[picture shows the closeup of the foot of a black cat lounging in front of a (non lit) fireplace. The foot is pink in the center region with black toes.]
Closeup of one of Shadow’s paw pads. They’ve actually changed color since he was a kitten…initially they were almost completely black, but as he’s grown up (he and his brother and sister will be 3 in August) they’ve shown more and more pink.
Like a lot of black cats, Shadow is actually a melanistic tabby, meaning he actually has spots and stripes but the melanistic gene masks out the underlying pattern. Only it’s very uncommon for the black masking to be 100%, and Shadow has always had these random white bits here and there. Like for a long time he had exactly one white whisker, and he gets white hairs on his chest sometimes. The only “constant” white bit is a spot on his lower belly. His (feral) mom has a little white spot on her chest that seems to come and go so she’s probably got the same sort of thing going on.