Caturday extra: Spot the cat!

November 26, 2022 • 10:00 am

I may have posted this before but I don’t remember it. At any rate, hidden among these owls is a cat. Can you spot it? It took me a LONG time, but some of you may see it right off the bat.

Don’t reveal the location in the comments; I’ll post a reveal at 1 pm Chicago time showing the cat.  Enlarging the picture may help:

h/t: Nicole

Readers’ wildlife photos

November 10, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today’s photos come from Rosemary Alles, who lives in South Africa and works for a conservation organization that partners with local people. Her narrative and captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. This is only part of a larger set: more photos will come later.

I am an American living (temporarily) in SA. These pics were taken from my small studio in rural South Africa and while within the greater Kruger region. I am originally from Sri-Lanka, a war-torn nation just to the south of India. My family and I immigrated to the west to escape a violent civil war in Lanka.You can find more about us (the work our org does) here. We focus primarily on indigenous women/children at the intersection of conservation.

African Forest Elephant Bull (Loxodonta cyclotis):


African elephant, young bull:

African leopard, subadult and mother (Panthera pardus pardus):

Aging  common warthog male (Phacochoerus africanus):

Blue waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis):

Southern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus leucomelas):

Crested barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii) :

Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii)

Duiker,, eye:

African elephant, eye:

Feeding Southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri):

Travels: Davis, California

October 30, 2022 • 10:30 am

I’m staying with a friend in Davis, California, located in California’s great Central Valley, the great agricultural belt of the state. The town not big (10 square miles) nor populous (about 67,000 inhabitants), but it’s the site of the University of California’s biggest “ag school”: UC Davis, and it’s where I did my postdoc in genetics for three years. (Technically, the school is not within the city of Davis.)

Here’s where the city is, about 15 miles from Sacramento to the east and about an hour’s drive from Berkeley to the southwest.

As it was Saturday yesterday, one of the city’s highlights was open for business: the Davis Farmer’s Market. It’s open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and sells locally grown produce and products made by local artisans and farmers. It’s acquired a roof since I lived here, but the stands are not under it: a protection against covid.

Locally grown Oriental persimmons. I prefer the wild American persimmons, but you need to find a tree and gather the fruit only after it’s fallen and before it rots. Wild persimmions make one of the best puddings I’ve ever eaten.

Davis is an organic, crunchy-granola kind of town, so you’ll find stuff like this there:

And avocado toast, of course:

Anti-war people, though I’m not sure which war they were protesting:

Local peppers:

. . . and homemade cider (best taken home and left to start fermenting):

The sign says, “Do not enter: sensitive habitat area”, probably to keep people from trampling around the oak tree. But people were ignoring the sign!

And, at the end of the market, we found a genuine booth pushing FLAT EARTH THEORY. At first my friend Phil thought it was a joke, but the two nice girls at the adjacent Episcopal Church booth assured us sotto voce that it was for real.

And it was, manned by three loons who knew all the arguments for a flat earth and would argue with all comers. I could not resist!

Their theory is of course that the earth is a disk (this comes from the Bible) and that the ENTIRE PLANET’S GOVERNMENTS are in a giant conspiracy to delude the inhabitants that they’re living on a globe instead of a Frisbee. When I asked them why every photo taken from space shows the earth to be round, implying a sphere, they said this was part of a conspiracy and asked me knowingly, “Why do you suppose they call all those pictures ‘images’ instead of ‘photographs’?” They had two pictures of the earth from space showing the continents with different relative sizes, also proving a conspiracy.

Finally I asked one of them the question I really wanted to pose: “What one observation would change your mind and make you conclude that the Earth is actually spherical?” He started gabbling and I pulled him up short and said, “Please answer in one sentence, as I ask my students to do with scientific issues.” In the end, he truly didn’t understand the question, and didn’t answer me. (I could have answered what would change my mind: photos from space showing that the Earth was, from some angles, a disk.)

These people are exactly like creationists, except that the conspiracy to hide the “truth” is enacted by governments instead of atheistic scientists. In both cases their crazy ideas come straight from interpretating of the Bible.

Artworks are scattered all over town, like this Day of the Dead bench by a bus stop.

