What do you mean you saw a black cat?


My family has a flare for drama.

It’s not just me, folks, it’s every member of our clan.

The men in our family aren’t allowed to call the women “drama queens,” given they too engage in the theatrics.

Nevertheless, while at times it’s a little overwhelming, it also allows for the funniest of moments.

My mother is quick to defend her Oscar-worthy performances reminding us that while everyone else may see the world in black and white, our family sees it in “Technicolor,” whatever that means.

In order to show you what I’m talking about, I’ve decided to share the conversation we had last night.

Laughter may or may not ensue, but know that this conversation has not been embellished for your entertainment purposes.

This is us in living color.


“Ma, I saw a black cat today.”

“Mary, mother of Jesus! Did you cross over to the other side of the street?”

“Of course not. I stopped and took its picture.”

“Of course you did! Do you know why? Because you were put on this earth to make me suffer.”

“Here we go.”

“Why can’t you be more like your sisters, Bella? They have respect for these things.”

“Don’t you mean, they’re as superstitious as you are? Besides, how did we go from the black cat to the ‘you’re not like your sisters’ speech?”

“Your sisters know better than to provoke a black cat.”

“Provoke? I took its picture! I didn’t poke it with a stick!”

“And Roxy? Was she your tiny accomplice; an accessory to your crime? Did you expose that sweet girl to seven years of bad luck?”

“Mom, I photographed a cat. I didn’t break a mirror. Roxy wagged her tail and made nice.”

“That cat could have pounced on you and scratched your eyes out! You might now be walking around like Oedipus, for the love of God!”

“Mom! There was no eye gouging! Stop with the drama, already!”

“Do you think we need any more bad luck in this family, Bella? Is that it? Your aunt broke her hip a month ago and now has a plastic one, or whatever fake hips are made of nowadays. Your Uncle Lucas went wandering on his own twice this week. The police found him talking to a lamp post, asking it if it knew where he lived, and your Aunt Ursula chipped a tooth trying to gnaw on a piece of stale Manchego cheese. Do you know what that means? That I’m next! That’s what that means!”

“Your brother and sisters are older than Moses. It’s a miracle they still remember to get up in the morning. And doesn’t Aunt Ursula have fake teeth?”

“What does it matter if she has fake teeth or not? The point is she has one less tooth to chew with. Things were good. My reflux wasn’t acting up, I’m remembering the names of you and your sisters, and the doctor told me my bladder’s holding up and I won’t be needing Depends anytime soon. But now with you and the black cat, I don’t know.”

“You’re being ridiculous. In any case, any bad luck should be coming my way.”

“Not necessarily. Bad luck can befall you or your family.

“Mom, it’s a black cat we’re talking about, not the curse of Tutankhamen!”

“Go ahead and mock me. You’ve been doing it since you were a child. Lord, where did I go wrong? When did I stray from the path?”

“I’m hanging up now.”

“Even across the miles you disrespect your mother.”

“Goodbye, Mom.”

“I’ll pray the black cat doesn’t curse you, Bella.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Are you superstitious?

Today I’m linking up with Heidi’s Black and White Wednesday. Yes, I know it’s not Wednesday but we’re trying to get through midterms, so lets just pretend it is, shall we?

Black and White Wednesday

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66 thoughts on “What do you mean you saw a black cat?

    1. Jodi, sometimes I think we thrive on the drama and that sometimes, we instigate these situations on purpose! Other times, not so much. Seriously, I knew the black cat was not going to rock her boat but I never thought it would take her down the, “Why can’t you be more like your sisters” path! hee hee! For the record, I don’t open my umbrella in the house either! :)

  1. I used to live with a black cat. A female. Back then, almost nobody thought of fixing their pets, and she was allowed to go out whenever she wanted. So, from time to time, we’d have a black cat and 2-6 kittens, sometimes all black too. They were around us all the time. Meaning, I should have been hit by a bus or something. Several times. While inside of our apartment, way above the ground level. :)

    Superstitious? Nope. :)

