Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Magic of One Special Black Cat…… Michelle of Creative Critters

This is the story of a very special black Halloween cat named Lucius.  Lucius came into my life when I was about 13, and right around Halloween.  My family already had two black cats, girls named Ayn (my big brother's cat, named after Ayn Rand ) and Sam, short for Samantha.  We also had several other cats and three dogs at the time.  As you can already tell, I was brought up in an animal-loving household ;-).
One day in the fall I came downstairs for breakfast and saw a black cat sitting on the arm of my chair.  It only took me a second to realize that it was neither Ayn nor Sam.  I asked my stepfather where the cat came from.  He said it was one of ours.  So I lifted the new cat's tail and pointed out that this was very obviously a male, and we had female black cats.  He was really surprised because he'd seen this cat hanging out for a few days around the yard, and none of the other animals seemed to be bothered by his presence.  Talk about good camouflage- LOL!  He DID look a lot like our females (who were sisters), and I don't think it was his physical characteristics that actually tipped me off.  This cat just had a special aura about him.  And he claimed me the minute I saw him - first with his beautiful eyes, then by curling up on my lap as I ate breakfast. 
I have no idea where Lucius came from, but we bonded like I had with no other cat up to that point.  From that moment on he followed me everywhere, slept with me every night, and comforted me whenever I was sad.  There was something magical about this cat, not only in the way he appeared in our house, but in the way he read my emotions, and practically read my thoughts.  I always thought of him as my Halloween kitty, because of the way he looked and the fact that he showed up so close to Halloween.  He was definitely a magical creature.  And I was the only one who received his affections - it was as though no one else existed for him.  He paid no attention to any of the other people or animals in that house. 
We lived on a lake and had a boat dock and Lucius and I would often sit out on the dock and just relax together.  Sometimes at night we'd have a fire outside and he'd curl up in my lap as we watched the flickering flames.  I loved that cat with all my heart, and he returned that love with every furry fiber of his being.  He didn't even seem to object when we moved to another house a few miles away.  In the new house he was able to come and go through my window, which I always left open for him.  He always made sure he was back in my bedroom by the time I went to bed though.
And then one night he didn't come home.  I stayed up all night waiting for his sleek black form to slip through the window.  I searched for him constantly over the next week, and couldn't find a trace of my dear cat.  I knew he hadn't run away or gotten lost - there was no indication that he was unhappy, and he'd settled into the new house quite nicely.  And he certainly knew his way around the entire neighborhood.
Some time later my mom found his body in our shed.  We came to the conclusion that he had been poisoned and had crawled into the shed to die.  I was absolutely heartbroken.  I lived out in the country and sometimes people would put out poisoned bait for coyotes.  The thing is, there's absolutely nothing to keep someone's pet cat or dog from eating that bait instead of the intended coyote.  This is why I never use poison for mice, rats, or any other animal, especially when it might be accessible to other animals.  Even those boxes of mouse poison can make a cat or dog incredibly sick and kill them.  Pets are curious, and will often try something just because it's there.  And when the poison is made to smell tasty, they think they've found a special treat.
I still treasure the years I did have with Lucius, and whenever possible I try to warn people about the dangers of poisoned bait.  Now of course all my cats are house cats,  which allows me to keep a much better eye on them.  I'm still very careful about the chemicals I have in my house and I make sure my pets can't get at any of them.

Submitted by Michelle of Creative Critters where her love of all sorts of animals can be seen in the variety of techniques used to create many kinds of unique and beautiful items for people and pets. Michelle is a member of Crafting for Animals Guild on ArtFire and is participating in a special coupon promotion later this month to raise funds for the guild's spotlight charity, Close to Home Animal Rescue. Please read all about the promotion here and be sure to use your coupon code when purchasing from Michelle and any other CFA guild members from 10/23 through 10/29, or just click on the box below!

Use coupon code 10CTH-CFA at participating stores to help Close to Home Animal Rescue


Scotti Cohn said...

Thank you for sharing this touching story, Michelle. I confess I am so happy that your cats are now indoor cats. I know it's not always possible for people to keep cats inside, but there are so many bad things that can happen to them "out there." It's not the sort of world where a domestic cat can run free and still be safe.

Pam said...

Michelle, I am so sorry about the way Lucius had to leave you. But, knowing how he came into your life makes my heart warm. The special bond you had it wonderful, and I know you have many happy memories. Than you for sharing some of them with us.

El at Tantalizing Stitches said...

What a beautiful story! Lucius adopted you. He is beautiful too.

Creative Critters said...

Scotti, I agree that there are far too many dangers out there for cats to be outdoors. I've had housecats all my adult life and they've lived long and happy lives. I do all I can to keep them safe and healthy (mentally and physically). Lucius was actually the last outdoor cat I had. Losing him hurt too badly- I couldn't risk going through that again.

Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...

I love black cats! My first kitty that was all my own was Smut, a solid black kitten who was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen up to that point (I was only 9)! He got out one day and disappeared. Broke my heart. So, when I was old enough to be on my own and have my own pets, none of them ever went out again if I had any control. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. Your bond with Lucius was incredibly special.

JLynnPro said...

Michelle, I'm so sorry for the way you lost Lucius, but what a beautiful story and a beautiful friendship you had!

My family started keeping our cats indoors long before I even existed. My mom's reasoning was the same: "We got sick of people running down our cats." I guess some of their previous pets had been run over. All of my cats have been indoor cats ever since I've been an adult, too.

Black cats are awesome. I've had several in my life over the years. They are very special.