The epicenter of hippie-dom in Davis is the Food Coop, which sells stuff that is good for you (with some exceptions). In front of it are sculptures of a giant carrot and a giant tomato. Here I am hugging the big carrot (photo by Phil Ward):

And the giant tomato:

The caption: “Portrait of a plump tomato. Artist: Gerald Heffernon. Funding: City of Davis Civics Art Commission, Davis Food Coop. July 11, 2000.” The agricultural land around Davis is largely dedicated to growing and processing tomatoes, and there’s a giant ketchup and tomato-processing plant north of town. In the summer you can smell the processed tomatoes, and some of the roads are slippery with tomatoes that have fallen off the trucks taking them to the factory.

Inside the Coop. Here they explicitly accept the gender binary: there is no “other” section. But I was too timorous to point out to them that they need a “nonbinary” section.

They sell only sustainable seafood, which is good:

And a variety of non-cow milk:

SUGAR, long demonized in Davis. The waiter wouldn’t serve it to my father (on a family visit) when he asked for it with his coffee in a local organic cafe, now closed. They told him in response, “We don’t carry the White Death”, (seriously!), but added that  “we might be able to find some honey in the kitchen. My father demurred.

Note the product number given to white sugar! I do not think this is an accident (the rectangle is mine):

Like all “good for you” grocery stores, like Whole Foods, they sell useless homeopathic remedies, which I suppose are considered “organic” even though they’re useless and fraudulent:

Homeopathic crap:

More homeopathic crap. Were I a member, I would question them about why they carry this stuff, but it would be useless.

As we left, we noticed that the local animal shelter was giving away FREE KITTENS, and there were many of them on offer, like this adorable gray tabby.  I wanted to take them all, but couldn’t take any. Some people were adopting them, though, which made me happy.

I asked this woman if she was going to adopt this ginger kitten, and, sadly, she said no.


Readers’ wildlife photos

October 17, 2022 • 8:00 am

It’s been a while since we’ve had photos from reader, physicist, and master origami artist Robert Lang, who lives in California.  Here’s a spate of fauna with Robert’s captions indented. Click on the photos to enlarge them:

My office window looks out into the Angeles National Forest, so I get a lot of animal visitors; I keep a camera on my desk so when something interesting wanders by, I can just grab it and shoot. A few months ago we did a little landscaping and installed a water feature, which has been quite the popular visiting spot—no surprise in this drought-stricken semi-desert region! Some of these pictures were also taken on the local trails.

I’ll start with some reptiles and mammals; subsequent posts will include visitors of the avian persuasion.

The most common vertebrates I see on the trails and in back are lizards. The largest is the Coastal Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri), which is a real beauty with its striking spots.

Smaller, but more common, are the Western Fence Lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), which can be seen in both dark forms or a brilliantly iridescent version:

Not only are these the same species: they could even be the same individual! Western Fence Lizards can change their color during the day, starting out dark in the morning to absorb the sun to warm up, then lightening later in the day when they don’t need the extra heat.

Both lizards are sometime prey to the Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer), the most common snake around here. They often give hikers a start, because their pattern is suggestive of the local rattlesnake, but they’re harmless to people (and help control the local rodent population as well).

Another harmless rodent-eater is the Striped Racer or California Whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis). These guys zip through the brush! But this one was hanging out on the trail, not moving for about 30 seconds, then ZOOM—and he was gone.

Of course, the one that everybody worries about is the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri). This one was resting on my front doorstep. Once you know where they are, there’s no danger, of course—you just keep your distance. It’s the ones you don’t see that you have to worry about.

And now, on to some mammals, from small to large.

We do get the occasional chipmunk (Neotamias sp.):

But the most common small rodent around here is the California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi).

With a few trees on the property, we also get the Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus):

The gray squirrel is grayer than the more mottled ground squirrel, and has a far more luxuriant tail.

My studio is right on the boundary between two ecological zones: the Coastal Sage Scrub, which is low open brush, and the chaparral—dense, chest-high or higher, and nearly impenetrable to bush-whack through (at least, not without getting a lot of scratches along the way). So I get visitors from both communities. From the CSS, there’s Audubon’s cottontail (a.k.a. the Desert Cottontail) (Sylvilagus audubonii):

And from the chaparral, the Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani):

They’re pretty close to the Audubon’s cottontail in appearance, but the latter have black-edged ears as the most prominent distinguishing feature. Their behaviors are very different, though. The Audubon’s cottontail forages out in the middle of the wide-open meadow behind my office, while the brush rabbit never strays more than a few feet from the edge of the chaparral and is quick to dart back into its dense brush at any sign of danger.

