Monday, February 20, 2006

Star Lucky

I wanted to write a little tribute to one of our family, who left us late this morning.

Star Lucky arrived at our home a few months shy of 3 years ago. He was barely a week old, having been found by my sister-in-law, Julie, in her father's backyard. He and a sibling had somehow been separated from their litter. His sister died later that day, but this plucky little thing survived and came to live with us. I was very pregnant with Alex and home on bed rest, so we spent a lot of time together in the early days. I bottle-fed him formula (yes, they do make formula for infant cats - imagine!) and found out that baby kittens don't know instinctively to use their bladders - so yes, I helped him figure that out too. I kept him in a cardboard box, filled with towels and a beanie baby, next to me as I knit and watched bad daytime television.

Will loved Star. He named him. I still don't know to this day where he got Star Lucky from as a name, but he christened him that and it stuck. Star helped Will get ready to be a big brother. He held him in his little hands, a perfect size for a child. He couldn't wait for Star to be big enough to sleep with him. And when Alex arrived, Will had a better idea of how to care for something little, even more little than he was.

Star shared Alex's crib, much to my consternation. He was fascinated by Alex and wanted to study him. After Alex outgrew his crib, Star moved right in, making himself at home. I swear, he never quite forgave me for taking down his bed when we moved Alex into the bunk bed.

Will finally got his wish with the arrival of his bunk bed. Will and Star commandeered the top bunk. Every night, after patroling the apartment, Star would jump up and settle in at the foot of Will's bed.

He was a little brother and a cushion (Alex would settle down on Star's flank to watch TV). He was a pain in the posterior to our older cat, Gypsy. He terrified our fish, staring for long stretches of time hungrily at their tank and tapping it with his paw as if to figure out how he could push through the plexiglass and play with the funny things zipping around in there.

There's so much more I could say, but I don't think I'm able to right now. For now, I'll just say that he was our friend. And for some reason that I'm not universally privvy to, he went to sleep this morning for good. He wasn't even 3 years old yet, but I guess, to paraphrase what my friend Spirit tells me, "he saw a light that looked really interesting to him, and decided to go take a walk to it." I hope he's enjoying a nice warm windowsill somewhere over there. But he's left a hole in our family that won't ever quite heal.

We'll miss you, big guy.


Linda Sheridan said...

Oh Roe, I'm so sorry this happened. I didn't even realize you had a kitten. The boys must be crushed...

Stacey said...

I'm so sorry. I remember when you got him. He was the most wild and people friendly kitten I'd ever seen. I know the boys loved him, especially Will. Are they doing okay?

Roe said...

Thanks, all. He wasn't even 3 yet; we have no idea what happened. He was fine, and then Mike found him in the bathtub later in the morning. He just went to sleep. Mike and Will buried him in College Point yesterday.

Will is okay, has moments of being sad but overall is handling it well. Alex doesn't really know yet, he sees Gypsy all the time and it hasn't occurred to him that Star just isn't curled up somewhere, asleep. Mike and I are taking it harder than they are. I won't be able to sit on the couch for a while without expecting him to jump on the arm and knock his head into my hand.

Time sort of heals everything, it's just going to take a little time.

Stacey said...

Losing a pet is awful.

Linda Sheridan said...

I haven't lost one yet, and don't want to think about it. You just take it for granted that they'll always be around.

Roe said...

I've lost far too many, unfortunately. But I think Keith said it best after my cat Tigger died, when he shared his thoughts. This is paraphrased, but he basically said, "They just don't live long enough... and yet, we have the turtle, who can live for 100 years. Grandma's gone, but hey! She left us her turtle!"

I guess you had to be there at the time. It was really funny.