I take a lot of photos of my two black cats, Skittle and Fontana. Fontana has been living with me since 2010 when she and Richie (a crazy male cat who is now deceased) were adopted from a shelter in New Hampshire. Richie met an untimely end when he was killed by a fisher cat one early morning. Fisher cats are stocky, muscular beasts that hunt mostly at night so I kept my cats inside overnight. Richie always wanted to go out very early in the morning to hunt and unfortunately a fisher cat was out hunting too.
You can see photos of Richie at my New England blog. He had unique blotches of white on his face.
Fontana the Beauty
Whereas Richie was a hunter extraordinaire, Fontana was always one to sit and watch wildlife with big eyes and not try to kill everything that moves. She spent one night in my old house playing with a mouse in the kitchen, which she let get away to bother us another day.
Fontana was, and is, a beautiful, medium long hair cat. Her fur was jet black, but now that she has spent lots of time outside in the Florida sun, she has turned chocolate brown. Yup, she’s fading.
Then, Along Came Skittle
Skittle became part of the family shortly after Richie had gone. My son and I went to the local shelter where a room held some free roaming kitties. The shelter manager told me to go in and visit with those cats and as I opened the door a little black cat bolted out into the main part of the shelter. We had to round her up and put her back. My son decided that was the cat he wanted. Of course, the troublemaker!
Her shelter name was “Love Bug” but before we left the parking lot my son said, “Lets call her Skittle”. The name is perfect and she still does the “skittle out the door” maneuver very well.
Skittle is the kind of cat that makes her needs known one way or another. She drinks out of cups, knocks things off counters and tables, and races through the house to get attention. As soon as I go into the bathroom she is up on the counter wanting to drink from the faucet. She stays outside almost all day long, even in the terrible Florida heat. I am home and can let her in, but she prefers outdoors. She seems to be happier in this climate away from the snowy New England winters.
Cats are known to choose to sleep in some strange places. Usually they choose a place that will bother the owner the most. Right on a book that one is attempting to read, or on the desktop when one is trying to work. The fact that Skittle thought the indoor woodpile would be a comfy place for a nap really confused me. But she saw that I was using that wood to stoke the wood stove and probably decided she would be in the way. It’s how her little mind works.
I have some great photos of skittle, but none as funny as when she plopped her head down onto the fruit in my fruit bowl and made herself comfortable. Did she think I would want some fruit and having her head in the way would annoy me? Probably.
In my New Hampshire home, Skittle had perfected the art of letting me know she was ready to come inside. She stood on the deck railing and pawed at the window in the kitchen making as much noise as possible. If the railing had snow or ice she would simply climb to the top of the screen on the sliding glass door and hang there hoping to annoy me enough to open the door.
When winter ended in NH and I began to go outside to do my gardening, Skittle was always somewhere close by. She loved to have my company in the yard. The photo below is one of my very favorites and was taken on one of those gardening days. It captures her typical look which seems to be saying, “Come on, what’s next? Lets get to it.” Skittle is always ready for an adventure.
If I didn’t get around to mowing the grass as much as I should, the cats didn’t mind. They both like to “hide” in the greenery.
One of their favorite things to do was to walk with me in the woods behind the house. I had a big backyard forest area with rocks, water and downed trees to climb. I miss being outside with them. In Florida, I don’t go out much and there are no fun places to explore in my yard.
Just like siblings, cats can have radically different personalities. Anyone who doesn’t like cats probably hasn’t met a cat with the “right” personality match for them. Fontana and Skittle are very different from each other.
Skittle will sleep on my bed at night, but Fontana doesn’t.
Fontana will jump into my lap, but not Skittle.
Skittle comes when I call her, like a dog. Fontana usually ignores my calls.
Skittle catches lizards and then meows, while the poor thing dangles from her mouth, until I come see. Fontana ignores the lizards.
The cats are weird, funny, sweet or annoying and they’ve wormed their way into our hearts, as all pets do.