“Sometimes it happens that a black cat lets you pass in front of it.”—Unknown
While unplanned, this quote proves to be true in my life. Since my toddler years, I’ve almost never been without a solid black cat in my household.
In my early years, my family owned Salem, a relaxed male that my father claims to be one of the best cats he’s ever owned. Then, a few years later, I got my own cat that I can now say the same thing about.
In this post, I will be highlighting these two special cats in my life that are no longer with me: Boo and Luna, two opposites with the same amount of love in my house.
I’ve always liked fluffy cats more, and I believe that’s why I liked Boo so much. When we got her in October 2004, she was around 8 weeks old and had so much fur on her that we barely saw her tiny blue eyes peeking out. As an all-black kitten, Boo got her name in honor of the Halloween season. She came home with us along with her sister, a tortie we named Pebbles. Between these two kittens and our black and white cat at the time, I claimed Boo as my cat from the beginning.
Poor Boo was born to endure a little girl as an owner. I got her soon after my seventh birthday and I dressed her in doll clothes, carried her by her neck, and sprayed her with perfume while she slept to see if it would wake her up. Boo learned to use her oxygen wisely when my cousin and I locked her in a small “house” (clear plastic tub) before my mother would catch us and let her out.
I also played with Boo by playing school. When I dressed her in doll clothes, I’d sit up her and all my stuffed animals at “desks” and pretend to be their teacher, scolding Boo if she ran from her desk.
The stereotypical cat is independent, active, only wants attention when demanded, and naturally hunts for food. Boo fit none of these stereotypes. She was dependent, lazy, flexible, clingy, and afraid of everything. My parents did not want indoor pets, so even though Boo was born to be an indoor cat, she had to stay outside more than inside.
However, her laziness kept her from wandering far from the house. She never hunted, but when she did she’d find a large group of birds far away and instead of being sneaky, she’d crouch down where she stood, shake her butt back and forth, set her feet in place, and take off running. The birds flew away before she even got halfway there. We had to laugh every time she tried.
Her fear of everything fit her name perfectly. When I was around nine years old, I had a bubble set, and a curious Boo would watch from a distance while I waved my bubble wand and released bubbles of various sizes and shapes. She’d creep closer until she’d be close enough to sniff one, and it would pop in her face just before she’d bolt away and around the house.
Boo craved attention. It wasn’t often that we’d pet her or pick her up and she refused. Since I got her at a young age, I only held her like a baby, and she learned to be flexible and to lean her head back in my arms until she hung upside down. Sometimes, she’d nestle her head into my neck and stay there for a long time, unlike any cat I’ve ever owned.
Every cat has a little quirk about them, something that that they are obsessed with, and Boo’s was a sock obsession. I could give her any toy or any object, and she’s only play with socks. We’d hang the sock above her head and let her jump until she retrieved it, and she’d tuck the sock into her midsection and kick it with her feet. It was the easiest way to get her attention and for her to come to me whenever I wanted her.
We lost Boo right before Christmas, shortly after she turned ten. While she didn’t hunt or stray far from the house most of her life, she found the bravery to hunt toward the end of her life. In the week leading up to losing Boo, we saw an owl perched on our fence outside the front of our house. We found Boo on the morning of December 12th, 2014 as a victim of the owl.
We believe that Boo would have lived a very long life otherwise. She never had any health issues and was young at heart. It seemed as if she never aged. Because of this, her death shocked us, but we are thrilled with the long and good life she had with us. In the years after, we can’t help but reminisce and say that there is no cat in the world that is as good as Boo.
The summer after we lost Boo, we got a new kitten for the first time in years, another black kitten we named Luna.
Luna lost her mother at a young age, so we got her at 5 weeks old and way before she was supposed to be weaned off her mother. We fed Luna formula we had to make ourselves, and she was eating solid foods sooner than she was supposed to. Because of these circumstances, we had to rush Luna to the vet within a week of getting her. One evening, her blood sugar dropped while eating, and she couldn’t keep food down to the point that it was catching in her throat and she couldn’t get it out either way. She began to lose oxygen and we took her to the vet, who told us that she could have easily died. She was given oxygen and nursed back to health, and we took her back home aware of every time she ate until she grew big enough to digest solid foods well.
While Boo obsessed over socks, my family quickly learned that Luna obsessed over feet. It must be a black cat thing. Even when Luna couldn’t walk and run strongly, she found a way to get under my feet as we walked. She’d hobble and bounce like a penguin until she got under me, and she rubbed her back over the top of my foot. Miraculously, she never got stepped on.
We learned Luna’s personality quickly, and we learned that she expressed every characteristic the opposite of Boo. While she was more lovable as a kitten, she developed an attitude as she got older. She only liked being touched in certain moments, and those certain moments were decided by her and changed every day. When I petted her outside of her approved moments, she hissed and screamed and often swatted at me until I set her down.
Luna became a diva, and as we got three more cats after her, her personality grew more aggressive as she was meant to be more of an only cat. Strangly, I think this is why I favored her. She disliked other cats and preferred to be by herself. I gave her special attention in private areas away from other cats, and she always showed and accepted more love in private settings when she felt like the only cat in the room.
She clashed with our male cat, Romeo. Romeo is a cat my family rescued, and because of this he received a lot of special attention. He became spoiled, and he knew this, so he acted like the king of the house while Luna seemed to think of herself as the queen. She’d growl and snap at him anytime he passed near her, and while he avoided her at first, he began to antagonize her as time passed. My family and I often observed them as Romeo stood in one spot and stared at Luna with wide and curious eyes, and Luna hated it. Even though Romeo did nothing to her, she’d growl and spit at him before running away. Soon, Romeo did more to her by barely raising a paw or flinching toward her to get a rise out of her. My family concluded that he enjoyed her anger, and he became a bit of a troublemaker as he began to start fights every so often.
Luna was an angry kitty all the time. We worried that she wouldn’t have a long life because she’d someday give herself a heart attack. She was anxious every day, acted confident but actually feared everything, and hated being around other cats.
Luna had one more obsession that took her away from all anger. Water. As a baby, we could put her under the sink and she would love it. Anytime she saw any person in my family entering the bathroom, she’d follow close behind and jump into the tub begging us to turn on the water. We turned the faucet to a drip and she’d put her head under and lap the water. This is the only time she seemed to smile and love us, outside of some private moments with her.
We learned to love her hateful personality. Although we worried for her well-being, we couldn’t help laughing at her angry outbursts every day.
In the first week of November this year, Luna stopped eating and began to act lifeless. She didn’t eat, didn’t move around much, and didn’t get angry anymore when Romeo came near her. We knew something had to be wrong and took her to the vet, where they kept her for several days. Her blood pressure had dropped tremendously and they couldn’t get it to go back up.
After a few days and many failed attempts to help her, the vet broke the news that it was just not possible to bring her blood pressure back up. They diagnosed her with a rare disease that is difficult to recognize until it is in its later stages. It was too late for us to do anything to help Luna. On November 5th, we made the decision to keep Luna from any more pain, and we decorated her box and buried her outside of our house right next to Boo.
Boo and Luna were black kitties who couldn’t be more opposite, but both had unique personalities a special place in our hearts.