Moving up the size scale, I get frequent nocturnal visits from striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis)—which I know about via a motion-sensitive camera, fortunately not via odor! But this was a rare daytime visitor. It was evidently lame in one of its front legs, but still moved through the yard with some alacrity.

Although foxes, coyotes, and bears have all been visitors in the past, the most common large-ish predator is the bobcat (Lynx rufus). While I don’t have quite the fascination with felines of our host, I find these kitties to be magnificent, and am happy for their frequent visits.

That’s it for the reptiles and mammals. Coming next: birds.


Readers’ wildlife photos

September 12, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today’s photos are of fungi (one is actually a protist), and come from reader Leo Glenn (there’s also a moggy for lagniappe). Leo’s captions and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

I’m responding to your call for wildlife photos. Here is a selection of fungi, a weather photo, and an obligatory moggy.

A group of Shaggy Parasol mushrooms (Chlorophyllum rhacodes) growing in a pile of dung. Perhaps your readers can guess the species responsible for such a prodigious pile of poo (hint: it’s appropriately alliterative). The answer is the North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum). This photo was taken at the entrance to its den.

A first-time find for me, as it is a relatively uncommon mushroom here in the Pennsylvania woods. The Slender Roundhead (Leratiomyces squamosus). A synonym for this species is Psilocybe squamosa, and it is included in Paul Stamets’ book, Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, though its active psilocybin content is thought to be negligible.

Speaking of Paul Stamets, here are a couple specimens of Tinder Fungus, also called Tinder Conk and Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius). In addition to having been used by many cultures for thousands of years as tinder to start fires, it can also be made into faux leather, which can then be shaped into various things, including hats. Stamets, the famous mycologist, has a hat made from the fibers of this fungus that he can be seen wearing at most of his public appearances. It is also known as the Ice Man Fungus because it was one of two species of fungus (the other being Birch Polypore, Piptoporus betulinus) found on Ötzi, the 5,300-year-old natural mummy discovered in 1991 in the Alps on the border between Austria and Italy.

My son, fascinated that a mushroom could both be used as tinder and fashioned into faux leather, experimented on some (by pounding on it with a mallet for half an hour), and found that it did indeed come to resemble leather both in feel and appearance.

Old Man of the Woods (Strobilomyces strobilaceus), among some club mosses, the taller of which I believe is Princess Pine (Dendrolycopodium obscurum). I’m not sure of the shorter one, other than that it is probably one of the bristly club mosses.

Chocolate Tube Slime Mold (Stemonitis splendens). Slime molds were formerly classified as fungi, though they are now placed within the kingdom Protista.

Technically not a wildlife photo, as these are some that I cultivated. These are young Nameko mushrooms (Pholiota microspora). They are a staple in miso and other soups and stews in Japan, but virtually impossible to find fresh here in the United States, unless you grow your own.

I remember a while back you posted some photos of mammatus clouds. This was taken in front of our house this past spring.

I felt obliged to include a moggy. This is my daughter’s cat, Miso, whom we nicknamed the Luxury Model, for reasons which I imagine are obvious. (My son’s cat is nicknamed the Stealth Model.)


A letter from Pia, Hili’s predecessor

August 22, 2022 • 11:45 am

About a month after this website started, on February 15, 2009, Malgorzata apparently wrote me asking permission to translate my New Republic piece on the unresolvable conflict between science and religion: “Seeing and believing: The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail.” This paper was the genesis (so to speak) of my later book Faith Versus Fact, and is still online. (Inquire if you want a pdf.)

Scanning the internet from Dobrzyn, Malgorzata had found the article, which is pretty long, and asked to translate it.  Apparently I missed or overlooked the letter, but according to Malgorzata I never responded.  Knowing of my love of cats, she then sent me the email below. Pia was the cat Malgorzata and Andrzej had before Hili. She was tiny but even more obstreperous than Hili.

I always wanted to see that letter again, but it had apparently disappeared when Malgorzata got a new email account. But then I got this email today:

During the night I had an epiphany. Of course, I couldn’t find Pia’s letter to you from my current email address! It was send from my old one. So I went there and here is Pia’s letter. I also have my first letter to you (which you ignored).

I don’t have the letter that I “ignored” (I never ignore such requests and I don’t know what happened), but here is the letter from Pia, which included a photo of her.