    1. Ivana, I knew you would see how trivial this black cat superstitions are! And I agree! To be honest though, my mom is very superstitious. Everything and anything is game. Umbrellas, ladders, salt, black cats, knocking on wood, and so forth. The drama! You have no idea! :)

  2. whahahaha, your mom made me remember my own mom!, so funny to read it!
    And I’m not superstitious and love your black cat pics (actually, I like black cats, they’re so elegantly felines!)
    besos & fun

    1. Mrs. Allnut, given your mother is Spanish as well, why doesn’t this surprise me? hee hee! I’m delighted you like the photos. This little beauty just peered at us from its amazing green eyes and when it stood up, it game me the impression it was walking on the cat walk! hee hee! Besos and fun! :)

  3. Next time you see a black cat you need to spit 3 times over your left shoulder and bad luck will go away, that what my mom used to tell me :).
    Our moms would be great girlfriends.

    1. Ariana, my mother has a Greek friend who spits on us for good luck. Oh, the joy! I have to say I like the idea of me doing the spitting! hee hee! I think our mothers would be great friends indeed! :)

  4. Now, now, you worked your mom up for nothing. That is not a genuine black cat – it has white paw, chest or tail parts. It is beee-you-tea-ful and I love the pix you took of her, him or it. This was a hysterical story! I loved this glimpse into your multi-dysfunctional family. I have one, too, so I can say that (ho).

    1. Nan, with a family like mine, I never have to worry about not having blog fodder! hee hee! I did see the white paws and tail, but would you believe I didn’t see its white chest? Oh dear. It seems I may have sent my mother into a tizzy for not. Shhh. It’ll be our secret! :)

  5. LMAO!! Oh, Bella, that was priceless! :-)

    No, I’m not superstitious. The only reason I don’t walk under ladders is because it’s generally not safe to do so. Black cats are – well – black, as opposed to white or marmalade or tortoise shell. The only time I avoid walking on cracks is if they could pose a danger. If I break a mirror, I might not be happy for the mess that results, but that’s easily taken care of with a broom and a dustpan, followed by the vacuum cleaner.

    Thanks for the laugh! :-)) xoxo

    1. Ellen, you are very welcome! Thank you for your ever kind words. I tell you, you ladies inspire me to write! You do! At this stage in my life, there’s nary a crack I don’t step on but when I was a child, I really thought stepping on one would “break my mother’s back”! hee hee! Yet I must confess that I enter a state of panic when I break a mirror. Luckily, it’s been ages since that happened. I wonder why my luck hasn’t changed? :)

  6. Another glimpse into the legendary characters of your life, Bella! My grandmother was sooo like your mom :)
    I am not superstitious in the least.
    Now…
    Where did I put my lucky hockey earrrings ???

    1. Astra, athletes are notorious for their superstitions! I know you and your young ones might be prone to wearing a lucky shirt, underpants, or earrings! Yes, indeed! hee hee! Would you believe nana was not superstitious? My mother, on the other hand, oh dear. Although I think her superstitions are motivated by fear that something terrible will happen. I really have to ask her why she’s so afraid. In the meantime, did you find your lucky hockey earrings? :)

  7. I love your family, Bella! What character! What individuality in a world of conformists! (Not to be confused with contortionists . . .) They are a veritable fund of blog posts! It’s probably a good thing they aren’t my family. Or every single thing they say would be immortalized . . . more or less correctly! Thank you for sharing. This was such fun!

    1. Diane, thank you, thank you for the love! Now you know how I feel every time I read one of your wonderful posts about your dad, brother, or son! I’m so happy these family characters help us exercise our creativity as writers! I’m thrilled that you’re along for the ride! :)

  8. ***Your brother and sisters are older than Moses. It’s a miracle they still remember to get up in the morning. And doesn’t Aunt Ursula have fake teeth?”****

    I swear, nobody can write a narrative like my Bella. Your story reminds me of the family in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”—only better.

    Priceless. Beautiful. Magical. Delightful. Hilareous.

