Dubh sitting on the wall during Supervised Outdoor Playtime.


Dubh is the Irish word for "black."  Seeing as his sister Aisling already had an Irish name, he needed one, too.  Just before we found him, I'd bought all the early U2 albums on CD and was listening to them again for the first time in ages.  The song An Cat Dubh (on the album Boy) was always one of my favorites, and it brought the name to mind.  It is pronounced DUV, more or less.


Blackness and Black Boy, for obvious reasons.  Also Spider-Boy and Stilt-Boy, because of his long, skinny, spidery legs.

Around September 14, 2002.

Dubh is a long, tall, and rather elegant cat, if quite chubby.  He has the same shiny, intensely black coat and round, yellow eyes as Arivaca had, though his build is different from hers.  He's surprisingly solid in addition to being a bit overweight. With the change in our feeding strategy, he has gone from 17 pounds, 10 ounces (7.9 kg) to 17 pounds even (7.7 kg), but remains the most stubborn of the cats about losing weight.


Initially, his meow was very much like his sister's, but over time it has become less hoarse and now he has a fairly average meow.  He has little bouts of frequent talking, but he generally just meows at feeding time.  He does keep up a constant stream of conversation when playing with Molly, however.


He purrs frequently and loudly - though not quite as loudly as Aisling does - and his biscuit-making is usually confined to the times he nurses.


On the evening of December 20, 2002, our dogs began barking their heads off.  When we investigated, we found that they'd cornered a small, black kitten on one side of the house, so we grabbed him and rushed him indoors, where he immediately made himself right at home.  In fact, when I was carrying him into the house I felt him vibrating and for a second, thought he was purring, then realized he must be shaking with fear.  As soon as I got him into the house where it was quieter, I discovered that he was, indeed, purring.

We're pretty sure he and Aisling are from the same litter, even though Aisling is handicapped and he isn't.


Dubh is a very outgoing, cuddly, needy guy and is quite the Mama's boy.  He showed no fear of us from the time we rescued him and initially, he showed no fear of strangers, either.  He is more cautious with strangers now.  The first night we had him, he slept right against my head and woke me up every half hour or so by purring loudly and smearing his nose on my face.  He still does the nose-smearing thing, but is more secure now and doesn't wake me up quite so often.  When he was a baby, he used to climb right up me and sit on my shoulder, but he stopped that as he got larger, which is probably a good thing.

He is remarkably patient, good-natured, and easy-going.


Like his sister, he has tested negative for Feline Leukemia.  He is unusually clumsy and is forever knocking stuff over and falling off things, so we wonder whether he might have a very mild form of cerebellar hypoplasia, the disorder his sister Aisling has.  Could be he's just a garden-variety klutz, though.

He has some problems with seasonal allergies, mosquito bites, and similar things.


Sleeping under the covers with his mommy; hanging out in the kitchen sink; playing with Molly; jumping into my arms when I'm standing in the kitchen.  He loves kittens and has helped raise Molly Maguire, Calypso, Solentiname, Flynn, and Mosaic.


Dubh likes his sister, though he plays a bit rough for her tastes.  He also gets along well with Calypso and Solentiname.  His best friend, however, is Molly Maguire.  He hasn't sought out Flynn and Mosaic as much as he has past kittens, though he doesn't dislike them and will wash them when they get close enough.  We think he's a bit alarmed by there being two of them at once.


Wary, but not terrified.