We had seven cats at the time and despite how cute this kitten was, it was not my intention to add to our feline family.

A little visitor outside our garage!

I did everything I could to find his owner and I also tried (very unsuccessfully) not to bond with him, because, as I said, it was not my intention to add to our feline family. But the thing is, as time began to tell, it was evident this little guy had probably been abused and deliberately abandoned by whatever human family he had been living with. He had significant trust issues and was prone to biting and scratching my fiancé, Dan, and me whenever we tried to pet him.

Me “not bonding” with our newly found kitten.

I knew in my heart, however, that his best chance for survival and a happy life was with us. Black cats are often the least adopted in shelters, sometimes for ridiculous and erroneous reasons stemming from bad luck and superstitions, with many of them tragically euthanized because they cannot find a forever home. And by this time, I had already named him Shadow, and he was slowly becoming acclimated to the house. Nearly 4 years later, he is absolutely thriving and living the life of a pampered king. He basks in daily naps in the sun and he looks forward to treasured routines such as treats and brushing.

Shadow knows he’s living the good life and it shows in his content face.

He is not a lap cat and he doesn’t snuggle on the couch with the other cats, but that is primarily because our ginger, Jazmine (also a rescue herself) has made it abundantly clear she is still not on board with his presence. Regardless, he’s as happy as can be and we love him dearly. I’m not good at it, and black cats are notoriously hard to photograph, but I have managed to have some fun with my iPhone, capturing a few of those happy moments over the past several years.

Hope you enjoy them! And you if have a black cat (past or present), please share your black cat stories in the comments, I’d love to hear them. Or share pictures of them on social media: today is a great day to spread the word about just how wonderful black cats are!

This is what you get when you sprinkle cat nip on a scratching board!

A very regal moment in our tiki, one of Shadow’s favorite hang-out spots.

Just helpin’ you clean the floor, Mom!

All that’s missing is a cape! Shadow looks like a superhero in this photo!

Occasionally Jazmine and Shadow will be next to one another, forgetting that they don’t get along!

Egyptian cat.

That’s all, folks! Fangs for the memories!

hearts

If you’re interested in tips for taking photos of black cats with your Smartphone that look professionally done, please visit here:

Smartphone Photography and Marketing Tips from the Pros for National Black Cat Day to Increase Adoptions and Black Cat Awareness!

If you’d like to read Shadow’s rescue story, please visit here:

Me and My Shadow – An Unexpected Black Cat Rescue Story