Hal The Cat has been with us for over 2 years now. He has grown into a beautiful cat, strong and handsome. Hal The Cat is also a Black Cat, and as I was sitting with him on the couch I wondered about what his life had been like before we adopted him.
We do know that he had lived on the street for the first 2 years or so of his life. He was skittish and very wary of us as well as of his new siblings, Spartacus and Stevie Nicks. It took Hal The Cat a long time to finally adjust to life in his new home. In fact, it wasn’t until after we all moved to the new place this Spring that we really saw him begin to calm down tremendously, as if he felt that being in a new place finally put him on an even level with his siblings.
Both Hal (person) and I are convinced that Hal The Cat had a rough life on the streets. It isn’t a stretch to see the mental images of him being tormented by kids because of the color of his coat. The old stereotypes about bad luck and evil will make apparently sensible people do insanely stupid things. Hal The Cat has almost never heard our voices raised in anger to him. He has never seen us raise our hands as if to strike him, even when he gets into places that he shouldn’t be. We realize that all of the time caring for him and showing him love would be wasted if we ever lost our temper with him or treated him badly. This doesn’t mean that we give him the run of the house, at least not more than any cat actually runs the place where he/she lives. Hal The Cat knows that wherever we are, that is his home.
Even when he looks fierce, he is now happy. In this picture, he is actually just yawning after sleeping on the couch. I think that he looks wonderful, and I would not trade him for anything in the world because he depends on us and shows affection so much more than when we first adopted him.
When I tell people this story, they all remark about how lucky Hal The Cat is. I correct them and tell them that is we who are lucky to have him with us.