New Cat Brings Joy, and A Mystery

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Our new kitty, bright-eyed Little Ultraviolet Girl!

Cats have always just walked into our lives. When our Bud departed for the Rainbow Bridge in June and left us catless, we thought we’d have to go looking for a kitty. I thought, well, we’ll go to a shelter or rescue and I’ll seek my favorite fur color, black.

The pictures are dark and may not show our new cat’s colors very well, but I don’t have time to brighten them for this quick announcement. UPDATE: I’ve now had time to try to do some quick beginner’s editing on the first two pictures. They still don’t show the color well as the two colors in the fur mean a challenging edit. I’m trying for a natural look, but when the black areas are dark enough, the reddish tinges become too red. It’s not important, she’s the sweetest little cat and that’s what matters to us! The backgrounds need some more work too, another time.

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Our new black kitty, Little Girl aka Ultraviolet or UV.

Then we found out a friend who feeds ferals was also feeding a friendly black cat outside who showed up about a year ago. Our friend has a No-Other-Cats! sort of cat and couldn’t take Little Girl in, and would be pleased if we’d scoop her up and give her a home.

Little Girl has more reddish-brown on her than our friend had remembered, but she’s a solid black cat. She just has a blaze of ruddy color on her floofy back, and elsewhere. It’s like “tipped” fur, with a black undercoat.

Ultraviolet is a small cat

We have a feeling it’s her natural coloration, not the “rusting” that black cats can undergo in the sun, and the vet is of the same opinion. She also has red on her chest and legs, areas that don’t get so much sun exposure. And I could swear a few of her extra-long whiskers are ruddy.

She’s not a tortoiseshell, her fur isn’t brindled, or patched with discrete areas of red and black. I’ve never seen anything like this, though I’ve seen a lot of cats. I checked The Messybeast Cat Resource Archive by Sarah Hartwell and found a description of a “smoke” black cat – black with a light or silver undercoat – if I’m interpreting that correctly. Messybeast also notes that “tipped”, “shaded”, and “smoke” refer to three types of hair shaft color banding, described as being over a lighter undercoat. Again, that’s my take on it, which can always be wrong. Source:

I went looking for images and descriptions of the Abyssinian breed of cats because I remembered one phase as being a deep red and black combo. But, they are basically ruddy cats and the few black areas are “ticked”, in other words black is just on the top part of the hair shaft, the undercoat is red.

So where does our kitty fit into known cat colors and phases??? Known or unknown, she’s a fetching kittygirl! Not a tortie, but a diva nonetheless!

Little Ultraviolet Girl aces lounging

I’m going to call her Ultraviolet, UV for short, although like as not we’ll call out “Little Girl”, or “Sweetheart” too. The vet says she’s about ten years old and basically healthy. She’s lost all her teeth to resorption, but eats like a horse. She has a loud purr and she trills a bit. When she opens her mouth to meow almost no sound comes out. To acknowledge, I say, “I see that meow.” She’s such a purring joy of a kitty, and I hope for many years with her!

Do I hear a Phssssst from the Rainbow Bridge?

Sorry Buddy! She’s found your favorite sleeping spots and trails through the house already, but at least she hasn’t shown any interest in editing – so far.

(As is often the case, I may not be quick to post and answer comments due to too doggone much to do.)

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Cats and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to New Cat Brings Joy, and A Mystery

  1. Black cats a simply beautiful! I have two and I have always found that their black fur really makes their eye color pop out.

  2. chattykerry says:

    UV is gorgeous! Congratulations on being a mommy again. I might be wrong but I suspect her coat color may change as she puts on a little weight. Mrs Stripe was almost beige when we found her and then became titian. I will look forward to updates!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Kerry, she really likes it when people say she is gorgeous! You may be right about the fur color changing, as I have read black kitties fur may turn reddish if they need more l-tyrosine. I hope to have some updates but that’s always slow going. I’m hoping everything is better out where you are, but I know that takes time. After a tornado went through town years ago, we are still in the process of bouncing back.

      • chattykerry says:

        We had a little black and white cat called Puss (imaginative) who we thought was brown and white with lack of vitamins. Hurricane Harvey was devastating but the damage is unseen unless you are in an area affected. I drove through one of the neighborhoods and it was overwhelming. It will take many years to recuperate.

        • Catwoods says:

          Puss sounds like a pretty cat, those black and white cats are striking beauties! My heart goes out to all affected by these recent storms, I know it’s really terrible and will take many years to get back to some semblance of normal.

  3. terrepruitt says:

    Awww. Sweet. A unique girl!

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    She’s a beauty, I’m glad you have a new furry friend. Every home needs a kitty!

  5. felineopines says:

    What a wonderful story. One of our beloved cats who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge 5 years ago was Buster. Long black fur that shined red in the sun. He was wonderful!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you felineopines, we appreciate your kind words! I’m sorry you lost your Buster. He sounds like a beautiful kitty. I know we always remember and miss them.

  6. Ellen Hawley says:

    I know you don’t need me to tell you this, but a little admiration never does any harm: She’s a beauty.

