It seems like just last week when I brought a certain sleek, mysterious, little black cat home. At the time, she was no longer a kitten, but still not fully grown. Today, she turns five!
Jinx wasn’t always Jinx. She is the former June Bug. I’d always wanted a black cat, being a lover of felines, Edgar Allan Poe and Halloween. But occasional trips to the SPCA never rendered that “perfect match” for me. There was always an abundance of black cats in the shelter, but I never “clicked” with any of them. It seemed like the clever kitties would show off for prospective adoptive parents, but really, they just wanted out of their cramped cages. Once I actually got the cats in my arms, I sadly found that they were not interested in me, but in the wide open spaces they could have access to.
Then one day in 2011, the shelter had a “Black Cat Special.” Every now and then, there will be an overpopulation of black cats in the shelter. Why? Well, there is the “bad luck” stigma associated with black cats. Plus, even more ridiculously, in this Facebook/ Instagram crazed age, many folks say that they would not adopt a black cat simply for the fact that “they don’t photograph well.” Ridiculous!
When I first met June Bug, I held her for a bit. She didn’t try to squirm away from me as previous black cats had, but I didn’t feel an immediate love connection, either. I decided I would adopt her anyway, and hoped we would eventually develop a bond. She was put back in her cage while I went to the office to fill out paperwork. When I walked back into the cat room, the quiet black cat I had decided to take home stood up in her cage and stuck her snout through the steel bars. In a loud voice that belied her petite size, she cried out: “MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!” like an alarm that could not be shut off. My heart melted. I felt she was saying: “You’re BACK!!! I thought you’d LEFT me here!!!”
I knew that this cat had to be renamed, pronto. “June Bug” is too cutesy, more appropriate for a daffy orange kitty or a whimsical, skinny calico. I considered Spooky, Elvira, Poe, Raven, and other spooktacular monikers. Ultimately I decided on Jinx (with Elvira as a middle name). It turned out to be a very cool, yet ironic name for this precious animal. She has been anything BUT a “jinx.” She has been a friend, a blessing, a familiar, a treasure. Unpredictable, yet reliable. Tough, yet lovable. Sassy, yet sweet.
Happy Birthday, Pretty Girl.