I can’t tell you how ready I was to be home with Isabella last night. I love that cat so much, and she has brought so much joy to my life. This conference was a very tiring one, and I was glad to be home to relax with my little girl.
Category Archives: Isabella
She Would if She Could
As a friend of mine says about Isabella, “She’s so sassy!”
Black Cat Appreciation Day
Have you ever feared a black cat crossing your path? This is from ancient superstitions where people thought this meant bad luck. For many cultures and historical settings, black cats were actually meant for positive things. So, to try and dispel these myths about black cats, National Black Cat Appreciation Day was created to be celebrated on August 17 every year. Today, pop culture loves black cats. There’s the sarcastic Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus, Salem, in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Pyewacket in the classic Bell, Book, and Candle, and Isis from the Star Trek episode “Assignment: Earth.” Black cats are seen as loyal companions, and this is what they were seen as for a lot of cultures in history too.
So, who’s to blame for this negative black cat spin? Superstition! But mostly because during the Middle Ages, people (mainly the Catholic Church) saw witches as shape-shifting black cats and the damage was done. From then on, black cats were seen as evil entities for years and years to follow. The reputation for bad luck and evil is not warranted.
Since 2011, cat lovers around the world have celebrated Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17th. It is a day to celebrate and appreciate the black cats in your life. Today, I celebrate my little companion, Isabella, a beautiful, sleek black cat. Black Cat Appreciation Day was created by a man named Wayne H. Morris, in honor of his late sister, June, who passed away at age 33, a few years before the first official Black Cat Appreciation Day. This date was chosen as a memorial of June’s passing. June deeply loved her own black cat, Sinbad, who lived to be 20 years old.
Black cats are often the least adopted and most overlooked cats in animal shelters, resulting in many of these wonderful animals being euthanized when they can’t find a loving home. Thank goodness many animal shelters these days are “no kill” shelters. Because they are less likely to be adopted from shelters, they need a special holiday in their honor to bring awareness to this issue, and to encourage people to adopt these amazing animals. Also, many shelters will not allow adoptions of black cats in October because people adopt them for Halloween and then discard them afterward. The life of a black cat in shelters can be very sad because there are several stupid and silly reasons why people looking to adopt a cat are less likely to adopt black cats.
Black cats are beautiful creatures that make a wonderful addition to any home. In some countries, including England, Scotland, and Japan, they are considered good luck. In Japan, it is believed that a single woman who owns a black cat will have many suitors. In England, they are commonly thought to bring good luck to anyone who crosses their path. In Scotland, it is said that a strange black cat arriving at your home will bring good fortune and prosperity.
Many cat owners agree that their black cats are often the most affectionate and playful cats they’ve ever had. Isabella is not very affectionate in the traditional sense, but she’s very loving and affectionate in her own way. She wants to be near me most of the time and sometimes wants to lay on me, but she never cuddles and hates to be held. Others claim black cats are known for their unique personalities and cuddly dispositions. Some researchers also claim that black cats are more resistant to disease. There is some research to suggest that at least two genes associated with melanism, i.e. what gives them their black color, may also help them resist certain diseases.
So if you are looking to adopt a cat, consider a black cat. They need the love, and they will love you back. Isabella might not be the most affectionate, but she constantly shows her love and appreciation for me, and isn’t that what we all want from our pets, especially our cats who often seem so indifferent to their human companions. Isabella is rarely far away from me. I’ve had cats in the past who show how mad they are at you for leaving them for any amount of time. Isabella has never been that way. Most of the time, she greets me at the door, and if she hears me in the hallway, and I don’t come into my apartment quick enough, she makes her impatience known. She is a wonderful little companion, and I feel so blessed to have her.
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? One of the things I hated about my last apartment was that I felt like my landlords were always watching when I was coming and going. I even saw them a few times watching me through their screen door. It always made me uncomfortable. However, if you have a cat, there’s a different type of being watched. I walked outside Saturday morning and looked back at my window and saw this:
Without a doubt, I was being watched. The funny thing is that during daylight ours, you can’t really see in my apartment even with the blinds open. The screens block nearly everything that is not very close to them. Therefore, since Isabella is a black cat, all you can see are those green eyes staring out at you through the blinds.
