She was never a cat lover until she met a furry feline named Blackjack.
Welcome Allison Ruffing, Love Dem Cats first guest blogger. Allison is a cat convert—and everyone knows that cat converts are the most ferocious feline fanatics. Allison gets to shout out her cast of cats this week.
If you’d like to take center stage some upcoming week, just send us your blog post along with pix of your furry friend(s). And you could be featured in our blog.
When I was little, my friend and I were petting a neighbor's cat, and it scratched her. Ever since, I'd considered cats unpredictable and mean—terrifying animals. Then, right after I married my husband, Bob, I met Blackjack.
Blackjack was a skinny old black cat that started showing up on our apartment patio. Bob and I would feed him tuna or leftover meat, but he was as hungry for love as he was for food—he'd nuzzle our hands and meow to be petted. When winter temperatures dipped below freezing, we let him in, and Blackjack snoozed on the ottoman, purring with pure contentment, while we watched TV.
When we bought a house in the country, Blackjack was in ecstasy. Trees to climb, critters to chase. (Er, dream about chasing.) We usually found him lounging under our lilac bush, watching the world go by.
One morning that summer, we were awakened by birdlike cries coming from our kitchen heating duct. We pulled a tiny black kitten out, only two weeks old. Normally, I would have taken such a creature straight to the shelter...but as I cradled the purring ball of fur, I realized: I love cats now. We bottle-fed and hand-raised the new kitten, and named her Pearl. We'd become a two-cat family!
Only two years later, days after Christmas, Blackjack collapsed. We rushed him to the vet, but there was nothing they could do for our old kitty. I gently stroked Blackjack, looking into his eyes, as he passed. We buried him in the backyard he loved so much.
Our Pearl wasn't an “only child” for long. In mid-January, my mother-in-law instant-messaged me: “There's a really pretty stray hanging around my apartment; they're taking her to the shelter....” That's how we acquired Catillac, our “super-size” orange kitty. And less than a month ago, a friendly little black kitten marched into our garage and jumped into my arms. We named him Harley.
Blackjack was only with us a short time, but I feel his love as I pet my three beautiful cats and think, Me? A cat person? Absolutely.
—Allison Ruffing, guest blogger
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