Black Cats Matter

My very first cat was black with a white front. Oh how I loved “Whiskers”.


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…

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