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The three cats in this picture were our Core cats. Tony is the yellow boy, next to him is Miss Sparky Sparkaletta and at the end of the bed is Lady Jane Gray. We lost Tony this summer. He was 14 years old in April and died in August. He was a loving baby who never met a stranger. He would insist that delivery personnel and service workers pet him. He loved to be petted and adored. He dry nursed many, many little kittens. For a while we had a feral cat colony that lived here. Tony was rescued from it as were Jane and Sparky. As a result of the colony there were many kittens before we could get all of the cats spayed and neutered.

We thought we had lost our Jane earlier this week. I cried for two days. She is 14 as is her sister Sparky. We got lucky, Jane seems to have a bruised or sprained right back leg. She showed up this morning. There are no signs of the leg being broken. She is eating and grooming. After sunning today she went back under the house in her little cubby hole.

Sparky shows her Maine Coon heritage. She is fluffy like a lynx and has beautiful green eyes. Sparky has been our mighty hunter and keeps varmints our of our yard, although she has been known to catch a bird or chipmunk too.

At one time we had a dozen cats, not counting the feral colony. We have lost cats by attrition and were down to four until this year. We lost two cats, Ruthie the little calico you sometimes see as my avatar and the aforementioned Tony. It has been a hard year.

I proudly wear the moniker "crazy old cat lady." I love my kitties and they have all had a special place in my heart. I still mourn the cats we have lost over the years and doubt that I will forget them. They are my babies.

I celebrate Jane's return and hope she heals quickly. (BTW, Jane has her own exclusive blog post earlier today.)



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