  7. solsdottir says:

    What a beautiful cat. Lucky you to have her.

  8. Awww so cute! UV for short. Congrats!!

  9. RMW says:

    I didn’t think it would be too long before another kitty stole your heart. Lucky cat! I hear you about posting… I need a blog assistant!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you RMW, I think we are the lucky ones to have this lovely kitty! An assistant, yes that would be so nice … not within reach, but nice to dream about …

  10. Dragnfli says:

    Black fur can become reddish because of over grooming. If that’s true, as new fur grows in, it will come in black.

    • Catwoods says:

      This is interesting Dragnfli, she does seem to over groom at some times and not others. We’ll be watching to see just what changes may occur in her fur color, for sure!

  11. cagedunn says:

    As a human who had a previous life with a black-smoke (he was a british short-hair), she is exactly that – a black smoke. they come in a few varieties, one with the fire-red tinge. Our cat had the tick of occasional silver (in a tabby-pattern, but only in the right light), and an attitude that ruled the world.

  12. DS Levy says:

    Oh, Leah! UV/Little Girl is absolutely precious! So beautiful! And I’m so glad you found her — or rather, she found you (however that works). πŸ™‚ I know you’ll all be happy and grateful for one another. It’s wonderful, too, that she’s a little older, so that you can give her a warm and loving home in whatever-9-lives-stage she’s in. Our 19-year-old girl is still going pretty strong, and UV looks to be a healthy, strong kitty, so you’ll have lots of time to make her feel special – and she’ll brighten up your world as well. And … I know that handsome Bud would be ever so thrilled. As they (someone) once said, You honor the memory of one loved pet by taking in another. I do believe that. It’s a chain of love. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    • Catwoods says:

      Everything’s just like you say Deb, UV has only been here about 30 days and she has completely charmed us! Since she’s still slightly feral so we have to let her walk onto us for snuggles but after she initiates contact her purr just rumbles, and it’s loud! These older kitties can be so sweet, can’t they? She loves canned food, which I don’t think she was getting, and no one can refuse her when she asks, so we’ll have to watch and make sure she doesn’t gain too much. I think you are right and Bud will understand the continuity of Othercats and his humans. This was the first loss we ever had without another cat in the house and it was very hard while we were without a kitty, for sure. Thanks so much for commenting, it’s fun to experience your enthusiasm; you as a cat companion know well the joy of new kitties in the home!

  13. She’s a very unusual and beautiful moggie. I’ve never seen a fur pattern like this. If you hadn’t mentioned all the other possibilities I would have guessed, mostly from the little patches on her back legs, that she was a tortie. Two of my eighteen are torties, but very different from one another to look at, and three are tabby with tortie overtones.

    I was just wondering if it was possible for one red and one black ‘brindle’ to happen to be so large that they take up all of the cat? Like a photo on a computer when you pinch and then enlarge?

    • Catwoods says:

      I agree Rosie, from looking at her legs I would have thought she was a tortie. I haven’t really parted the fur there to see if it has the same dark undercoat as her back and tail fur. She is still a little feral and does not seem to like her paws or legs touched, although she loves to be petted. That’s a really interesting idea that she could be a type of tortie, in fact I probably need to take a closer look at a brindled tortie to see if there is any change of color under the reddish areas. I had always assumed that those were separate colors but that may not be the case. And, a couple of people mentioned they had cats that looked like UV who had tortie moms. So it seems very likely that she may be a type of tortie, just one that occurs less frequently. I may end up adding to the post, saying, well, she’s a tortie afterall! All the best, Leah

  14. Robin says:

    She is beautiful. I love her colors. I can see the black fur beneath the rust. Interesting colors. When we had cats (both adopted), I always called them by their names, but I often call(ed) my dogs things other than their names. I understand busy. I often wonder how people can post as much as they do. I’m glad to see you. And your new kitty. 🐈🐱

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for saying she’s beautiful, she really likes to hear that! We pretty much call them whatever comes to mind, and that might be anything. There’s always “Kitty kitty …” to announce food, too. I’m a real slacker about regular posting but I do always come back. Happy to see you also, Robin, all the best wishes, Leah.

  15. Candace says:

    Wow, she’s a little beauty! Lucky girl to get such a nice home after living on the streets. One of my outside ferals is a beautiful tortie (I know UV is not tortie) but I can’t even touch her although she’s been dining here for many months. She came with an already tipped ear so someone else was kind enough to get her spayed.

    • Catwoods says:

      UV says, thank you! for saying she’s beautiful! Sounds like you have a beautiful tortie feral girl, but I know there are ferals that never become friendly. No matter how long you feed them, they prefer you keep your distance. I’ve seen a few change their attitudes, but not many. All the best, Leah

  16. Mollie Hunt says:

    I love her! She is indeed beautiful. My kitty Tinkerbelle had that reddish coloring. She also had a silver undercoat. I am happy for you, and relatively certain Bud won’t be envious. He is still king.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Mollie, UV likes to hear she is beautiful! Tinkerbelle sounds like a gorgeous cat! We appreciate your well wishes and encouraging words about Bud’s attitude.