    You. Rock. My. World.

    —–And I want to hug hug hug you.

    That little black panther is Stunning & I loooooooooooooooooooove Rox the Fox Lots. Xxx

    1. Kim, there’s never a time when I think I’m going to have to go through the day without a hug or kind word. Thanks to you and rest of the lovely crowd that gather here, I feel totally appreciated, loved, and encouraged. The other day the Significant Other said, “Doesn’t it bother you that your sisters, nieces, and daughter don’t read your blog?” I replied, a little, but not too much since I have so many lovely friends who drop by for a visit. And I mean that. Thank you for your encouragement, love, and friendship. You have no idea how much they are appreciated! Kisses and hugs for you from Roxy Foxy and me! :)

  9. Oh Bella I feel for you – My crazy irish grandmother who raised me read Tarot and tea leaves for a living. Now these days that may seem fairly new age acceptable however back in the early 60’s and prior it was pretty much still considered witchcraft. She too would have shivered over the black cat and many other “incidences” I could list.
    Strange thing is the older i get the more the hippy in me wonders if I am of witchcraft.. or at least turning into my nanna :)
    I absolutely love your photographs – so very different to where I live which I must share with you on my page one day…I felt I was walking the streets and wanted to reach out and touch the cat (till i heard nanna in my ear of course) !!

    xx

    1. Oh lady, how I would love to have my tea leaves or Tarot read! Indeed, while these practices have become widely acceptable, I can imagine this was not the case back in your nana’s day, making her abilities all that much cooler, I say! I think we’re able to develop our sixth sense of intuition the older we get. Perhaps life’s experiences make us just that, more experienced as to how to interpret “the signs”. hee hee! I’m thrilled you like the photos! Good thing you squelched the urge to stroke the black kitty! Nana would not approve! :)

  10. My Italian grandmother claimed black cats were GOOD luck, and she fed every stray that came around, hoping it would stay awhile! So I don’t think your photographing a black cat would incur any bad luck at all. Besides, yours had white paws and the tip of its tail was white, so maybe your mom can relax now!

    1. Debbie, would you believe I called my mom last night and told her about the white paw and tipped tail and she said, and I quote, “If the body was black, then it’s a black cat, silly girl.” I tell you, lady, there’s not fighting City Hall! hee hee! I will tell my mum about your Italian nana’s belief that black cats are good luck and I’ll get back to you! :)

    1. Shary, what a lovely compliment, lady! Thank you! Thank goodness for the idiosyncracies of the dysfunctional family unit, eh, lady? :)

  11. We draw an ‘x’ on the windshield with our finger which crosses out the bad luck. You can also turn around, return to the starting point of your trip and start over. Superstitious? Are you kidding? I’m Southern. We’re born with a handbook attached to our umbilical cords that outline required observances of all superstitions.

    1. bwhahaha! I love it! Can I get a copy of that handbook, sister? hee hee! I like the idea of drawing the X. It sounds simple enough. I wonder if I can write it in the air, like a blessing of some sort! :)

  12. Such a fun & funny post! Your mom has quite a dramatic flair, Bella. I was smiling my way through reading this. I knock on wood sometimes. I like black cats. And the one you photographed appeared to have dipped its feet and tail into a sack of flour!

    1. Claudine, you’re sweet! Thank you for your lovely words. I too knock on wood–religiously! As if to prevent whatever I’m saying from being hexed! hee hee! I’m delighted to have made you smile. You made me smile with the image of kitty’s tail and paws dipped in flour! :)

  13. Bella, this had me in stitches! OMG, I can just picture your mom. Now, I have to tell you. In my neighborhood we have a cat who’s a bully. Whenever Henry and I go for an evening walk to the park, we have to pass the elementary school. There’s a row of shrubs in front. Anyway, we get to a certain point and suddenly the cat pounces out of the bushes, baring its fangs at us. I nearly jumped into oncoming traffic the first time. The second, too, because I’d forgotten about that cat. By the third time, I was ready. We walked on the other side of the street.

    Technically, I’m not superstitious, but out of habit I won’t walk under a ladder nor open an umbrella while inside. Anyway, thanks for making me laugh!

    1. Monica, you have made me giggle with your narrative of the cat bully! OMG! I’m glad you’ve taken a cautionary approach and kept Henry and yourself safe. Cats, as my nana used to say, are never to be trusted. They might look cute and adorable but you never know when they’re going to scratch the daylights out of you! hee hee! I share your superstitions as well, lady. Me and open umbrellas and ladders? No way! I’m thrilled you liked the post and that it made you laugh! :)

  14. I am not superstitious in the slightest, mainly because I know it’s just foolish hocus pocus! We used to have a black cat called Theo (after Theo of Cosby kids fame – you can tell how old your kids are by the things they named their pets! We also had a giant puppet called Justine…) Old Theo lived for years and loved to make earth-shattering noises with another cat we had when we had company for dinner. It was very embarrassing but the kids loved him infinitely.

    1. Elizabeth, Theo sounds like an a big old softie! His cool name must’ve had a positive influence on him! hee hee! And isn’t it true that our pet’s name give away our age! ha!

  15. Bella, well really, it’s only gonna be about 6.5 years of bad luck, not seven. Did she notice that the tail has a bit of white on the tip? :)

    I used to be really superstitious when I was little, but I think it’s because I lived in a country that really BELIEVED in superstition.

    1. Laura, you make an excellent point. Your country of origin and heritage truly influence how one views superstitions. It wasn’t till I uploaded the photos that I see the bit of white on the tail. I think that might mean Roxy and I are off the hook! What do you think? Saved by the tail! hee hee! :)

  16. Bella, absolutely WONDERFUL dialogue!!! Am glad you told us you didn’t invent it, because I would absolutely have thought it was fiction. Your family is bonkers, but in a good good way! And the cat pix are so good they’re almost worth a little bad luck (though my family never passed on a single superstition to me :(– I feel like I’m missing out!)

    1. Jann, I’m stoked that you like the photos! Thank you! Lady, I wish you could sit in on one of our family holiday dinners! You’d truly think you were part of the cast of a movie production! The Greeks and Italians ain’t got nothing on the Spaniards! Trust me on this! hee hee! :)

  17. Oh how we can be such heartless daughters at times ;) I love to rile my mom too from time to time – although she’s not superstitious, she’s very religious and I love to take off on the Church to get a reaction!
    You can easily do a column in a newspaper/ weekly with your gift of narrative, Bella. I’m serious!

    1. Corinne, you do a woman’s ego good! Thank you! Your compliment has me grinning like a Cheshire cat! Do you really think I could write a column in a newspaper? It’s always been my dream to do something like that. When I was in junior high, I was the editor of my school newspaper. I felt like a rock star! hee hee! I’m not giving up the dream. Perhaps someday…In the meantime, may I say you remind me of my sister? My mother is a devout Catholic and my sister’s the one who likes to rile her up with comments about the church. You can only imagine the chaos that ensues! :)

  18. Laughing away and thinking sounds like my family here in India… Are you by any chance Italian as Indians well more like punjabis and italians have a lot in more common!

    1. Savira, we’re Spanish! In other words, just like the Italians! hee hee! Although I should clarify that my father used to say that we’re even more dramatic than the Italians. What can I say, other than we’re just as passionate as they are? I’m so glad to have made you laugh, friend. :)

    1. Rachel, my mom’s got me spooked with her bad luck talk! hee hee! I’m happy to have tickled your funny bone. Our family is like a sitcom on steroids! hee hee! We like to think we’re a funny bunch. :)

  19. This is so funny Bella!!! I was raised by my grand mother, and she was VERY superstitious. I know and react to everything she used to tell me. I tell my children not to open an umbrella at home, that a black cat is bad luck, that if two things break, they should break a third one on purpose. I say those things, but with a big smile and don’t really apply them, nor panic if it happens. Thank you for making me smile, as usual :)

    1. Nikki, if I’ve been able to make you smile, then my work here is done! Thank you for your kind words. My nana thought superstitions were silly. The only thing I ever remember she didn’t like was if salt ever fell, like on the counter or floor. This resulted in her chucking a pinch of it over her right shoulder, as if to ward off any bad luck. Other than that, she was superstition free! :)

    2. Nikky, you are a sweetheart! I rushed over to read the poem and I loved it! I left Jen a comment. How great that you remembered my blog post about black cats! hee hee! Thank you, friend! :)

  20. You’re Latin, Bella, so drama is woven into your genetic code. We talk loud, wear our feelings outside of our skin, say what we feel and live vibrantly. How can we help but not be dramatic? You tell me. As for your question… I am not superstitious but I am acutely aware of karma, paying forward and not taking too much and having to owe at some point in the future. Hmm, maybe I am. I don’t think I am. I know my grandma was always throwing salt over her shoulder for this or that. Me, I just try to keep the books balanced with the granter of wishes. A side note, if buying a rabbit’s foot will bring me luck and help me find an agent then I’d buy one in a New York second.

    1. Brenda, my nana did the salt toss as well! I guess it must be a Latin thing! hee hee! But of course, you’re right. We do feel and live passionately and really, can you be this way without a little drama taking center stage? I don’t think so! I’m with you on karma. You get back what you put out. Most definitely! And I’m right behind you in line to buy a rabbit’s foot, chica! :)

    1. bwhahaha! Oh, Totsy, I hope that doesn’t happen! She’ll never let me forget it! And did I mention guilt is the other thing that’s big in my family? hee hee! :)

    1. Leah, thank you! If you’re interested in participating in the Black and White Wednesday, click on the link and drop by Heidi’s blog! :)

    1. Yen, I love black and white photos too. They really put the emphasis on your subject. In this case, the black cat, I feel, really stood out. I’m glad to hear you don’t partake in the silly hocus pocus of superstitions. Good for you! :)

  21. Too funny, Bella but that cat looks sort of dangerous! ;p I’d like to think I’m not superstitious, but sometimes when things are going my way, I don’t talk about it too much for fear I will jinx it …

    1. Adriene, would you believer I do that too? I call it my “waiting for the shoe to drop” dilemma. For me, when thing’s are going good, I find myself thinking, how long will it last? How long before things go south? I really have to stop doing that! The black kitty does look a bit menacing, doesn’t he? :)

    1. Lady, thanks for sticking with it till the end! I’m delighted you found it comical! Coming from a funny lady as yourself, your words mean a lot. Thank you! :)

  22. Oh Bella, I love your family even though I don’t know them! But this conversation is so hilarious! This whole superstition-thing about the black cat reminds me of a documentary I saw on my very first week in New Zealand, back when I was 15 years old. My host family called me into the living room and was like: “There’s a documentary about Germany on telly, come and watch and tell us if life is like that where you live.” So I sat down and watched and it turned out it wasn’t a documentary about Germany – it was a documentary about how superstitious Germans are compared to other European people. And apparently we’re worst. Black cats, walking under a ladder… it was hilarious!

    1. Sabrina, thank you for your lovely words! I’m so glad you found this conversation funny. You should sit in on some of the other ones we have. I’m sure you’d be laughing your ass off before long. hee hee! Somehow I didn’t peg the Germans for being superstitious. They seem like down to earth people who have little tolerance for nonsense. But then seeing how fun you are, I should know better! :)

    1. JCV, thank you! I just dropped by your blog and left a comment there. I’m honored to be included in your list. Thank you, lady! :)

  23. This is hilarious! I must say at least the drama in your family is kinda’ funny. I have three older sisters and a mother who is in the middle of everything and sometimes the drama is not so funny, though sometimes it really is.

    1. Hello Suzicate! In all honesty, the drama isn’t funny ALL the time. And when it gets ugly, it gets ugly! Think screaming matches, objects flying through the air, and cursing in Spanish! hee hee! I’m glad your family drama can also be humorous! :)

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