How old are you?
I am about 3 years old. We don’t know for sure. I was the neighborhood stray back in Pasadena, CA when mommy lived in an apartment there. When I found mommy, she guessed I was fully matured and was about 1 year old already. But I must have been taken cared of before I found mommy because I am already neutered.
Can you tell us where your name came from?
Well, I was the neighborhood kitty in Pasadena, CA. No one know where I came from but I was the friendliest kitty around. I have white feet so many people called me Socks but I never answered to that name. Until one day, I met mommy. After mommy’s two kitties crossed the rainbow bridge, I stayed with mommy to comfort her. She would call me Socks. I didn’t answer to that.
Until one night I decided to stay the night with mommy. She was watching tv and I was on the window sill. She was talking to me and asked me what my name was. After about a minute, she looked at me and laughed. She tell me, “really? no way! Can’t be that easy of a name”. Then she called out “Blackie!” I turned my head around to look at her and meowed back to her. She heard me say my name to her! The next morning, she let me outside and she told the apartment manager my name and how she heard my name. The apartment manager tested me and let me walk by her and then she called my name, “Blackie!”. I also turned around and meowed and came back to her. The apartment manager couldn’t believe it!
Now everybody knew my real name is Blackie.
How did you come to your new home?
This is long story. My mommy lived in Pasadena right across the street from my hangout area. She lived with two kitties she rescued, Kit Kat and Baby Luke. They both had leukemia and needed special care. I heard the calling of Kit Kat when he was sick. I came around mommy’s apartment and would see Kit Kat in the window and we talk. He told me how much he loved his mommy and that she would be lost when he goes away and asked me to look after her. I asked some questions, and I decided to help Kit Kat. He was such a nice kitty.
I lived on the streets in Pasadena, CA back 2011. I roamed from house to house. People there were very nice to me and welcomed me into their homes when I found an open door or open window, or even an open patio. So I lived on the streets but many people were so nice and welcomed me into their homes when I wanted in and always let me back out to roam around.
The night Kit Kat died, he sent me message to go to mommy right away. Mommy was still in bed next morning crying. I could hear her cry from outside. I meowed as loudly as I could. She finally got up and opened the door. And there I was, sitting at her doorstep to say hello and give her lots of love and kisses sent from Kit Kat. I wouldn’t go inside because Baby Luke was still there and he was still very sick. So mommy came outside and sat on the ground with me. I stayed with her for about an hour until she received the message from Kit Kat. Once she felt Kit Kat’s presence, I gave her one last kiss goodbye.
I didn’t see mommy after that for a few weeks. Then I got message from Kit Kat that Baby Luke went away a few weeks after him. Kit Kat asked me to see mommy again. So the next morning after Baby Luke had gone away, I was at mommy’s door step again meowing. This time I came inside because I knew no kitties were inside even though they were very sick. I stayed with mommy for about four hours comforting her. After she received messages from Kit Kat and Baby Luke, I gave her one more kiss and went about my day.
But the next day, I returned to mommy to stay with her. She knew that Kit Kat sent me to stay and that I accepted. Mommy and I stayed together ever since. We moved from Pasadena, to Glendale, and now to San Diego.
Are you still allowed outside?
Mommy says its dangerous outside for me here in San Diego. There are coyotes because we live by canyons. So I cannot go outside by myself no more. So I learn to compromise and walk on a leash now. Sometimes we go to La Jolla Cove and walk around on the grassy areas and sometimes on the beach. I love being outside, meeting everybody. Im not scared of the dogs either.
What is your favorite thing to do?
My favorite is to be outside if I could. I like to bird watch, catch lizards, and follow butterflies. But inside, I love playing with Baby Faith and Little Star. I try to play with Tabetha but she don’t let me. I also talk a lot. So I talk a lot late at night and very early in the morning. Oh oh! I also love rollercoaster rides! I get in a box or laundry basket, and mommy will raise me up and down like a rollercoaster. I LOVE that. Its not scary at all. I love the thrill of being up and down and flown around so quickly! Its so much fun!
What toys to you like to play with?
I don’t play as much with toys as I used to. I will play with a feather toy that mommy can fly around for me to chase. I do like running through the tube thingy. And I LOVE boxes. Boxes are my favorite.
Where do you sleep?
I sleep everywhere. At night I will sleep between the mommy and daddy. During the day, I sleep on the bed too because I have it all to myself usually and I can spread out! Or if mommy brings home a box, I will sleep in the box all day.
What was it like moving from Los Angeles to San Diego?
Very scary. Long drive. So very busy. There were people in and out of our apartment in Glendale packing our stuff, my toys. So many boxes. Mommy had to put me in my carrier. I drove with mommy and it was a big change for me. I wanted to go outside and roam but mommy wouldn’t let me. And our San Diego apartment doesn’t have wood floors like the Glendale apartment did. I loved the wooded floors because I would run so fast and let myself slide across the room. That was so much fun! And we had a second story in Glendale. So I would go up and down the stairs and hang myself upside down on the stairs. I loved that apartment! It was lots of fun!
Now we have one story apartment and all carpet. Its ok. Not much room as before but a very big balcony that mommy made into a “cat-tio” balcony for me. She enclosed the balcony with netting so I couldn’t fall or get out. We live on second floor and I used to find ways to get out off of balcony and sneak out but not no more. Mommy made sure I am safe inside balcony.
What tricks do you already know?
I already know sit, stay, lay down, touch, stand up, “bang!” (like play dead), come, shake hands, tunnel (run through tube on command) and kiss.
What tricks are you working on?
Mommy would like me to work on my high fives, “bang”, tunnel, roll over, speak, and walk tall.
What words of advise do you have for someone trying to train their cats?
We cats are very smart but very stubborn. We are not like dogs. We have a very short attention span. We can only work 5-10 minutes at a time. But many times during the day. Once an hour is good. Sometimes less, sometimes more. We are either food driven or toy driven. I was both but probably more food driven. Consistency is very important. If in training, never give us our treats or toys without making us work for it. Otherwise, we realize we can get treats and toys for free if we just wait, and not work for it. Make it fun and rewarding for us. We will respond well with positive reinforcement.
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Kit Kat and Baby Luke. Fly free little ones, know you will always be loved.
Many thanks to Blackie and his mom for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find Blackie on his facebook page Blackie the Cat.
This article is a part of the Black Cat Appreciation theme, for more interviews please click the badge below.