  17. Cate says:

    So happy for you and your new girl! I bet one of her parents is a tortie; my black sibling cats have a subtle hint of rust in their coats, especially long-haired Puff, and their mom was a tortie. Wonderful that you found each other! And Bud will understand, eventually if not immediately.. πŸ™‚

    • Catwoods says:

      Cate that’s very interesting about your black kitties with fur colors similar to UV’s having a tortie mom. Someone else said the exact same thing about their black cat with red in another comment – tortie mom. Thank you for your good wishes and encouraging words about Bud! I agree, he will come around, one day.

  18. Awww…congrats on your beautiful new kitty! ❀

  19. Lavinia Ross says:

    She is very beautiful! The cats that need us always seem to find us. πŸ™‚

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Lavinia, UV likes to be told she’s beautiful! You are right, cats do seem to have their ways of finding us at the right moments for the kitties!

  20. charlotteash says:

    Gorgeous! She looks a lot like my cat Tabitha who was born of a tortie mom and an orange dad. I’ll try to post a pic for you.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you charlotteash, UV likes your comment very much! Very interesting about your cat having a similar look. I’d love to see the photo if you find it easy to do. I only know a few ways to post pics myself and always run into trouble if I try a new system. All the best, Leah

  21. Congrats on your new baby! UV has an otherworldly look–maybe she’s got fairy genes in her. πŸ˜‰ I’m so happy for you! And the photos are just lovely. She is one lucky kitty.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, CatLadyintheCanyon, for your kind words, and charming suggestion of fairy genes! That makes me smile! You could well be right! All best wishes, Leah

  22. niasunset says:

    I am so glad to hear this news dear, You know we both in the same feelings about last June, and I am not happy right now, home without a cat… We are thinking too, but time will show us who will be our Princess or Prince. I am in contact with out vet, we want to have a cat like you, who needs to have a family… This Black Kitty seems so lovely, all my best wishes for you all, Thank you, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Nia, we went two months without a cat in the house and it felt so strange after so many years with cats. And I know it’s hard! Like you I miss the kitty we just lost so much! For us the time was right to start again. I hope you will soon find your next kitty, when the time comes of course. It’s so nice that vets will help find animals for people, ours here did that too; she also helped find people to give homes to animals we found and couldn’t keep when we had a house already full of kitties! Our vet retired but our new vet is nice too. Warmest wishes, Love, Leah

  23. she’s lovely – and she may not be a tortoiseshell, but she has that ‘naughty tortie’ expression πŸ™‚

  24. How wonderful. I am sure that Bud won’t mind xxx

  25. Lauren says:

    She is lovely, Leah! And she has a most endearing and expressive face. She looks as though she has long awaited appreciation, and is surely very happy to have yours. May your years together be many and joyful! ❀

  26. cat9984 says:

    Beautiful kitty – glad you guys found each other

  27. What a gorgeous girl you have. She is stunning and very unusual. Congrats. You have been blessed.

  28. Looks like you have acquired a very unique cat! Hope she settles in all right though I do not know why she should not, We will be interested to follow her progress at home.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you greg-in-washington, we appreciate your kind words and your interest in our kitty’s progress. She’s a little more feral than we thought, and has probably been outside a really long time. But I think with time she’ll do just fine.

  29. catsworking says:

    Cats Workbg gives UV 12 paws up — unanimous approval! Congratulations!

  30. So glad she was matched up with you! She will love her new home!

  31. Bernadette says:

    How lucky you are to be owned by a housepanther! You are wonderful for taking her in. She was obviously someone’s kitty and was missing a loving home. In summer long-haired cats can lose a good bit of their guard hairs and you see more of the undercoat, especially farther south as you are. With all my black cats, each of them is a different shade of black with different highlights. Hamlet was quite red when his longer coat shed out, but he’s already growing back his winter coat. I’m wondering what that forecasts for this winter.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Bernadette, we are indeed happy to be in the company of a housepanther again! I know she must have had a home at one time and I worry that someone may be looking for her, but no one in the neighborhood had claimed her and I did look at lost pets pages, even the one going back 6 years to the tornado since that event dispersed pets to other neighborhoods more than usual. She’s a little more feral than we thought and I think she’s been on her own for a long time. Interesting about your black kitties being different shades of black! I enjoy your kitty pictures and art every day, by the way. I hope we all don’t have a cold winter, but I have heard that when winter fur comes back early and thick it’s going to be a cold winter. I’ve heard we are in for a colder than usual winter here, yikes!

  32. Aww she’s beautiful! So happy you found each other! πŸ™‚

  33. iArtichokeu says:

    Beautiful kitty! Her fur is very unique.

  34. archfriar says:

    We found a black cat that had gotten lost in Detroit and adopted her. That night was supposed to be Hell night and no way would we leave a black cat unprotected in a place like that.

    • Catwoods says:

      You did a good thing adopting the kitty, archfriar, especially at that time. I’m not familiar with that night but suspect it may be sort of like Mischief night in the northeast and in Britain, or, some sort of college thing. Either way, not a good time for a black kitty or any kitty to be out and about.

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