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Chester was on my lap; we were making googly eyes at each other.  Just looking at him I felt sort of breathless.   He had that effect; he was hand-some.

It was a culmination of sorts:  you live with a situation for a long time and one day it occurs to you that [this thing] has worked out well; my life is better for it.  Living with Chester and Maggie has been deeply satisfying.

It can be hard to find homes for black cats; people think they’re devoid of personality.  I object!  Both of ours were warm and gentle.  What’s more, they had large and divergent personalities.

Chester passed at the end of April but we still enjoy the radiant Maggie, now 16.

Two days ago I read Temple Grandin’s treatise on selecting a friendly cat.   Grandin is a professor at  Colorado State University;

she is a scientist who studies the emotional lives of animals.  Her seminal work has led to ground-breaking developments in the humane treatment of livestock, but she also studies the needs of companions animals.

In Animals Make Us Human, Dr. Grandin lists three criteria for selecting a friendly cat:

1) Get a kitten and make sure lots of people handle it gently when it’s tiny.

2) Pick a friendly kitten from the shelter.  A cat that won’t approach you at the shelter might always be shy.

3) Adopt a black cat.  A handful of studies show that black cats are friendlier, more likely to live in harmony within a group and less likely to fight over females.  One shelter worker calls them “laid-back blacks”.

Black fur color is a recessive gene, so black fur and associated traits may represent a sturdier population.  They might be more resistant to viruses such as feline HIV.

Grandin goes on to say selecting a friendly black kitten does not guarantee long-term success.  As for me–well, I’m reluctant to recommend a pet based on color, they’re all so different.  Still, could it be true, what they say?

Once you go black, you never go back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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