Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Witch’s Black Cat

Welcome to my Birthday Week during which I post random, interesting or embarrassing facts about myself. If you missed the yesterday’s introductory post, you can find it here. Today I’m going to talk about a witch who loves dogs and isn’t friends with cats, but owns a very special one…

As I mentioned above, I’m a dog person, even though most writers seem to love cats more. It’s not even that I dislike cats, but we don’t seem to get along well. In my life, I had two dogs—one for a very short while (she died hit by a car) and one for the most of my teenage and early twenties years. Sadly, when I moved to Ireland, and lived mostly in the “no pets allowed” apartments, with the feeling of “temporariness” of my situation, I never got another dog. Not to mention that I’d feel horrible leaving a puppy alone for over 9 hours every day.

My love for dogs and reluctance toward cats had always sprang funny exchanges as I tend to call myself “a witch” sometimes (nothing to do with the neopagan movement but the fantasy witches), and everyone would ask “so, do you have a black cat?” And you know what? I actually do!

Let me introduce Zu to you.

I was in my mid-twenties, and for some reason, I researched panthers. I also saw a snow leopard in the zoo, and its long fluffy tail enchanted me. At the same time, I was going through a rougher patch in my life, and I decided I needed a teddy to hug. Teddies might be for children, but I used the excuse of “adults are allowed to do anything they want”. Still, since I was much bigger than a little girl, I decided I needed a big teddy. The local department store just had a post-Christmas clearance and a long aisle of stuffed toys was waiting for me… including a shelf full of black panthers. Somehow one of them became my love from the first sight, and before I even made it to the till, I already knew her name was Zu. (Don’t ask me why: I have no idea!)

Bringing her home was fun too: over half a meter (2 feet) long, she wouldn’t fit in any bag, so I ended up just carrying her. Oh, the amused faces of the passersby! I still giggle when I recall them.

Long story short, Zu had become the resident on my bed, and when I was moving over to Ireland, I decided to take her with me. The main reason was that my suitcase was huge, but the maximum luggage weight limited me from packing it full of books, and Zu served well as the filler. She proved herself once more, being almost as effective as a hot water bottle during the chilly Irish nights.

It seemed obvious that I wouldn’t leave her behind when I was moving to the USA, and today she sits on top of the shelves in my and Inq’s bedroom, watching over my sleep. My companion of some 12 years had gotten some friends: a bunny rabbit which was the first gift Inq had ever gave me, and a not-so-modestly-sized Stitch I got for myself during my last years in Ireland (it’s not a secret that “Lilo&Stitch” is my favorite Disney movie and there was a sale…).

Yet, even though I like the two other toys, Zu has always been my favorite. It seems that no matter how much of a dog person a witch is, she ends up with a black cat anyway.

This post is a part of Melfka’s Birthday Week in which I share some interesting or embarrassing facts about myself. Posted so far (links will be updated daily):
Melfka’s Birthday Week Introduction
– Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Witch’s Black Cat (this post)
Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Love of Earrings
Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Writer’s Special Pen
Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Dancing Klutz

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    I love Zu – hasn’t she got a lovely face? And your Stitch is awesome – the angle of the ears is especially great, as if to say ‘What on EARTH is going on?’ Thank you for another enjoyable, highly readable anecdote. I do envy bloggers, like you, who can write so entertainingly about themselves, without coming across as pretentious or self regarding.

    1. melfka

      Thank you, Sarah. I try to pick my “teddies” for the “personality” they have in their features.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my post: I wanted to do something fun this year, but wasn’t sure if all “me” posts would be entertaining for anyone but myself.

      1. sjhigbee

        Well I’m thoroughly enjoying them!

  2. J.R.Bee

    This is a lovely post, and a very nostalgic inducing one. Nicely done 🙂

    I still have one of my childhood teddies, a rabbit with an eye missing. I also have a Jelly cat (black and white) that was given to me as a leaving present. (the jelly is the brand not the material, it’s super silky smooth and furry.) I do regret getting rid of my thumper toy though, although I don’t miss the big teddy bears. They were such bed hoggers 😀

    1. melfka

      My childhood teddies are stashes somewhere back in Poland. I kind of “grew out of love” for them. But Zu is another matter.
      And I want to see your jelly cat one day 🙂

      1. J.R.Bee

        I will have to photograph him, I don’t know how he’ll react, he’s never been caught on camera before.

        1. melfka

          Do it in his sleep? He doesn’t have to know.

          1. J.R.Bee

            Good plan oh evil one 😀

  3. portiabridget

    Such a moving personal story and of course if you have to be a witch, a black panther is always better than a black cat. Thanks for sharing!

    1. melfka

      Glad to have cheered you up :). And the little ghost is so cute! It reminds me of a monkey I got for Inq (he’s not a teddy fan, but he did keep the monkey through several moves, including the ones from the USA to Europe, and then back).

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