Skip to content

Black Cats Matter

October 28, 2016

I live in a world of cats. High in the Italian Alps, my home is also the abode of many feral cats. Ten years ago, our cat population was 22. These were all “forest cats” who were largely left to fend for themselves during our harsh winters. Like typical Americans, we adopted them all.

Most all of these cats were gray. But the grandmother of them all was a black Manx. She is still alive at almost 15 years, a very tidy sum for a wild cat. We call her “Black Mama.” She is matriarch of most of our entire cat world.

Of all her offspring, our favorite was a gray female we called “Cione” (ciccione means fatty in Italian.) She trusted us the most and was a frequent visitor in our house. She was smarter than most and knew the value of a warm bed and hand-fed sausage. She became tame (only inside our home) and in the process, I suppose our pet. Unlike most feral cats, Cione loved to be picked-up and held tightly. It seemed as though our heartbeats made her feel comfortable. She was a good friend for many years and one who enriched our lives a great deal. One day she wandered off to the mouse house in the sky, never to return. We miss her.

Cione’s mother Black Mama gave birth to many a gray cat but only one black one, named Blackie. Black Mama’s daughter Cione, in turn, brought us many others, all gray, including: Malfat, Thwarticus, Foots, Brother, Fluffy and others. Many of these would joyfully jump on our bed after sneaking into our bedroom and play hide and seek in our bean garden. These were all a merry band of feral forest cats who often entered our home as invited guests. They are mostly gone. Only Fluffy and Foots are still around. They have become too shy to visit us. The Italian Alps have a way of isolating cats as well as people.

However, the only two cats who never ventured into our home were Black Mama and Blackie. They both are reserved and timid and were so even from the start. Cautious is a better word as both accepted food but kept their distance. As the seasons have come and gone, Black Mama, Blackie, Foots and Fluffy are about the only remnants of original band. Even our beloved Smeagol died last year. He was the only other cat who loved to be picked-up and held. Like Cione, he was an opportunist with a keen nose for Luganica sausage, chicken and about anything else. We miss him as well. There are others roaming about, but we don’t seem to be close friends. Cats are a lot like people and the other way around. Sometimes, after a great relationship that ends in death, you just don’t feel like risking another too soon. Time will tell.

Black Mama and Blackie are still well and with us. Because of our longstanding relationship, we accord these two survivors all of our hospitality and affection. They stay their distance but a bit but know in the end that we are their friends. After all of these years, why do we still bother with these two? Why? In addition to our many gray feline friends, Black Cats Matter!

The above photo is of Smeagol on the left and Blackie on the right.

Please follow this blog by clicking follow below. Your comments are always welcome (especially you cat lovers).

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at

Read author Allen E Rizzi 3

  1. KiM permalink

    They say there is always room in your heart to love another ~ and they the paws prints they left on our hearts will forever be with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: