Blackjack is deceased.
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Blackjack [a.k.a. BJ, Big Guy, Woolly Bear]

Number one son. The first and one time only cat. Blackjack came to me as a kitten near the end of the summer of 1981. He was just a little, dark ball of fur.
When I first brought Blackjack home I was still keeping a 6 ft. long boa constrictor. One day the boa got out of his cage and I came home to find my little kitten fascinated by the boa and the boa trying to decide if Blackjack was food. A few days later, I gave the snake to a children's petting zoo to avoid future confrontations between the kitten and the snake. Besides, the kitty's a lot more cuddly than a snake.
Until his last few days Blackjack still liked to chase balls and pounce on strings dragged across the carpet in front of him.
He was with me for over 19 years. And I had him since he was a little fluffball. And every night that he could, he slept beside me, up to and including his last.
Below is his eulogy:

He'd been with me over 19 years. That's nearly half my whole life. Nearly all of my adult life.
When he was a kitten, he'd ride in my shirt pocket. In the days when he was still my only cat, he'd go everywhere with me. He was never a cat to misbehave. He had too much dignity.
Up until his last two or three days, he always met me at the door when I came home. And up until his very last day, he slept beside me every night.
As he was getting old, he got thin and a little frail, but he still had fire in his eyes and he'd try to hurry me while I was preparing his meals. He was an impatient old cuss.
A couple of days ago he stopped pestering me when I prepared his food. He lost control of his bodily functions and was getting sick. Living had become difficult for him.
I came home this evening to find him lying in a soiled bed and barely able to get up.
At about 6:15 this evening, with the help of my vet, I let my old and very dear friend rest.
In my mind and in my heart I see him young and vigorous and chasing butterflies in a green field.
Good bye, my dear old friend. I've always loved you, and I'll remember you forever. You'll always be a part of me. Rest well, Blackjack. Rest well.
2 October 2000

I'm going to miss his little, fuzzy head bumping into me. (His way of soliciting attention and affection.)

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