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Hello Kitty


Black cat glares at me


After Mr. Dog passed we decided not to have any more pets for awhile. As is often the case, the universe had other ideas. A black tom cat  had started hanging around our yard. We ignored him, he ignored us, we were all happy. One day, the cat, who we alternately called Blackie, Captain Midnight, and that black cat came “home” looking very bedraggled. I started to share Mr. Dog’s food with him. I just couldn’t stand to see him looking so bad. The black cat inherited the month’s worth of homemade dog food that was stocking our freezer.  Meanwhile, a tortoiseshell kitty also would drop by to visit. She was sleek, well fed, and obviously used to people.

The black cat is feral, he is in better health these days though he does stop by every morning expecting some cat chow. Turns out he also visits my neighbor Linda, who noticing his sorry state of health had been feeding him antibiotics mixed with cat food. Blackie makes it very clear that he  doesn’t belong to anyone. He peers at us with narrowed eyes, I think he is wise to my plan to eventually trap him and send him to the vet to be fixed. Sometimes, we don’t see him for a couple of days and I worry that evil has befallen him.

Meanwhile, the kitty  started to make herself more and more at home. She would spend time on the terraza staring into the kitchen awaiting an opportunity to come inside. One day, we heard a noise in the kitchen and found her sitting in one of the large frying pans on the stove, daintily cleaning bacon grease from her paws. We started calling her TK, the kitten, but avoided her efforts to win our affections. She already had a home, and we didn’t want any more pets, even though we were regularly feeding Blackie. Blackie likes to sun himself in our yard midday but he seems to have found a place to sleep at night, if he is sleeping and not doing what tom cats do.

TK is now a young cat, and she hardly ever leaves our yard. We think her previous owners have abandoned her. When she started to look thin, we began to feed her too. She is still not allowed in our house, but she comes up to us and complains about the lack of food in her dish. She also allows Husband to pick her up, encouraging him to pet her by purring. She thinks that she is training us.

Last week, we came home through the back gate, there on the brick side patio, we found TK holding a tiny black mouse in her mouth.  We gave into fate, and accepting that we now have a cat taking care of our property. Like most caretakers, she gets room and board. She has her favorite chair on the patio where she sleeps, we feed her cat food and give her the occasional table scraps.

Husband mentioned that we really need to give her a name, so after considering and rejecting various options. We settled on Taffy.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. I love the black one! My 16 years male cat is also very independent. He can stay away from home for a few days and he sleeps in summer somewhere outside. But he always comes in before the thunderstorm – he knows in advance.
    Good luck with both !

    • Hi Felicianna,
      The black one is in better health these days so we don’t see him much. Maybe he picked up on us planning catching him and sending him to be neutered?

      We had a cat when I was a kid that turned out to be living with 3 different families! Cats are amazing that way.


  2. Cats are very special creatures, not to be ignored. They are healers, sensative to our needs. I don’t think the cats are an accident. That is what I would like to believe. The mouse was a gift. As is the cat.

    • Hi Carol,
      Husband was up on the roof the other night and watched Taffy go hunting on the neighbor’s roof. No, idea what she was stalking.

      It’s hard to ignore a cat, they take it as a personal challenge.


  3. You now own a cat. I know this for two reasons.

    One…she brought you a mouse. She’s made it very clear that without her you’d be overun with rodents and she is the only thing keeping the plague at bay.

    Two…you named her.

    She’s one lucky kitty.

    • Melissa,
      We didn’t name her for a about a week after the mouse incident. However, one morning, Husband looked at me with defeat in his eyes, sighed, and said,”I suppose we should name the cat.”

      She is a sweet kitty and we do like having her around.


  4. Hi Kim,
    I read the obit when I first found your blog.

    The black cat doesn’t come close enough to play with a string and Taffy is the first cat that I’ve had who doesn’t play. We are going to start giving her a slightly better diet to see if it perks her up. I do draw the line at cooking for her,but a can of fish on occasion may be just what she needs.

    I am doing better right now, my understanding is that there is a cycle to chemo, and I should be getting more energy now until the next treatment.


  5. Pets find their people and they come to you when you are ready. Our Lolita came to us that way.

    There is a small black cat that is often on our walls and walks through our yard. She is very skittish but over the past year has warmed up to us and doesn’t run away when we are outdoors. I call this cat Boo and for a long time I wanted her as a pet. She’s not a pet, at least not the way I wanted. Our cat tolerates her and allows her to be in our yard. Lolita chases the other cats out, but not Boo. The man behind us and one house over has a lot of cats and they used to all run through our yard but since Lolita has been on duty, that has mostly stopped.

    Taffy is a pretty cat. You’ll enjoy having her around. There is something about a pet that makes a house a home.

    • Thanks Joanne,
      Taffy really wants to be held and petted. I have never seen such an affectionate kitty.

      I think we have several black cats sharing our yard, all at different times of the day and none of them friendly. Mr. Dog’s job and greatest joy was keeping cats out of our yard. I don’t think Taffy is big enough or aggressive enough but she seems to be a good mouser so I am happy with that.


  6. They’re both beautiful cats. When I bought my house, a stray came along in the bargain. We took care of him for a good 12 years, until he finally disappeared for good. Meanwhile, he had sired some kittens, two of which we captured, brought inside and tamed. One of them died on 9/3 (there’s an obit on my blog if you’re really curious), and the other one is going strong at the age of 14, give or take.

    I’ve personally found that playing with a string toy with a not-tame cat is one of the best ways to tame them. There seems to be something about the fun that naturally lowers their defenses. My own kitties started life feral, and were very shy. Now I can’t keep Pandora off of my guests’ laps.

    I hope you’re feeling at least a smidgen better.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there are now very few stray cats in the neighborhood any more.

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