Our luck with cats is mixed. We have always been lucky in finding very friendly cats. But health has been another issue.
I had had Omra for most of my life when we got married. I got her when I was about 10 or so. She had been abused before entering my life and was very particular. She didn't like most people but she picked Chris. Talk about fate. She had been on thyroid medication for a number of years, but shortly after we got married she went blind. Her eyes had big blood spots in them due to high blood pressure. Turns out she was in kidney failure. That fall, at the age of 18, we let her go.
Our second cat is Siofra. We got her as a kitten the fall before we got married. A co-worked brought her in to the office as part of a litter of kittens they were looking to find homes for. All the other kittens found homes, but no one wanted the black one. Siofra is the sweetest cat and is healthy.
Our first summer we adopted both Roarke and Ciaran. Roarke was the kitten of a stray cat that had her litter in one of Chris's co-worker's garage. Once again, the other cats found homes, but no one wanted the black one. Roarke is a prickly cat, but he loves to cuddle (on his own terms). And he's healthy, although fat.
Ciaran was a stray, about 4 months old, who had taken up residence under another of Chris's co-workers porch. She couldn't keep him so we adopted him. Ciaran is so friendly. He just wants to be loved. He knows he has a good thing and let's us know that often. He is also healthy.
A few years later, we adopted Pepper. We found her at PetSmart; she had come from the Martinsville shelter. She was a spunky cat, living up to her name. Roarke liked her; she challenged him. A short 3 years later, we found out she had feline leukemia. She had originally tested negative, but it was a false positive. She was only visibly sick for a few days before we got her to the vet... and she didn't come home.
Last fall, we adopted 2 adorable kittens. We found them at Petco, from the Brown County shelter. We named them Cole and Dinah. Cole is extremely friendly, sometimes aggressively so. He also seems to be very healthy at this point.
Dinah is another story. She is a very sweet but shy cat. And tiny, smaller even than Pepper, our 6 pound wonder. And the last week or so we had noticed she seemed a little bony. And yesterday she peed in the kitchen - it was clear something was wrong. So we took her to the vet today. The prognosis right now, which is probably correct but they are doing some tests to confirm for sure, is not good. She apparently has feline infectious peritonitis. There is no treatment; it is fatal. She will likely not be with us much longer.
We have had 7 cats. Three have come from shelters. Of those 3, 2 have had fatal illnesses. Given the prognosis and other factors, we won't be getting any new cats for a very long time. When we eventually do, I don't know if we will get a shelter cat. We really want to help and give a shelter cat a home, but our luck there has just not been good.
And to answer the inevitable questions:
Yes, all of our cats are and have been black.
No, they are not related (although it is possible Cole and Dinah are).
Omra came with her name.
Siofra is Gaelic meaning 'little elf'.
Ciaran is Gaelic meaning 'black'.
Roarke is named for one of the main characters in J.D. Robb's 'In Death' series, a tall, mysterious Irishman.
Pepper came with her name.
Cole is a play on words as he is coal black.
Dinah is named for Alice's cat in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.