Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sterling Darling is my daughter Jean's Chocolate Siamese male cat. He first came into the family at the age of only a few days, having just opened his eyes. He was found on a Friday afternoon by a construction worker under a house in western Little Rock, occupying a 'nest' with an already deceased kitten of the same age, with no mama cat in evidence. He could tell the kitten was in critical condition, and took him to the closest veterinary clinic, where my son's wife worked as a groomer. There was no way this baby could survive without constant attention, so leaving him at the clinic over the weekend with only occasional feeding visits by the vet techs was not an option, so daughter-in-law brought him home with her, "home" being at that particular moment a family gathering in celebration of my 70th birthday. The tiny kitten, which fit into the palm of her hand, would require 'round the clock care which, as an employed person, she was not able to give.
Present at the gathering was my daughter Jean's husband, himself of a very tender nature. He decided that his family, with a stay- at- home mom, would take the kitten, and he put it under his shirt next to his heart, where he carried it almost constantly, taking his turn at feeding the baby, and reluctantly leaving the kitten to the care of my daughter when he was not available.
I'm as sure as I can be that it was the loving and dedicated attention to a tiny creature that allowed Sterling Darling to survive and grow into a beautiful cat. He is devoted to my son-in-law and still rides around on his shoulders for extended periods. Sterling Darling rewards his family by catching small (and, so far, non-poisonous) snakes and lizards he finds crawling about in the wood pile and brushy areas of the property. He brings them to the back door and waits patiently for someone to praise him for his hunting prowess.
How Sterling Darling got his name, I'm not exactly sure, but he is always referred to using both names.