Just the seventeen of us sixteen years ago. Ebony is the cat in Meredith’s arms, top-left.
Of all the crazy cats we’ve ever known, she was by far the craziest, and I can prove that proposition with just one example: She didn’t believe in gravity. She would lay flat on my chest with all four legs splayed out wide, an unwitting imitation of a cat-skin rug, with every claw dug deep into my shirt – and my skin – just in case.
She was born the runt of her litter. She never got enough milk, and then she was weaned too young. Still worse, she got herself knocked-up in her first heat by a much bigger tom and her own kittens were so big they almost suckled her dry. When they were rescued, she was barely half-an-inch across at the belly.
She was adopted by a lady who thought she was over her cat allergies but wasn’t, so she came to us as a foster cat until her forever family could find her – but that never happened because her forever family turned out to be us.
We called her Ebony because she was so very black, with just a hint of smoke in her undercoat. She was slight and lean always, even after she got some weight on her, and we always thought of her as the Audrey Hepburn of our cats – always beautiful, always elegant, always distant with the other cats.
We kept her because people can be so stupid about black cats. And because she was born most-likely-to-be-tormented anyway. And because our daughter Meredith, holding Ebony in the top-left in the photo, taken for our Christmas card in the year 2000, fell in love with her. It was with Meri that Ebony perfected her claws-out splayed repose, as comfortable as she ever got in a world that would not hold still. She glommed onto me when Meri was away, eventually glomming onto me in perpetuity.
And her crazy was so complete that, had she been human, I could not have kept her at bay with a restraining order and (more…)