Nicknames: The Black Mushroom (because he popped up all over)
Birthday: April 29th 1984
Coloration: Black Smoke
Likes: Being outside and exploring our yard; catch mice in the barn
Pet-Peeves: Pharaoh (dog) stepping on him
Favorite Toy: Doesn't play with toys--now, if it's something alive . . . . He liked to chase me up the stairs, batting at my heels.
Favorite Nap Spot: In a paper sack on the floor in the dining room
Favorite Food: Having known starvation, he would try anything, once. He even tried a peanut! Friskies canned cat food (no gravies) was his normal food, but when we came back from a restaurant we would have to bring him steakie or shrimpie or chickie.
Skills: He absolutely, positively knew when it was 10 p.m. (time to go to the barn). You could say he knew it was 10 p.m. by the TV news coming on, but if a movie was running past 10, Aragorn still came up to me at 10, on the dot, to go to the barn.
Arrival Story: He was a tough little guy. Playing under the bush next to the horse barn; at anyone's approach he dove for cover, his blackness hidden in the dark foliage. Except for those eyes -- two big, golden-green eyes peering out of his hiding place. Picking him up, he was as light as a feather; his little hipbones were easily felt under his fur; so small he could turn around in your hand. The bird wing under the bush confirmed that his mother had not abandoned him, but her appearance some distance away indicated he was pretty much on his own.
He never cried in the car. He never cried after his mother, maybe because after bringing him home and placing him in my Mom's lap and looking into each other's eyes for the first time, he knew he now had another mother.
Bio: Disdaining the offer of sleeping with us on our beds, he preferred the floor, although the whole house became his. He rejected the fancy cat beds; he preferred a large paper sack or an open cardboard box, scratching them furiously, like a terrier digging into the earth, marking them as his.
He quickly learned a trick of running full tilt and springboarding off the furniture to land -- SPLAT! -- four legs and a tail, spread-eagled and sticking to the back of the couch. He looked like a giant spider clinging there and Spider almost became his name, but he needed a unique name, so he was christened Aragorn. (Way back then everyone would ask me where I got such a name). The tough little guy grew into a handsome longhaired black cat. His trademark was a sprint across the lawn, tail arched, ears flattened back, mischievous eyes glowing -- Eeeeeeeeeee, ARAGORN! Race half way up a tree trunk, turn, leap down, growl, flip in mid-air to change direction and off to the next tree -- Eeeeeeeeeeeee, Aragorn! Nothing was safe in his fenced, one-acre kingdom; butterflies, bugs, birds, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, frogs, he chased them all. He had no fear of dogs and would attack them. Why is that dog running down the road with its tail between its legs? Oh, no! Aragorn is chasing him! Fur standing on end, his sixteen pounds looked more like twenty-five; a giant black furry bowling ball threatening to overtake the unfortunate stray. He wasn't a lap cat, but he did appreciate Mommom's daily brushing and their quiet times together. He didn't play with toys, didn't knead with his paws, except a barely perceptible curling of his toes when he was content, and he didn't learn how to purr until he was six years old. His mama never had the chance to teach him these things. Yet the Big Little Kitten had impeccable manners. He scratched on his scratching post or the trees outside, not the furniture, and a three minute ritual of litterbox scratching periodically throughout the day always informed the household Aragorn had done his duty. Never a reaching, vocal cat at mealtime, he would sit quietly, a regal, black silhouette, those golden-green eyes watching patiently. His talk was quiet, whispered meows.
An illness, a trip to the vet and tests in 1989 revealed a serious heart condition. One heart pill for breakfast and one for supper every day and he was back to his mad dashes through the house. Every morning he accompanied Momsmom to the barn; every evening he accompanied me, the little clock in his head knowing it was 10 p.m. before I did. Winter and summer, rain, sleet, snow, ice, wind, and sub-zero cold, his faithfulness was unswerving for he had a job to do, and word traveled on the Mouse Grapevine to stay out of Aragorn's barn.
More tests in 1994 showed a congenital heart valve malformation. His damaged and prematurely aging heart reduced the mad dashes to more quiet walks. His hobbies now included earthworm hunting and crayfishing, for this Child of the Night loved to stalk his kingdom in the darkness, and evenings were spent watching him enjoy his nightly adventures in search of twilight creatures.
On a beautiful April morning, he followed Momsmom to the barn, then accompanied her around the house, checking the spring flowers; a roll on the sidewalk just 'cause it felt good, and a tummy rub from Momsmom; then sitting on the porch stairs, a black silhouette quietly contemplating nature. He made his way to the back of the house to watch the birds in the trees until it was time to go inside for his teaspoon of cream. A gentle brushing from Momsmom while he lay on her lap, lifting his head so she could brush under his chin and neck, the golden-green eyes met hers and slowly blinked contentment. Lunchtime found Momsmom and Aragorn sharing some of the leftover Easter ham, and then, the little tough guy went back to his simple cardboard box in the dining room to take another nap -- and fell asleep -- forever.
ARAGORN -- April 29, 1984 - April 8, 1994
I have been chosen Cat of the Day! What a wonderful honor it is! Thank you, Catster.
Thank you to everyone who sent me pmails; Vijay for his shrimp rosette; Hannah, Milo, Sally, Macy Ann, Poppet and Muppet for the stars and diamonds; Karma Kitty and Family, Elizabeth Ann, Mr. Shaver, Bruce, Bobbie & Family, Beastie and the Boys, Sassy & Pepper, Toulouse, Zoe, Roxanne & Miranda, Lucky Boo and Squeakers, Sandy & Family for the gifts; and Cheyanne, Mouse, Maus, Sally, Bea, Sassy & Pepper, Gimli & Family, Zoe and Rocky for posting on the COTD forum.
There is only one thing better than being chosen Cat of the Day and that is being able to celebrate Cat of the Day with my friends.