“I am writing to add a picture of myself to your collection of other inferior cat pictures. In this view of myself I am relaxing on a rail in a house I share with some human servants. One of my people is a translator from English to Polish (when she is not attending to my needs) and would very much like to translate your article “Seeing and Believing”, but I’ve heard her say that she hasn’t had an answer to her request for permission to translate it (although Richard Dawkins and Stephen Pinker and various others are always giving her permission to translate their work and put it on the Polish website I think it bothers her. Yesterday I had to remind her to do the thing with the can opener. I hope you will give her whatever permission it is, because I always like my staff to be happy. (It results in more fish for me. In no time it becomes inner fish.)” 

Miaouw. Pia

[transcribed by Malgorzata Koraszewska].

Pia is no longer with us, but in those days we had “Pia Dialogues” instead of “Hili Dialogues”.  She had beautiful yellow eyes:

Lo and behold, I found that post, which I put up the same day. And of course I gave them permission to translate after I cleared the rights with the magazine.


Black Cat Appreciation Day

August 17, 2022 • 1:45 pm

As I announced yesterday, today is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Readers were invited to send in photos of their black cats, and here they are, complete with captions (indented).  Note that in 2015 I had a similar request to celebrate Halloween, and got 72 photos, which you can see here.

From Keira: her late beloved cat Plushie:

Here is her as felis aqua binlidis – she loved sitting in the upturned lids of the water bins. Plushie was such a rare cat; I still miss her terribly.

From Reese:

Woodford Reserve White (his litter was named after bourbons) assists with the NYT Spelling Bee.

From Mark Kautzmann:

For Black Cat Appreciation Day, here’s this:

Noodles never did understand that the printer on my computer does not make a copy of her.

From Laurie and Gethyn:

The sisters: Alcestis Jerry (named for her noted uncle JAC) and Octavia Sadie.

From James:

This is Mia, a Bombay rescue I’ve had for just over a year. She’s a bundle of energy and wants to play all the time, much to my discomfiture.  I even have to remind her to eat.

“What’s that smell?”

From Beth:

Hillary Rotten Kitten (DemoCAT) thinks of herself as the dark load. (She’s all black but sports lighter fur for a while after a shave.)

From Reese:

Woodford (black cat): Has an affectionate relationship with an 80 lb. d*g.

From Erik, an unnamed rescue cat (Erik calls it “Porch Panther”). Erik sent several photos, but I’ll post only one.

The background. I guess this is my black cat now, as he is now living on my porch and his previous people– not owners, as he is rather feral– left him when they moved. I understand why, as taking a feral cat from the northeast down to Florida is probably not best for the cat, but I ended up being his caretaker as no other arrangement was made.He really is a handsome boy, though he also has a persistent upper respiratory infection, so he has constant sneezing and discharge.He has become comfortable enough to lay on the chair near me. His sense of betrayal only lasted a day or so after the vet.

In the cool grass in back, where you can see the one white spot he has:

From Irene:

Here is a picture of my black cat, Londo.My husband was actually on his way to feed our friend’s dogs when he nearly hit Londo as Londo was crossing the road. He picked up Londo, who fit in the palm of my hand, and brought him home. His eyes were covered in goo, which was conjunctivitis. We believed he was probably abandoned either by his mom or another human and accepted we might have a blind cat joining our family. We took Londo to the vet, who cleaned his eyes and gave us some eye drops. The vet estimated he was six to eight weeks old. He’s now four years old. Londo joined our house, which already had one black cat, a flame-point Siamese and a blue-point Siamese. Londo loves to play fetch and follows me everywhere around the house. If we cook bacon, he always steals a slice to eat for himself. He will only sit on my husband’s lap and hates blankets. We suspect this is because I had him wrapped in a blanket to hold him while we gave him his eye drops.

Andrée sends us a photo of the late Zorro:

He’s no longer with us but led an exciting life: mouser (there is a mouse in the thatch), Vermont tree panther, and philosopher.

From Nama:

Attached is a pic of Alice the majestic.

From Jacques:

Well, here is Domino, who doesn’t answer his name, but does along with either “Monsieur chat” or, more frequently “Couillon” (because he was deprived of this important part of his anatomy in his early youth). 17 years old, but still in good shape. I do not know why, where and how he lost his upper right canine. iPhone photo taken by my daughter.

From Susannah:

We love black cats.  This is Mason; he is 7 years old and joined our family 5 years ago.  He is a character and loves playing with the boys, stealing legos and puzzle pieces.  And he also likes to give himself NSFW baths while Jake is on a zoom meeting.

