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The Editor’s Corner is dark this week.

Yesterday, we had a death in the family, someone many visitors to the Dragonsnest have known for a while.

Gatsby. Gatsby the Great, Momma Gatsby, Super Mom, Holy Terror, Snuggle Bear. She was all of these and so much more.Gatsby

She came to us as a stray, tossed over a friend’s garden fence, huddled in a cold March rain. All she wanted was to be held and loved and give love back. How could I not take her home?

Gatsby 4/16

She was so small we just assumed she was a kitten, maybe 8 months old, tops. We fed her up, kept her warm, and she settled in with ease. (Well, with everyone except Soyer – they always had a bit of a contentious relationship.)

Then, ten days later, we discovered that the belly she was growing was more than just making up for all those days without 3 squares.P1000779

Gatsby was pregnant.

Barely a month after she joined the Depot Street Gang, she gave birth the three kittens, Poe, Parker, and Carter. first day

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Babies

G& kidsP1010481P1010652bungalow

Young though she was, Gatsby took to motherhood like a pro. She raised the trio with velvet paw and gentle tongue, protecting them with the fierceness of a tiger. She even got back at Soyer, refusing to let her downstairs for months. Once G was spayed, her hormones settled and peace was restored – though Soyer was still a little wary around her.

As the kids became more independent, Gatsby let herself be less mom and more young cat, her inner kitten coming out as she played. And she was quite the mouser, too, bringing little Gonzo into the tribe last winter.

Gonzo and Tuck.

Saturday, Gatsby was not herself. Her breathing was labored and her energy down. I took her to the vet yesterday, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

My little bear was so congested the vet could hardly hear her heart. Her chest was full of fluid, squeezing the life out of her. Not leukemia (thank goodness for the rest of the crew), but FIP.

There was nothing to be done but keep the promise I made to her when I scooped her up in the rain: I would take care of her, always, even unto holding her as she slipped out of this life….P1010318

She was a marvel of a cat; and her children, Carter, Poe, and Parker are her glorious legacy with which any parent of any species would be thrilled. I will tell them stories of their fiery mother every day….

For all of you with loved ones, be they dressed in skin, fur, or scale, hug them close and never fail to let them know that you love them. That’s Gatsby’s legacy, too.

She’ll be watching.

Gatsbymom

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