Thursday, February 26, 2015

In Cyberspace I Am a Cat

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where this "Bubble" appeared with an image shared by Taliesin at Morguefile. I'm not finding that image today so here's an image shared by Alvimann: http://cdn.morguefile.com/imageData/public/files/a/alvimann/preview/fldr_2010_01_10/file1001263141273.jpg.)



In cyberspace my name is Priscilla King, and I'm a black cat with amber eyes. (Cyberspace is still getting around to recognizing that "Priscilla King" is, technically, a business, and therefore has no age or gender; when web sites have demanded dates of birth for "Priscilla King" a range of random dates has been used.) In real life I have another name and am human. 

Twenty-some years ago I was asked, "If you weren't human, what animal would you be?" I said the only kind of animal I could imagine being was human. 

Then I went home and, for some reason, took a good long look at my cat. My black cat with just a few small white spots that didn't show. I noticed that wherever the fur was thin enough for her skin to show through, her skin was pale, almost paper-white, and would blush pink under pressure. 

Her skin was showing through because she was nursing kittens. The kittens were not physically related to the cat. The cat had been spayed. During her night at the veterinary hospital she had adopted a kitten, and had had foster kittens ever since. This year's kittens were also black. The skin under their fur was black too. 

They were Manx kittens, a large breed. Their foster mother was part Siamese, a slim and often small breed. Two of the kittens were bigger than the cat. My cat didn't care that she was feeding kittens who were bigger than she was, because her way of claiming her share of control of the world was to make friends or pets of other creatures and adopt kittens. She was a very lovable cat.

I had been a foster mother. I'm biracial (so far as we know), European and American. My foster child, or adoptive sister, is triracial, European, American, and African. When I met her she was already bigger than I was. I realized that I had something in common with this cat. 

The cat we called Black Magic died too young, and because she'd always adopted kittens I made a practice of adopting kittens in memory of her. My home became the Cat Sanctuary. 

None of Magic's foster kittens looked like her, nor (so far) has any of our other cats. However, the first time a web site asked contributors to choose "avatars," they offered one that was a black cat with amber eyes. I picked that one and have used black cat images as "avatars" ever since. 

A little later the "Search Engines Know What You Need" fad came out. If you type your name and the word "needs" into a search engine, what comes up? Chances are, some animal shelter has given your name to an animal, and one of the things the computer says you need will be a home. Open the page, and your name will be attached to a cat or dog. I like it. A few years ago this web site invited animal rescuers to name any black animal with amber eyes "Priscilla" or "King," depending on the gender, after me.