As much as Isabella loved that my apartment has carpet, she really loves the windows. If she’s not laying on her blanket, nine times out of ten I can either find her laying next to one of the windows or staring out one of them. If I have the windows open, she can be sound asleep, but if she hears a robin (the only bird that seems to catch her attention), she will jump up to see it. One robin apparently knows it’s safe from her and will sit on the railing outside and they will have a staring contest. I think she’s absolutely precious when she’s looking out one of the windows.
Of course, there are also times when I find her peeking around a corner looking at me. Most of the time, she prefers me to be in her sight. The other day, I was lying on my bed and she wanted me in the living room with her, so she aggravated me and whined until I got up to see what she wanted. Once I sat on the couch in the living room, she settled down and went back to sleep.
And then there are the times when I’m in my kitchen, and I turn around to see this above me. She can get up on top of those cabinets quicker than I can turn around. She jumps on the counter (which she knows she’s not supposed to be on), then the microwave, next is the refrigerator, and on to the tops of the cabinets where she stares down at me as I am either cooking or cleaning the kitchen.
While in the next picture she’s not watching me, it is one of my favorite birdwatching pictures. This was in the first few weeks of me moving into my apartment before I had my blinds. If you look to the right under the pillow is Isabella’s blanket. I say it’s hers, because she’s claimed it and sleeps on it at least 18-20 hours a day.
Do you have an animal that constantly watches you? Or just won’t let you out of their sight?
Moment of Zen: Isabella
Six years ago today, I went to the Central Vermont Humane Society and picked out a beautiful black kitten named Bridget. I knew right away that I’d be changing her name, so I named her Isabella (I enjoy naming my cats after historic queens). I brought her home, and we’ve been together since then. I had been going through a very difficult time and was in a period of a deep and dark depression. Isabella helped pull me out of that darkness. I love her dearly, even if she never lets me sleep late.
Precious from Day 1, she has been a faithful companion.
⬆️ Isabella at just a few weeks old.⬆️
⬇️Isabella at a few years old.⬇️
⬆️A curious Isabella at my old apartment.⬆️
⬇️A curious Isabella at my new apartment.⬇️
⬆️An absolute beauty and she knows it.⬇️
My Alarm Clock
I love Isabella. She’s my little sweetheart (most of the time), but we’ve been on the outs since yesterday morning. She began at 3 am trying to woke me up, and it wasn’t her usual touching me either. She was full on meowing. I needed my sleep, so I shut her out of my bedroom.
Then she began trying to get in from under the door, but that was impossible. Nevertheless, she was making such a ruckus that I got up and opened the door. This was around 4 am. She began to meow again, over and over, insisting that I feed her. So, I did the one thing that I know will hold her off for a while; I grabbed her and wrapped her in my arms for a hug. Isabella hates to be held, so she wriggle away from me and sulked off. She then let me sleep for another 45 minutes before she tried again. At this point, I just got up and fed her. I wasn’t going to get anymore sleep anyway.
So, from the time I got home yesterday until I went to bed, I refused to let her fall asleep. I’m hoping that by not sleeping all evening that she’ll sleep through the night, or at least longer than the night before. Cats are wonderful creatures, but they have a mind of their own. Some people don’t like cats because they think they are aloof and independent. The truth is that cats domesticated in just that way. Anthropologists believe that cats actually sort of domesticated humans.
When humans began to move away from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural society, they settled in villages, towns, and eventually cities. They began to store the grain they were growing, which naturally attracted mice, which in turn attracted cats (the true story behind “This Is the House That Jack Built”). As cats were around more, people began to feed them, and they began to stay so that they trained the humans to feed them regularly. Cats still hunted the mice, but they realized that humans were a steady source of food. Unlike dogs who were domesticated by humans as hunters and companions, cats domesticated themselves and tricked humans into thinking that they were their companions, which is why they have retained their independent streak for millennia.
So, here are some of my favorite cat memes. Some of them are just humorous, it others have a bit of truth to them.
And here is my own personal alarm clock, Isabella, looking down on me from the top of my kitchen cabinets while I cook dinner.
I got back home last night from my conference in Boston. While I enjoyed my time in Boston, I was very glad to be home. I was mostly just glad to get back to Isabella. Since December 2019, I have not been away from her except for the one night when I had to go to Dartmouth for a sleep study. The rest of the time, it’s just been the two of us. I always worry about Isabella when I’m gone overnight, so it’s a relief when I get back home and she’s fine. She was very happy to see me, but she also let me know her displeasure at me being away. She is not usually a vocal cat, but anytime I’m away and come back, she wants to be right next to me, and she gets very vocal with her meows. I wish I could always take her with me, but it’s just not practical. She’ll soon settle back down into her routine and so will I. I’m just glad to be home, and it seems like Isabella feels the same way.
