Friday, April 23, 2021

Pyewackett and Zooty, Les Deux Chats Noirs -OR- Black Pussy One and Black Pussy Two

OK, before this trip up here to Flagler Beach to visit my dad is over and I head back down to Miami Beach, I must acknowledge this two black cats, Pyewackett (pictured directly above) and Zooty (pictured directly below) ...

...Also known as, Black Pussy 1 and Black Pussy 2.

Now, the assumption back to the time he got them in April 2010 -- Pyewackett on April 15th and Zooty on April 21st has alway been -- at the Humane Society in Palm Coast is that the two are brothers. They were no more than 1 year old at the time, and my dad notionally set their birth dates as May 1, 2009.

In their early days, they were borderline feral cats in that they only wanted to live outside, or maybe becaus ethey are so easily spooked. Indeed, during one of the two moves within Flagler Beach before he settling on this place, Pyewackett was living outside for three months.

In the years since, they have typically sent an inordinate amount of time outside -- coming in only late at night to sleep with him -- but on this trip, I've noticed they have started to stay in more often, or at hang around the trailer more regularly rather than vanishing for a few days at a time.

Feline brothrer Pyewackett (pictured directly above) and Zooty (pictured directly below) are actually the second such black cat brothers with the original Pyewackett and Zooty originally coming into his life way back in late 1990 or early 1991 when he was still living in New Jersey.

I distinctly recall that Zooty was originally "Zeus" but quite quickly became "Zooty" -- and even, for a time, "Rooty" or "Rudy," per a girlfriend, Janet, who died many years ago. (Her daughter, Tammy, who lives in Mount Dora, Florida, is still a friend of both my dad and I. Tammy has made a real success of her life as a married mother of three children and banker despite a number of early strikes against her. )

However, my dad denies and dismisses even the possibility that Zooty I was ever originally "Zeus," and honestly, the truth is lost to time.

As for Pyewackett I, he was named for the Siamese cat and familiar in the 1958 movie Bell, Book and Candle starring James Stewart and Kim Novak as a witch. The movie spelling is given as Pyewacket (one "t"), reflecting a much older name for a familiar spirit. What's more, the term "bell, book, and candle" is the name for an old Catholic Church rite of excommunication for the exceptionally wicked.

The original "Pye" and Zooty were soon joined by a deeply neurotic third cat that my dad originally thought was a male and was named Tiberius. Upon discovery he was a she, the name became Tibby.

These were the three he brought down to Florida when he retired in January 1993, and that stayed with him for many years through literally a few dozen moves across Florida, the North Carolina Outer Banks, North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and back to Florida by about 2005 or '06. There were also five or six other cats to include those that belonged to Janet became his when she unexpectedly died in 1997 or '98.

I recall a visit in the summer of 1994 or '95 when my dad and Janet lived with literally seven cats in a small trailer in Port Orange.

Slowly but relentlessly between 2004 and 2008, all the other cats passed away with My Guy Pye the last to go on June 12, 2008 when he, old and very infirmed, he was put down. (Totally coincidentally, Tim Russert died the next day, which is how I remember the date.)

Yours truly with the original Pyewackett here in Flagler Beach, Fla. (different residence though), January 9, 2008

As an aside, I really need to reformat that entry. It looks horrible. And get rid of that Sirius horseshit.

As a second aside, don't confuse Janet with another quasi-girlfriend, Shannon, who died much too young on or about January 8, 2020.

It was just under two years later -- as mentioned, in April 2010 -- that my dad got the current Peywackett and Zooty.


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