Our human just learned that our older sister Rico has gone to the Bridge.
Rico was born the evening of March 31st -- April 1st, 2010, in the shed. The human heard a cry that sounded like a cat fight about 10:30 pm, but it was probably just labor pains. The next morning, there were four kittens.
Rico opened one eye before the other. She was one of the first of that litter to open her first eye, and the last to open the second. The french word for one-eyed is borgne, which reminded my human of the ballplayer Rico Brogna, mainly an outfielder for the Phillies. So the little grey kitten became Rico. Our human called the vet clinic one morning to ask if this was normal enough, and they said it was. He cleared some goop from around her eye, and she had opened it by dinnertime.
Somewhere in the course of that first summer she lost the back half of her tail. (The other humans on the farm called her Stubby for the stub of a tail.) If our human had found a job and left the farm that summer, he probably would have taken Rico with him.
He wasn't sure if Rico was male or female until she got pregnant the following spring. Rico was the fourth of the four queens to have kittens that spring, about a month after Smudge had Parker, Schwarzie, and me. Rico's kittens didn't survive -- the other queens thought there were too many kittens already. So Rico took care of Blackie's kittens. The human says that some of Rico's kittens from that litter were prettier than we were, but I am not sure I believe that.
Rico had some kittens in the fall, as well. She tried moving them sometimes, and she didn't always move all of them. The humans tried to reunite them with their mother. Eventually, two of them (and one of Blackie's kittens) were taken to a rescue to find a new home.
That fall, he sometimes fed the cats on his lap. Rico didn't like that idea, and preferred to eat on the shelf. The place where we went to get fixed only had room for two spays that day, so he took Inky and Parker, leaving Rico at the farm.
In March of 2012, one morning he went and fed us early when Parker was out hunting or exploring. He then came back to see Parker. While Parker was on his lap, Rico was looking for a box to try to get into. Eventually, the human asked me to jump on his lap so Parker would leave and he could go inside and do non-cat things (why? ). Rico had had kittens in the middle of the shed on the rug by the time he came back for dinner. Parker never went into the shed again.
So then there was the move across the road. Rico eventually made it, a little before I did. She got used to life in the hay rather than the shed. She caught a lizard one morning that he saw. She even sat on the human's lap once that summer. But then he left, and she started turning feral again. She left when the humans came, and did not eat while they were watching. She hid in the distance where she could see the food, but would not always eat while the humans were there.
When the other human found her last week or so, it was just something that was about cat sized and had grey fur. Our younger sister Gracie was accounted for, so it could only have been Rico. (Unless Dorian, a little older than Rico came back.... nah.)
So here are some pictures of Rico Smudgeovna Prettykoshka. She didn't like getting her picture taken that much, either. The kitten picture of her was taken her first day alive.