From JC in Taos, New Mexico:

Per your request,  an image of Pilgrim, our beefiest moggy. While not uniformly black, he was a representative of the shelter’s “Black Cat Discount” program in 2010, arriving at our house the day before Thanksgiving in this white-trimmed garb,  hence his name. We had no idea he’d get so large and obstreperous.

Hope the white trim doesn’t disqualify him.

From Don:

Sheba, petite and playful, was a fine cat, shy of strangers but always content with her long life indoors, even in rural Vermont.  She was a shoulder cat, preferring to recline draped across a shoulder rather than to be cradled or curled in a lap.
Happy Black Cat Day!  (Also, as it happens, my birthday).

From Stephen:

She is called Moonlight. I know it doesn’t make sense, but my daughter Charlotte liked the name, associated with a white cat in a children’s story.

From Alister:

Our much loved black boy, Toby, age 4yo.  He’s awesome, strolls around like a total dude. A miniture black panther.

From Ursula we have black cat Boris. I allowed two photos because we have him as a kitten and an adult:

From David:

Jasper.  He used to live in Toronto, but has now retired to Nova Scotia.

From a reader who posts as “Quadrival”:

This is my cat George, reclining in his usual elegant posture.

From Tanya:

The attached photo is of our beloved little black kitty, Fledermaus, which means ‘bat’ in German. He was named by our 12-year-old daughter, who takes German in school, and appreciated his resemblance to the caricature of the flying mammal. Fledermaus is a delightfully playful and curious boy, unhampered by his knobby, kinked tail (present at adoption). He’s known for jumping at moving objects on the TV, climbing our window screens, and leaving us dead rodent gifts when he has the chance.

From Elizabeth:

This is Samantha. Photo is from 1998. It’s the only one I have.

From Stephen:

Here is a photo of my black cat Pepper.

From Bruce:

Per your request, here’s a photo, taken in 2020, of three Burmese cats.  Left to right – the late Java Cat (she left us about six months after this was taken), Rommel, and Mothra.

From Jeffrey:

Here’s my favorite animal in the world, Binx!

From Jeremy:

 In honor of black cat appreciation day, I have included pictures of our two black cats, Bella and Baloo. Baloo is sitting in a halloween candy bowl, while Bella is lying nervously on the couch.

From Ruth:

In response to your request for black cat photos, please meet Lizzie. She came to us on Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee ten years ago, so she is named after her. Like all black cats she is also, of course, immensely regal in her own right. She lives in Glossop in the Peak District in England, with her two humans, her brother Pip (named for the late Prince Philip), and three other female cats. She is a lovely softie to us but is an Old Meanie to the other girls, and sulks for exactly nine months when a new cat is introduced to the household.

From reader James in the UK:

This is our cat Hixxy (and his brother Dougal). He is a rescue cat and we appreciate him very much.
A few weeks ago, out of the blue, he started having seizures. Turns out he has a very large brain tumour on the right side of his brain. So large, it is apparently squeezing his brain down and out of his neck. He’s been in surgery today and just an hour ago we heard from the surgeon saying she was very pleased about how the surgery went, as she managed to get the whole tumour out and there was no bleeding at all. We’re now waiting for him to come around. Fingers crossed he pulls through. Relatedly, medical science and its practitioners are fuxxing awesome.

Good luck, Hixxy!

From Lance:

Here is C.K. Dexter Haven (Dexter), our current, lone rescue kitty who has taken charge of the house. Did you know it’s tough to get a good picture of a black cat?

From Heather:

Here is Shadow. She loves her heated bed even in the summer.

From Mike:

Bugsy is a feral cat who adopted our dog (she ate his food and slept with him). She eats bugs and this influenced her name. She likes to pet people by rubbing your legs. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and she greets Trick or Tweeters indiscriminately.

From Paul:

This is Apollo.   He is a 7 year-old rescue cat who is very friendly and gets along great with our greyhound.

From Rachel:

Thank you for the reminder/extension, Professor Ceiling Cat! I’m attaching a photo of my Lloyd. This is from Halloween a couple of years ago. Lloyd is 15, but still spry. He loves treats, snuggles, and interrupting Zoom meetings.

From Erin:

This is Friday. He was adopted on the day after Thanksgiving and is a bundle of mischief, as you can see here.

From Greg:

This is Chester settling in for his first nap of the day right after breakfast #1.

From Charles:

The black cat (Spot) and his brother, the dark tabby (Timmy), with the polydactyl newcomer (Paws).

