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Thursday, November 13 2014


"A man's got to know his limitations."
                             Dirty Harry

Yes, my efforts to photograph black cats with a camera phone have reduced me to quoting Dirty Harry. I might also add that as if trying to shoot black cats in a dark barn isn't hard enough, like trying to photograph nubian goats, these cats give me two poses - eating at my feet, or getting in my face.

After yet one more unsuccessful attempt to use the camera-phone, I gave up and promised myself that tomorrow I'm taking that Canon into the barn and cranking up the ISO on those cats. I WILL get some decent pictures of black cats. It might not be tomorrow, or the next day. Or next month. Or next year. But I accept the challenge!

Any animal shelter will tell you that black dogs and black cats are the hardest to place. They are shadows that fade into the wallpaper behind their flashy, colorful counterparts. Some organizations even go so far as to highlight the problem and promote these animals as "Ninja Cats" or "Ninja Dogs." And so when Dear Friend Michelle said she was rescuing feral cats and that she'd place black ones with me, I was delighted to be able to give two ninja cats a home. I don't have to have flashy, I just have to have lethal.

Another plus to the black cats is that they're friendly. While stumbling around the internet in search of names for black cats, I happened upon a reference to a comment Temple Grandin made in her book "Animals Make Us Human." She said that black cats are "more social overall."  Interesting. Perhaps that's why two mostly feral cats tamed up so quickly. Another interesting tidbit I stumbled upon was that the Feline Genome Project is experimenting now with the idea that a mutation which causes the black fur might actually make black cats resistant to viruses in the HIV family. Hhmphf . . .

Anyway, I turned my assassins loose in the barn today while I did chores and let them stay out of their cage for a while.
Over the course of this past week, I've compiled a list of things they like:

1) canned cat food
2) dry cat food
3) long pets starting at their heads and ending at their tails
4) exploring under the tarped hay
5) exploring the rafters

Things they don't like:

1) Briar
2) Lily
3) Goats in their faces

(There is nothing wrong with that goat's eye, it's 'goat spit' on the camera lens. Such is the problem with photographing Nubian goats!)

This afternoon the cats explored the stalls, the hay, and the rafters, and each time I popped my head into the barn and called them, they scurried out to see me. Tomorrow will be their first full day of freedom. It took me a week, but I have finally settled on suitable names for my hired killers:

Ninja & Nikita (La Femme Nikita)

Look out rats! There's a new sheriff in town, and she moves like a ninja in the night.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Love black cats. I have six of them on the barn now.
Posted by Jeanne Kent on 11/13/2014 - 11:26 PM
I have two black kitties, and intend to have nothing else for my whole life. I love gorgeous kitties wih more color, but these little guys are so often put down in shelters that...well, I can give up colorful kitties to save the lives of a couple ninjas.
Posted by Christine on 11/15/2014 - 02:59 PM
That's pretty much the way I looked at it too. I love a colorful cats but this time I was happy to save some black ones. The last cats I adopted were all calico except a white male. Sadly I was told that even as colorful as they were, they would be put down too because there are simply more cats than homes. If the calicos wouldn't get adopted there wasn't much hope that these plain black kitties would find a home.
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 11/15/2014 - 04:49 PM
I'll take the black kitties over the calicos any day of the week! I haven't had a rescue calico yet that didn't have a fiery temper.
Posted by Patty on 11/21/2014 - 06:24 PM

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