The Day Has Come
The day has finally come; I have my laryngoscopy today. I’ve been waiting since January 10 for them to schedule this procedure, and it will determine if I can get the Inspire implant as a replacement for my CPAP to treat my sleep apnea. I have to be at Dartmouth by 7 am, so we need to leave my apartment no later than 5:45 am. My friend driving me will have to leave her place around 5:10 am. I feel bad about the imposition I am putting her in, but I don’t have a lot of options. My boss was supposed to take me, and I would not feel bad about him having to leave so early, but his daughters came down with COVID, so he’s quarantined with them and can’t take me.
On a different note: While Isabella seems to enjoy my new apartment (as do I), she has been doing this odd thing lately. She will sit in front of the glass of my entertainment center and stare at her reflection. I had this entertainment center at my old place, but she never took note of it. She will sit there for the longest time just staring at her reflection, though I don’t think she realizes that it is her. Occasionally, she walks around the entertainment center to see if she can find that other cat. Of course, she never does, but it’s always back right where it was when she looks again. She doesn’t do anything but stare into the glass. She has done this with the front windows a few times, but never in a mirror and never for as long as she sits looking at the glass in the entertainment center. She doesn’t seem upset but seems more curious than anything else. So, I have a question for those with cats: have any of your cats ever exhibited this type of behavior?
She’s usually pretty smart, and things like this don’t fool her. Although she still occasionally chases her tail, she will get tired of it after a little while. Also, she sometimes accidentally sits on one of her mice when playing with them and gets very perplexed about where it has gone. Eventually, she moves and reveals the mouse and seems surprised when the mouse suddenly reappears. Occasionally, she gets lost under the quilt on my bed but usually finds her way out unaided. Sometimes, I have to assist her. Cats are infinitely entertaining, especially Isabella. With all of these strange behaviors, she eventually gets tired and curls up on a nice comfy blanket and goes to sleep, which she seems to do, like most cats, for about 18 hours a day.
PROCEDURE UPDATE: The laryngoscopy went fine, but I am not an good candidate for the Inspire therapy, so I’m not sure what the next step is.
Moment of Zen: A Cat’s Love
People who don’t like cats often complain that they are unloving or aloof. I’ve always had very loving cats. My first cat Calico used to lay beside me when I was sick. My previous cat, Victoria, would insist I take a nap with her every day when I’d get home, laying beside me with her front paws and head on my chest. Isabella may not be a cuddler, but she’s almost always nearby or laying on my hip or staring out the window wanting me to come inside (see the last pic). Cats show affection in their own way, and we love them for it.
The Stages of Annoyance
Disclaimer: This post is in total jest.
I love Isabella, and she seems to love me. However, it’s very hard not to interpret her expressions or even to laugh at some of them. She is probably more full of expressions than any cat I’ve ever had. When she knows I’m about to leave my apartment, usually because I’m getting out of the shower and that means I’m probably going somewhere, she looks up at me with total adoration. She purrs and “talks” to me. She also has that look when I come home. While many cats show annoyance when you come home after you’ve been away (my previous cat did that), Isabella can’t seem to get enough of me when I come home. Eventually, she’ll settle down and usually go to sleep. Most of her expressions, though, show when I have displeased her. If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know the stages of annoyance, even if it’s the way they move their ears or they way they bite or scratch you, which Isabella can be guilty of at times, but mostly, she really is a very loving cat.
Isabella’s Stages of Annoyance
Stage 1: Opens her eyes just enough to see what’s going on.
Stage 2: “What do you want? You woke me up, it had better be important.”
Stage 3: “Okay, okay, I’m awake now. If you don’t want anything, I’ll go back to sleep.”
Stage 4: The warning, “You may not live through the night for this insolence.”
Stage 5: The final stage is always more sleep.
And, yes, sometimes, she just act like a crazy creature. She gets that look in her eyes that says, “I’m crazy.” Sometimes, she even still chases her tail. While we’ll never know what our pets are thinking, the expressions they make can be quite fun to try and figure out what’s going through their little brains.