After Blackie died, I talked with the wife of the neighbor who had been so nasty to Blackie. She talked about a kitten who was the spitting image of Blackie in the yard behind their's. We agreed that he was most likely the offspring of Blackie and Cleo.
Occasionally, after Blackie passed on, I would see Cleo over here with a little black kitten. I didn't know if this kitten was a boy or a girl. It seemed to not be so afraid of me when I would bring the food out at night, like it's mom, Cleo wasn't afraid. This kitten was not even as unsure of me as mom. It would start eating before I had finished dishing up the food. And this kitten had something I have never seen on a cat before in my life. It had wings behind its ears. Little white wings.
As the days went on, I began to look forward to seeing this little guy, worried when he didn't show with the other cats. Nervous that nature had taken its course on one so young. Then, when I least expected to see it, there it was, waiting patiently for dinner.
I talked to it. I asked it if it wanted to come live in our home, have new brothers and sisters. I told this kitten that it (he) looked just like his daddy, Blackie, and that Blackie had been a great cat. He was a fine cat for a father. I held Ciara up to the window when the black kitten was out front, eating dinner. "Do you want a new sister or brother to play with?" I would ask. As I watched him eat, I talked to him out loud about Blackie being his father. Brian didn't think it could be. I said the kitten is between four and six months old. Blackie was neutered in April. There was plenty of time for Blackie to be the father, when you keep in mind that the gestation period is about nine weeks. It was my opinion that this kitten was the last kitten that Blackie ever sired. He stood at the window and talked to this kitten, who I had started calling "Jackie". This name was a good one because it could work for a male or a female. He asked little Jackie if s/he wanted to come live with us. The next day, Brian asked if I thought that maybe bringing this kitten in might upset the apple cart and put stress on the resident cats. I said that it was my feeling that things would be better because Ciara would have somebody nearer her own age to play with and that she would leave the older cats alone. He understood this. The decision was made. Now, how do we get the little one in?
I really didn't like the idea of the trap. That trap just seems so traumatic. So, I thought I would try the way we got Red, through the side garage door. We had planned on doing it on a Tuesday night, but Jackie didn't show up until late. The next night, I was just too tired. When I looked out front Thursday, the 26th of August, 1999, he was there. I had never seen him there in the morning before and being borderline superstitious, I took it as an omen. I had some cooked chicken in the refrigerator and I brought that out with me, tossing pieces of it to him. Brian chased all of the cats out of the garage and closed off the two doors where the cats had access. While the kitten was nibbling on the chicken, I moved the water bottles and Brian slowly opened the door, propping it against the bottles. I went inside and tried to entice the little one inside with pieces of chicken. He would step inside, grab the chicken and run back out. I called in the big guns. I got a can of Fancy Feast and put it into a bowl. I took the bowl outside. He ate from it. I brought the bowl into the garage, setting it about five feet inside the door. I went into the house, out the backdoor and around the side of the house, and walked into the entryway. I didn't see Jackie. I looked through the crack of the opened door. I saw a black tail inside. He was eating. I shut the door. We had him.
It took three days until I knew for sure that we had a male. The first nights he was here, he wandered the house at night, crying and looking for a way out front. But on the seventh night, he played, he ate, he slept. He didn't once cry to go out. He will let me pet him and he has quite a little motor. I think we did a good thing and I think he quickly realized it.