Happy First Birthday to Shadow!

Happy 1st birthday dear Shadow!

The new journey started on November 8th, 2019, at 5:45 a.m. I know this because that’s 10 minutes after my then seven cats began the unnecessary preamble of meows and paw pats to my face to get me out of bed at 5:35 a.m. to feed them breakfast. It takes me about 10 minutes to accommodate the individual feeding needs of each of them before I plunk their bowls on the floor and move on to my next task of servitude, scooping their litter boxes and bringing the bagged contents to the trash bin in the garage.

That’s when I heard the noise, and that’s when unbeknownst to me at the time, that our household would forevermore be changed – it was the plaintive sound of a cat meowing on the other side of the garage door. Not fully awake, but awake enough to know the path I could be heading down, I willed myself the inner-strength to ignore the cries, knowing even the tiniest bit of attention could land me a new feline BFF.

But, what if the cat needed help? What if it was injured? So, obviously I had to open the door and thus the journey began. Outside in the still darkness was a black cat, a black cat who bounded up to me with a cheerful, not-shy-at-all good morning meow. At quick glance, it did not appear to be injured, so that was good news. It also appeared to be healthy, with a clean coat and clear eyes. The bad news, no collar and despite knowing better (my inner voice loudly yelling at me, don’t do this!), I went to get him/her some food because I could see the cat was young – probably about 6 months – and I wasn’t sure how survival savvy he/she was to the outdoor world.

The first photo – sniffing the kibble, but showing no interest in eating it.

Making a long story, short, after a trip to the vet where it was confirmed the cat was a he (neutered at that), not microchipped, and indeed about 6 months old, I began the challenging task of not becoming emotionally attached while looking for his rightful owner. After nearly two weeks of looking, it was glaringly evident we were on the path of owning another cat, who, best as I could surmise from time spent with him, probably did have a good home at one point, but he became aggressive, i.e., he was just being an energetic kitten with claws and biting, and the owner did not know how to handle the behavior appropriately and decided to dump him.

Shadow before he had a name and was sequestered in our house for safety. Look how tiny he was!

Despite my love for cats and compassionate nature, it was a difficult decision for me – we already had seven cats. Seven cats who, while for the most part are well-behaved, do have spats, battles, and issues with territorial spraying. A newcomer would not be easy with the existing fragile dynamic, and it wasn’t something I was looking forward to tasking myself with. I was also fighting the internal battle of remaining detached from this sweet boy with his incredibly plush, soft fur and beguiling golden eyes who we had now brought into the house for sequester in my office, who had taken it upon himself to make biscuits on my lap every morning, purring loud as a motorboat while I sat at my computer, and who now also had a name…Shadow.

These eyes…completely magical and mesmerizing. It was impossible not to fall in love with him!

Fast forward to today – May 8th – the day we have christened as Shadow’s birthday. And yes, for those of you that might not already know, he’s ours now. And as expected, the transition hasn’t been smooth – we still have issues with his presence, primarily with Jazmine who just seems unwilling to grasp the fact he is a permanent member of our household, despite that she actually seems obsessed with him and they could probably be best friends if she’d just relax.

Notwithstanding the bumpy ride, we have been blessed. Shadow is a wonderful cat, mostly well-behaved and very, very sweet. He still swats and bites Dan and me on occasion, but I do feel that’s a result of his past history. Not only was he dumped, but it’s highly likely he was also abused. But the aggression is decreasing and it’s evident he means no harm. He’s grown into a gorgeous, thick, heavy, and stunning panther cat. He spends most of his day napping in my office, keeping me company, along with Kizmet who also stays with me all day and they’ve been forming a tentative bond.

Not the best picture, but this is Shadow and Kizmet keeping me company as I work remotely from home due to COVID-19. Clearly a bond is forming…

He’s still an active cat, but that’s toned down, too, giving the other cats a chance to be less annoyed by him. And the highlight of his day? After dinner when I take all the cats out to our fenced in backyard for some outside time to relax, explore, chase bugs, get some fresh air, and exercise. It’s a great way for me to unwind, too, and I’m looking forward to many more years of celebrating birthdays with my precious Shadow!

Shadow loves his backyard time – it’s his favorite part of the day!

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  1. Shadow has grown into a very handsome black panther. I am glad he has made a friend in Kizmet.
    Jazmine was used to being the baby so maybe feels a bit miffed at Shadow being the newcomer.

  2. Jo Singer says:

    Happy Purrthday, gorgeous kitty. Let me tell you sweet one that you have hit the jackpot when you found your new home. What’s more, you are deeply cherished.

    So have a great day today, and all the days ahead for you…

    Many purrs from our black (and white patches) kitty, Edgar Allen Poe- who understands how you feel because he went through pretty much the same early life- and from Aki- our Oriental Shorthair who thinks you are very handsome- and from Marty (my husband) and me. We are both avid cat lovers and are just so pleased that you have such a loving fur-ever home.

  3. Happy Birthday, Shadow!
    It’s obvious that cats choose us, not the other way around, no matter how we rationalize it!

  4. jmuhj says:

    Happiest of first PURRthdays, Shadow! May you enjoy this one *and many, many more!* in safety, good health, comfort, good care, joy, and LOVE! What a gorgeous panfur you are. <3

  5. Brian Frum says:

    Happy Birthday from all of us Shadow! You sure knew where to look for a wonderful home.

  6. Happy Birthday Shadow!

    The Florida Furkids

  7. Mary McNeil says:

    Happy Purrthday Shadow ! And many more !

  8. Ellen Pilch says:

    Awww..Happy Birthday cutie! XO

  9. Happy Birthday, Shadow!

  10. meowmeowmans says:

    Happy birthday, Shadow! Here’s wishing you a wonderful and love-filled year ahead!

  11. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    dood…we R sew total lee late on theez wizhez; we hope yur day waz soooper
    grate total lee awesum mega happee N ya got inta LOTZ oh trubull !!! we send best
    fishez, happee day wizhez N best fizhez, N heerz two a yeer a head filled with happeez
    and healtheez ♫♪♫♫♫♪♫ ☺☺♥♥♥♥

  12. Couldn’t find the Mother’s Day link so am commenting here. Love love love all your Mother’s Day photos of you and your family. they’re wonderful! Thank you for sharing!