"Here Kitty, Kitty..."
I lost someone.
A three pound grey and black striped feral cat.
Answers (in his fashion) to the name of "Buster".
I've missed him at the colony over the last couple of months. That's how it goes there, you get a pretty good sense of the regulars, and then one day you realize that there are one or two that don't come around anymore. The colony has been thinning out. From an actual count of 24 all together at one time, it has dwindled to the point that you are lucky to see a dozen. Since the neutering project began there are no more kittens. Only one new stray has appeared over the winter. So it goes. This wasn't a particulary hard winter, but accidents do happen. Buster was, for a feral, quite sociable. Perhaps someone took him home (not a good idea- he was friendly but hardly tame) or maybe a dog or coyote got him. I'll give the colony two more years before it is extinct.
I can't get all mushy about a stray cat. He was able to live his life as he chose, people fed him, and now he has faded from view. As we all must, eventually. When I was at the colony today, the finality of it all started to sink in. I asked the other cats: "Where's Buster?" They had already forgotten him- or if they did remember him they weren't talking. That is their way.
"Here kitty, kitty..."