From Douglas:

Jasper, the black cat.

From Merilee:

Freddy accompanied by a tiny bit of pooch tush

From biologist John Losos, a photo of his sister’s black cat, Allie:

From Rik:

This is my Mom’s cat Bella, and she lives in St. Germain, Wisconsin. She must be seven or eight years old by now and she’s always been a mellow little cat. I’m looking forward to visiting her. next week!

From Mike:

Ma’ii is not really black, he has a small white spot on his shoulder and random white hairs elsewhere. He has lost those three white whiskers since this picture was taken. He and his fellow terrorist rule the house of course.

From Peter:

Can a tuxedo cat be an honorary honoree on Black Cat Appreciation Day? This is dear, departed Augustus (Gus to his friends) (1999-2017), who was my loyal companion and best friend, and who has been seen on these pages.

From “J”:

Her name is Pumpkin, and she is among her fellow pumpkins.  She enjoys eating, sleeping, playing, and waking me up at the buttcrack of dawn.

From Joe:

Here is my granddaughter’s black cat, inexplicably named “Ginger”.  Her favorite toys are plastic soda straws.

From Suzanna:

This is my son’s cat, Lance. Adopted as a kitten from a shelter, now about 3 years old but still likes to hang out in places he used to fit as a kitten!

From Janis:

OTHELLO:  Nearly 12 years old now…and 24 lbs of affectionate laziness.  He’s part-Siamese and smart as a whip.  He’s our best cat. (Shhhhhh….don’t tell the others I said that!)

From Lou:

My cat is Martin Brisby (from the “Secret Of NIMH”), his friend is Ricky, who he pays no attention to. Happy Black Cat Day!

From Stephanie, we have Lulu:

I have a cat who is mostly black.  Don’t know if she counts but she does to me!

From Patrick:

This has a messy background, but it’s still one of my favorite pictures of Kiki, who crossed the rainbow bridge last year at the age of 19.

From Kira:

Cat Gitel and her henchdog in Chaos Corridor

From John:

The photo is of “Babs”. She is my daughter’s cat. This photo shows off the typical deep yellow eyes of black cats, which is due to the excess of melanin pigment, which also accounts for the blackness of their fur. I’m sure there is some interesting genetics here, but I just haven’t looked it up.

From Sebastian:

Hope it’s not too late to send in my Perseus. I’ve included a couple different shots to choose from.

I chose one in which Perseus was wearing cat earmuffs.

From Jon:

This is my Lucy, pensive. She very nearly almost entirely black!

From Linda:

The first picture of Billy and Jose is as young adults, and the second is from shortly after we got them, at about ten weeks old.

From Arantxa:

I attach one photo of my dearest black cat named TIZÓN.

From Rico:

This is Clark. He’s 9 yrs old and the youngest of three cats here at home.

From Ginger:

Attached are some photos of my late, beloved twin girls Lucy and Daphne. They were littermates. I rescued them from death row at my local pound in 2002 along with a tuxedo long-hair, Timmy. I hope you can use a few pics.
Daphne died on August 31, 2017, at age 15, probably from thyroid disease. She was a tiny, shy, sneaky little girl, but very sweet and affectionate with a very loud, deep purr. She liked to sit in her carrier.
Lucy died on May 4, 2019, from lymphoma at age 17. A chonker, Lucy was the sweetest, gentlest, most affectionate kitteh EVAH! She was a people kitteh who loved belly rubs and sitting on laps. For some reason, she liked to sit on my bad and face the wall.
Sometimes I had difficulty telling the girls apart. They were very close sisters and spent a lot of time together. I miss them very much.

Little Daphne:

Little Lucy:

And the last submission, from Ricky:

This is Butters from Portland, OR.  She just turned 11 and is extremely vocal. She is an indoor cat but loves to hang out in the backyard most of the day when the weather’s nice.

The deadline for submission has passed. Thanks to all the readers who submitted their Midnight Moggies, and here’s a final tweet from Matthew:

Send in your black cat photos!

August 17, 2022 • 5:22 am

I don’t ask for much, but if you have a black at, I’m asking for one photo and a few words, including the name of the moggy. Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day, and what better way to show your appreciation than sending ME a photo. We have only half a dozen, which is absolutely pathetic.

Email a photo to the address given at the “author website” in the upper right sidebar.

The deadline has been extended until noon Chicago time today (Wednesday). Don’t make me beg; the upshot won’t be pretty!