After Starsky’s memorial of last week, here’s a more complete look at her life.
Starsky was always one of the more social members of our feral colony. You can see her friendly, alert character in this photo of her as a kitten, taken when she was about 6 months old. Starsky was never a dominant cat, but she drew attention by simply being attentive and pleasant to be around. In many ways, Starsky and the other members of her litter took after their mother, Fuzzy, who was one of the favorites of the colony and with us.
As the colony gradually became smaller Starsky came more and more to the fore. It was easier for her to define her place and settle into relationships. Most notably, she became Loretta’s buddy on walks around the property and would excitedly lead the way back to the house, eager for a post-walk treat.
Eventually the colony was down to only 2 cats, Starsky and MiniMo. They had known each other all their lives and were both the same age, born the same spring from different, but related, mothers. Fuzzy was often the baby sitter for kittens from other litters and it wasn’t unusual to see MiniMo join Fuzzy’s litter at dinnertime. That’s MiniMo climbing over Fuzzy from the back while Starsky and her siblings nurse.
But it wasn’t until Starsky and MiniMo were the only 2 cats left that we saw them become really close. MiniMo had always been a bit of a loner and more standoffish than Starsky, but when they were the sole survivors MiniMo became more social. The 2 cats often napped together and groomed one another. MiniMo would even allow Starsky to share her favorite tarp, and that’s saying something.
Now that Starsky is gone MiniMo is alone. She is gradually adjusting but it’s clear she’s lonely. After all, she was born into a large colony and has always had at least 1, and usually many more than 1, cat nearby. We’re doing all we can to keep MiniMo company but we know we’ll never replace Starsky and all of her other friends. MiniMo won’t let us touch her but she wants to rub against our legs and talk to us.
Starsky left MiniMo one delightful legacy. MiniMo got to sample and share the diet we were giving Starsky during her last months of life and she’s become accustomed to multi-course, special meals. She deserves to have those continue, and they will.
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