As a person who has been owned by various cats ever since I was three years of age, I feel qualified to address the elusive allure of cats. At age three, I have a vivid memory of Mama driving us to Zio Eduardo’s farm to select a kitten. A calico kitten mesmerized me with her grey white, gray, tan, and black dappled fur. I anointed her Kitty Carbon. Why, I have no idea, but “Carbie” and I became inseparable as we romped and partook of afternoon teas.
The good-natured Kitty Carbon permitted me to dress her in my doll bonnets and sometimes even in a doll dress. We took catnaps together on sultry summer days. My Papa made her a cozy bed of fresh hay covered with a gunnysack, and piled high with plush towels. She snoozed away the nights on a shelf in the garage behind closed doors. I didn’t understand why “Carbie” sometimes disappeared for a night or two or three. Shortly thereafter, she puffed up. Even though I was mystified, Kitty Carbon would bless us with four to six kittens several times a year. Mama would always search for fine homes for “Carbie’s” brood, amid protests from me. I wanted to keep them all.
After nine years, perhaps one for each of her mystical nine lives, Kitty Carbon passed away. I mourned her deeply and lamented her loss. Yet in those nine years, “Carbie” taught me the ying and yang of felines. She manifested fearlessness when it came to hunting, but gentleness reigned whenever she was with me. When drowsy, “Carbie’s” eyes became slits that covered most of her green eyes, while still aware of the world around her. Enigmatic, she thrived on human love, and the company of neighborhood cats, especially in the spring. Throughout her life, Kitty Carbon meowed sparingly, alerting us to her immediate needs. She particularly excelled at purring. Only two photos survive of her, and they are not of primo quality. The above photo is as near a clone of “Carbie” that I could locate. The photo may not be perfect, but Kitty Carbon burns brightly in my mind and in my heart.
Ciao for now.