R.I.P. "Blacky"  =  2000 - 2016

Blacky01 2001-06-Pretoria1
Blacky showed up at Nicole's place when she was posted to Pretoria, South Africa in 2001 Nicole's mother was visiting at the time and suggested that they give the cat some food ... since it was quite friendly He belonged to a neighbor who had many pets; with their approval he became part of Nicole's household

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Blacky was always fixated with computers; because of the mouse? Most likely it was the heat that was generated; he was a terrible typer! He especially hated when Nicole would chat with someone other than him

Blacky has traveled the world with Nicole and has seen more places than most people: - South Africa (4 years)
- Venezuela (3)
- Israel (4)
- Colombia (3)
- Zimbabwe (2)

As with most cats, Blacky's favorite pastime was to lounge around.  This was especially the case since in the three postings after South Africa, Nicole had apartments instead of houses; he had no yard to explore nor to "protect"!


His highest priority was to find the warmth of the sun ... or in hotter climates, a place where the sun had recently been

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His favorite chair His favorite stack of cushions His favorite heater

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His Favorite Blanket His Favorite Rug His Favorite Box ... ??

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Many times we could not find where he was ... he liked black material and would blend right in ... unless I used a light!

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He enjoyed newly washed clothes ...

... our favorite chairs/pillows ...

... and sometime tissue paper ... ?

Blacky was smart and good at Suduko
He even read the German magazines

He could also stretch quite tall when offered tuna ...

... his favorite treat that he could smell from the furthest place in which he was lounging!

Blacky19 <== Since Nicole mostly lived in apartments, she grew cat grass,
which Blacky loved to lick & eat

He protected the grass from  ==>
the birds which would frequent the terraces.  Only a few times did he bring Nicole a feathery present ... not nice!


Blacky liked consistency and hated when the family had to move He sensed when a transfer was forthcoming and would hide in corners

We tried to make things as comfortable as possible for the poor boy

The flights and layovers between the postings were painful, for Blacky & us.

Since Nicole's transfers always involved multiple flights, we could sometimes collect Blacky and have him be with us during the layovers ... which was not fun for anyone.

Luckily he was good natured and didn't try to run around the airport lounges!


Unfortunately, during the transfer to Zimbabwe, Blacky experienced a trauma which caused him to go totally blind.

Happily, he used his other senses to enjoy the freedom of having a large yard to explore once again.  

He navigated quite well ... although he did fall into the swimming pool once.  He avoided the sound of the pool filter motor after that! 

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Blacky never had a favorite part of the Zim yard ... he just went where he wanted ... which was probably somewhat warm

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Sometimes he protected the woodpile Other times he protected the trees Obviously he didn't care about posture


Blacky never had nice fur, most likely due to a snake bit in his youth ...

... but in Zim, his hair filled out and began to change color


Obviously, this aspect of his body enjoyed being back in Africa ... should we have changed his name to Brownie? 

In Zimbabwe, two stray cats began to show up and they adopted us.  Both were originally adopted by a neighbor, but they liked our place better since we don't have dogs.  We surmise that the black cat is the father of the cute gray girl.

Cats01 Since Blacky has not interfaced with another cat in over 10 years, we were not surprised that he wasn't happy that there were other cats around.

In the beginning he could sense when the other cats were around and he would swing his paw in their direction, maybe to show some kind of dominance ... but after a short time he would then go and sit by them ... 
... on his own will and all by smell!


Cats09 The "kids" were great with Blacky, as they probably could sense that he was a harmless "old fart".

Once they picked out a place to lounge, they didn't care if Blacky would join them ... but he never got too close.

The kids would frequently clean each other, but Blacky never joined in.


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In the past, Blacky would spend a great majority of his time next to us, but in Zim, he decided to spend most of his time outside and around the other cats.  
The only time this created a problem was when we fed them, as they would    ==>
all run around in the same area ... confusing to us & them alike!

Over the past few months Blacky has experienced "episodes" where he would be totally disoriented or unable to walk properly ... but it would only last for a day or so.  We figured he had mini-strokes and recovered from each, but always a bit weaker; we knew his days were limited.  Because of his frail nature, we decided to curtail any trips and mainly stayed at home for the past 18 months ... which is totally unlike us.  Luckily the property is nice and we didn't mind staying home.

Then, during the early days in April we saw a dramatic decrease in the amount of Blacky's activity ... not eating or drinking much ... and his normal body functions were not operating correctly (navigation, cleaning, toliet use, etc.). 

Blacky32 Yesterday was the coldest and wettest day that we had for 18 months, so I started a fire and got our lounge area nice and toasty warm. 

We placed Blacky on a soft blanket and we both spent the morning with him.

 At one point he tried to get up and he just stumbled around in circles. We decided that we needed to take him to the vet, which scared me. 


Blacky30 I was fearful that Blacky would not return form the vet visit, so I put his favorite quilt on my lap and held him for a bit in front of the fire.

Usually he would enjoy this for hours, but this time he could not sit still.

We tried feeding him, putting him outside, on the toilet, etc... but nothing worked out ... 

... so off to the Vet we went. 



The Vet confirmed our worst fears and we came back home with an empty carrier ... and heavy hearts.

R.I.P. "Blacky"

2000 - 2016