One spring day in 2009, my neighbor and best friend Debbie came over with a little black ball of fur that needed adoption. I protested. My Siamese cat, Lady, was Queen of the house, had been for 10 years, and I wasn’t sure how she would react to a new family member. Also it wasn’t a bred animal, just a kitten from a stray momma. I was a little unsure of how feral she would be.
Deb cajoled and pleaded with the aid of a family member, and I soon relented, albeit quite reluctantly. It turned out to be a she, and she was so tiny and funny looking, with an apple head, a strangely curved back that looked like it belonged on a camel, and a tail that went backwards and almost touched her head. And the absolute funniest looking face I have ever seen on a cat. AND she was black. I’m not superstitious, but I have never had a black cat before. So plain and boring.
What struck me were her eyes. Yellow-green, they absolutely GLOWED out from all that black.
We went thru all the hoopla of the shots and getting her fixed and hiding things that she would destroy and pulling out Lady’s old toy box which she loved (what kitten doesn’t love a box of toys?).
I kept my distance from her at first. Lady the Siamese was number one to me, she never left my side and we read each other like an old married couple. I named the new black cat Keisha. After a couple of weeks she got a last name; I called her Keisha Brown. Others in the household looked at me disdainfully when I started this. “That is NOT her name. Her name is Maggie.” After being snubbed for several weeks, I reluctantly started calling her Maggie.
After several weeks, Maggie was starting to grow on me. She was very shy, and not a snuggly cat unless it was her idea. When you went to pet her, you were lucky if you were allowed to pet the tail. She wouldn’t swipe at you or anything, she would just avoid your hand. It had to be her idea.
And forget picking her up. To this day, if you pick her up, she lets out this one long yowl that starts high goes low then goes high again. It starts when you grab her, and doesn’t end until she is sitting in your arms. Then she is ok.
But she is very sweet, and her eyes kept getting more and more glowey as she got older. Her fur turned to black silk, and her little apple-headed face got funnier and funnier looking. Her tail went normal (thank God for that – that really bothered me).
They started calling her Maggie Mew. I thought this as stupid as they thought my Keisha Brown was, and I started calling her Maggie May.
When she was nearly a year old, spring had sprung and Maggie May started getting really antsy to go outside and play. She was ‘fixed’, but she wanted the outdoors. I think it is in her blood, since she is the child of strays. After several weeks of relentless attempts to run out and constant nagging I finally relented and let her go, very worried she would either be the victim of some sicko with a superstition against black cats or get in the road and not be seen by a driver because she is black. To this day, she only goes out during the daytime. She comes in at night.
By this time I was getting really taken with her. Nobody really notices the beauty of a black cat, I guess because you can’t see them. They meld into everything, even in the peak of day. Put them in a shadow, and viola! They disappear from view. One day, before we allowed her to venture outside, we couldn’t find her, and after several hours of frantic searching I saw two green dots glowing from the black suede of my office chair.
She doesn’t sleep there anymore. I’ve sat on her too many times.
I also came to realize Maggie’s shyness was instinctual because of her color. This is learned behavior built into the genes. I found it fascinating to watch her instinctively use her color to hunt in the yard. And put her against a green lawn or background and her EYES. I didn’t think it was possible, but they GLOWED even more!
Maggie May soon became just May. Then I started calling her Maybewwy. The others in the household accepted this reluctantly.
Maybewwy was a little too baby-talk as she grew older, and soon she became Mayberry. Not sure if there even IS such a thing as a mayberry, but that is what I called her.
Shortly after this one day she came in for lunch absolutely chock full of sand from rolling in it. You ever soak at towel in a sink full of water and then pull it out and it is just dripping wet and the slightest squeeze causes a waterfall? She was like that, only with sand. It was amazing. Her name changed again. Now she was Fullasan.
Today she goes by Mayberry Fullasan. That is my permanent name for her. Mayberry Fullasan. She is a great cat, and I love her dearly. When my dear Siamese cat passed on late last year, Mayberry was sad for weeks. She has gotten over it with the addition of Roxy, our new kitty rescued from the pound who is half Seal Point and Half Snowshoe Siamese. You can find his picture elsewhere on this site.
Last year I decided to try to get a photo of those amazing eyes. The following pictures do not do them justice. The camera just wont pick it up. Of course, it’s only a hundred dollar Kodak, she wouldn’t sit still, and I just had the shakes that day. I took 50 pictures, only four of them came out worth showing you, and they are pretty crappy. Shooting a black cat that wont sit still with the shakes and a cheap camera is next to impossible. As a matter of fact, shooting a black cat period is unbelievably hard. We have very few good pictures of her. You use a flash you get red eye (in her case, green eye). Don’t use a flash and she disappears from the picture. You need high lighting. For the amateur photographer, I definitely recommend shooting a black cat. It’s hard.
This picture is terrible, but I include it because it shows how skittish she is. She was quite alarmed when I started snapping:
Here is Mayberry Fullasan with her eyes closed – she is just a big black blob:
Here is Mayberry Fullasan back dropped against the house. I don’t like this picture. Her fur is all rumpled from rolling in sand. But the beige of the wall is a nice backdrop of her inkiness:
These two pictures I actually kind of like, although I just wish I had a better camera. The Orange of the old rusty shed, the green of the foliage, and the blue of the glass table top coupled with what I could manage to catch of her wonderful eyes is great:
This picture is my favorite, because it captures how much she loves being outside. It is in her blood; she is one with her surroundings:
Since I, too, become one with my surroundings when I’m out working in the yard, we get along great.