Our little kitty joined our family in November. She’s a jet black little thing, believed to be about 5 years old (based on her teeth) but with such a short tail and little legs she seems younger. She has beautiful eyes that at first glance appear yellow but when you look closer have a turquoise/green ring around the pupil. She miaows and purrs a lot and seeks affection. Whilst we do let her outside, she tends not to stay out for more than about 5 minutes, although she often sits staring out of windows.
We’d always said we’d have a cat when we lived somewhere we could. Whilst I love rodents and reptiles, Husbit is less taken with such pets and we don’t have the patience for a dog but we’ve both had cats before and both like their company. When we finally managed to buy our first place together last summer, one of the most important things to me was that the Lease would allow pets.
Our Little Lady came from the Cats’ Protection League. She’d been found, starved and abandoned, in the same suburb we live in. She was so flea-ridden she’d scratched out all her hair and so malnourished she looked, in the words of the fosterer we collected her from, “like a little baby dragon”. When we first met her, she came running straight over to see who we were and to play, and we were smitten.
The day we took her home, we collected her in a giant cat box that had come from a colleague who’d used it for 2 cats. We’d lined it with the cat bed we’d bought (which, unusually, she does seem to be happy to use although we carefully chose one that could double as a cushion if she wasn’t interested and I probably do use it more than her – I’m sitting on it now whilst she’s cleaning herself on the table) so that it would pick up her scent on the way home and make her comfortable, and the fosterer’s daughter gave us a small toy that she plays with.
Even with the extra space and with me sitting beside her talking to her, she yowled most of the journey home. Once in the lounge, we set the box down and opened the door. She timidly poked her nose out and raced to hide in a corner under the table against the wall. Husbit tried to coax her out but I left her to it and filled her water and food bowls. As soon as she heard that rattle, she started to creep out – skulked low across the floor to where the food was, sniffed it and devoured the lot. After that, it was as though she’d always lived here.
The fosterer had given her the name Mia, a pretty name for a pretty lady, and we’ve left that on all official paperwork but we very rarely call her or refer to her as Mia. She gets ‘Cat’ or ‘Kitty’ a lot, ‘Little Panther’ when she’s stalking, ‘Ghost’ or ‘Shadow’ when she’s following you around. I call her ‘Thundercat’ when she purrs, ‘Drusilla’ when I’ve been watching a lot of Buffy (black hair and slightly mad, it suits her), ‘Miranda’ if I’ve been watching Miranda (and also because The Tempest is my favourite Shakespeare play), ‘Kidney Bean’, ‘Inkblot’ or ‘Sphinx Cat’ depending on the shape she’s made when she’s sat on my lap. She gets called ‘Stinky’ or ‘Little Pest’ or similar names with about as much frequency as any other cat I’ve known. She is currently ‘My Little Sunflower’ because she’s following the sun patches around the flat.
As a cat, I don’t think it matters too much that she doesn’t have a name. When she goes out, she comes back if she hears me talking or if I rattle her food bowl – she doesn’t need one word to define her. It is a bit difficult, though, to explain to people that she doesn’t have a name. There is a moment in possibly in the last episode of Series 4 of Buffy, when they’re in the dream sequence bit and Willow and Tara have their kitten between them and one says “I thought he would have told us his name by now”. I sometimes feel like that with Jet Black, nothing seems to stick.
So for now, it feels good to be out of the rain – she is The Cat With No Name.