December 13, 2004

This is part of the true story of LittleOne
He is the dignified patriarch of this delightful cat tribe, seen sunning on the play house roof one bright March afternoon.

the Extended Manx cat family of LittleOne
From the left: the tortoise shell calico Artemis, aka Dollface, who is LittleOne's daughter- she looks just like her dad!.
Second from left is the elegant, beautiful fluff-ball harlequin calico, Miss Juliette, the center of the Universe, mother of Artemis (with her mate LittleOne).
Next to Juliette, surrounded by his handsome family , is the wise & noble King himself, LittleOne...
On the far right is the late rebellious feral "James Dean" of the tribe, Mangler, LittleOne's adult son from a previous feral marriage in San Francisco.

Next image is the epitome of all things male and feline, mighty as can be...
LittleOne, Fat and sassy, in his magnificent prime of life!

 LittleOne: A Manx in his Prime
Look! he still has his balls!, he NEVER fought, Never sustained any injury otherwise. Ears totally intact, LittleOne practiced peace.

Summertime when I fancy sleeping outside in the play house, door ajar to the garden, LittleOne kept vigil, looking like a feline Buddah. From the corner of the bed, or poised silently watching from the front step, as I dozed, he vibed raccoons and opossums and skunks away- protecting Juliette and I without lifting a claw

LittleOne the "Diplomaticat".

If I or anybody else around was feeling sad, feeling blue, LittleOne magically appeared. Through tears one would gradually become aware of his comforting presence. By your side, patient and wise, LittleOne behaved as if he fully understood! What a GUY!!

LittleOne loved the ladies and their babies. He periodically brought another wild female cat home. A rare maternally oriented Tom, he lavished attention on his kittens; sitting in their nest box, playing, sleeping with them under the water heater, monitoring their initial adventures outdoors, eventually teaching them to hunt, kill, then consume their prey.

LittleOne, and his kittens OtherOne and Mangler

His one litter with Miss Juliette was a beautiful thing. During the pregnancy he groomed, snuggled and loved on Juliette. He was present when her 3 kittens were born. LittleOne played a major role in kitten care- when Juliette wanted to get away he yowled if a kitty was in trouble- and arrived spontaneously if a kitty hollered in fear.

Though years after being neutered, LittleOne assumed the role of foster Dad to little Iggi, the new kitten. He groomed, snuggled, and disciplined this unrelated (and relentless!) orange and white barely weaned male manx as if he was his own. The "father" and "son" were very close to the end.

the Manx Boys with matching beds

LittleOne has gone-
He left the planet today, leaving behind his well used body.
I am his guardian, the choice to euthanize was an act of love and respect. He rests, dignified, frail, in his basket, near the space heater as usual, for one more night.
Tomorrow morning I'll bury him in the garden.

The silence entering the kitchen is overwhelming. No friendly greeting with his mer-ow. No familiar sound of him jumping to the counter-top to eat. What more can I say.
I Love him. I miss him very much. I, too, feel I am one of his children.

Good Bye my Beloved companion!
I'll see you on the other side.

All in Divine Order.

This poem popped into my mind, I particularly love the last verse-

The Chambered Nautilus
by Oliver Wendall Holmes

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sail the unshadowed main,--
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,--
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn;
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:--

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

LittleOne's cozy bed by the kitchen Little Heater

here's a Slideshow
A bit of LittleOne's Life HERE