Welcome Vlad


First Night at Home

People often ask me why I don’t have a black cat. As much as I love Halloween and Salem, Massachusetts, you would think one of my kitties would be a traditional Halloween cat. It just didn’t work out that way.  Until recently, the right black cat never crossed my path.

You may have read my post about adopting Barnabas Collins. When we adopted him, I was actively searching for a black cat, but not just any black cat. Since I’ve wanted one for a long time, and we had only one spot left for a new addition, he or she had to be a perfect fit.

Keeping that in mind, I didn’t adopt the first black cat that I saw. One kitty at age 10 was a bit older than I wanted. (This cat was later adopted). Another was great until he started biting. One boy just didn’t like other cats, and still one more was a little shy. He was friendly, but our existing menagerie at home may have been too much for him.

I had been checking Petfinder weekly to see the available black cats and had gone to the shelter that evening to see a four year old female who was no longer available when we got there.

When we were in the room of cats up for adoption, I recognized another cat from the website trying to get our attention. As much as he wanted to get out, he was the shy cat once we got to meet him. I saw a black cat not on the website, in cage #9, Bubba. He was stretched out in the front of his cage and squeaked out a sound when I said hello.

The volunteers were taking the shy cat away from the acquaintance room, and 10 minutes before closing, they asked if we wanted to see anyone else. I saw the only black cat that was listed on Petfinder, but I remembered Bubba in cage #9.

Within those last 10 minutes, we fell in love with Bubba. He was going to be my spooky kitty. He was eager to jump in our laps for petting, rewarding us with purrs. He even gave me kisses on my fingers. We couldn’t take him home that night because he wasn’t yet neutered or vaccinated. He had been at the shelter about a month recovering from an upper respiratory infection. He was two years old, brought to the shelter because his owner had too many cats. I noticed that they let him go outside and that he never had any veterinary care. His luck was about to change. My cats are strictly indoor and have pet insurance.

Two days later I had my Halloween kitty. Unlike Barnabas, Bubba was parasite-free. I thought I would have a bunch of great names for my black cat when I finally found him or her but I didn’t have any until it came to me on the drive home from the shelter following our initial meeting. Since our other cat had a vampire name, I renamed Bubba Vlad. I guess I could have gone with Bram, but Vlad sounds more bad ass. Of course, he is anything but a bad ass. He’s a 10 pound gentleman. I hope we have many more years together.


Handsome Guy

Welcome Barnabas Collins


After losing two cats exactly a year apart, on June 2, we added a new kitty to our family. Meet petite, one year old, Barnabas Collins, also known as Barney. He’s an orange and white tabby, named after the fictional vampire on the television series Dark Shadows. I’ve never seen the show, but the name sounds cool.

We decided to adopt two more cats into our household. These are not replacements, mind you, as like humans, each cat is an individual. Since my husband has never had a say in any of the cats we acquired, I told him I thought he should pick out one of them. (I had my heart set on a black cat, more on that in a future post).

Of course I wanted to adopt from the shelter where I volunteer, so when we were approved I started checking out the black cats. There were two in the PetSmart where I volunteer, but neither were the right fit. The shelter also has an adoption center in another local PetSmart, so we stopped one afternoon when they were closed. They had one black cat that I wanted to come back and see. In the cage below him was a small orange and white tabby. Hubby talked to him through the Plexiglas and the little furball rolled over to show his belly.

We returned the next night to visit the black cat named Dodger. While I spoke with him, the orange and white ball named Trapper was grabbing at me from his cage below. I ignored him, wanting a black cat for so long. Dodger was a great cat with people, but not a huge fan of other cats. He wouldn’t mesh with our two other cats and two small dogs at home. (I am happy to report that he was later adopted).


Hubby wanted to see Trapper, and while I chatted with the other volunteers, he made a new friend. I didn’t interact much with the furry little guy, but he had fallen asleep in his new daddy’s hands. I thought I would find my black cat before hubby found his cat, but it didn’t work out that way. In fact, this cat was exactly what I didn’t want. I didn’t want another orange cat (our Tiger is orange), but at least he has four white paws and socks, and white from chin to belly. I like big cats, and he weighed in at a whopping 7.9 pounds at his well vet visit. I’m used to 12 and 14 pound cats, when they got down to Barnabas’s weight they died. He’s not a kitten, but I would have preferred an older cat. The shelter said he was 1 to 2 years old, but the vet believes he is closer to a year old. This means he gets into stuff. Confined to one room in the beginning, he spent his days knocking the phone off the hook and pulling books off the shelves. Our resident cats are believed to be around 8 and 9, estimates since they were also adopted from the shelter. I hope he doesn’t annoy them. As much as I didn’t want him, I love him. He has me wrapped around his little paw already, and I don’t regret a thing about adopting him.

The spare room that was the sick ward when our beloved Ozzy suffered setbacks now has renewed life to it. We’re no longer keeping watch over our handsome Russian Blue/tabby, praying he will recover from his latest tummy trouble. He is at peace, leaving us at age 14, after 11 years of chronic illness. Now there’s a young man to explore all the room’s corners, and play with the toys that now cover the floor.

Trapper was renamed Barnabas Collins by my hubby and is now a member of the family. His introduction to the rest of the gang was delayed because he came with an intestinal parasite, causing the need for isolation until it was resolved. I’m happy to report he is integrating with the others just fine.